Foods to eat to recover from malaria

Malaria, a common disease spread by mosquitoes, increases again during the summer season. Many people fall prey to it and deal with chills, fever, and lasting fatigue. However, a balanced diet can help you recover from malaria just like any other illness.

Healthy and nutritious food not only gives you energy but also speeds up the recovery process by healing your body from within. But if this is not taken care of, it can lead to liver and kidney failure. But paying attention to diet can help you recover quickly from malaria.

Dr. Vikas Deswal, Senior Internal Medicine Consultant, Medanta Hospital, Gurugram, spoke to Health Shots to share expert advice on how to prevent malaria.

Dr Deswal says: “Malaria is caused by the bite of a female Anopheles mosquito infected with the Plasmodium parasite. Mosquitoes carry the parasite from one infected person to another. These parasites then enter the bloodstream and infect red blood cells.”

“People who get malaria are often very ill with chills, high fever and flu-like symptoms. Patients can recover in 7 to 9 days, but severe malaria may take time to recover. Wear full-sleeved clothing and spray insecticides to prevent mosquito breeding.” Dr. Deswal adds.

No need to worry as we share some food and nutrition tips that will help you and your family recover from malaria faster.

Although there is no specific diet for malaria, proper nutrition is the key to a speedy recovery. A healthy diet does not allow the malaria parasite to affect the liver, kidneys and digestive system and strengthens the patient’s immunity.

This is what you need to eat to recover from malaria:

1. Drink moisturizing juices

To get healthy, sip instant energy drinks when you have a fever. Fever increases the body’s metabolic rate, thus increasing the calorie requirement. Do not forget that the caloric requirement depends on the increase in temperature. Since many patients experience lack of appetite during malaria, calorie intake is a major challenge. In such a situation, it is important to consume foods that provide energy immediately, such as glucose, sugar cane juice, fruit juice, coconut water, shikanji.

Ilana get the scrub flowThey all hail the ganne ka juice. Image Courtesy: Shutterstock

2. Keep track of your protein intake

When one suffers from malaria, the need for protein increases due to the massive loss of tissue. The correct amount of protein along with a diet rich in carbohydrates can be helpful in building tissue. Consuming high biological value proteins such as milk, curd, lassi, whey, fish (stew), chicken (soup/stew), egg may be beneficial.

3. Increase vitamin intake

Lack of water and electrolytes is very common in malaria. To maintain it, it is beneficial to consume juice, stew, soup, rice soup, lentil soup, coconut water. Foods rich in vitamins A and C, such as carrots, beets, papayas, fruits, especially citrus fruits (such as oranges, sweet limes, pineapples, grapes, berries, and lemons) can help. It is also recommended to supplement with B vitamins to increase immunity.

beetsHave a glass of beetroot juice or eat it raw to recover from malaria! Image Courtesy: Shutterstock

The foods that patients should avoid to recover from malaria are:

  1. When you are sick, you should consume fat in moderation. However, the use of dairy fats such as butter, cream, in dairy products helps digestion due to its richness in medium chain triglycerides (MCT). Excessive use of fats when cooking or frying causes poor digestion, which can lead to diarrhea.
  2. Eat foods that are high in fiber, such as whole grains, green leafy vegetables, and thick-skinned fruits.
  3. Fried foods, processed foods, junk food, oily and spicy foods, and pickles should be avoided.
  4. Excessive consumption of tea, coffee, cocoa and other caffeinated beverages should be avoided.

Also see: Everything you need to know about malaria symptoms and treatments

So ladies, a well balanced and nutritious diet is very important for malaria. Also, don’t forget to stay hydrated. Rest well and take your medication on time!

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