What and How to eat when you are sick

In Malaysia, strong cultural practices influence how different people try to recover from illness. However, from a scientific point of view, these might not be the best practices. Let’s take a look at what and how you should eat when you’re sick!

 

1. Modify texture and taste according to needs

When a person falls sick, appetite gets suppressed and reduced by the body due to bacterial effect. However, this is the crucial time that he or she needs to eat more in order to fight the battle. The reduced appetite increases the amount of deficiency in nutrients that worsen the disease, which in turn results in a vicious cycle causing worsening of health.

Improving palatability of the diet such as softening the texture of food by blending fruits into juices or intensifying the flavor of foods are good ways to encourage a sick person to eat more. Avoiding strong flavored or tasty foods, opting for plain flavored foods may not be the best practice as it discourages intake.

 2. Supplements become important

During periods of prolonged disease state, supplements become vitally important. It is expected that intake will not meet requirement during these times, hence it is important to acknowledge this fact and quickly supplement before profound losses become apparent.

Supplements that may be critically warranted during periods of distress include vitamin C, calories, protein and other micronutrients like zinc.

3. Liquid meals are good ways to add in extra nutrients

As people usually spend time sleeping most of the day when they fall sick, they do not have a lot of time to eat a solid meal, nor do they want a heavy solid meal to bother with their rest. In periods like these, quick and easy liquid meals such as a cup of milk, blended fruit juices, and cereal drinks are quick and efficient way to slot in between main meals to ensure that they get enough nutrients to recover faster.  

 

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