Diet Plan With Zika Virus That You Must Know!

Medically reviewed by William Gonzales, MD FACT CHECKED

Zika Virus is a viral infection caused by a mosquito bite. Aedes mosquitoes act as carriers for this virus and they widely spread the disease, but it can also be transmitted from a person suffering from infection to another healthy person.

It is a very common type of virus and is mostly found in places like Central America and now it has started spreading to the rest of the world. Usually, it occurs during tropical climates.

Although it is a common disease and has a mild effect on many people, it can be very dangerous in some cases, especially for women who are pregnant and their children.

It is believed to cause rare kinds of defects in the baby and can also result in death as its effects on the fetus are very serious. In many cases, it causes underdevelopment of the brain and other organs of the fetus.

Detailed info by CDC here.

The symptoms of the Zika virus are usually mild and may last for 2-8 days. These symptoms include common viral infection symptoms such as pain behind the eyes, muscle pain, nausea, headache, mild fever, red eyes, and fatigue.

While some people may recover fully in about a weeks’ time, many unfortunate cases of worse symptoms have also been reported.

They include joint pain, hearing loss, conjunctivitis, skin rashes, dengue fever, etc. Mostly, it affects people from the age group of 20-40 years, and in some cases, it can be completely undiagnosed due to lack of any symptoms.

There is no such proper cure or vaccine for this virus and only the symptoms can be treated temporarily using medicines.

Thus, the only way to recover quickly from the infection is by taking proper rest and following a healthy diet plan.

Though the virus cannot completely be cured, following a proper diet plan can strengthen the body and improve the immune system and also help the body while it is fighting the infection.

The diet plan does not need to be anything complex but it must include all the healthy things that can ward off infection, help the body recover quickly, and also strengthen the immunity so that the virus doesn’t cause infection again.

Other valuable references for –

  • Pregnant Woman.
  • Detailed information here, if you are trying to conceive.
  • Information for health care providers.
  • If you are a traveller, you could find essential info here.
  • Important information for men.

9 Simple Steps To Follow In Diet Plan For Zika Virus

Whenever the body is under attack from any pathogen, always prefer eating home-cooked food and avoid other kinds of food for as long as possible.

This reduces the chances of catching some other infection as the body is already weak and the immunity is compromised.

  • Drink a minimum of 8-10 glasses of water every day. It is very important to keep your body hydrated during infection. While our body is fighting the infection, it is dehydrated. Having a fever and being dehydrated can cause difficulties for the body to maintain a normal body temperature. Thus, drinking water can help with that.

  • Consume a lot of garlic. Garlic is known for its anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory also had great effects against Viral and many types of fungal infections. Try to include it in your diet as it contains Allicin, a compound that helps with fever and muscular pain.

  • You should consume foods rich in Folate, Vitamin C, Vitamin D, and Vitamin K. These include foods like green leafy vegetables, fish and edible fish products, citrus fruits, pomegranate, and beetroots. These foods are known to increase blood platelet count in the body and thus build immunity. Other foods with immunity-boosting properties include papaya. Papaya contains Papain that can help the immune system. It is also rich in antioxidants. But one must avoid giving papaya to pregnant women.

  • Citrus fruits such as lemon, grapes, raspberries, oranges, etc. that are rich in Vitamin C have a repairing property. So, they are absolutely required to be consumed during the infection. Along with this, they are also very rich in antioxidants.

  • Food rich in proteins such as poultry, yogurt, nuts, and seeds should be consumed. This is because proteins build and strengthen our immune system.

    Thus, adding proteins to the diet of the Zika Virus will aid the body in fighting the infection as well as form more antibodies or soldier cells for future use. These cells guard the
    body in the future against the same infection and prevent it.

  • Green leafy vegetable includes vegetables like kale, cabbage, lettuce, spinach, etc.

    These dark, green leafy vegetables are an excellent source of fibers and many types of vitamins and minerals that play a very critical role in the proper regulation of the immune system.

    The whole plant food provides important kinds of chemical compounds to the body that encourage the immune cells to function properly.

    Vegetarian food needs to be preferred in case there is an availability.

  • Add turmeric to your dishes. Turmeric contains a naturally occurring substance called Curcumin that is said to have anti-viral properties. Researches suggest that it could help in eliminating the virus from infected cells. It is also said to stop the virus replication in the case of dengue, hepatitis, and Zika virus.
  • Carelessness should never be shown in case of such serious infections. Always keep your surroundings clean, sanitize yourself and the surroundings as frequently as possible, cover yourself and use mosquito repellants.

  • Take proper multivitamins and other supplements to build a good immune system. In case you catch the infection, take proper care, rest, contact your physician, and follow the above-mentioned diet.

Foods That You Must Avoid

  • Ready To Eat Food

    Anything that is ready to eat should be completely avoided. As there are a number of preservatives that are being used in those types of packaged foods.

    As a result, all important nutrients and vitamins are not present in those foods. At the same time, they might have high-calorie value as well.

    More on it here.
  • Processed Meat

    In most cases, you should avoid processed meat. This is because the producers use a number of chemicals in order to process that meat.

    At the same time, to increase the shelf life of this type of meat a number of other chemicals are used as well.

    There are also a number of other health risks associated with eating meat.

    Other information here.

Other Health Tips When Infected With Zika Virus

  • Exercise

    Engage in moderate exercise. Keeping still and becoming lazy will have ill effects on your body. A moderate exercise or slow body movements will instantly help you feel better and will automatically manage your stress level.

    Exercise also increases blood flow in the body that helps the immune system and it can keep muscular pain away. But avoid strenuous exercise as it will completely exhaust the body and it will only lead to fatigue.

    More on exercise and physical fitness here.

  • Sleep

    Get an adequate amount of sleep. Exhausting the body will only lead to more and more problems.

    Sleeping on time and getting a proper amount of sleep will let the diet plan work effectively on the body and also help the cells recover quickly.

    Good sleep also has a positive impact on the appetite and this would help in consuming a proper healthy diet.

    More on getting enough sleep here.

Final Words On Diet Plan With Zika Virus

In order to conclude, it is a must that you follow a proper eating schedule. Your eating plate should include the food items with all the essential vitamins and minerals.

This might not only enable your body to fight against the infection but also could help your body in the overall functionality.

Healthy eating should always be part of one’s daily routine as it will help your body in the longer run.

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