The World Health Organisation (WHO) has identified dengue as one of the most widespread viruses transmitted by the Aedes mosquito. These mosquitoes have a distinct black colour with white spots.
The occurrence of dengue has become an immense global health concern. It can cause low platelet levels and damage to blood vessels. In addition, there are various levels of dengue fever, and if not treated promptly, it can be fatal.
After the bite of an infected Aedes mosquito, a person may experience joint and muscle pain, high fever, headache, and rashes within a few days. As time goes on, the symptoms become worse. However, the milder types of dengue fever typically dissipate in a week.
Enhancing the patient’s immunity is crucial in combating the dengue virus. Unfortunately, there is currently no known cure for dengue fever. However, consuming a balanced, nutrient-rich diet can be critical to a speedy recovery. Eating foods high in vitamins and minerals can help support the immune system and promote healing.
Diet for Dengue – The Dietary Guidelines
Low platelet counts, severe weakness, and dehydration are all possible consequences of dengue. You should plan your diet more carefully to prevent that.
A dengue diet plan is crucial to the recovery of dengue patients. It is as vital as other treatments and preventative measures for quick recovery.
While no specific diet can cure dengue fever, a healthy and balanced diet can help support the body’s immune system and aid recovery.
Here are some general dietary recommendations for individuals with dengue fever.
It is essential to drink lots of fluids to avoid dehydration, especially if you are experiencing vomiting or diarrhoea.
These symptoms can cause you to lose fluids quickly. Water, clear broth, and electrolyte solutions like Pedialyte can help replenish fluids. Avoid sugary drinks, as these may lead to further dehydration.
Eat Small Meals
Rather than eating large meals, consider having smaller meals more often.
It can help ensure that your body gets the nutrients it needs without putting too much strain on the digestive system.
Eat Nutrient-rich Meals
You can boost your immune system by including foods rich in vitamins and minerals in your diet. Fruits, vegetables, and whole grains are all excellent sources of nutrients.
For those with dengue fever, certain nutrients may be especially beneficial, such as vitamin C (found in citrus fruits, berries, and leafy greens), zinc (found in seafood, beans, and nuts), and iron (found in meats, beans, and leafy greens).
Stay Away from High-fat and High-fibre Foods
It is best to stay away from foods that are high in fat or fibre. They can be challenging to digest and could put a lot of pressure on the digestive system.
Consider eating lean proteins like chicken, fish, or tofu, as well as low-fibre carbohydrates like white rice or pasta instead.
The ICN Note
It is essential to remember that everyone is different and may require special dietary provisions. Consulting with a healthcare provider or a registered dietitian is the best way to receive tailored nutritional guidance.
Foods to Eat During Dengue
The foods mentioned below can help you fight dengue fever, as they are rich in protein and iron.
You can include them in your diet as per your requirements. If you need assistance with your dietary plan, you can consult the professionals at ICN.
Foods Rich in Vitamin C
If you have dengue, vitamin C is an essential vitamin. Studies also confirm the same. Its antibacterial and antioxidative properties are highly beneficial.
To provide your body with enough vitamin C, you should consume green leafy vegetables and fruits like oranges, lemons, papaya extract, and pineapple or pomegranate juice.
Research shows that papaya extract can benefit dengue patients.
Foods Rich in Vitamin K
Including foods like sprouts, broccoli, and green leafy vegetables in the diet could be a useful measure to increase platelet count when suffering from dengue.
That is because vitamin K, which is present in these foods, is essential for raising platelet count.
To produce platelets and maintain healthy blood haemoglobin levels, your body needs a lot of iron.
Therefore, incorporating foods rich in iron, such as beans, liver, beef, and green leafy vegetables, may help to replenish iron levels and restore platelet count.
If you have dengue, you should consume foods that provide energy. Some foods are milk, grains, potatoes, and more.
These meals provide your body with plenty of calories and energy, helping you recover and regain strength.
It is essential to drink plenty of water when recovering from dengue fever. Coconut water and white rice kanji are also great ways to stay hydrated and balance electrolytes.
