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Malnutrition can affect people at any age, anywhere in the world. It occurs when there is an imbalance between the body’s nutritional needs and intake of nutrients. This paper aims to define malnutrition, identify a specific disease resulting from it, research about the disease’s physiological effects, discuss the relationship between specific foods/nutrients and the disease, evaluate nutritional recommendations to help combat the disease, and provide credible references to support the findings.
Definitions of malnutrition, and specific diseases:
A condition where the body is deprived of the nutrients it needs to stay healthy. A person can suffer from malnutrition if they consume a diet lacking in vital nutrients such as vitamins and minerals. Malnutrition may be caused by undernutrition, or it can also result from overnutrition. Undernutrition occurs when the body is not provided with enough nutrients. This can lead to various illnesses. Overnutrition is when there are too many nutrients in the body. This can cause obesity and other complications.
Malnutrition can lead to iron-deficiency aemia. This type of anemia occurs when there is not enough iron for the body to make hemoglobin. The hemoglobin carries oxygen through the blood. The symptoms of iron-deficiency include fatigue, weakness, breathlessness, and headaches.
Iron-Deficiency anemia and its Physiological Effects
The body is affected by iron-deficiency if the oxygen it can transport in the blood decreases. The body requires iron to produce hemoglobin, which is responsible for transporting oxygen from the lungs to the body’s tissues. The body’s production of hemoglobin decreases when it lacks enough iron. This results in a reduction in oxygen levels in the blood. This results in fatigue, weakness, and shortness of breath, as the body’s cells do not receive the necessary amount of oxygen to function optimally.
Foods/Nutrients that are associated with iron deficiency:
Research indicates that a lack of specific foods/nutrients increases a person’s chance of contracting iron-deficiency anemia. Iron can be found in many foods including poultry, meat, fish, legumes, fortified grains, and beans. Vegans and vegetarians have a greater risk of iron deficiency because they don’t consume meat. Meat is one of best sources of iron. Citrus fruits, berries and green leafy vegetables are high in Vitamin C.
Individuals with anemia due to iron deficiency should stay away from foods that block iron absorption. Tea, coffee and calcium-rich foods, like dairy products, are all examples. Tea and coffee tannins bind iron in the body, decreasing its absorption. Calcium and iron compete in the body for absorption. For this reason, people with iron deficiency should consume iron-rich food before calcium-rich ones.
Iron-Deficiency Aemia and Foods That Help:
Iron supplements are recommended for individuals with iron-deficiency anemia to help replenish the body’s iron stores. Eating foods rich in iron such as poultry, meat, fish, lentils and beans can also help fight the disease. Vitamin C-rich foods, like citrus fruits, berries and leafy vegetables, increase the absorption of iron in the body. Iron-deficiency patients should combine these foods with foods rich in iron to increase absorption.