Parasites and Diet

Intestinal parasites come in many shape and sizes, but the main divisions or single-celed protozoa, or amoebas, and multicellular flat worms and roundworms. While the singel-celled organism can multiply inside the digestive tract few parasitic worms can reproduce inside the human body, although they may grow in a host for years. Some worms hardly even make their presence felt, while others cause symptoms that come and go, including fever, coughs and wheezing, diarrhoea, and weight loss. No matter how mild or severe the symptoms, all worms drain the host's resources, and most rob the body's stores of iron and vitamin B12.

Parasites in fish are quiet common in our country, especially fish from brackish and polluted waters. Oily fish, such as hilsha and pangash, must be cooked soon after they are netted. If kept too long before cooking, they can cause scromboid poisoning, a type of parasitical disease. Beef can have tapeworms. Beef must be well cooked to prevent trichinosis, another type of parasite. Tapeworms and roundworms have been reported in undercooked or raw fish dishes, such as is popular with the Japanese.

Pinworms typically infest school-age children, causing intense itching around the anus when worms emerge to lay their eggs. A doctor can prescribe a safe, rapidly effective medication; if there are several young children in the family, all may have to be treated. Children should be told to wash their hands with soap thoroughly every time they use the bathroom and before eating

Person Afflicted with Parasitical Diseases Should Eat Plenty of:

Lean meat, poultry, seafood, legumes, and other iron-rich foods.

Citrus fruits and green vegetables for vitamin C to promote iron absorption. A citrus drink at every meal can help increase iron absorption

Animal products for vitamin B12.

Avoid :

Undercooked beef or mutton, and raw fish and shellfish unless prepared professionally under sanitary conditions.

Raw vegetables and salad greens unless carefully washed in bacteria -free water.

In our country, eating in restaurants and food stalls may cause parasitical diseases, due to unsanitary food handling and preparation. Also cooks and other serving staff at home who may have worms can transmit them to every member of the household including children.

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