What to Eat During Dengue: Foods Allowed & What to Avoid

November 2022
  1. Recommended foods
  2. Foods to avoid
  3. Diet plan

Food that is rich in protein and iron (e.g. meat, eggs and liver) are recommended to help you recover from dengue fever. These help prevent anemia and strengthen the immune system. A body that is well-nourished is better-equipped to combat a dengue infection. Therefore, it is important to eat frequently, rest and drink at least 3L (about 12 cups) of fluid a day.

There are also foods that should be avoided when infected with dengue fever, such as peppers, gingers and berries, for example. These foods specifically can increase the risk of bleeding.

A body that is well-nourished is better-equipped to combat a dengue infection. Therefore, it is important to eat frequently, rest and drink at least 3L (about 12 cups) of fluid a day.

Recommended foods for dengue

During dengue treatment, you should add the following foods into your diet: 

  • Lean red meat, like duck and top sirloin beef 
  • White meat, like chicken, turkey and fish 
  • Eggs
  • Milk and dairy products, like milk, Greek yogurt, butter and cheese
  • Fruits, like watermelon, banana, pear, and mango 
  • Vegetables, like beets, kale, carrots, lettuce, spinach and arugula 

These foods are rich in protein and iron, which are nutrients that are necessary to prevent anemia. Dengue can also lead to decreased platelets and hemoglobin from hemorrhaging, which is why consuming these foods is important.  

In addition, some teas, like chamomile and peppermint tea, may also be beneficial in managing dengue-related symptoms, like nausea, headache and body aches. 

Some studies [1] [2] [3] show that supplementing with vitamin D may also help to strengthen the immune system to combat a dengue infection. Vitamin D contains an immunomodulador effect, as does vitamin E (which has antioxidant action that protects immune system cells). 

Foods to avoid

Foods that contain high amounts of salicylates should be avoided when infected with dengue fever. This substance is produced by plants to protect themselves from certain microorganisms. Because these compounds act in a similar way to aspirin in the body, excessive consumption may thin-out the blood and interfere with proper clotting. This can increase your risk for hemorrhaging. 

Therefore, foods to avoid include: 

  • Some fruits, like raspberries, blueberries, plums, coconut, peaches, melon, pomegranate, lemon, tangerine, pineapple, cherries, grapes, gooseberries, tamarinds, persimmon, oranges, apples, kiwi and strawberries
  • Some vegetables, like asparagus, celery, onion, eggplant, broccoli, radish, garlic, tomato and cucumber
  • All dried fruit, like raisins, prunes, dates and dried cranberry 
  • Some tubercles, like potatoes and sweet potatoes
  • Some nuts, like almonds, walnuts, pistachio, Brazilian nuts and peanuts 
  • Some condiments and herbs, like mustard, cumin, cloves, parsley, coriander, paprika, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, black or red pepper, oregano, saffron, thyme, rosemary, anise, vinegar and curry. ;
  • Some drinks, like wine, beer, liquor, rum and coffee 
  • Some tea, like white willow, ginger, weeping willow, whicker, parsley, rosemary, thyme and mustard teas 
  • Other foods, like olive oil, fava beans, coconut oil, honey, pickles and olives 

In addition to avoiding these foods, you should also discontinue any medications that are contraindicated when treating dengue, like aspirin. If you have dengue, you should speak with your doctor about the medications you are currently taking and whether to continue them or now. 

3-Day dengue diet plan

Here is an example of a dengue meal plan that can help you to recover quickly from dengue fever:

 Day 1Day 2Day 3
Breakfast

1 whole wheat bun with 2 slices of ricotta cheese + 1 cup of peppermint tea 

1 cup of chamomile 2 + 2 scrambled eggs and a slice of whole wheat toast 

1 cup of skim milk + 2 flices of whole what toast with butter + 1 slice of papaya 

Morning snack

1 natural yogurt + 2 tablespoons of chia seeds + ½ banana

1 persimmon

1 slice of watermelon

Lunch/Dinner

Grilled chicken breast + ½ cup of rice + ½ cup of beans + 1 side plate of lettuce, arugula and coriander salad + 1 tablespoon of flaxseed oil 

Cooked fish with 3 tablespoons of pumpkin puree + 3 tablespoons of chickpea salad with 1 tablespoon of avocado oil 

Grilled turkey breast with chickpeas + 1 side plate of freshly cooked peas and carrots with 1 tablespoon of flaxseed oil

Afternoon snack1 cooked pear + 1 handful of Brazilian nuts 

1 cup oatmeal made with milk

3 rice crackers with 2 tablespoons of cottage cheese + 1 cup of chamomile tea

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Edited by Tua Saude editing team in November 2022. Clinical review completed by Tatiana Zanin - Registered Dietitian in November 2022.

References

  • Mahendru Gunjan, et al. Role of Goat Milk and Milk Products in Dengue Fever. JOURNAL OF PHARMACEUTICAL AND BIOMEDICAL SCIENCES. 8. 6; 1-5, 2011
  • SUNDUS Ahmed, FINKELSTEIN Julia et al. Micronutrients and Dengue. The American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. 91. 5; 1049-1056, 2014
Show more references
  • WOOD Adrian, BAXTER Gwen et al. A systematic review of salicylates in foods: Estimated daily intake of a Scottish population. Molecular Nutrition and Food Research. 55. 7-14, 2011
  • DUTHIE Garry, WOOD Adrian. Natural salicylates: foods, functions and disease prevention. Food & Function Journal. 2. 9; 515-520,
Clinical review:
Tatiana Zanin
Registered Dietitian
Graduated in Clinical Nutrition in 2001 and has a Master’s in Clinical Nutrition. Licensed to practice under the CRN-3 in Brazil and the ON in Portugal