ESL 91
FALL, 2002


Luiza Zark
ESL 91
Fall, 2002

Essay Topic: Discuss the importance of antioxidant vitamins in our health. Identify the important antioxidants, describe the foods that contain them, and discuss the recommended daily amounts of these vitamins. Also discuss which diseases and disorders can be helped or prevented by increasing the amount of antioxidants in the diet.

Antioxidants exist as vitamins and minerals and other compounds in food. The most well known are Vitamin C, E and A also known as B-carotine.  Antioxidants help prevent oxidation, may help increase immune functions and possibly decrease risk of inflection and cancer.

The most common antioxidant is vitamin C. Vitamin C is found in food such as: circus fruit, sweet potatoes, strawberries and broccoli. Vitamin C may lover eye disease. Also, helps lower blood pressure and cholesterol. Vitamin C was shown to help prevent stroke and heart attack. People who suffer from asthma, arthritis, cancer, diabetes and heart disease have lower level of vitamin C in the blood. To take advantages of the benefits of vitamin C we should eat food reached in vitamin c every day.

Vitamin E is another antioxidant that has a role in promoting health. For example it may affect aging, infertility, heart disease, cancer and athletic performance. Vitamin E helps protect the body from cell damage that can lead to cancer, heart disease and cataracts as we age. Vitamin E works together with Vitamin C to prevent chronic diseases. Vitamin E is found in vegetable oil, salad dressing, margarine, wheat germ, wholegrain products, seed, nuts and peanut butter.

A third major antioxidant is Beta Carotine or Vitamin A. B-carotine is provitamin A carried in plasma and LDL cholesterol. LDL cholesterol is bad cholesterol for our body. The role is to reduce oxidize cholesterol. Sources of dietary carotenoids include fruits, yellow oranges, carrots, squash, sweet potatoes, spinach and broccoli.

Antioxidants help protect healthy cells from damage by free radicals. Normal body functions such as breathing or psychical activity and other life style habits such as smoking, produce substances called free radicals that attacks healthy cells. When those healthy cells are week they need Vitamin C, E an A to support them.

The best way to build a healthy eating plan to get enough antioxidant vitamin is to eat well-balanced meals and snacks each day to enjoy a wide variety of food. Eating at least daily is a good start of healthful living. However, there may be circumstances that make healthful eating a challenge. If you are on low- calorie weight loss diet, or are of childbearing age or just don’t eat enough fruits and vegetables, a multi-vitamin supplement may be beneficial.

As we can see above, the antioxidants are very important for our living. Each day we should eat a lot of vitamins, especially C, E and A , that are necessary for our health. Not getting enough vitamins each day may have negative effects in our body.

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Anne Pierre
ESL 91
Fall, 2002

Essay Topic: Discuss the importance of antioxidant vitamins in our health. Identify the important antioxidants, describe the foods that contain them, and discuss the recommended daily amounts of these vitamins. Also discuss which diseases and disorders can be helped or prevented by increasing the amount of antioxidants in the diet.

According to Interdisciplinary English, a book by Loretta F. Kasper, Antioxidants are nutrients found as vitamins and minerals in a lot of the components that make up all foods. The major antioxidants are vitamins A, C and E. Antioxidants promote health, prevent oxidation and protect healthy cells from damage caused by many diseases. To get sufficient antioxidants, the human being needs a balanced diet rich in fruits and vegetables.

The daily amount of antioxidants comes from meals and snacks. According to the text, “ The Nutrition Health Report”, the portion absorbed by a healthy person is: “5 servings of fruits and vegetables per day”. Beta-carotene is an antioxidant, which is considered to function like vitamin A. It is stored in winter squash, carrots and sweet potatoes. Beta-carotene reduces the oxidation of LDL uptake, which is “a low-density lipoprotein or bad cholesterol”. Beta –carotene is also good for reducing the damage caused from free radicals and prostate cancer. Free radicals are defined by Gary Null, a nutritionist, as ”a substance produced by people who have physical activities and other lifestyle habits as smoking”. These substances attack healthy cells.

Vitamin C is one of the antioxidants found in fruit, such as strawberries, lemons, oranges, tangerines, papaya, limes, grapes and cantaloupe. Vitamin C is also found in the white linings of other plants. Vegetables like tomatoes, broccoli, green and red bell peppers, raw lettuce and other leafy greens contain vitamin C. 100 mg are a recommended daily amount by the dietitian. 10mg a day is a dose recommended for adults to prevent scurvy, which is a disease caused by a lack of vitamin C in the diet. Vitamin C can fight diseases such as cataracts, asthma, arthritis, cancer, diabetes, gum and heart disease, skin lesions, and fatigue. Furthermore it stabilizes blood pressure and cholesterol. Vitamin C helps in the absorption of iron and breaks down histamine, which causes an allergic reaction to pollen. It protects capillaries, helps fat metabolism, and converts certain amino acids into neurotransmitters. Moreover, vitamin C keeps the skin, teeth and bones intact. It also serves as a natural aspirin, which helps to fight against inflammation and pain.

Vitamin E is considered an antioxidant as well. Vegetable oil, salad dressing, whole grain products, margarine, wheat germ, nuts, seeds, and peanut butter are good sources of this vitamin. The recommended daily amount depends on the dietitian’s advice. A lack of vitamin E causes cell damage, heart disease, cataracts and infertility. An absence of this vitamin also affects athletic performance.

