Malaria is a disease caused by a plasmodium parasite. The parasite is transmitted to humans through the bites of infected female anopheles mosquitoes.
If not properly treated, people may have recurrences of the disease months later. In those who have recently survived an infection, reinfection usually causes milder symptoms. This partial resistance disappears over months to years if the person has no continuing exposure to malaria.
Symptoms of Malaria
- High fever & headache.
- Shaking chills that can change from moderate to severe.
- Profuse sweating.
- Nausea & vomiting.
- Muscle & abdominal pain.
Diet & Nutrition for Malaria
A good diet ensures that the body is not put under unnecessary duress. During this time of illness, the patient’s body is weak. Hence, malaria diet should focus on strengthening the patient’s immune system without putting too much stress on the liver, kidneys, and digestive system as a whole.
Phase 1 Diet plan
Once diagnosed with malaria, the patient can be put on an orange juice diet. This is important especially if the patient has high fever. In most cases, this fever lasts for a week to ten days.
Phase 2 Diet Plan
The next phase of the diet plan involves eating only fruits. The patient should be given a healthy serving of fresh fruits. Some of the fruits include; pineapples, papaya, oranges, grapes, apples, grapefruits and mangoes. The fruit diet should not last more than three days. The patient can be given milk on the third day as milk contains proteins and fats that are needed by the body.
Phase 3 Diet Plan
The patient can be given a well-balanced diet consisting of not only fruits but also vegetables, whole grains, nuts other than groundnuts and other oil-rich nuts.
Foods that need to be avoided
Fried foods, processed foods, junk foods, oily and spicy foods, pickle, excess intake of tea, coffee, cocoa and other caffeinated beverages etc.
Foods after Malaria
A light diet consisting of vegetables, poultry and fish is recommended, as it provides the necessary protein for the body to repair itself. Include plenty of green vegetables, whole grains, rice and iron-rich foods as they are considered good for malaria patients. During recovery, a malaria patient tends to lose his/her appetite, so attention should be given to provide as much variety as possible.