A bowl of soup with veggies and protein is a nutritious meal and can provide your body with energy.
The veggies and protein in the soup contain iron and many vitamins, which can help to boost your platelet count. One can also add lentils to add flavour and nutrition to the soup.
Vitamin D and E
Some research suggests vitamin D supplements help strengthen the body’s immune system and protect against dengue infection.
Both vitamin D and vitamin E have immunomodulating properties, which means they can help protect the cells of the immune system from damage caused by oxidative stress.
The ICN Note
The food you consume is vital in how quickly you recover from dengue. Eating foods rich in vitamin C and vitamin K can help with the healing process. Iron-rich foods will also help to increase platelet production. Eating foods that can give your body energy and boost immune system strength can help reduce the effects of fatigue. You must stay hydrated and drink enough water to prevent dehydration, which can cause severe symptoms. Remember to include electrolytes in your diet as well.
Foods to Avoid During Dengue
If you have dengue fever, it is vital to avoid consuming caffeine. Caffeine is a diuretic that causes the body to lose water through urine. Therefore, it is not beneficial when suffering from dengue as your body needs to stay hydrated.
If you have dengue fever, it is best to stick to a soft and bland diet and avoid spices. Consuming spices can cause the stomach to produce acids, irritating and damaging the stomach walls.
During dengue fever, digestion of food is slow, making it difficult for the stomach to break down high-fat content. Therefore, avoiding foods such as cheese, fatty meat cuts, butter, deep-fried dishes, and avocado is best to reduce the strain on your stomach and use that energy to help you regain strength.
7 Day Reference Diet Plan for Dengue Patients
Here is a 7-day reference diet plan for dengue patients.
Day 1 Diet Plan
|Breakfast||2 medium sized Idlis (steamed rice cakes) with 1 bowl of sambar (lentil-vegetable stew) and 1 tsp of coconut chutney|
|Mid-morning snack||1 medium sized Banana or apple|
|Lunch||Rice, dal (lentils), and cooked vegetables|
|Mid-meal evening snack||Roasted chickpeas or a piece of fruit|
|Dinner||Roti (flatbread) with chicken or vegetable curry and grilled vegetables|
Day 2 Diet Plan
|Breakfast||Upma (semolina porridge) with vegetables|
|Mid-morning snack||1/2 cup of pomegranate or papaya|
|Lunch||Rice, dal, and cooked vegetables|
|Mid-meal evening snack||Boiled egg or a piece of fruit|
|Dinner||1 small bowl of rice, 1 medium sized bowl of fish or tofu curry, and sauteed vegetables|
Day 3 Diet Plan
|Breakfast||2 light rotis (flatbread) with 100 g stir fried paneer (cottage cheese) or 2 boiled eggs|
|Mid-morning snack||1 medium sized orange or kiwi|
|Lunch||1 cup of rice + 1 katori dal + 1 katori quick sauteed mixed vegetables|
|Mid-meal evening snack||1 fistful of boiled peanuts or a piece of fruit|
|Dinner||1 small sized bowl of Rice + 1 small bowl of chicken or mixed vegetable curry and 1 medium bowl of steamed vegetables|
Day 4 Diet Plan
|Breakfast||2 medium sized idlis + 1 bowl of Vegetable Sambar + 1 tsp of Coconut Chutney|
|Mid-morning snack||1 medium sized Guava or Pear + 1 -2 walnuts|
|Lunch||1 medium sized katori of Rice + 1 medium sized katori of dal + 1 bowl of curds|
|Mid-meal evening snack||1 fistful of roasted chickpeas or a piece of fruit|
|Dinner||2 phulkas + 1 medium sized katori of chicken curry (made in less oil) and 1 bowl of roasted vegetables|
Day 5 Diet Plan
|Breakfast||1 medium sized bowl||Vegetable Upma, 2-3 Tbsp of home made curds|
|Mid-morning snack||1 medium sized banana or apple + 1 small date|
|Lunch||1 medium sized katori of Rice + 1 medium sized katori of dal + 1 small bowl of curds + 2-3 rings of cucumber salad|
