Monsoon brings with it a host of unwanted health problems like cold, cough, diarrhoea, vomiting etc.Most of the times, these symptoms are accompanied by "fever". Fever is our body's way of generating an immune response to any kind of viral/bacterial/parasitic attack.
Long after the rains are over, a number of vector borne diseases like dengue, malaria, chikungunya, swine-flu, influenza and many more seem to flourish and affect one or the other member of the family.
Fever, whether mild, moderate or severe, short duration or long lasting, always leaves it's impact on your taste buds and your body strength. Fever leaves you with a loss of appetite and deflated and weakened body.
In order to recover faster and get back on track to good health, what kind of diet should you take?
The overall diet during viral fever should be light, easy to digest and full of fluids. In other words, it has to be a diet full of fruits and vegetables, and less fatty foods. Liquids either in the form of hot soup or simply plain water help excrete impurities. Food or any liquid consumed should be preferably warm.
Here are a list of do's and don'ts for Dietary Management of Fever:
1) Fever raises your body temperature - This catabolic state takes up more calories and depletes your glycogen stores. Hence a diet rich in cereals, cooked to a soft consistency with some mild spices added to it is an ideal way to regain your energy. Dal-rice, upma, poha, curd-rice, khichdi, porridge are some examples.
2) Fever whether continuous or intermittent, always leads to a lot of sweating - This creates a fluid and electrolyte imbalance in your body. Taking plenty of fluids by way of water, soups, coconut water, buttermilk, sherbets (homemade), honey infused water, ginger/cinnamon/tulsi teas helps correct this imbalance.
Consuming copious amounts of fluids also helps to flush out the toxin overload in your blood by way of urine and helps you recover faster. Breastfeeding infants must be fed regularly to help them recover from fever.
Recommended daily intake of fluids in fever is 3-5 litres/day.
3) Adding spices like cumin, ginger, cinnamon, pepper in measured quantities to your solid or liquid foods helps improve your digestive power, revive the taste buds and also helps to relieve some symptoms like cough or vomiting.
4) Taking a probiotic like curd/buttermilk helps to balance the side-effects of many medicines that may have played havoc with your gut health.
5) Protein in the form of well-cooked dals, boiled eggs, chicken soup helps to restore the destruction of tissues caused by prolonged fevers.
6) Avoid raw or undercooked vegetables and meats as they are difficult to digest and may be contaminated. Avoid fruits with hard peels and if used, peel them before use. Apples, pears and chikoos should be peeled off before eating.
7) Avoid fried, spicy, heavy and uncooked foods as they are difficult to digest and may further tax your digestive system.
8) Avoid carbonated beverages, teas, coffees, bakery products, whole pulses and cereals and junk food.
9) Say a 'NO' completely to outside food and water.
10) Start with a liquid diet and slowly progress to a semi-solid, soft diet, gradually returning to your regular diet. This helps in proper digestion of food and maximum absorption of nutrients without causing discomfort to the patient.
So next time you are down with fever, visit a doctor for medications and follow these diet tips to help you bounce back to good health faster!