What to eat and avoid when treating malaria

What to eat and avoid when treating malaria
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What to eat and avoid when treating malaria [Freepik]

How is malaria transmitted, how do we treat it, and most importantly, what foods should we eat and avoid during treatment?

Malaria is a serious disease that affects millions of people around the world. It is caused by parasites transmitted to humans through the bites of infected mosquitoes.

When someone gets malaria, they often feel very sick with symptoms like high fever, chills, headache, and muscle pain. If not treated promptly, malaria can become life-threatening.

However, with proper medical care and attention to diet, patients can recover.

Understanding malaria and its transmission

Malaria is transmitted through the bite of a female Anopheles mosquito infected with Plasmodium parasites.

The female Anopheles mosquito transmit malaria [iStock]
The female Anopheles mosquito transmit malaria [iStock]

When this mosquito bites a person, the parasites enter the bloodstream and travel to the liver, where they multiply. After leaving the liver, they infect red blood cells, causing the symptoms of malaria.

Treating malaria

The primary treatment for malaria is antimalarial medication prescribed by a doctor. The type of medication and length of treatment depend on the type of malaria parasite and the severity of the disease. Early diagnosis and treatment prevent complications.

Patients should follow their doctor’s instructions carefully and complete the full course of medication even if they start feeling better.

Foods to eat when treating malaria

Proper nutrition plays a vital role in the recovery from malaria. Here are some foods that can help:

  • Fruits and vegetables: Fresh fruits and vegetables are rich in vitamins and minerals that boost the immune system. Oranges, apples, carrots, and leafy greens are excellent choices.
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Fruits and vegetables [RestLess]
Fruits and vegetables [RestLess]
  • High-protein foods: Protein is essential for healing and rebuilding body tissues. Include lean meats, fish, eggs, beans, and nuts in your diet.
  • Whole grains: Whole grains like brown rice, oats, and whole wheat bread provide necessary energy and fibre, aiding digestion and overall health.
  • Hydration: Drinking plenty of fluids is crucial. Water, fresh fruit juices, and coconut water help keep the body hydrated and flush out toxins.
  • Soups and broths: Light soups and broths are easy to digest and can be nutritious. Chicken soup, in particular, is beneficial.

Foods to avoid when treating malaria

Certain foods can hinder recovery from malaria and should be avoided:

  • Fatty and fried foods: These can be difficult to digest and may cause nausea or discomfort. Avoid fried snacks, heavy sauces, and greasy meals.
Fatty and fried foods must be avoided [earth.com]
Fatty and fried foods must be avoided [earth.com]
  • Processed foods: Processed and packaged foods often contain unhealthy fats, sugars, and preservatives that can weaken the immune system.
  • Caffeinated drinks: Coffee, tea, and other caffeinated beverages can lead to dehydration, which is not ideal when dealing with malaria.
  • Alcohol: Alcohol can interfere with the effectiveness of antimalarial drugs and can also dehydrate the body.
  • Spicy foods: Spicy foods can irritate the stomach and should be avoided, especially if the patient is experiencing nausea or vomiting.

ALSO READ: 4 plants that treat malaria quickly and effectively

Malaria is a serious disease that requires prompt medical treatment and proper care. Along with taking prescribed medication, eating the right foods can significantly aid in recovery.

This content was created with the help of an AI model and verified by the writer.

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