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Tuberculosis Diet

Diet for Tuberculosis:

Tuberculosis is no longer considered incurable if it is tackled in the early stages. An all round scheme of dietetic and vitality-building programme along natural lines is the only method to overcome the disease. As a first step, the patient should be put on an exclusive fresh fruit diet for three or four days. He should have three meals a day of fresh, juicy fruits, such as apples, grapes, pears, peaches, oranges, pineapples, melons or any other juicy fruit in season. For drinks, unsweetened lemon water or plain water either hot or cold may be taken.

If losing much weight on the all-fruit diet, those who are already underweight may add a glass of milk to each fruit meal.

After the all-fruit diet, the patient should adopt a fruit and milk diet. For this diet, the meals are exactly the same as the all-fruit diet, but with milk added to each fruit meal. The patient may begin with two pints of milk the first day and increase by half a pint daily up to four or five pints. The milk should be fresh and unboiled, but may be slightly warmed, if desired. It should be sipped very slowly. The fruit and milk diet should be continued for four to six weeks. Thereafter, the following diet may be adopted.

Breakfast: Fresh fruits as obtainable and milk. Prunes or other dried fruit may also be taken, if desired.

Lunch: Steamed vegetables as available, one or two whole wheat wheat tortilla and a glass of butter-milk.

Dinner: A bowl of raw salad of suitable vegetables with whole-wheat bread and butter. Stewed fruit or cooked apple may be taken for dessert.

At bedtime: A glass of milk.

The chief therapeutic agent needed for the treatment of tuberculosis is calcium. Milk, being the richest food source for the supply of organic calcium to the body, should be taken liberally. In the diet outlined above at least two pints of milk should be taken daily. Further periods on the exclusive fruit diet followed by fruit and milk diet should be adopted at intervals of two or three months depending on the progress. During the first few days of the treatment, the bowels should be cleansed daily with a warm water enema and afterwards as necessary.

The patient should avoid all devitalized foods such as white bread, white sugar, refined cereals, puddings and pies, tinned, canned and preserved foods. He should also avoid strong tea, coffee, condiments, pickles and sauces.

The patient should take complete rest - of both mind and body. Any type of stress will prevent healing. Fresh air is always important in curing the disease and the patient should spend most of the time in the open air and should sleep in a well-ventilated room. Sunshine is also essential as the tubercle bacilli are rapidly killed by exposure to sunrays. Other beneficial steps towards curing the disease are avoidance of strain, slow massage, deep breathing and light occupation to ensure mental diversion.



I. An all-fruit diet for three days. Take three meals a day of fresh juicy fruits at five-hourly intervals.

II. A fruit and milk diet for further 10 days, adding a cup of milk to each fruit meal.

III.Thereafter, adopt a well-balanced diet, on the following lines:-

1. Upon arising: A glass of lukewarm water mixed with half a freshly-squeezed lime and a teaspoon of honey.

2. Breakfast: Fresh fruit, a glass of milk, sweetened with honey, and few nuts, especially almonds.

3. Lunch: A bowl of freshly-prepared steamed vegetables, whole wheat wheat tortilla with butter and a glass of butter milk.

4. Mid-afternoon: A glass of fruit juice or sugarcane juice.

5. Dinner: Raw vegetable salad and sprouts with vegetable oil and limejuice dressing, followed by a hot course, if desired.

6. Bedtime Snack: A glass of milk with few dates.

Home Remedies: Milk diet, custard apple (custard apple), Indian gooseberry (indian gooseberry), pineapple, banana, orange juice, drumstick (drumstick) leaves, bottle gourd (Bottle gourd) and mint.

AVOID: Tea, coffee, sugar, white flour and products made from them, refined foods, fried foods, flesh foods, alcohol and smoking.


