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What to eat when you have dengue fever

Some foods that can help you recover from dengue fever are those rich in protein and iron, such as meat, eggs and liver, as these nutrients help prevent anemia and strengthen the immune system. When the body is well nourished, this may help the fight against dengue, so it is important to eat frequently, rest and drink at least 3 liters of fluids a day.

In addition to foods that help fight dengue, you should avoid certain foods that increase the severity of the disease, such as potatoes, pepper and tomato, as they increase the risk of bleeding.

What to eat when you have dengue fever

Foods most indicated for dengue

The foods most indicated for people with dengue are especially foods rich in protein and iron, which are important nutrients in preventing anemia and increasing the formation of platelets, an essential substance in preventing bleeding, and which is missing in the body during dengue. Therefore, the foods that may help against dengue are:

  • Lean meats such as chicken, lean red meat and fish;
  • Liver;
  • Milk and dairy products;
  • Egg;
  • Beans, chickpeas, lentils, peas;
  • Water, coconut water, natural fruit juices.

In addition, it is also important to consume foods rich in vitamin C such as orange, pineapple and kiwi, as this vitamin can help in the absorption of iron by the intestine and strengthens the immune system.

Diet menu for dengue

Here is an example of what you can eat if you have dengue fever so that you can recover faster:

 Day 1Day 2Day 3
Breakfast

2 pancakes + 2 cheese slices

1 cup of decaf coffee with milk + 2 scrambled eggs with 3 slices of toast

1 cup of decaf coffee with milk + slices of bread with butter + 1 slice of papaya

Morning snack

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

4 Marias biscuits

1 baked banana with 1 dessert spoon of chia seeds 

Lunch/Dinner

90 g of chicken breast + ½ cup of rice + ½ cup of beans + 1 cup of cauliflower and carrot salad + 1 dessert spoon of linseed oil

90 g of cooked fish with pumpkin puree + 1 cup of beets and carrots + 1 dessert spoon of linseed oil

90 g of turkey breast + 1 cup of chickpeas + 1 cup of braised vegetables (with eggplant and carrots) + 1 dessert spoon of linseed oil

Afternoon snack

1 ripe peeled pear

1 cup of oats with milk 

3 rice crackers with cheese

What not to eat during dengue fever

Foods to avoid during dengue are those that contain salicylates, and act similarly to aspirin, which can make blood thinner and slows blood clotting, favoring bleeding. These foods are:

  • Plum, cherry, blackberry, apple, melon, nectarine, peach, grape, tangerine, lemon, strawberry, raisin, gooseberry;
  • Almond, walnuts;
  • Potato, cucumber, tomato, apricot;
  • Pepper, garlic, onion, ginger.

In addition to avoiding these foods, some medications are also contraindicated in cases of dengue, such as AAS, Aspirin and Doril.

Bibliography >

  • 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
  • SUNDUS Ahmed, FINKELSTEIN Julia et al. Micronutrients and Dengue. The American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. 91. 5; 1049-1056, 2014
  • DUTHIE Garry, WOOD Adrian. Natural salicylates: foods, functions and disease prevention. Food & Function Journal. 2. 9; 515-520,
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