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5 recipes to tackle nutritional deficiencies in people with the eating disorder Pica

5 recipes to tackle nutritional deficiencies in people with the eating disorder Pica

Pica, which is desire to eat non-nutritive substances for a prolonged period of time, is linked with Iron and Zinc nutritional deficiencies.Therefore, the foods to tackle nutritional deficiencies in people with Pica must be rich in these two nutrients. So, here are 5 recipes to tackle nutritional deficiencies in people with the eating disorder Pica.


According to the Global Healing Centre, some of the foods rich in zinc include: dark chocolate, garlic, sesame seeds and chickpeas. Some of the foods rich in iron include: white beans, beef liver, spinach and lentils. For a more comprehensive list of foods rich in the aforementioned nutrients, click here.

So, here are the 5 recipes to tackle nutritional deficiencies in people with the eating disorder Pica

1) Rosemary and Garlic Beef Liver Appetizer (serves 8)


2 tbsp olive oil
8 oz (226 gr) beef liver, cut into 8 pieces
Salt to taste
2 tsp fresh rosemary, chopped
2 tsp fresh garlic, crushed and minced
2 apples
1½ cups arugula


In a large skillet, warm the olive oil on medium heat.
Add liver, salt, garlic, and rosemary.
Cover and cook for 5 minutes, turning the liver over to brown on both sides.
Remove from the heat and set aside to rest for 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, cut the apples crosswise to obtain 8 round slices of ¼-inch thick.
On a serving platter, place the apples, some arugula and pieces of liver on top.
Garnish with a little bit of olive oil, rosemary, and garlic spooned out of the skillet.
Bon appétit!

2) white bean dip


1 (15-ounce) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
2 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup olive oil, plus 4 tablespoons
1/4 cup (loosely packed) fresh Italian parsley leaves
Freshly ground black pepper
6 pitas
1 teaspoon dried oregano


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Place the beans, garlic, lemon juice, 1/3 cup olive oil, and parsley in the work bowl of a food processor. Pulse until the mixture is coarsely chopped. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Transfer the bean puree to a small bowl.

Cut each pita in half and then into 8 wedges. Arrange the pita wedges on a large baking sheet. Pour the remaining oil over the pitas. Toss and spread out the wedges evenly. Sprinkle with the oregano, salt, and pepper. Bake for 8 to 12 minutes, or until toasted and golden in color.

Serve the pita toasts warm or at room temperature alongside the bean puree.

3) Lentils and Chickpeas with Greens
( serves 2)


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½ cup green lentils
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
½ bunch greens, such as spinach, kale, or Swiss chard, bottom stems trimmed
Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
1 15-oz. can chickpeas, rinsed
4 cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered if large
1 tablespoon Parmesan or sharp cheddar, cut into small dice
1 lemon, halved


Cook lentils in a medium pot of salted water until tender, 10–15 minutes; drain and let cool. Heat 1 Tbsp. oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add greens and cook, stirring occasionally, until wilted and bright green, about 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Combine lentils, chickpeas, and remaining 2 Tbsp. olive oil in a medium bowl; season with salt and pepper. Divide among 2 bowls and top with greens, tomatoes, and Parmesan. Squeeze lemon over.

4) chickpea curry


1 tbsp oil
1 onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
¼ tsp salt
½ tsp cumin powder
¼ tsp coriander powder
¼ tsp turmeric powder
¼ tsp red chilli powder
1 fresh tomato, chopped
400g tin chickpeas, drained and rinsed
5cm/2in piece root ginger, grated
pinch of garam masala
pitta breads or plain basmati rice, to serve


Heat a deep lidded saucepan or a medium sized wok and add the oil. Fry the onions and garlic, until the onions are caramelised

Add the salt, cumin, coriander, turmeric and red chilli powders. Mix for a minute and tip in the tomato. Cook the sauce until it begins to thicken.

Add 4 tablespoons water and stir. Then tip in the chickpeas and mix. Mash a few of the chickpeas while cooking. Cover and simmer for 5 minutes. Then add the ginger and the garam masala. Cook for another minute.
Serve with pitta breads or plain basmati rice.

5) Honey and Tahini Ganache with Toasted Sesame Seeds


2-1/2 Tbs. strong clover or heather honey
1/3 cup tahini
12-1/2 oz. Caribbean 66% dark chocolate, chopped
3/4 cup sesame seeds


In a saucepan, bring a scant 3/4 cup water and the honey to a simmer. Add the tahini and simmer for 2 minutes. Pour the hot liquid onto the chocolate in a bowl and whisk well until smooth. Allow to cool before refrigerating for at least 2 hours to fully set the ganache.

Lightly toast the sesame seeds in a dry frying pan until golden but not popping open. Leave to cool.
Take the ganache out of the fridge and, using a teaspoon, scoop out uneven quenelles and immediately roll them through the toasted sesame seeds.

Serve at room temperature and eat within 3 days.

It is extremely important to tackle nutritional deficiencies in people with the eating disorder Pica. So, besides using diet to help your body stop craving non- nutritive substances, there are other ways that have been reported to tackle pica related nutrition deficiencies. Iron deficiency may also cause many other side effects other than pica, some of which may include fatigue, hair loss and even hearing loss. So, keeping you iron levels balanced is paramount. Zinc has been linked with an improvement in learning and memory, and it may prevent Alzheimer's disease.

Seek medical advice if you are craving or have started eating things that should not be eaten. Some of the ways pica eating disorder may manifest might be through the craving for ice cubes, soil, chalk, pencil, paper, wood and may even include self- cannibalism.