TB is an infection of the respiratory tract caused by the bacterium Mycobacterium tuberculosis. This disease is still a frightening specter for the world community. One third of the world's population has been infected with tuberculosis germs. The highest number of TB cases in the world is held by India, Indonesia and China. According to WHO, every second there is one person infected with tuberculosis in the world.
TB can be treated with antibiotics. But just taking medication without ensuring good nutritional intake still risks making your disease difficult to heal. Because the body does not have enough energy to be able to fight the infection completely. Therefore, you should try as much as possible to provide nutrition for tuberculosis by eating a healthy balance.
By applying a healthy diet, you help the body fight infections and you also help maintain your nutritional status, so you will heal faster.
List of nutritional intake for the most important TB
The following are important nutrients needed by people with TB.
The alias of energy is the most important nutritional requirement for tuberculosis and must be fulfilled. Increasing calorie intake will help increase your body's immunity. Conversely, people with TB who have less weight are at risk of worsening the condition of the disease.
A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 2004 showed that TB patients who were given more energy during the six weeks of treatment had better physical conditions than those not given additional energy.
Besides energy, you also need more protein. Protein can also help improve your immune system, so the body can fight infection better. In addition, protein also functions to repair damaged cells in the body.
You can get protein from lean meat, eggs, milk and its products, fish, nuts, and seeds.
Vitamins and minerals
You need a lot of vitamins and minerals when you are sick with tuberculosis. Lack of vitamins and minerals can cause the body's immune system to decrease so you become more susceptible to infection.
The following are important vitamins and minerals that you need when suffering from tuberculosis.
Zinc has an important role in the body's immune system in fighting infections and also free radicals. TB patients found that they had lower zinc levels in their bodies compared to people who did not suffer from tuberculosis, regardless of their nutritional status. Therefore, people with TB need more zinc to help improve immune function.
In addition, zinc also plays a role in vitamin A metabolism. Animal and human studies also show that a deficiency of zinc can disrupt the retina in binding proteins and reducing plasma retinal concentrations.
Sources of food containing zinc are meat, chicken, shellfish, crabs, lobster, cashews, mushrooms, spinach, broccoli, kale, garlic, milk and products, fortified cereals, and dark chocolate.
Zinc is very related to vitamin A. Both have an important role in healing TB. Vitamin A is needed in the function of T and B lymphocytes, macrophage activity, and antibody responses. All of them are part of the immune system. TB sufferers who consume lots of vitamin A certainly have better conditions than those who are deficient in vitamin A.
The need for vitamin A intake is increased in TB patients because of an increase in excretion and metabolism of vitamin A in the body. You can get vitamin A from carrots, tomatoes, spinach, sweet potatoes, lettuce, asparagus, celery, beef liver or chicken liver, eggs, mangoes, watermelons, and more.
Vitamin D also plays a role in the functioning of macrophages which is a key factor in fighting TB infection. Therefore, TB patients also have a high need for vitamin D. Based on research, Indonesians who have untreated TB have low vitamin D levels.
You can get vitamin D from mushroom food sources, fish oil, fish (especially salmon and mackerel), tofu, fortified cereals, egg yolks, milk and products, and other foods.
Vitamin C contains a lot of antioxidants needed to fight free radicals. Because of this function, of course vitamin C is needed by people with TB. In fact, research has also proven that there is a relationship between vitamin C deficiency and TB disease.
You can get sources of vitamin C from fruits (such as oranges, kiwi, strawberries, melons, guava, and papaya) and vegetables (such as red and green peppers, broccoli, kale, and tomatoes).
Some studies show that TB patients have lower hemoglobin than healthy people. Therefore, people with TB need more iron to prevent anemia. Please note that anemia is very common in people with TB.
Iron can be obtained from red meat, green vegetables (such as spinach, broccoli, kale, mustard greens), fortified vegetables, and others.
Selenium also has an important role in the immune system. So, selenium is also one of the nutrients for TB that is most needed. You can get selenium from consumption of seafood, fish, meat, sunflower seeds, bread, and mushrooms.
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