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Diet dos and dont's for tuberculosis

You need to load up on protein to boost your immune system.

A nutritious diet is crucial for TB patients because malnutrition is a common complication of the disease. A healthy diet can help strengthen the immune system, improve malnutrition and prevent unintentional weight loss caused by tuberculosis. Here are some diet tips from Dr Lalit Anande, Chief Medical Officer at TB Hospital, Sewri that will help you combat the symptoms of tuberculosis.

Eat protein-rich foods: A diet rich in protein can contribute to strengthening your immune system. So load up on eggs. If you are a vegetarian, loading up on jowar, bajra and nachni can provide you with the necessary protein. You should also consume lots of pulses and dals. You should not ignore these signs and symptoms of tuberculosis.

Get enough micronutrients: Micronutrients like vitamins A, E and D3 are particularly important for a healthy immune system. Seafood is rich source of vitamin D. You may also need to take vitamin D3 supplement to boost your vitamin D3 count which should approximately be between 70 to 80. You should take in the sun for half an hour every day.

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Load up on antioxidant-rich foods: Vitamins A, C and E are antioxidants that destroy harmful oxygen molecules called free radicals and protect the body. Eat lots of antioxidant-rich foods. These tips will help prevent tuberculosis.

If you are diagnosed with tuberculosis, you must avoid these foods:

  • Fried foods contain hefty amounts of saturated fats that exacerbate symptoms associated with tuberculosis such as diarrhoea and abdominal cramping and fatigue.
  • Eliminate trans fatty acids from your diet to reduce the symptoms of the disease. So avoid margarine, commercially prepared cakes, pastries and cookies and every food that lists partially hydrogenated vegetable as an ingredient.
  • It is also best to avoid refined carbohydrates such as flour and sugar as they provide empty calories devoid of nutrients. Enriched bread, cereals and pasta are common sources of refined carbohydrates.

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