Parasites and Nutrition: How Diet Affects Your Risk of Infection

Parasites Nutrition

Does food processing or preparation affect the risk of parasitic infections?

What are parasites and nutrition related to?

Your diet, both quality and quantity, can have a huge impact on your overall health – including your risk of becoming infected with parasites. Parasites are microorganisms that live off of their hosts, which can include humans and animals. These parasites thrive in both clean and unclean water, food sources, and soil.

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What are some sources of parasites?

Parasites can be transmitted through contact with contaminated food or water, contact with other individuals, or contact with animals or their feces. The most common sources of parasites in humans include contaminated food and water, contact with an infected individual, or contact with animals or their feces.

What are the effects of parasites on your health?

Parasitic infections can cause a variety of health issues, including abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, malabsorption, diarrhea, weight loss and fatigue. In more severe cases, parasites can lead to anemia, organ damage, and even death.

How Diet Affects Your Risk of Infection

The quality of the food you consume can play an important role in your risk of parasite infection. Eating undercooked or processed meats, contaminated vegetables and fruits, and raw milk can all increase your risk of parasites. Eating a healthy, balanced diet that includes a variety of nutrient-rich, minimally processed foods can help reduce your risk of infection.

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Ways to Reduce the Risk of Parasite Infection

In addition to eating a healthy, balanced diet, there are a number of other steps you can take to reduce your risk of becoming infected with parasites.

Food Safety

  • Cook meats thoroughly
  • Avoid raw meat, eggs, and dairy products
  • Wash fruits and vegetables before eating them
  • Store foods properly

Wash Hands Regularly

  • Thoroughly wash your hands after using the restroom, before handling food, and after contact with animals or animals’ feces
  • Use warm, soapy water

Stay Away from Contaminated Water Sources

  • Avoid swimming in fresh water sources, such as rivers, lakes, and ponds
  • Do not drink from natural water sources
  • Always use bottled or boiled water when traveling

Talk to Your Doctor

If you think you may have been exposed to parasites or if you experience any of the symptoms of parasite infection, contact your doctor right away. Your doctor may order stool tests to diagnose a parasitic infection. In cases of severe infection, your doctor may prescribe antiparasitic medications to help rid your body of the parasites.

Nutrition and diet play a significant role in your risk of becoming infected with a parasite. Eating a healthy, balanced diet that includes a variety of minimally processed foods helps reduce your risk of infection. Additionally, taking steps such as washing your hands and avoiding contact with contaminated water sources can help further protect you from parasites. If you suspect a parasite infection, contact your doctor immediately for diagnosis and treatment.