What to Eat If You Have Dengue Fever (with a 3-day Diet Plan)

Clinical review: Tatiana Zanin
Registered Dietitian
May 2022
  1. Best foods
  2. Foods to avoid
  3. Dengue 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 potatoes, pepper and tomato. These foods specifically can increase the risk of bleeding.

See the dengue diet plan below to get an idea of what you can eat for a speedy recovery.

Best foods for dengue fever

Food that is rich in protein and iron are highly recommended for people with dengue. These nutrients are important to prevent anemia and increase platelet production. Platelets are a component of the blood that are essential for clotting, which is generally altered during a dengue infection. Foods that may help against dengue include:

  • Lean meats such as chicken, lean red meat and fish;
  • Liver;
  • Milk and dairy products;
  • Eggs;
  • 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 helps with iron absorption in the intestine and strengthens the immune system.

Foods you should avoid

Foods that contain salicylates should be avoided when infected with dengue fever. These types of food act similarly to aspirin: they can make blood thinner and slow clotting. 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 aspirin.

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

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 + 2 slices of bread with butter + 1 slice of papaya

Morning snack

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

4 Maria biscuits

1 baked banana with 1 teaspoon 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 teaspoon of linseed oil

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

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

Afternoon snack

1 ripe pear, peeled

1 cup of oats with milk 

3 rice crackers with cheese

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Atualizado por Tua Saude editing team, em May de 2022. Clinical review por Tatiana Zanin - Registered Dietitian, em May de 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