|Mid-meal evening snack||1 medium sized glass||Buttermilk|
|Dinner||1 small sized bowl of rice + 1 bowl||Tofu or chicken curry (made in less oil) + 1 small bowl of stir fry mixed vegetables|
Day 6 Diet Plan
|Breakfast||1 omelette (made from 2 egg whites) with 1 slice of whole wheat toast|
|Mid-morning snack||1 small bowl of strawberries or 1 small bowl of papaya|
|Lunch||1 medium sized bowl of vegetable Khichdi + 1 small bowl of cucumber Raitha|
|Mid-meal evening snack||1 small bowl of roasted makhane or 1 medium sized fruit|
|Dinner||2 Phulkas with 1 small bowl of Paneer Capsicum sabzi + 2-3 Tbsp of homemade curds|
Day 7 Diet Plan
|Breakfast||2 Phulkas with 1 small bowl of Paneer Capsicum sabzi + 2-3 Tbsp of homemade curds|
|Mid-morning snack||1 medium sized orange or kiwi + 3-4 badam|
|Lunch||1 medium sized bowl of rice + 1 medium sized bowl of palak ki dal + 1 bowl of bottle gourd sabzi|
|Mid-meal evening snack||1 yield of coconut water or 1 small bowl of puffed rice with roasted peanuts|
|Dinner||1 medium sized bowl of chicken soup + 1 small bowl of grilled vegetables + 1 slice of wholegrain toast|
Along with the diet, these snacks can temporarily help curb hunger and improve your overall health: Coconut water, vegetable soups, chicken soup, fruits, vegetable and fruit juices, and herbal teas
It is important to note that this is just a reference diet plan and may not be suitable for everyone. Therefore, it is always a good idea to speak with a healthcare professional or a registered dietitian for personalised dietary advice.
In addition, you can talk to nutritionists at ICN to get a customised plan specially designed to suit your needs.
The ICN Note
When you have dengue, you should avoid certain foods. It would help if you refrained from consuming greasy, spicy, or unclean food. Eat foods that are healthy for your body and are simple to digest. Avoid consuming any caffeine-containing beverages. Herbal drinks should take their place because they will help you feel better quickly. Take precautions to prevent acquiring dengue, primarily if you reside in an area that has recently experienced flooding. Keep your home and yourself clean to ward off mosquitoes. Ensure that no mosquitoes can enter the interior of your home.
If not treated immediately, dengue is a fatal disease. So, if you experience any symptoms, you should see your doctor as soon as possible. Continue to bear these nutritional recommendations in mind.
These foods will aid your body’s recovery and help you feel more energised. To stay hydrated, consume lots of liquids. To prevent dengue, try to adhere to all preventative measures. And get as much rest as possible.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q. What food should be avoided in dengue?
A: When dealing with Dengue, it is best to avoid high in fat, processed, and sugary foods. These foods can be challenging to digest and cause inflammation, worsening of symptoms. In addition, it is advisable to refrain from consuming caffeine and alcohol, as that can lead to dehydration and further medical problems.
Q. Which fruit is best for dengue?
A: Consuming fruits high in Vitamin C is an effective way to help fight dengue. Oranges, grapefruits, papayas, pomegranates and guavas, in particular, are excellent sources of Vitamin C that can help to boost the immune system and ward off the virus. They are also rich in other vital vitamins and minerals that can help reduce inflammation and provide several other health benefits.
Q. How to recover from dengue fast?
A: Getting plenty of rest, drinking fluids, and eating a balanced diet are the best ways to recover quickly from dengue. One should take medications to reduce fever and pain and avoid activities that could cause dehydration. It is important to prevent mosquito bites to reduce the risk of exposure to the virus.
