Tuberculosis is one of the major health concerns in India, which in 2020, lead a pack of 8 countries that accounted for two thirds of the new TB cases. Tuberculosis is an infectious disease that usually affects the lungs. The bacterium that causes the disease to spread when an infected person sneezes or coughs. While the treatment of the disease may continue long-term, proper diet plays an important role to help the body fight the infection in a better way.
People with a weak immune system are at an increased risk of getting infected with TB. A healthy diet plays an important role in boosting immunity and strengthening the body and defences against virus and bacteria and act as a preventive bulwark against tuberculosis. This, combined with practices such as yoga, meditation and Pranayama, clear the respiratory passages, minimizing risks of infections and allergies in the respiratory system.
The symptoms of TB usually include weakness, unintentional weight loss, fatigue, cough and fever. However, with the right consumption of foods, a patient suffering from tuberculosis can benefit to a big extent. Here’s a look at some of the recommended foods for TB patients:
The majority of TB patients experience loss in appetite. Therefore, it is important for such patients to indulge in protein-rich foods like paneer, soya chunks and tofu. On top of that, the body can easily absorb such foods and give a person the required energy.
To prevent further weight loss, TB patients need to consume foods that are high in calories and nutrients. Calorie-rich foods include cereal porridge, banana, peanut chikki, rava laddoo, wheat, ragi, khichdi and so on.
Vitamins including A, C, E, and D are crucial for a healthy immune system. Vitamins A, C and E are antioxidants that can destroy free radicals and protect the body from chronic diseases. Also, vitamin D plays an important role in regulating the immune system and TB patients who are unable to get ample vitamins from a healthy diet may benefit substantially from taking a multivitamin supplement. Foods rich in vitamins include carrot, orange, papaya, guava, Amla, soy, sweet lime, nuts and mushroom.
Superfoods like Spirulina and mushrooms can help speed up TB treatment and build a stronger immune system. A single spoon of dry spirulina powder, contains 4 grams protein, 11 per cent vitamin B1, 15 per cent vitamin B2, 4 per cent Vitamin B3, 21 per cent copper and 11 per cent iron. Spirulina’s is a superfood considering the fact that a small amount of it is enough for the daily nutritional needs of an individual. Fresh oyster mushrooms are devoid of vitamin D however when exposed to the sun, these mushrooms could be a great readily available source of vitamin D. Vitamin D helps TB patients build a stronger immune system to respond effectively against anti-TB drugs.
Apart from a tuberculosis diet, practices of meditation and yoga can strengthen the immune system of the body. Several scientific studies have been conducted in this regard. In a study involving 2,000 people who practiced transcendental meditation over 5 years, it was found out that only half the number of people who meditated, ended up in hospital compared to those who did not.
In another study, it was found out that yogis, who practice meditation were less prone to infectious even if they lived in places exposed to malarial, bacterial and viral contaminants as compared to individuals afflicted by nervous disorders.
Practising yoga and meditation is considered an effective way of dealing with the symptoms of this infectious disease, and yoga also improves lung capacity. Yoga imparts strength and flexibility to the spine, stretches and strengthens the muscles around the upper torso and supports the respiratory system by keeping the respiratory muscles strong and flexible. The regular practice of Pranayama increases chest wall expansion and helps lungs to work more efficiently by sending fresh oxygen to the deepest parts of the lungs.