Nutrients to fight tuberculosis


What foods should we eat during tuberculosis?

A good health and nutrition will improve patient expectations versus any recovery and overcoming the disease.

Need to eat protein

In diseases that affect the respiratory system, it is extremely important not to make a diet deficient in proteins if we want top keep our lungs and other tissues in good condition, without contributing more to their deterioration.

We can enrich protein intake by means of rich-protein food such as boiled egg whites added to the various dishes. A very suitable preparation to facilitate this intake is to add crushed egg whites to a cream of vegetables

Either brewer’s yeast or pollen (in order of high protein content) are two foods that can be used as supplements to enrich our food. Unlike the egg whites, these two foods also will provide with other nutrients, which will be beneficial in case of studying risk of malnutrition because of the patient’s lack of appetite.

Some sprouts, such as alfalfa sprouts, contain 5 times more protein than the same plant without germinate. We can add them to the usual dishes to enrich protein easily.

In terms of other supplements that we can introduce to meet the deficit in protein (just as the egg whites), we can also use powdered soy protein or whey.

If the nutritional deficiency in the patient is not limited to protein intake, but it also implies a possible deficiency in energy level, we can supplement it with wheat germ. This food is very rich in nutrients and can help to ensure proper nutrition, alleviating deficiencies and supplementing our diet.

brewer's yeastBrewer’s yeast contains proteins, minerals and vitamins

Need to reduce refined carbohydrates

To facilitate breathing, since it is hampered due to TB disease, we can perform a controlled feed intake of foods rich in carbohydrates, especially those that are refined, and interfering with gas exchange of breath.

Our body has a preference for using carbohydrates as an energy source. When you eat a lot of carbohydrates, your body produces more CO2 than if you eat foods rich in healthy fats, making gas exchange between oxygen and carbon dioxide more difficult.

By increasing levels of CO2 in the lungs, they have to “work” more for breathing correctly and carrying oxygen to all organs and tissues of our body.

By reducing the content of carbohydrates ingested, we tend to use the fat as a source of energy and generate less amount of CO2, facilitating our breath that is usually reduced.

Therefore, considering that the respiratory capacity of tuberculosis’ patients is diminished (removing CO2 is more difficult for them), a diet with a low content of this macronutrient, can facilitate the C02 exchange and not complicate it further. This gas is highly toxic to our body.

Need to eat healthy fats

The quality of fats in the diet must be controlled, prioritizing those that can exert an antiinflammatory effect in our body.

Tuberculosis infection causes inflammation of the lungs, so we will try to minimize these effects, as far as possible, to reduce patient’s symptoms and improve his/her quality of life.

Examples of foods containing good quality fats are nuts, some vegetable oils such as extra virgin olive oil and fish oils rich in omega 3 fatty acids, such as linoleic acid, EPA and DHA.

We should avoid foods high in saturated and trans fats, because of the inflammatory effect they have on the tissues and mucous membranes. This type of fats are counterproductive and can worsen the health of patients with tuberculosis.

punto rojoMore information on tuberculosis diet and its natural treatment

This article was endorsed by Elisenda Carballido - Dietitian nutritionist. Postgraduate in Phytotherapy and master in Nutrition and Metabolism.
Written by Editorial Botanical-online team in charge of content writing

12 May, 2021

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