Dengue diet: what foods to eat and which to avoid

Diet during the dengue period should be based on the consumption of foods rich in sources of protein and iron, as these nutrients help prevent anemia and strengthen the immune system. Likewise, it is important to avoid some foods that can aggravate the disease such as pepper or red fruits, for example, because they increase the risk of bleeding due to containing salicylates.

Maintaining a good nutritional state helps the body to fight dengue, being important to eat several times a day in small portions, to stay at rest and to drink between 2 to 3 liters of water a day to keep the body hydrated.

Foods indicated in dengue

The most suitable foods for those who suffer from dengue are mainly those rich in protein and iron, both are important nutrients to prevent anemia and increase the formation of platelets, since these blood cells whose concentration is decreased when you have dengue, being important to prevent the onset of bleeding. 
For this reason, foods rich in protein and iron that help fight dengue are low-fat red meats; white meats like chicken, turkey, and fish; dairy and its derivatives; as well as other foods such as eggs, beans, chickpeas, lentils, beets and cocoa powder.
Some studies indicate that Vitamin D supplementation could help the immune system to fight the disease, due to its immunomodulatory effect; as well as Vitamin E supplementation, due to its antioxidant power that protects cells and improves the immune system, however, more studies are required to verify this. 

What foods to avoid when suffering from dengue

Foods to avoid dengue are those that contain salicylates, a compound that is produced by some plants as part of their defense system against some microorganisms. Since these compounds act similarly to aspirin, their excess consumption could fluidize the blood and slow blood clotting, favoring the appearance of hemorrhages. These foods are:
·         Fruits: blackberries, blueberries, plums, peaches, melon, banana, yellow lemon, tangerines, pineapple, guava, cherries, red and white grapes, pineapple, tamarind, oranges, green apples, kiwi and strawberries;
·         Vegetables: Asparagus, carrots, celery Spain, white onion, eggplant, broccoli, tomato, green beans, peas, cucumber, gherkin;
·         Dried fruits: raisins, prunes, dates, cranberry, or cranberry;
·         Nuts:  almonds, walnuts, pistachios, brazil nuts, peanuts with skin;
·         Condiments and dressings: mint, cumin, chaat masala, garam masala, tomato paste, mustard, cloves, coriander, paprika, cinnamon or paprika powder, ginger, nutmeg, chili powder or red pepper, oregano, turmeric, thyme and fennel, white vinegar, wine vinegar, apple cider vinegar, herb mix, garlic powder, curry powder; 
·         Beverages: red wine, white wines, beer, teas, coffee, natural fruit juices (because they concentrate salicylates);
·         Other foods: breakfast cereals containing coconut, corn, fruit, nuts, olive and coconut oil, honey and olives.
In addition to avoiding these foods, some medications are also contraindicated in dengue cases, such as acetylsalicylic acid or AAS (Aspirin), for example. 

Sample menu for dengue

Below is a sample 3-day menu to help you recover faster from dengue:

Day 1
Day 2
 Day 3
Pancakes with white cheese + 1 glass of milk
1 cup of decaffeinated coffee with milk + 2 scrambled eggs accompanied by 1 slice of toasted bread 
1 cup of decaffeinated coffee with milk + 2 slices of bread with butter + 1 slice of papaya
Morning snack
1 cup plain yogurt with 1 tablespoon of chia + 1 slice of papaya
4 units of Maria cookies
1 slice of watermelon 
Lunch dinner
Grilled chicken fillet accompanied by white rice with beans and cauliflower salad, dressed with 1 teaspoon of flaxseed oil 
Cooked fish with pumpkin puree accompanied by beet salad, seasoned with 1 teaspoon of linseed oil
Turkey fillet served with chickpeas and a lettuce salad garnished with 1 teaspoon of flaxseed oil
Afternoon snack
1 ripe, skinless pear
1 cup oatmeal with milk
3 puffed rice crackers with cheese
The amounts included in the menu vary according to age, sex, physical activity and how the disease is, so the ideal is to go to a nutritionist for a complete evaluation and develop a nutritional plan appropriate to your needs. 

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