HIV or human immunodeficiency virus attacks the immune system of a person. An HIV-positive person may develop AIDS if they don’t get timely help. While HIV is a lifelong condition that cannot be cured, it can be controlled to prevent the onset of AIDS. Nutrition plays a key role in HIV management and HIV-positive patients must ensure good nutrition and food safety measures to lead a healthy life.
As HIV affects the immune system of a person, it is necessary that the person works to strengthen it. With an impaired immune system, the person is also susceptible to food-borne illnesses. Therefore, the most effective way to manage the condition is by maintaining good nutrition. Not only it helps in strengthening the immune system but also allows optimal absorption of HIV medicines and maintains a healthy weight.
Diet for HIV-Positive People
Here are some dietary recommendations for people living with HIV:
Consume lean protein
Lean protein helps in strengthening the immune system and building muscle mass. It is seen that HIV patients tend to lose weight and become underweight. They must include lean proteins like eggs, fish, nuts, poultry, beans and lean beef. For the right amount, consult your doctor.
Also Read: Can Monkeypox Lead to HIV? ICMR Expert Answers
Increase your intake of fruits and vegetables
Fresh and seasonal fruits and veggies are high in antioxidants that protect immunity. By eating at least one seasonal fruit and one vegetable daily, you can strengthen your immunity. For best results, have as many fruits and vegetables as you can to get essential vitamins and minerals in abundance.
Reduce sugar and salt consumption
It is found that HIV patients are at risk of heart issues due to the virus and heavy treatment medicines. In such a case, both sugar and salt are your enemies. While salt is a potential trigger of high BP and other heart ailments, sugar also weakens the immune system. Thus, cut down on these. Have healthy fats like nuts, avocado, A2 ghee and vegetable oils.
Increase fluid intake
Fluids help eliminate waste from the body and since you are taking medication for HIV, consuming fluids can flush out excess medication from the body to reduce toxicity. Along with that, you will stay hydrated and energised. Those who suffer from nausea can get relief by drinking plenty of water and healthy fluids.
Also Read: Symptoms And Stages Of HIV Infection
Count your calories
HIV patients suffer from weight-related problems. While some lose weight, some people gain weight. Being overweight or obese can put you at risk of chronic diseases like diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. Thus, make a diet plan to watch out for calories and healthy weight.
Follow food safety
HIV patients can develop food-borne illnesses and infections due to compromised immune systems which makes food safety practices a must. Washing hands before eating; not eating raw or undercooked meals; avoiding packaged, processed and frozen foods; eating leftover food only after reheating; drinking only clean and filtered water.
HIV may lead to AIDS if you don’t manage the condition. By following the above-mentioned dietary guidelines, you can keep HIV under control and also prevent associated health risks.
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