What Foods Are a Risk of Parasite Infection?
Most patients are very surprised to learn that the symptoms they are experiencing are caused by the presence of parasites in their organism. Yes, parasites can very easily find their way inside our bodies and once they are there, the symptoms they can cause are numerous. Parasitic infection can be quite confusing because its symptoms can range from mild physical pain in the stomach to psychological disorders as severe as depression.
Contrary to the popular belief, parasites are not an issue only in the undeveloped countries where most people will get infected from the unclean tap water. The greatest risk of parasitic infection actually is the food we eat and parasites can easily be hidden in your daily meal. Although almost every person has been a host to parasites at some point in life, in some cases they can cause serious health issues. Therefore, regular check-ups and occasional parasite cleanse is highly recommended. However, in order to eliminate parasites and cure your body of the damage done, one should use a natural herbal supplement for parasite cleanse and make several dietary changes.
So let’s take a look at what foods are most likely to be hosting parasites and how to choose what to include or exclude from your diet in order to eliminate parasites and avoid getting infected.
What Are Parasites?
Parasites are very small, in some cases microscopic organisms that derive protection and nourishment from another living organism. Parasites live inside or on the organism known as the host. Parasites live and reproduce inside the organs or within the tissues of the host (human or animal) and can be exerted with feces. In some cases, they are not exerted and can stay and thrive inside the organism for quite a while causing health issues. That mostly depends on the type of the parasite as some use a permanent host, and others use different animal or human hosts to aid their development phases.
The types of parasites are numerous and they range in size and form. They can be represented as single-celled organisms (ameba) to worms that are visible to the naked eye. In some patients, worms that have been thriving inside the organism can grow amazingly long. These worms are known as a tapeworm or Taenia saginata. Other common parasites in humans are giardia lamblia, hookworm, scabies mite, roundworm, and flatworm - blood fluke. All these mentioned above can be present in the food we eat and cause what is known as foodborne illness.
Types of Foods That Are Most Likely to Host Parasites
Parasites are mostly related to eating raw food. The high heat, when cooking, easily eliminates parasites and there is a very low risk of parasitic infection. On the other hand, raw vegetables, fruits and meat are at high risk of parasite transmission.
Fresh Fruits and Vegetables
Eating raw or lightly cooked vegetables has resulted in an increased number of people infected with parasites. Raw vegetables and fruits are hosts to some types of parasites. The chances are increased when these foods are imported. Global trade and the time needed for the food to travel from point A to point B is in favor of parasites developing and reproducing. Proper washing of the raw foods before eating lowers the risk of parasites getting inside the body. However, with some vegetables such as lettuce, cabbage, iceberg lettuce that are hard to be thoroughly washed, parasites can easily stay on the leaves and be ingested.
When it comes to protecting yourself from parasitic infection it is highly recommended for the food to be chemically treated in order to avoid ingesting parasites. Moreover, wastewater reuse is common in agriculture these days, which can contaminate the fields during harvesting, growing, transporting, and storage. Organic farming also poses a great risk of an increased parasitic contamination.
Raw Meat and Fish
Raw meat is the perfect environment for a parasite to thrive. They can easily be hidden in raw fish and meat and if these are not cooked parasites will be ingested. As mentioned above, the meat we eat today is mostly imported from other countries. The meat has traveled for quite a while and the unfamiliar conditions it was handled in (most commonly not the recommended low temperatures and away from light) increase the risk of high parasitic contamination. That benign said it is very risky and almost unlikely to not get a parasite when eating:
- undercooked fish: the most common source of parasites is Sushi and raw salmon
- Undercooked crabs, seafood, and even raw aquatic plants
- undercooked meat of any type
Any type of food, including cooked and prepared meals in a public restaurant/place can also be infected with parasites. Moreover, some foods can be contaminated by food service workers who work in unsanitary facilities and/or practice poor hygiene.
Other Sources of Parasites
Apart from food, one can easily get infected with some types of parasites by drinking unsafe water. Additionally, people that are living with pets are at a higher risk of infection. Parasites are much more common in dogs and sharing your bed with them or being very close to a dog can allow parasites to transfer and pick you as their next host. Swimming in a pool that is shared with more people or regular swims in a freshwater lake can also pose a risk of getting infected with some sort of parasite.
All this benign mentioned, it seems impossible to avoid all risk factors and not get infected with parasites. It’s important, however, to be aware of any symptoms that might be a sign of parasitic infection and acting on them. Performing a thorough body cleanse is recommended to all people for enhancing the intestinal and digestive health, so a detox twice a year should kill any parasites that might be affecting you and help you prevent yourself from various illnesses and fatigue.
About the Author
Sarah Peterson is a certified holistic nutritionist. She has been studying the power of herbs and holistic approach to health and illness for over 10 years now. After suffering a series of autoimmune diseases, she decides to take control of her life. Right after a thyroid gland failure, Sarah decides to make some serious life changes and started studying and incorporating holistic approaches and has successfully healed her thyroid without the use of medication or surgery. After studying alternative medicine, Sarah has also enrolled in medical school and still learning and improving, although well in her thirties now. She occasionally writes on important health subjects in order to spread her knowledge and help people heal through a holistic approach. She still propagates the power of natural healing for wellness but diagnoses and talks from a medical professional’s point of view.