Dengue – How to protect against it?

World health organization estimated that more than 2.5 billion people are at risk of dengue infection as it is the most widespread viral infection in humans. There are a number of precautions one can take to prevent Dengue. Nutrition plays an important role in the prevention and treatment of this infection. 

Here are 5 nutrients to increase your immunity for dengue

1. Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin and is required to absorb calcium and strengthen bones and immunity. Its deficiency has been associated with increased susceptibility to viral infections. Vitamin-D rich foods are oily fishes like salmon, sardines, and eggs, and mushrooms.

2. Zinc is important for growth and development, the immune system, the nervous system and endocrine functions especially during infancy and childhood when the body is growing rapidly. Its deficiency has been associated with decreased resistance to viral infection. Seafood, chicken, beans, nuts, whole-grains, fortified breakfast cereals, and dairy products are good sources of Zinc. Phytates in cereals and legumes may inhibit Zinc absorption so fermenting and sprouting can help reduce the Phytate content.

3. Vitamin A is known to be a central regulator of the immune system. Vitamin A deficiency impairs both humoral and cell-mediated immunity as well as the integrity of the epithelial tissues of the eyes, lungs, and gut. This leads to increased susceptibility to pathogens and infectious diseases. Sources of Vitamin A include fish, eggs, milk, orange and yellow vegetables like carrots, broccoli, squash. 

4. Iron – Low level of iron in the blood can make one susceptible to dengue fever. Lentils, beans, soya beans, chickpeas, green leafy vegetables like spinach, fenugreek, broccoli, pumpkin seeds are rich in Iron. 

5. Vitamin E – The antioxidant properties of vitamin E protect immune cell membranes from oxidative damage. Vitamin E deficiency prevents the immune system from initiating a proper response to infection. Good sources are sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, almonds, peanuts, beet greens, and asparagus.