Measles: What to eat and what to avoid while recovering

Measles is an acute viral respiratory illness that causes high fever, malaise, cough, coryza, conjunctivitis, and rash in children and adults. The rash typically appears 14 days after exposure and spreads from the head to the trunk and the lower extremities. Patients are contagious from four days before to four days after the rash appears.

Children and adults suffering from measles, as well as those recovering from the disease, have an increased need for energy and protein. Here are some foods you should include in your diet while recovering from the disease.

Immune-boosting foods in your measles diet:

Measles is a respiratory infection that causes a rash and flu-like symptoms. Oranges, lemons, strawberries, and papaya are high in vitamin C and can help boost immunity and manage the rash. Don’t forget to get your vitamin A from foods like eggs, broccoli, spinach, and dark green leafy vegetables. Garlic should be included in sabzi, curries, or soups because it can aid in the fight against viral infections such as measles. Drinking coconut water can aid in the removal of toxins from the body. Remember that dehydration is common during measles. So, to maintain electrolyte balance, drink buttermilk and water on occasion.

Liquid foods should be preferred because swallowing solid food may be difficult for some patients. Most acute situations necessitate liquid food because the patient may be unable to swallow solid food due to a sore throat, rashes, or mouth ulcers inside the mouth. Enough liquid foods would keep you hydrated. If tolerated, including buttermilk, curd, and milk can meet protein requirements.

One can switch to solid foods only gradually while fighting the measles, depending on the improvement in condition.

During the course of illness and after gradual toleration of liquid food, soft or semi-solid food can be initiated. Among these food items can be khichdi, curd rice, porridges, jellies and puddings. As the condition improves further, the patient can be kept on regular solid foods after the illness. Soft upma, idli, oats, and bread are a few to mention for breakfast. Soft rice or chapati with dal, Santula (mixed veg curry), or Dalma (chickpea dal cooked with vegetables and raw papaya) can be a good option during lunch and dinner. Never forget to add plenty of liquid foods along with regular menus to ensure adequate re-hydration. Adding curd can be a source of beneficial bacteria for maintaining gut health.

Foods to avoid while sick with measles:

It is critical that you avoid processed, junk, oily, canned, and sugary foods. Say no to rash-causing samosas, vadas, namkeens, cakes, biscuits, pizza, pasta, Chinese, French fries, jam, jelly, colas, sodas, and frozen foods. Turmeric milk can also be consumed because turmeric has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that can help in the treatment of rashes. It is preferable to eat khichdi that is easy to digest because it will make you feel better. Caffeine should be avoided because it can worsen one’s health. It is critical to provide soothing food that is easily digestible; therefore, avoid greasy foods and carbonated beverages. It is always preferable to consume food prepared hygienically at home.


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