What is Tuberculosis? What diet is recommended for Tuberculosis?

The Tuberculosis awareness week is on January 6-12. Mycobacterium tuberculosis causes that contagious disease! It commonly infects people through the airway. A healthy diet supports the treatment of those patients.  

What foods are recommended for patients suffering from Tuberculosis? One of the best strategies to protect public health against Tuberculosis is early diagnosis, followed by the application of successful treatment. At the beginning of the disease, common symptoms include weakness, loss of appetite, and loss of weight. Therefore, an adequate and nutritious diet is very critical in this phase. In general, the patients should reduce the intake of refined sugar and avoid consuming white wheat flour with the least amount of alcohol. Besides, the patients must keep away from stress conditions, drink water sufficiently, engage in physical activity, follow the hygiene rules, and enjoy a variety of food in the diet.

A diet plan with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants

In addition to those recommendations listed above, the patients should consume fresh fruits and vegetables rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals to support their immune system. The American Health Organization suggests consuming 3-6 servings of fresh fruit and vegetable and 6-11 servings of cereals for adults. The foods generally recommended are onions, garlic, ginger, turmeric, red-purple berries, and dark-green veggies. Pomegranate is one of the red fruits that are rich in antioxidants. You may eat ½ pomegranate a day. Besides, you may choose propolis as a potent antioxidant remedy. Another bee product, the royal jelly, also supports the immune system and provides energy without a weight gain.

How much water do we need to consume every day?

We need to drink enough water and do not wait until we are thirsty. According to the advice of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), women need to drink 2.0 liters and men 2.5 liters per day. Drinking enough water will help to remove the toxins by kidneys. An adult body may lose about 2.5 liters of water to remove the biological wastes and keep average body temperature daily. Daily respiratory water loss averages about 1500 ml from kidneys, 500 ml from the skin, 300 ml from the intestines, and 300 ml from the lungs through respiration. Those values vary according to the bodyweight of the individual. The extent of physical exercise, diseases with high fever, and diarrhea increase the loss of water from the body. In such cases, we need to drink more water to maintain the balance of water amount by replacing lost fluids in our body.


Healthy recipes supporting our immune system

Two alternative recipes to boost the immune system and contribute to the wellness of patients suffering from Tuberculosis:


  1. 1. A mixture of 5 pieces raw hazelnut (after crunching), 2 tbsp raw honey, 1 tsp black pepper powder, and two drops of propolis - 3 tsp per day
  2. 2. Boil a mixture of 5 pieces of black raisins, 1 tsp clove powder, 1 tsp ginger powder, 1 tsp turmeric, and 1 tsp cinnamon powder in 1 cup of water for 5 min. – drink 1 c daily

Bon appetite!

Kaynak: Gupta K, Gupta R, Atreja A, Verma M, Vishvkarma S, “Tuberculosis and nutrition”, Lung India • Vol 26 • Issue 1 • Jan – Mar 2009.