As India awaits with bated breath a soothing downpour, it (unfortunately!) also preps up to welcome a host of pesky infectious diseases, typhoid being one of them. If facts are to be believed, India is a typhoid fever endemic country, where due to antimicrobial resistance, typhoid has become a crucial public health challenge.
These facts suggest that typhoid or ‘enteric fever’ is one of the common bacterial diseases. This infectious malady is mainly caused by consuming contaminated food or water. So, whether suffering from typhoid or not, it is only prudent to know about ways to deal with this infectious disease.
What are Typhoid Foods?
As is the case with any other infection, diet during typhoid is to be watched closely. Gastrointestinal discomforts are a common occurrence, so it is better if the food choices are easy and light. The typhoid foods are usually bland because they need to be digestible and immune strengthening.
The typhoid foods chiefly comprise:
- High-calorie food: It is recommended to eat a high-calorie diet and consume foods such as boiled potatoes, bananas, boiled rice, pasta, white bread. Small portions of such foods will give some strength and energy to the typhoid patients.
- Fluids and fruits with high water content: Follow liquid diet and consume adequate fluids in the form of fresh fruit juices, tender coconut water, lime juice, buttermilk, electrolyte fortified water, vegetable broth. Add water content-rich fruits such as watermelons, cantaloupes, grapes, apricots to the diet. These fluids and fruits help in restoring the water content in the body that gets depleted during typhoid fever and cause dehydration. Dehydration may then lead to further complications during the typhoid treatment.
- Foods rich in carbohydrates: Semi-solid foods such as porridge, poached eggs, baked potatoes are easy to digest, and these healthy carbs are beneficial for a typhoid patient.
- Dairy products: Dairy products such as yogurt, milk, and eggs ensure adequate protein in the body, and so should be included in the typhoid recovery diet plan. These foods are easier to digest as compared to meat. Vegetarians can opt for legumes, lentils, cottage cheese to fulfil their protein requirements.
Which Foods should be Avoided?
While keeping a close eye on what is consumed in typhoid fever is important, equally important it is to strictly avoid few foods. Such foods that might interfere with the typhoid treatment include:
- High Fiber Foods: Foods like whole grain cereals and whole wheat bread can distress the digestive system as these are hard to digest. These foods high in roughage or fiber should ideally be avoided.
- Oily Foods: Oily or fried foods, butter should be avoided during typhoid fever.
- Spices: Just like oily food, spices, seasonings, and acetic acid foods can aggravate the inflammation in the intestines. It is thus advisable to avoid food items such as chili, pepper, cayenne, vinegar, hot sauce, salad dressings, canned fruits and vegetables.
- Raw Vegetables: Such as cabbage, capsicum, turnip. These vegetables should be avoided as it can cause bloating.
What Causes Typhoid Fever and What are Its Symptoms?
The bacteria Salmonella typhi is responsible for causing typhoid fever. The infected people carry the bacteria in their intestinal tract and blood. The bacteria get passed on by eating the food or drinking any beverage that has been touched by the typhoid infected patients if they don’t practice good hygiene.
The symptoms of typhoid fever appear in about one to three weeks after a person is infected by Salmonella typhi bacteria. The symptoms that characterize this illness include:
- High fever
- Swollen abdomen
- Lack of appetite
- Weight loss
Some Preventive Measures Against Typhoid
Apart from the dietary precautions during typhoid treatment, some basic actions can help to avoid typhoid. These actions include:
- Getting vaccinated against typhoid fever.
- Maintaining personal hygiene.
- Avoiding foods and beverages from the street vendors.
- Drinking bottled water or boiling water before consuming it.
- Opting for small, frequent meals.
While prevention is always better than cure, never delay ruling out a typhoid infection and consult with a doctor at once if experience any of its symptoms. Stay aware to stay healthy!