1. Wet chest pack for one hour every morning on an empty stomach.

2. Neutral immersion bath for one hour at bedtime.

3. Fresh air, breathing and other light exercises and yogasanas.

4. Adequate rest and proper sleep.

5. Avoid all worries and mental tensions.

Tuberculosis diet

Tuberculosis is a contagious infection of the respiratory system which is caused by bacteria. These bacteria tend to first spread and infect the lungs of the individual and then move to the circulatory system to various other parts of the body. If one does not undergo timely tuberculosis treatment then the infection may spread to the kidney, spine and abdominal organs and can even be fatal. An individual’s vulnerability to tuberculosis tends to increase on account of alcohol addiction and drug abuse. Some of the symptoms of tuberculosis are chest congestion and pain, expulsion of sputum that may contain blood and severe bouts of coughing. A tuberculosis diet is an essential part of the tuberculosis treatment as many people suffering from this medical condition tend to suffer from malnutrition. As a result of which the body’s ability to fight the tuberculosis infection is hampered because of the deficiency of certain key vitamins and minerals as proteins. The tuberculosis diet mostly comprises of foods such as broths and soups that provide the individual with the necessary nutrition required while suffering from tuberculosis.

The individual should also be put on a tuberculosis diet wherein they are given small amounts of foods that can be digested easily as large amounts of foods may not get digested soon while suffering from tuberculosis resulting in acidity and this may further aggravate the respiratory irritation. The tb diet should strictly avoid any oily or spicy foods as they tend to worsen the symptoms of tuberculosis. A tuberculosis diet should also be rich in plenty of fresh vegetables and fruits and should provide the individual with the appropriate amount of calories. Citrus fruits, dark leafy vegetables, legumes and starchy vegetables should form an integral part of a tuberculosis diet. The diet for those suffering from tuberculosis should also comprise of whole grains as this will enable them to build immunity against any further illness and to also maintain their body weight. The tuberculosis diet being an important part of the tuberculosis diet should also consist of sufficient amount of low fat or even fat free dairy products especially milk.

One of the best vegetables which should be incorporated as part of a tuberculosis diet is the bitter gourd. Along with the tuberculosis diet the individual should also continue with the prescribed medication and get plenty of rest so as to allow their immunity system to function well and to recover faster from the bacterial attack. The tuberculosis diet should strictly avoid refined sugar, canned foods, pies, puddings, sauces, caffeinated beverages, pickles, condiments and such processed foods. Instead the tuberculosis diet should be rich in fruits such as bananas, custard apples, pineapples, gooseberries and even oranges. Vegetables that are beneficial while suffering from tuberculosis and that should be incorporated in a tb diet include bottle gourd, drumsticks and even mint. Mostly doctors will put a patient suffering from tuberculosis on a vegetarian diet as meats and other non vegetarian foods tend to be difficult to digest.

Tuberculosis Nutrition

Tuberculosis also called TB, which is short for tubercles bacillus, is a highly infectious disease usually caused by the bacteria mycobacterium tuberculosis in humans. Tuberculosis normally affects the lungs, but other parts of the body can also get affected. The medium through tuberculosis is spread is air. When individuals who are affected with the disease spit, sneeze, or cough the bacteria are released and affect those around. It is then possible for people who are close by to inhale the bacteria into the lungs. Tuberculosis cannot be contracted by shaking the hands or touching the clothes of an individual who is infected with the disease.

When the tuberculosis bacteria are inhaled into the lungs they will multiply and lead to a local lung infection. When tuberculosis spreads to the other regions of the body, the immune system can attack the infection and prevent the spreading of the bacteria. This is done with the immune system causing a scar tissue to form around the bacteria to isolate it from the other parts of the body. Tuberculosis that happens after the first exposure to the bacteria is called primary tuberculosis. If the body is capable of letting a scar tissue form around the bacteria, the infection remains in an inactive state. Such individuals usually do not experience any kind of symptoms, and the tuberculosis will not be spread to others. The lymph nodes and scar tissue may eventually become hard like a stone due to the calcification process of the scars and will show up on imaging studies and X-rays like round marbles which are called granuloma.

