Every Year, July 1 is celebrated as World Doctor’s Day, a day set aside to recognise the contributions of physicians to communities. For the last one and half years, these frontline workers have extended their immense contributions to battle against COVID-19. And now that we are entering the monsoon season, it is further going to increase their workload as the season comes with a host of infections, the major ones being flu and typhoid. It is now our responsibility as individuals to focus on our first and foremost line of defense system — immunity, in order to lessen the burden on our doctors.
Typhoid is a bacterial infection caused by contaminated water, milk or food leading to high fever, diarrhea and vomiting. It can also lead to ulcer formation and intestine infection/damage. In typhoid, the gut plays an important role, which at times affects our food habits – either your appetite goes up or down. Headaches are also very common in typhoid because there is an undeniable connection between our mind and the gut.
Here is what you can do:
Energise yourself: It is important to improve energy levels to sustain the body during the period of infection. Simple carbohydrates — fruits, coconut water, healthy homemade porridges, rice conjee and vegetables – are a good source. Fruits and veggies are antioxidants that reduce oxidative stress as well as inflammation.
Repair your body with protein: In typhoid, people tend to lose their muscle mass and tissue; even the Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) goes high to maintain your normal body temperature which contributes to weight loss. When it comes to healing and repairing the body, proteins play an important role. Add A2 milk curd, sattu or pulses or legumes, thoroughly cooked eggs or organic fish or chicken (in moderation) into your diet.
Eat light: Try adding easy to digest foods in order to reduce intestinal inflammation as heavy foods may irritate the gut lining and increase inflammation.
No to spices: Keep your food less spicy during recovery to avoid an inflamed stomach.
Keep yourself hydrated: Drink plenty of water and fluids to hydrate the cells and detoxify the body. If your taste is affected, drink lemon, cucumber-mint or fennel-infused water.
No creams: It is advised to avoid butter, margarine, refined vegetable oil, extra chilies or spices and fibre-heavy food. Also, rich pastries, fried snacks, desserts and thick cream soups must be avoided.Once you recover from the fever and weakness, up your protein intake in meals to compensate for all the tissue and muscle loss.
Chief Nutrition Officer, Luke Coutinho Holistic Healing Systems. The writer is a clinical nutritionist with a focus on healthy lifestyle choices.