Typhoid is a major health concern in many countries around the world. It has potential side effects, including fatigue, headache, diarrhoea or constipation, and stomach pain. All these symptoms drain the body of a person suffering from typhoid since the bacteria directly impact the digestive system and quickly enter the bloodstream. While antibiotics are still the most effective treatment modality for typhoid, a healthy diet is essential for fighting fatigue and recovering faster. Although changes in diet cannot treat the disease, certain dietary changes that are nutritious as well as easy to digest may be helpful to relieve some of the gastro-intestinal symptoms and provide energy to the body.
So, what type of nutrition should a typhoid fever patient follow? Let us find out more about foods or typhoid diets that are helpful for typhoid patients down below.
Typhoid foods to eat
Fruits contain essential vitamins and minerals, as well as water, which helps you combat dehydration and provides you with a quick boost of energy. Fruits that are high in the water content include watermelon, grapes, sweet melon, and apricots. Also, a bowl of papayas, ripe bananas, guavas, apples, mangoes, sapodillas (chiku), and mangoes would work well.
Besides this, take note that the quantity of fruits must not exceed one bowl in order for it to be light on the stomach and easy to digest. Also, thoroughly rinse your fruits and remove or peel their skin to improve digestibility and eliminate the risk of harmful bacteria.
Nothing beats a soup bowl every day while suffering from typhoid fever. Soups have high nutritional value, are easy to consume, and stimulate appetite in those who have lost their taste because of the fever and malaise. Tomato soup, chicken soup, mixed vegetable soup, and mushroom soup are a few good options you can consider having.
However, avoid using corn flour in soups until the diarrhoea and abdominal bloating have subsided.
• Steamed vegetables
Patients suffering from typhoid should avoid eating oily or spicy cooked vegetables. Instead, eat boiled beans, potatoes, carrots, green peas, beets, baby corn, onions, and bell peppers. Keep in mind not to coat them in oil, butter, or ghee. Instead, season with lemon juice, black pepper, and salt to taste.
Because they are both easily digestible and nutritious, they will contribute to your speedy recovery.
To overcome weight loss and muscle loss caused by typhoid fever, you must consume enough proteins, including chicken, lentils, cottage cheese (paneer), egg whites, mushrooms, and tofu in lesser amounts in soups or in the boiled form.
If you feel nauseated after eating these proteins, stop taking them for one week and consult your doctor.
• Low-fat dairy foods
Low-fat dairy products, such as buttermilk and curd, are especially beneficial when suffering from typhoid. Consume, them every day in order to meet your calcium requirements. If you have typhoid, consume a cup of reduced-fat milk with breakfast cereal for breakfast, as long as the milk has been pasteurised to reduce the likelihood of other infections.
If you are sensitive to dairy or dairy-based products, consult with our nutritionists and dietitians for a personalised typhoid diet plan.
• Oral rehydration salt (ORS)
Typhoid fever specifically disrupts the digestive system and depletes natural salts, which affects hydration and thus makes balancing the salts critical. Also, the weakness caused by diarrhoea, fever, and appetite loss is best relieved by ORS, which is a simple combination of sugar, salt, and water. The correct balance of salt and sugar eventually aids in fluid absorption and electrolyte balance.
But then again, keep in mind that you only use treated or boiled water for making the ORS solution and that you wash your hands thoroughly with soap and warm water regularly. Typhoid is infectious, and any lack of hygiene can increase the severity of the infection, not only for the caretaker but also for the patient.
What to avoid eating during typhoid
Physicians and nutrition experts advise patients to adhere to a rigid typhoid food diet. Patients are instructed to refrain from or limit themselves from consuming certain foods as these can be difficult to digest and can irritate the gastrointestinal tract, resulting in profuse coughing.
Following are the foods to avoid consuming during typhoid fever:
• Saturated fats: oil, ghee, and butter are examples of saturated fats. Calorically dense foods include spicy and junk foods such as doughnuts, burgers, fried chicken, potato chips, French fries, and onion rings.
• Raw vegetables: cabbage, onions, cauliflower, broccoli, and kale
• Legumes: lentils, chickpeas (chana), black beans, kidney beans (rajma)
• Fruits: pineapple, dried fruit, kiwi, and raw berries
• Seeds: flax seeds, pumpkin seeds, and chia seeds
• Whole grains: brown rice, barley, couscous, and quinoa
• Nuts: walnuts, almonds, pistachios, and macadamia nuts
• Spices: paprika, jalapenos, hot peppers, and cayenne pepper
Although the above-mentioned raw vegetables and fruits, nuts, seeds, legumes, and dals are nutritious, they are difficult to digest and should be avoided while suffering from typhoid fever.
Alternatively, consume nutritionally rich, hygienic, home-cooked meals every 2 to 3 hours, along with plenty of fluids, to replenish the body’s loss of fluids.
Typhoid fever can be a fatal illness if it is not detected, managed, and treated on time.
Salmonella bacteria invade your body through contaminated water or food and attack your digestive system. These bacteria weaken the body’s immune system and cause significant symptoms such as red spots, headaches, diarrhoea, and constipation.
In such cases, it is recommended to keep an eye on the food you eat, as it can either hasten or relieve some of the infectious disease treatment systems.