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Eat Right When You Have HIV. Good nutrition is a vital component of… | by Swati Lamba | Sep, 2021

Swati Lamba
Eat Right When You Have HIV

Good nutrition is a vital component of treating any chronic disease including HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) infection. Although there is no proven study to demonstrate the connection between diet and HIV treatment, eating the “rights” can definitely influence your overall health.

To be more specific, HIV alters your immune response by killing the CD4 (immune) cells. Since your body is then forced to use more nutrients than that of a healthy individual, you need a better and “immune-pleasing” diet.

Moreover, strong doses of anti-HIV medications like Lamivudine, Tenofovir disoproxil fumarate, and Efavirenz tablets demand balanced and frequent meals to fight off opportunistic infections and ease HIV symptoms or complications.

To get started, you may consider the following tips.

Go Colorful With Your Meals

Plenty of fruits and vegetables can protect your immune system from the damage caused by the virus. As you may know, most fruits like blueberry and elderberry are rich in antioxidants. Moreover, extract the right vitamins and minerals from your meals to maintain a perfect balance among the nutrients.

Choose Lean Proteins

Besides a strong immune system, your body needs strength. Most antiretrovirals including T-Lamirenz tablets cause adverse reactions like muscle or bone pain, tingling in the arms or legs, and weakness. To manage such problems, you can choose lean proteins. Food items containing lean proteins possess less saturated fats. Some common examples are lean beef, eggs, beans, and poultry.

Go For Whole Grains

Like fuel in cars, whole grains give your body energy to carry out different functions. Food items made from whole grains are packed with energy-boosting fibers and vitamins. Besides that, when you consume plenty of fiber, your body gets rid of the most common HIV, i.e., lipodystrophy (a condition in which the body stores extra fats).

Include Anti-Inflammatory Foods

Since your immune system is already struggling to fight off the infection, it is always “turned on”. As you may know, an activated immune system is prone to inflammation (swelling). However, this can be managed using certain food items that possess anti-inflammatory properties including tomatoes, Chinese cabbage, walnuts, almonds, coconut oil, salmon, and spinach.

Add The “Right” Supplements

While balancing all the nutrients in your diet, you may not be able to add the essential multivitamins and minerals like calcium. Thus, certain supplements can manage that for you. However, it is absolutely important to take your doctor’s advice before starting the consumption of any new nutraceutical product.

Remember the “Don’ts”

Apart from what to add to your meals, it’s vital to consider certain foods and drinks to avoid. During your HIV treatment, avoid the consumption of the following:

  • Raw or undercooked eggs
  • Smoking or chewing tobacco
  • Undercooked meat
  • Alcohol

Furthermore, if you experience certain symptoms of HIV infection (nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, and others) regularly, make sure to consult your dietician and prepare a suitable diet plan accordingly.


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