Monkeypox diet: Foods you must eat to make quick recovery

Updated on Jul 19, 2022 04:47 PM IST

Diagnosed with monkeypox? You need to eat a diet rich in protein, antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and must hydrate well. Here are tips by nutritionists.

In case you have been diagnosed with monkeypox, it is important to focus on a balanced diet, fluid intake and rest to make full recovery.(Pixabay)
In case you have been diagnosed with monkeypox, it is important to focus on a balanced diet, fluid intake and rest to make full recovery.(Pixabay)

The rapidly rising monkeypox cases across the globe has created much panic and now the zoonotic viral disease has entered India too with two cases being reported so far - both from Kerala. While the disease is mostly considered mild and self-limiting with symptoms lasting from 2 to 4 weeks, in some cases people are reporting severe symptoms with excruciating pain. Monkeypox starts with flu-like symptoms such as fever and chill, shortly after which a rash appears. (Also read: Diagnosed with monkeypox? Isolation to treatment, here's a step-by-step guide by expert)

In case you have been diagnosed with monkeypox, it is important to focus on a balanced diet, fluid intake and rest to make full recovery. Nutritionists say foods with high antioxidants, proteins, minerals and vitamins is important to regain strength apart from hydration which is most important in the recovery process.

High intake of protein and antioxidants important

"Protein is one of the most important nutrients which helps in repairing cell damage while building muscles, which further boosts our immunity. It helps in healing the cell damage caused due to diseases. For the same reason, people who have been recovering from monkeypox must have foods like seeds and nuts, lentils, dairy products, chicken, egg and fish that are super-rich in protein. There are some foods that are known to have antiviral properties in them and are naturally consumed in winters to ward off cold and cough. Foods like Tulsi, ginger, black pepper, clove and garlic are often considered antiviral foods. They can be consumed on an empty stomach or in the form of kadha," says Anam Golandaz, Clinical Dietician, Masina Hospital.

Role of fluids in monkeypox recovery

Fluids play a very important role in replenishing minerals and vitamins in the body and flushing out toxins.

"One must include more fluids in diet such as coconut water, Amla juice, lassi, chaas, fresh orange juice and last but not the least- water. When you take these fluids along with the foods mentioned above, you’ll recover at a faster pace," says Golandaz.

Priya Palan, Dietitian, Zen Multispeciality Hospital says eating a well-balanced diet to boost immunity and staying hydrated can aid in faster recovery.

"One must remember to eat a well-cooked food. Stay away from uncooked or wild flesh meat. Add soft foods such as mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, soft rice, oats well-cooked mashed carrots, boiled beans and lentils to ease digestion," says Palan.

Here are some dietary tips suggested by Palan which monkeypox patients should follow:

- Adding gut healing prebiotics like onion, garlic, bananas and leek can promote overall health. Raisins soaked with curds, low fat paneer, smoothies can act as coolants to the diet.

- Eat well-washed different colours of fruits and vegetables to provide phytonutrients such as berries, melons, cucumber, spinach, broccoli, peach.

- Enhance the intake of protein foods such as soy, cottage cheese, yoghurts, sprouts.

- Drinking water can help you to stay hydrated and eliminate toxins from the body. But you must avoid excess coffee, tea, alcohol, smoking, soda, colas, and other energy drinks that can worsen your health. Tender coconut water is loaded with vital minerals and vitamins that cools the body and boosts immunity.

- Avoid salty foods such as chips, instant packaged foods, ready soups. Spicy foods such as chilli, pepper can irritate the digestive system and must not be included in the diet.

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