Patient Awareness

Foods for Malaria: What to Eat and What to Avoid!

Foods For Malaria
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When one thinks of Monsoons, the thought of Malaria is not far behind. It is a protozoal disease that weakens the immune system. This happens because of the heavy antibiotics used to treat the disease. Malaria is characterized by chills followed by fever, headache, diarrhea, vomiting etc.

It is associated with high-grade fever that is transmitted by female Anopheline mosquitoes. This mosquito transfers the parasite of the disease from one sick person to another. The parasite, when in the bloodstream, infects the red blood cells.

To treat malaria, there is no specific diet, but one needs to ensure adequate nutrition to help the body fight the disease. A diet for malaria should focus on boosting the immune system without causing harm to other organs like the kidney, liver or the digestive system. It is best that a malaria patient has smaller meals throughout the day.

The diet for malaria patients should include the following:

Eat Nutritious Foods

When the patient has a malarial fever, the body’s calorie, and nutritional requirement increases. This is known as the BMR or Body Metabolic Rate. Also, the need to increase calorie intake depends on the rise in body temperature.

Increase Fluid Intake

Unfortunately, at the time of fever, one experiences appetite loss, less tolerance and therefore, eating food becomes a challenge. To compensate for such a situation, one must drink glucose water, fresh fruit juices, coconut water, sorbet made with lemon, salt, sugar and water and electoral water.

Increase Protein Intake

There is an increase in the requirement of protein as one loose a lot of tissue. A diet of high carbohydrate and high protein is helpful as the body can utilize the protein for anabolic and tissue repair and building process. Eating curd, lassi, and buttermilk is highly beneficial.

Eat Fat in Moderation

Fats are necessary for the body, but moderation is the key.  Using dairy fats like cream, butter, and fats from milk products aid in digestion. These foods contain MCT or medium change triglycerides. Using excessive fats or eating fried foods can increase the risk of nausea, indigestion, and loose bowels.

It is important to work on vitamin loss by drinking electrolytes. Eating soups, stews or drinking fruit juices or dal water, coconut water etc. are important. Vitamin C and A rich foods such as papaya, beetroots, and other citrus foods etc. with vitamin B complex are important for a malaria patient.

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