Foods to eat and avoid in Dengue
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Dengue is a vector-borne illness caused by the bite of an infected mosquito, specifically the Aedes species such as Aedes aegypti or Aedes albopictus. Dengue is quite rampant during the monsoon season as the mosquito breeds in areas of the house and surrounding it wherever there is water clogging or logging. This can range from flower pots in your garden or a bucket of water left unmoved for a few days or in any tanks. Every year about 1 lakh people get infected with Dengue in India.
People are often told to be careful during monsoon about throwing away any standing water or changing the water in pet feeders or buckets daily because you can get infected with dengue. The blood vessels become damaged and the platelet count in the bloodstream drops. It can lead to internal bleeding, organ failure and in some unfortunate cases, even death.
It is why one must eat healthy to regain strength and prevent anaemia when recovering from a dengue attack.
In this article, we tell you what foods to eat more and what to avoid when on the path to recovery from dengue fever.
Best Foods for Dengue Recovery Diet
To recover from dengue, you need to follow a diet rich in iron and protein. These two food groups increase platelet count and prevent you from developing anaemia.
For fast recovery, you must have:
- Milk and dairy products
- Lean meat such as chicken and lean fish
- Beans, chickpeas and lentils
Other things to eat are:
Consuming papaya leaf juice is highly recommended to recover from dengue fever. Papaya leaf contains vitamins, minerals, fibre and antioxidants. Amongst vitamins, papaya leaf juice can provide you with vitamin A, vitamin K, vitamin E and vitamin C. Consuming the leaf juice two to three times a day helps to taper down the temperature, increase the platelet count and strengthen immunity. Papaya juice works like a miracle against dengue fever.
Dengue fever can cause severe dehydration. Hence, you must go above and beyond just plain water to rehydrate yourself. Coconut water is naturally enriched with essential electrolytes and minerals necessary to balance the lost nutrients in the body. Additionally, it is quite tasty and replenishes fluid deficiency in the body.
Aside from papaya leaf juice, try to increase your intake of homemade juices as much as possible during this recovery phase. Vegetable juices will provide you with the necessary nourishment and nutrients. Add a squeeze of lemon juice to all your drinks to improve immunity.
Make a sweet porridge with berries and other fruits, or opt for a savoury one with boiled veggies. Porridge is easy to swallow and restricts the growth of deadly viruses. It also strengthens your immunity.
Neem leaves are loaded with medicinal benefits such as anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial and antipyretic. It improves both blood platelets as well as white blood cell platelet count. It stops the growth and spread of the virus. You can either have neem leaves in water and drink that daily or mix neem leaves with papaya leaf juice and have it together. You can also add neem leaves to vegetable stir fry and eat it with boiled rice for lunch or dinner.
Foods to Avoid
To recover faster from dengue and in a healthy manner, avoid consuming foods high in salicylates which make the blood thin and slow down clotting. Such foods are:
- Pepper, garlic, ginger and onion
- Nuts such as walnuts and almonds
- Potato, tomato, apricot and cucumber
- Fruits like apples, plums, melons, peaches and grapes
- Spicy and oily, fried foods
- Carbonated drinks
By following a healthy diet, getting lots of rest and taking timely medication, you can recover from dengue fever within a week. Consume more of the foods mentioned in the list and avoid those in salicylates.