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Tuberculosis: What Food You Should Eat and Avoid

Last updated on : 20 May, 2024

Read time : 8 min

What is Tuberculosis?

Tuberculosis is a dangerous infectious illness that damages the lungs. It’s caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis, which spreads via tiny airborne droplets from sneezes and coughs. Untreated TB can be lethal, and malnourished persons are more prone to contracting TB and relapsing following treatment. All of these symptoms are signs of active TB. Symptoms include high fever, chills, decreased appetite, tiredness, and difficulty breathing.
TB-induced pathophysiological alterations might lead to malnutrition. With TB, your body can’t produce protein, therefore you lose your appetite. This causes nutrient deficiency, muscle, fat, and fat loss.
It’s a constant cycle. Malnutrition can prolong active tuberculosis disease, while active TB can aggravate malnutrition. Your body needs sufficient nutrition to fight TB. A healthy tuberculosis food with some lifestyle changes can aid a lot in fighting this disease.

Tuberculosis Food

For patients to overcome the disease, they need a diet rich in macro-and micronutrients. Tuberculosis-prevention food that is high in protein, like soy or tofu, dairy, eggs, and lean meat, has amino acids that help your body fight off infections. These food groups assist in muscle development and fatigue reduction. They also give people the energy to go about their daily lives through healing and recovery.

Calorie-dense, nutrient-dense foods can meet the Tuberculosis patient’s rising metabolic demands while also preventing further weight loss. Food to eat for tuberculosis patients includes bananas, grain lentil soup, groundnut chikki, wheat, and finger millet.
Nuts are a good source of zinc and other nutrients that the body needs. Sunflower seeds, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, and flaxseeds are among the nuts and seeds that are beneficial to TB patients. Include this tuberculosis food to eat in your diet to help you fight the disease.

Whole grains, cereals, and millets, which are high in calories and carbohydrates, can provide your body with the energy it needs to fight infection-causing bacteria.

Vitamin A, B, C, and E 5 rich fruits and vegetables help to recharge vitamin depletion caused by the disease and its treatment. Foods rich in antioxidants aid in the removal of toxins from the body, providing you with much-needed strength. These potent antioxidants also protect against the negative effects of high-dose medications and disease-causing free radicals.

To activate the immune system and prevent harmful free radicals, eat a variety of fruits and vegetables strong in antioxidants and vitamins A, C, and E. To boost iron levels in the diet, eat green leafy vegetables two to three times per week. Stay healthy by incorporating these nutritionally balanced foods into your diet.

List of Food for Tuberculosis (TB) Patient

For tuberculosis patients, a nutrient-rich diet is crucial to support recovery. Tb patient food list include:

  1. Khichdi: A wholesome dish made with rice and lentils, providing protein and essential nutrients.
  2. Dahi (Yogurt): It is rich in probiotics. It aids digestion and boosts immunity.
  3. Turmeric Milk: It exhibits anti-inflammatory properties that promote healing.
  4. Spinach: It is high in iron and vitamins, it helps combat fatigue and boosts hemoglobin levels.
  5. Almonds: These are good source of protein, healthy fats, and vitamin E for energy.
  6. Amla (Indian Gooseberry): It is rich in vitamin C, it enhances immunity.
  7. Garlic: It contains antibacterial properties that aid in fighting infections.
  8. Jaggery: It provides iron and boosts energy levels.
  9. Fresh Fruits: Fruits such as oranges, guavas, and papayas, for vitamin C and antioxidants.
  10. Nimbu Pani (Lemon Water): Freshly made lemonade is hydrating and rich in vitamin C. It aids in detoxification and boosts immunity.

For a quick recovery from tuberculosis, focus on a balanced diet comprising lean, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains to boost immunity and energy levels. Incorporate foods rich in vitamins C, D, and E, along with zinc and iron, to promote healing. Here is the diet plan for Tuberculosis for Indian diet.

MealFood items
BreakfastOption 1: Khichdi made with rice and moong dal (green gram lentils), topped with a dollop of ghee (clarified butter). Serve with a side of yogurt and a glass of turmeric milk.
Option 2: Upma made with semolina (sooji) and mixed vegetables, flavored with mustard seeds, curry leaves, and green chilies. Enjoy with a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice.
Mid-Morning SnackA small bowl of sprouts chaat seasoned with chaat masala, lemon juice, and chopped coriander leaves. Pair with a handful of almonds or roasted peanuts.
LunchOption 1: Roti made with whole wheat flour, served with palak paneer (spinach and cottage cheese curry) and a bowl of dal tadka (tempered lentil soup). Accompany with a side salad of cucumber, tomato, and carrot.
Option 2: Bhindi masala (okra stir-fry) with jeera rice (cumin-flavored rice) and rajma (kidney bean curry). Include a serving of sliced mango or papaya for dessert.
Evening SnackDhokla made from fermented gram flour (besan), flavored with mustard seeds and curry leaves. Enjoy with mint chutney or a tangy tamarind dip.
Sip on a cup of herbal tea infused with tulsi (holy basil) and ginger for added immune support.
DinnerOption 1: Baked or grilled fish (such as pomfret or salmon) marinated in a mixture of yogurt, turmeric, and spices. Serve with brown rice pulao and a side of mixed vegetable raita.
Option 2: Masoor dal (red lentil curry) served with roti or paratha and aloo gobi (potato and cauliflower curry). Conclude the meal with a warm bowl of kheer (rice pudding) flavored with cardamom and saffron.
Bedtime SnackA glass of warm turmeric milk sweetened with a touch of honey or jaggery. Enjoy alongside a small serving of soaked figs or dates for added nutrition.