Human beings need a balanced diet to sustain life. For this reason the dietitian’s advice is very effective. It helps a sick person understand what he or she needs to eat in order to absorb healthy nutrients into his or her body. The antioxidants are very important. They help people maintain a healthy life style and prevent many diseases. I enjoyed learning about antioxidants and I found the information to be relevant in terms of maintaining a healthy diet. And with that, I will be able to have a healthier life by balancing my diet.

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Antoine R Daity
ESL 91
Fall, 2002

Essay Topic: Research common eating disorders. Find information on Anorexia Nervosa and on Bulimia. What seems to cause these eating disorders? Who is most likely to develop these eating disorders? Compare and contrast the symptoms, consequences, and prognosis for people suffering from each of these eating disorders. How do doctors treat people suffering from eating disorders? Are these treatments usually successful?

Anorexia and Bulimia are two common eating disorders. Anorexia is a condition where there is an intense fear of becoming fat. This fear leads the sufferers to practice a program, which will ensure that they lose weight. Apart from not eating, this may include the taking of laxatives, self-induced vomiting and excessive exercise. Loss of weight can be considerable. As a result of weight loss and starvation, the sufferer will become physically and psychologically ill, leading to loss of menstrual periods, anxiety, tiredness, loss of hair and poor skin. Bulimia is a disease where people overeat and they feel guilty. Then, they make themselves vomit because they anticipate weight gain. People suffering from Bulimia will eat large quantities of food and this is followed by feelings of guilt and worthlessness that leads to episodes of self-induced vomiting, diarrhea brought on by laxatives. Sufferers’ lives are dominated by their eating disorder. The sufferer may also be depressed and feel ashamed and guilty.

According to the article "Don’t be Sad" by Susan Newman, Anorexia is a serious eating disorder in which a person restricts eating to the point of emaciation and possible starvation. Most victims are high-achieving females in early puberty or early adulthood. Eating is very difficult for them. They kill themselves, especially by their attempt to avoid high calorie foods. In addition they exercise until they become very thin. They have a distorted perception of their bodies and their size. Even though they really look skinny, they feel they need to continue to lose weight; they feel that their body shape directly affects their value as people. Anorexia has become an increasingly greater problem among young people.

Anorexics are very careful about their bodies; they diet to lose weight. They want to show their beautiful sides to their boyfriends. Dieting can be a satisfying activity. When they measure their weight on the scale it tells them that they have lost a couple of pounds and then they feel happy and successful. .

People who suffer Anorexia have very low body weight that might result in many serious health problems. Girls might stop having menstrual periods. The skin would become very dry. They might also lose hair from their head. The body often feels cold. The muscles become weaker. Other complications include difficulty sleeping, constipation, and depression. Sufferers are often sick. Some problems will get better when people recover from Anorexia. If severe Anorexia cannot be treated, the sufferers might die. It is important to seek help as early as possible.

Bulimia may be less noticeable than Anorexia, as sufferers usually keep a constant weight. In fact, continued use of laxatives causes persistent stomach pain, swollen fingers and damaging of bowels that might lead to long-term constipation. People with Bulimia have a persistent preoccupation with eating an irresistible craving for food. After they eat too much food, they feel guilty and fear becoming fat. They use an inappropriate method to control their weight, which includes vomiting and excessive use of laxatives. Through these methods they try to lose the foods that they’ve just eaten. No matter how much they eat, they can still keep their weight within the normal limits. For example, women might eat a lot of high calorie foods such as cakes, ice creams, cheeses and chocolates in three hours or less. In the future they will feel guilty and depressed and make themselves vomit. They may raise or lower their weight by 15 lbs.

Bulimia results in serious medical consequences. It brings some unhealthy problems to the body. Within a short period of time after vomiting, bulimics become extremely uncomfortable because they may be sick from the process of eating and vomiting. People with Bulimia can cause damage to their jugular region form excessive vomiting or stomach acid.

People have some different ideas about the causes of eating disorder. Social pressure is one of the basic causes. People believe that "slim" means "beautiful", and "fat" equals unattractive and "undesirable". We get these views from the advertisements, from looking at the slim women in the magazines. People see these stars as their idols, and they try to lose weight to reach the goal of what they see as "attractive" in the media.

Girls and boys may be having pressure from their peers. This is true for girls especially. For example, when most of their friends around them are slim, they might feel that they cannot join with the group. Sometimes other people in their gym classes make them feel they are outside of their peer group. So they control their eating too much in order to get thinner and this can lead development of Anorexia.

People have also different ways of reacting to the bad things that happen to them in life. Many people suffering from Bulimia have depressive symptoms. Bulimia may be less noticeable than Anorexia, as sufferers usually keep a constant weight. In fact, continually vomiting causes the stomach acid to dissolve parts of the body. Bulimics see binging as a way to cope with their unhappiness. For example, if a person was very successful in the past, but now she is failing, she may develop a low self-esteem and depression. She thinks she is ineffective and unworthy. For example, divorce can cause a woman to suffer with Bulimia. Her husband leaves her, and then she feels that she has lost an important part of life.

By searching the Internet and reading the information about eating disorders, I understand much more about what eating problems are. Psychological problems can cause eating disorders, such as Anorexia and Bulimia. I also learned that eating disorders may be more prevalent within certain cultural groups, such as western cultures where distorted ideas of thinness have been more widely accepted. So cultural factors, distorted values and other factors such as affluence and freedom of choice, may play a crucial role in the development of these disorders. Because of the social views, people fear becoming fat.

Eating disorders have become a common problem in society. These eating disorders harm people’s health. For good health the body depends on a balanced diet. Having a good psychological well being is also important to our health. Eating disorders can be fatal. Timely therapy and medication can effectively manage the disorders and help the sufferer look forward to a normal, productive, and fulfilling life.

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