Azka Javeria – Hiba’s team writer
Pakistan has recently seen a surge in diseases due to mass flooding. Water borne diseases such as cholera and hepatitis are on the rise. There has also been an increase in diseases carried by mosquitoes like dengue and malaria. General fevers and other viral infections are also affecting people. In times like these, where the cause of disease is not immediately evident, even doctors recommend that one does not take any medicine or antibiotic to try and cure oneself. So what can we do instead?
Allah (swt) has equipped nature with the ability to heal us. We will be discussing five things we can do to manage fevers through adequate nutrition.
Suffering from fever and flu causes frequent sweating , urinating a lot and producing copious mucus over a course of a very short time. To compensate for all the fluid loss, it is necessary for patients to drink more water or liquids in general. This is why your grandmother encourages you to drink soup or stock when you are suffering from fever.
However, this does not mean that you chug down gallons of water at once. When suffering from fever, it is best to take everything in small portions, including water.
- Take Readily Digestible Bland Foods
Go low on the spices and look for softer foods. Indu Vaishnavi, a renowned Nutritionist suggests that ‘Khichdi’ (rice and lentils cooked into a soft consistency) and porridge are always a good option for patients suffering from fever. Too much of simmering and sauted food will cause it to loose essential nutrients which could have helped you get better quickly.
- Increase Protein Intake
A healthy Asian should take approximately 0.8 grams of protein per kg body weight but nutritionists recommend this be increased to 1.25 to 1.5 grams per kg body weight for patients suffering from fever. This is to compensate for the loss of muscle mass during fever and flu.
But how do we increase protein intake while ensuring that our food is readily digestible? Protein does not always mean meat. Eggs, milk and lentils all contain proteins. However, if you still wish to take your protein from meat, once again your grandma’s soup or Yakhni is the solution to your problem.
- Decrease Sugar Intake
Studies reveal that sugar intake suppresses the immune function. This means that you need to avoid all foods that contain a high amount of simple sugars and foods with added sugars if you are suffering from fever. Processed or canned juices are not the solution to your fever at all.
- Ensure Intake of Vitamins and Minerals
Vitamins and minerals are not just essential for a good immune system but are also essential for the more basic bodily functions. In flu and fever, vitamins and minerals are also lost due to excessive sweating, excretion and mucus production. This does not mean that you should grab the nearest supplement in order to survive. Look for organic options like fruits, vegetables, fish, and eggs to fulfill your need of vitamins and minerals.
Conclusively, Vaishnavi recommends that you need to maintain a high calorie, high protein, low fat and high fluid diet to ensure a speedy recovery from your flu. Do not consume any medicines or supplements without consulting a doctor and nutritionist first and especially without being diagnosed.
May Allah (swt) help us all out of these times and enable us to make the most of the blessings that He has provided us with!