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since 1923

The nutritionist answers

Andrea Poli, nutritionist and Director of the Nutrition Foundation of Italy.

Doctor of Medicine and Surgery specialized in Pharmacology.

andrea poli

Send your questions to nutritionist Andrea Poli. Every week a question of general interest will be selected, and an answer to it will be published!


The Answers to your questions

What do you observe when you compare people who eat breakfast and those who don't?
People who eat breakfast regularly have better health – for example, a risk of heart attack that is 20 to 30% lower, over time, than the risk of people who don't eat breakfast.
Furthermore, people who eat breakfast are approximately 25% less likely to gain weight – by at least 5 kilograms over time – than people who never eat breakfast.
• Hello! I’m a 52-year-old woman who often looks anemic because of copious menstrual cycles. A pharmacist advised me to take one teaspoonful of chestnut honey every morning. I started doing so 5 days ago. Will it be effective against anemia and fatigue? Thank you very much. Regards, Anna
Dear Anna,
What your pharmacist said is correct: traditionally (even though, unfortunately, the scientific literature contains very little specific data on this question), among the various monofloral honeys, chestnut honey is considered to be the richest in iron. It contains approximately 0.5 mg of iron per 100 grams. This is not a trivial amount, when you consider that red meat (which, as everyone knows, is considered to be an excellent source of iron) contains only about 2 mg per 100 grams.
Some of the vitamins (such as vitamin B6) in the honey also have a direct antiasthenic effect, which has been recognized by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA).
Obviously, chestnut honey is only one of the foods that may help you, and it should be included as part of a varied and balanced diet.
One last suggestion: during one of your two main meals, add a squeeze of fresh citrus juice to your food. The iron in your food will be better absorbed by your body, and so will “work” better against your anemia.
In any event, keep up with your tests, and – of course – discuss the matter with your doctor.
Best regards and happy New Year!