Most of the infections in humans start with an infection that is latent and asymptomatic and around one out of ten of these infections go on to become the active disease that takes the life of more than 50 percent of the sufferers if no treatment is given. Some of the typical symptoms of tuberculosis are weight loss, night sweats, and chronic cough with sputum tinged with blood. When other organs are affected a number of symptoms will be experienced. The diagnosis of tuberculosis relies on the microbiological culture and microscopic examination of fluids in the body, blood tests, tuberculin skin tests, and radiology.

More than eighty million cases of tuberculosis occur each year around the world. Around 10 to 15 million people are estimated to be infected with the tuberculosis bacteria in the United States, with 22,000 new cases of tuberculosis coming up each year. It is possible for anyone to contract tuberculosis, but some people are at a greater risk. People living with those having an active tuberculosis infection, homeless or poor people, individuals from other countries where tuberculosis is prevalent, prison inmates and nursing home residents are some of the people who run a higher risk of getting the infection. Health care workers, people with AIDS, certain cancers and diabetes, intravenous drug users, and alcoholics are also among those who have a greater risk.

Tuberculosis treatment is not very easy because of the chemical composition and unusual structure of the cell wall of the bacteria, which reduces the effectiveness of the antibiotics and prevents drugs from entering. The two most commonly used antibiotics are isoniazid and rifampicin. However, tuberculosis requires lengthy courses of antibiotics for about 6 to 24 months to completely eliminate the bacteria from the body instead of the short ones usually used as a treatment for other bacterial infections.

Contacts are also examined and given the treatment if needed. The resistance of antibiotics has grown as a problem in multi-drug-resistant tuberculosis. The prevention mainly lies in programs of screening and vaccinations normally with the bacillus calmette-guérin vaccine. The treatment of latent tuberculosis is usually carried out with a single antibiotic. However, in the case of an active tuberculosis disease, combinations of various antibiotics are used as the best treatment to reduce the chances of the bacteria becoming resistant to the antibiotics. Treatments for individuals with latent tuberculosis are given to prevent the condition from becoming an active tuberculosis disease later on in life.

For those suffering from tuberculosis, following a balanced diet is essential to bring about a cure as most individuals suffer from malnutrition. During tuberculosis, getting proper nutrition should be given utmost importance as there is a deficiency of many nutrients. Therefore, it is important along with the treatment of antibiotics, to follow a tuberculosis diet to beat the disease. If you want to start a tuberculosis diet, dietetic information can be found in medical books and on the Internet.

The first step in the treatment of tuberculosis through diet is to put the patient on a diet of fresh fruits for around three to four days. Three meals should be taken each day consisting of juicy and fresh fruits like melons, pineapples, oranges, peaches, grapes, and apples. For drinks, unsweetened plain water or lemon water can be taken either cold or hot. If too much weight is being lost through the fruit diet, individuals who are underweight can drink a glass of milk with each meal. After completing the diet consisting only of fruits, the patient could start a diet of milk and fruits. This diet is just the same as the all-fruit diet, but with milk which is drunk with each meal. The patient can start with two pints of milk on the first day, and add another half pint each day to make it come to four or five pints. You should make sure that the milk is fresh and not boiled. You can warm it a little bit if you want. It is also important that you avoid taking alcohol during tuberculosis as it can make the condition worse and bring about other complications. You should also avoid foods like pickles, condiments, sauces, refined cereals, pies, puddings, refined sugar, white bread, tinned and canned foods, and caffeinated beverages.

There are other things you could do to enhance the treatment of tuberculosis. Each morning you could use a wet chest pack for an hour on an empty stomach. For an hour at bed time, you could do a neutral immersion bath. It is also important that you get some fresh air and perform some yoga poses and light exercises. You should also rest well and stay away from tension and stress. This would help you stay away from the disease.

Submitted on January 16, 2014