Dengue Fever Diet: 10 Things To Eat And Avoid For Recovery
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Come monsoon, and cases of dengue fever increase across India due to a number of reasons. According to data from The Lancet, there were 110,473 cases of dengue fever documented in India between January and October 2022. Given this high prevalence, it is quite likely that dengue cases will be on the rise during 2023 as well. If you can take steps to prevent it, then good. And if you or a loved one have already contracted dengue fever this year, here’s what you should know. 

Dengue fever is a viral infection transmitted by mosquitoes, and it can cause flu-like symptoms, including high fever, severe headache, joint and muscle pain, rash, and bleeding. It is essential to seek medical attention if you suspect you have dengue fever, as severe cases can lead to complications and require hospitalization. Right now, there is no antiviral medication or specific cure for dengue fever. So, the treatment mainly focuses on managing symptoms and providing supportive care to prevent complications.  

This course of treatment includes getting plenty of rest, staying well-hydrated, and taking medications to relieve fever and pain, such as acetaminophen (avoid using aspirin or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, as they can increase the risk of bleeding). While there is no specific diet that can cure dengue fever, maintaining good nutrition and hydration is crucial during the illness. Here are all the things you should include and push out of your dengue fever diet. 

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Foods To Include In A Dengue Fever Diet 

When suffering from dengue fever, it's essential to focus on foods that can help boost the immune system, provide essential nutrients, and support the body's recovery. Here are the top five foods that all Indians can consider including in their diet during dengue fever. 

1. Papaya: Papaya leaves and fruit are believed to have potential benefits for people with Dengue fever. Papaya leaves are commonly used in traditional remedies to help increase platelet count, which can be low during Dengue infection. You can consume papaya fruit or prepare papaya leaf juice after consulting with a healthcare professional. 

2. Coconut Water: Coconut water is a natural electrolyte-rich beverage that can help combat dehydration, which is a common concern during Dengue fever. It is a good source of hydration and essential minerals. 

3. Broths and Soups: Clear soups and broths made from vegetables and lean proteins can provide nourishment and hydration. They are also easy to digest, making them suitable for individuals experiencing digestive issues. 

4. Bananas: Bananas are a good source of potassium and other essential nutrients. They are easy on the stomach and can provide a quick source of energy. 

5. High-Protein Foods: Include protein-rich foods such as lentils, beans, eggs, and lean meats in your diet to support tissue repair and overall recovery. 

Foods To Avoid When You Have Dengue Fever 

When suffering from dengue fever, certain foods should be avoided to prevent exacerbating symptoms and complications. Here are the top five foods Indians should avoid eating during dengue fever. 

1. Fried and Junk Foods: Avoid fried foods, fast foods, and other junk foods that are high in unhealthy fats, sodium, and empty calories. These foods can contribute to inflammation and may worsen digestive issues. 

2. Spicy and Oily Foods: Spicy and oily foods can irritate the digestive system and may lead to discomfort, especially when the body is already dealing with fever, body aches, and other symptoms. 

3. Alcohol: Alcohol can dehydrate the body and may interfere with medications. It is best to avoid alcoholic beverages during Dengue fever. 

4. Caffeinated Beverages: Caffeine-containing drinks like coffee and certain teas can also contribute to dehydration and should be limited. 

5. Citrus Fruits and Sour Foods: While vitamin C is essential for immune support, excessively consuming citrus fruits and sour foods may irritate the stomach and exacerbate digestive issues in some individuals. It's best to consume vitamin C from other sources like papaya, kiwi, guava, and Indian gooseberry (amla) while being mindful of the quantity.