Chikungunya is caused by a virus carried by Aedes albopictus. It is normally accompanied by severe joint pains, high fever, retro-optical pain, body rash, nausea etc. The immunity gets shaken and the body becomes vulnerable. The most effective way to fight with the disease and rebuild the body is eating healthy food and enough hydration.
When we have fever, our body burns calories that result in loss of energy. A proper diet is required for a fast recovery. Thus, it is very important that patients maintain a proper chikungunya diet. Patients often dislike the aroma and taste of food and water due to nausea. Therefore, a little bit of creativity needs to be applied while cooking food and offer more options to the patients.
Chikungunya Diet: Foods to Eat
Follow the list of foods and beverages that can be followed as chikungunya diet that must be eaten:
- Water: Chikungunya patient must have enough water because it washes away the infection. In case the patient dislikes the taste of water, s/he can take juices, lime water, coconut water etc. Tang or some fruit squashes can also be added to water to change the taste. The idea is to drink as much water as they can.
- Soup: Homemade chicken soups and mixed vegetable soup is a good source of protein, vitamins, and mineral and must be included in Chikungunya diet. Packaged ones that are available in the market must be avoided.
- Herbal Tea: Herbal tea made up of a cup of water, a half teaspoon of fennel seeds (saunf), cumin seeds (jeera) and caraway seeds (ajwain) works wonder in chikungunya joint pain. You must add these seeds in the water and boil it for 3 to 4 minutes or till the time the water remains ¾ th cup. You may add sugar or honey as preferred. Even adding jeera seeds in plain water and boiling it relieve joint and muscular pain.
- Fruits: Normally during chikungunya fever, children and adolescents skip eating because they do not like the smell and taste of vegetables. At this juncture, the Chikungunya patient must take more fruits like apple, banana, papaya, mosambi, pear etc.
- Salads: A bowl of salad including some greens, carrots, cucumber, and lemon add up to the immunity.
- Biscuits: If the Chikungunya patient is not willing to consume bread or chapatti, he can eat biscuits so that he is not out of energy. Slowly, they must come back to healthy eating habits.
- Herbs: Tulsi leaves are known to relieve fever. Chewing a few tulsi leaves brings down fever and also boosts immunity of Chikungunya patients.
- Healthy Oils: Adding coconut oil and ghee while cooking brings out a nice aroma. Flaxseed oil is rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Using it in salads helps in the intake of omega-3 that helps to reduce inflammation. Mustard oil and canola oil also has high benefits and can be used for cooking.
- Liquid and semi-liquid foods like dals, gravies, barley, soups, fluids, juices etc. keep the body hydrated. In addition to this, the nutrients boost the immune system.
- Green leafy vegetables are high in minerals, vitamins, and essential nutrients and they can be easily digested by Chikungunya patients.
- Apples are very good for health and boost the immune system and must be a part of chikungunya diet.
- Foods that contain Vitamin A, C, and E, i.e., chromium, zinc are advisable since they are natural antioxidants that fight the free radicals in the body.
- Fruits like amla, pineapple, broccoli, guavas, sweet lime, guavas, and papaya have high content in Vitamin C and should be consumed.
A mixture of the herbs like mahasudarshana churna, tulsi, sudarshan churnam, gutika, amruthotharam kashayam, amrutharista, reduces the seriousness of effects of Chikungunya virus.
Foods to Avoid in Chikungunya Diet
Chikungunya destroys the immune system that leads to a weak digestive system. As there is no vaccine to aid the prevention of the disease, it is very important to maintain a healthy diet to avoid it. Healthy food helps in building a strong immunity that prevents the infection to affect the individual seriously. Chikungunya diet includes all the foods that can be digested easily and enhance the immunity. However, there are certain things which one need to avoid and these are:
- Avoiding Sweets: Consuming few sweets are good, but too much of consumption is not advisable. This is because too many sweets create an obstacle in boosting the immune system.
- Non-vegetarian food must be avoided by Chikungunya patients since it causes too much of heat in the body.
- Cold oranges and watermelons should be avoided.
- Tea and coffee and oily food must be avoided by Chikungunya patients if the fever does not come down.
In order to prevent getting Chikungunya, you must protect yourself from mosquito bites with the help of mosquito repellents available in the market. This can be done at home; while when you go out use mosquito repellent creams or lotion to keep mosquitoes away even when you are outdoors. It is advisable to follow a healthy diet to prevent the chikungunya virus from attacking. While under the influence of Chikungunya fever, maintaining the do’s and don’ts of chikungunya diet is very important because if the patients take that food that he must avoid, it affects badly.