Q. Are eggs good for dengue patients?
A: Eggs are an optimal food for dengue patients due to their nutrient density and composition of proteins, vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats. They can help regain energy levels and promote healing by supplying the body with essential nutrients. Furthermore, eggs are easily digested and, thus, an excellent choice for those with dengue.
Q. Can a dengue patient drink milk?
A: It is not advisable for people with dengue to consume milk or any other dairy product, as it can be difficult for the body to digest and may worsen symptoms such as increased phlegm production. Before consuming dairy, it is best to consult with a healthcare provider.
Q. Which drink is good for dengue?
A: No particular beverage is deemed beneficial for dengue. Nonetheless, it is critical to maintaining adequate hydration when dealing with dengue, so consuming ample fluids such as water, buttermilk, coconut water and lemon based hydrating drinks like shikanji may help alleviate the effects. Moreover, consuming foods rich in vitamins and minerals may boost the body’s natural immunity.
Q. Is lemon water good for dengue?
A: Although lemon water is not a remedy for dengue fever, it could help with some symptoms. It contains loads of vitamin C to help strengthen immunity and keep the body hydrated. Nevertheless, if you struggle with dengue fever, you should speak with your physician and follow their instructions.
Q. Is banana good for dengue?
A: Eating bananas may benefit those with dengue fever, as they are an excellent energy source and essential nutrients. Replenishing lost electrolytes, which can help prevent dehydration, is one of the benefits of consuming bananas. Bananas also contain vitamin C, which can boost immunity and fight off the virus, and dietary fibre, reducing inflammation. Before adding any new foods to your diet, however, it is important to consult a nutritionist.
Q. Can dengue be cured in 3 days?
A: Most dengue cases are treatable with supportive care, like taking rest and drinking more liquids, while the body works to fight the virus. Usually, patients notice an improvement in their symptoms in a few days, but it usually takes around two weeks to recover fully.
Q. What soup is good for dengue?
A: Vegetable and herb-based broths, like carrot and ginger, can be beneficial for recovery from dengue. The vitamins and minerals in these vegetables can help strengthen the immune system, and ginger can help lessen inflammation. In addition, soups are easy to digest and help keep the body hydrated. Other soups that can be beneficial for dengue include miso, chicken, and vegetable broth.
Q. Does coconut water increase platelets?
A: Although there is no scientific evidence to show that coconut water can directly increase platelet levels, it is still a popular health drink due to its rich electrolyte content. These components can help support overall health and provide hydration, which is essential for keeping platelet levels at a necessary level for the body to function correctly. Therefore, while coconut water may not directly increase platelet levels, it can still benefit overall health.
The Supporting Sources
1. Rao SS, Ikram R. Cocos nucifera (Coconut) water of different maturity stages affects haematological and coagulation parameters in rabbits: A positive lead. Pak J Pharm Sci. 2019 Jul;32(4):1631-1634. PMID: 31608883.
2. Mahendru, Gunjan & Sharma, P & Garg, Vipin & Kumar, Avnesh & Mondal, Sambhu. (2011). Role of Goat Milk and Milk Products in Dengue Fever. JOURNAL OF PHARMACEUTICAL AND BIOMEDICAL SCIENCES. 8. 1-5.
3. Sarala N, Paknikar S. Papaya extract to treat dengue: a novel therapeutic option? Ann Med Health Sci Res. 2014 May;4(3):320-4. doi: 10.4103/2141-9248.133452. PMID: 24971201; PMCID: PMC4071726.
4. Ahmed S, Finkelstein JL, Stewart AM, Kenneth J, Polhemus ME, Endy TP, Cardenas W, Mehta S. Micronutrients and dengue. Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2014 Nov;91(5):1049-56. doi: 10.4269/ajtmh.14-0142. Epub 2014 Sep 8. PMID: 25200269; PMCID: PMC4228873.
5. Langerman SD, Ververs M. Micronutrient Supplementation and Clinical Outcomes in Patients with Dengue Fever. Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2021 Jan;104(1):45-51. doi: 10.4269/ajtmh.20-0731. PMID: 33258437; PMCID: PMC7790074.