Tuberculosis Food Avoid:

Certain foods and substances should never be consumed or used to maintain good health. These are the following food to avoid,

  • Tobacco in any form should be avoided.
  • Don’t drink alcohol because it can increase the risk of liver damage from some of the drugs you’re taking to treat your tuberculosis.
  • Limit how much coffee and other caffeinated beverages you drink.
  • Red wine, aged cheese, dried meats, tuna, and other types of fish may also be avoided. This is due to the presence of tyramine or histamine. These foods may cause the medicine to have unfavourable effects.
  • Sugar, white bread, white rice, and butter, which are used to make pastries, cakes, pizza, burgers, and other junk foods, should be avoided.
  • Sugar, white loaves of bread, and white rice are all refined products to avoid.
  • Red meat with a lot of fat and cholesterol should be avoided.
  • Deep-fried foods and unhealthy snacks high in triacylglycerols and trans fats aggravate TB ailments like severe diarrhoea, stomach cramps, and lethargy.

Make every effort to give your body the nutrition it needs to stay healthy and build strength so that you can fight off tuberculosis bacteria and lower your risk of relapse.

You will feel better, and faster if you eat a varied, healthy diet and avoid unhealthy habits.
It is mandatory to take TB medications regularly and to complete the treatment course as directed by your health care expert.

Regular and timely medication is critical for someone who is suffering from tuberculosis. Diet, on the other hand, is crucial for recovery and for tuberculosis prevention. This isn’t to say you should eat only exotic and organic foods. Eating a well-balanced diet aid in the fight against this bacterial infection.Additionally, you can order medicine online by using the Truemeds app for regular and timely medication.

Even though there is no specific diet to follow, you must ensure that the food is prepared in a sanitary manner. Make sure to eat a well-balanced diet as well. This will help in tuberculosis prevention by increasing immunity.
You should also try to increase your food intake gradually. The majority of tuberculosis patients initially have a low appetite. However, as the medications begin to work, appetite rises and food consumption rises with it.


Can TB patient eat rice?

Yes, tuberculosis patients can eat rice as part of a balanced diet. It provides energy and is easy to digest, making it suitable for individuals undergoing treatment for TB.

Is banana good for TB patients?

Yes, bananas are beneficial for tuberculosis patients as they are easily digestible, provide energy, and are rich in essential nutrients such as potassium, vitamin C, and vitamin B6. Including bananas in the diet can help support overall health and recovery during TB treatment.

Which drink is good for TB patients?

Warm turmeric milk is considered beneficial for tuberculosis patients due to its anti-inflammatory properties and potential to boost immunity. Additionally, herbal teas like ginger or tulsi tea can help soothe the throat and provide hydration while supporting the body’s healing process.

Which fruit is best in TB?

Citrus fruits like oranges and guavas are considered best for tuberculosis patients due to their high vitamin C content, which helps boost immunity and aids in recovery. These fruits also provide essential nutrients and antioxidants to support health during TB treatment.

Which food is not good for TB patients?

Tuberculosis food to avoid includes processed foods high in sugar, salt, and unhealthy fats. These foods can weaken the immune system and exacerbate inflammation, potentially hindering the recovery process. Additionally, spicy and oily foods may irritate the stomach lining and worsen gastrointestinal symptoms often experienced by TB patients.

How can I boost my immune system to fight TB?

To boost your immune system against TB, focus on consuming a nutrient-rich diet comprising lean proteins, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and healthy fats. Additionally, prioritise adequate sleep, regular exercise, stress management, and avoiding smoking or excessive alcohol consumption.

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Our healthcare experts have carefully reviewed and compiled the information presented here to ensure accuracy and trustworthiness. It is important to note that this information serves as a general overview of the topic and is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to diagnose, prevent, or cure any health problem. This page does not establish a doctor-patient relationship, nor does it replace the advice or consultation of a registered medical practitioner. We recommend seeking guidance from your registered medical practitioner for any questions or concerns regarding your medical condition.


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