General Health

Dengue Diet: What to Eat and Avoid in Dengue Fever?

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By Apollo 24|7, Published on - 31 October 2022, Updated on - 05 June 2024

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Recovering from any disease requires a lot of patience and energy. Our body needs time, rest and the right food to regain its lost strength. Some foodstuffs or eatables aid the process of recovery while others can make it more difficult. If you have dengue fever and are worrying about what to eat in dengue and what foods to avoid in dengue, rest your worries because here we will shed light on the foods to eat and foods to avoid during dengue fever.

Now before that, we must know that 'Dengue' is a mosquito-borne viral disease caused by the dengue virus (DENV). It is the most widespread viral infection that spreads through bites of the infected Aedes species (Aedes aegypti or Aedes albopictus) mosquitoes. Thus, it is a peaking global health challenge. Although there is no specific treatment for dengue fever, eating nutritious food might prove to be an important step in bouncing back into a healthy state. Here’s the list of dengue food to eat and avoid during dengue fever.

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Foods To Avoid In Dengue

While fighting dengue fever, it's crucial to prioritise a dengue diet that aids recovery and avoids foods that may worsen symptoms. Here's a list of foods to avoid in dengue:

1. Dark-Coloured Foods

As a thumb rule, you should avoid dark-coloured foods, especially red and brown-coloured foods, and drinks. Chocolate drinks, red or violet-coloured juices and foods like chocolate, may resemble blood by imparting colour to the vomit, stool or urine. It may mislead the doctor by masking one of the important signs of disease progression, i.e. discolouration of urine, vomit, and stool. Therefore, it is better for you to avoid red or brown-coloured foods and drinks.

2. Caffeine

Contrary to the belief that caffeine provides energy to the body, it is not the apt choice to consume caffeinated drinks when you have dengue fever. Your body requires a lot of water when down with dengue and caffeine acts like a diuretic, which excretes water from your body as urine. So, energy drinks, coffee, tea, etc. which contain caffeine should be avoided as they can cause dehydration (loss of fluids) and muscle breakdown.

3. Spicy Foods

You should be leaning towards a soft, bland diet and should avoid spices during dengue fever. Spices in the food that you are consuming stimulate the stomach to produce more acid. This acid may irritate the walls of the stomach and can cause bleeding. Therefore, you should avoid spicy food to ward off the risk of stomach and intestinal bleeding.

4. Fatty Foods

Dengue fever reduces your capacity for digestion. This makes it very difficult for the stomach to digest foods that are rich in fats. So, avoiding fatty foods such as cheese, fatty-meat cuts, butter, deep-fried foods and avocado will be a wise choice to reduce the load on your tummy and spare some energy for you to regain strength.

Foods to Eat and Drink

You might be wondering what to eat in dengue. While there is no specific diet, there are certain foods and drinks that can help with recovery when you have dengue fever. Dengue fever can cause dehydration, loss of appetite, and fatigue. Here are some foods and drinks that can be included in your ‘dengue diet’ to help you feel better:

1. Foods Rich in Vitamin C

Among all the vitamins, your most important one during dengue is vitamin C. This vitamin is known to have anti-viral and anti-oxidative properties. It will also help in strengthening your immunity. As a bonus, it helps in absorbing another helpful nutrient, iron, from the intestines. So, fruits like orange, lemon, papaya, pineapple, etc. and vegetables like green leafy vegetables, should be included in your diet as one of the foods for dengue fever.

One must also know that papaya extract is a good source of digestive enzymes - papain and chymopapain. These enzymes help with digestion, reduce bloating and treat other digestive issues. Juice made from fresh papaya leaves aids in treating dengue by elevating platelet counts.

2. Foods Rich in Iron

The platelet counts tend to dip during dengue fever. Your body needs a lot of iron to keep up the blood haemoglobin levels and produce platelets. Platelets are crucial in the blood clotting process of the body and thus, are necessary to stop the loss of blood, which is very common during dengue. Therefore, eating iron-rich foods like legumes, liver, meat and green leafy vegetables might help in providing iron. This in turn will help in good recovery of platelet counts and overall faster recovery from dengue fever.

3. Foods Rich in Vitamin K

Vitamin K is another important nutrient, which might help in increasing the platelet count. It also helps in blood clotting, which is helpful against dengue fever. So, eating foods that are a natural source of vitamin K, like sprouts, broccoli and green leafy vegetables might be helpful to include in your list of foods to eat during dengue.

4. High-calorie Foods

Your body becomes weak when infected by the dengue virus. Foods like milk, rice, potato, etc. are rich in energy. You should eat these foods in dengue as they provide a lot of calories and energy to the body. These foods will help you regain your lost strength.

5. Fluids

Water is essential for the body, especially when you are recovering from dengue fever. You should ensure that you drink lots of water. You can consume other fluids as well, like coconut water and white rice kanji, as they contain electrolytes (like potassium, calcium, sodium and magnesium). Fluids will help you balance electrolytes and keep you well-hydrated.

Dengue Food to Eat and Avoid

Here’s a list of dengue food to eat and avoid to feel better faster. We'll create a basic dengue fever diet plan to help you manage your symptoms.

When it comes to a dengue diet, it's crucial to know what to eat in dengue and what foods to avoid. Here's a quick summary:

Foods for dengue fever:

  • Vitamin C-rich fruits and vegetables (oranges, lemons, papaya, green leafy vegetables)
  • Iron-rich foods (legumes, liver, meat)
  • Vitamin K-rich foods (sprouts, broccoli, green leafy vegetables)
  • High-calorie foods (milk, rice, potatoes)
  • Fluids (water, coconut water, white rice kanji)

Foods to avoid in dengue:

  • Dark-colored foods and drinks (chocolate, red or violet-colored juices)
  • Caffeinated beverages (coffee, tea, energy drinks)
  • Spicy foods
  • Fatty foods (cheese, fatty meat cuts, butter, deep-fried foods, avocado)

  Also Read,  How To Prevent The Deadly Dengue Fever

Dengue Fever Diet Plan

Here's a sample diet plan for someone with dengue fever:


Foods to Include

Foods to Avoid


Fresh fruit juices (orange, apple), papaya, oatmeal, yoghurt

Coffee, tea, spicy foods, processed cereals


Coconut water, a handful of almonds or walnuts

Sugary snacks, fried foods


Boiled vegetables, lean meat (chicken or fish), lentil soup, rice

Red meat, spicy and oily foods

Afternoon Snack

Herbal teas (ginger, chamomile), fruit salad

Caffeinated beverages, junk food


Vegetable soup, boiled or steamed vegetables, quinoa

Heavy, oily foods, spicy dishes

Before Bed

Papaya leaf juice, a small portion of fresh fruit

Caffeinated beverages, sugary snacks

This diet focuses on hydration, immune support, and easy-to-digest foods while avoiding items that can exacerbate symptoms or hinder recovery.

Following a proper dengue fever diet plan that includes the right foods to eat and avoid can help in managing symptoms and strengthening the body and immunity to fight the dengue virus.

Managing the symptoms at hand and strengthening your body and immunity are the steps that you can take to fight dengue fever. Along with your doctor's treatment, these foods that you must eat and food to avoid during dengue fever will act as your guide to a quick recovery.

Consult with an Apollo Dietician Today!

General Health

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the best foods to eat during dengue fever?

The best foods to eat during dengue fever include vitamin C-rich fruits and vegetables (oranges, lemons, papaya, green leafy vegetables), iron-rich foods (legumes, liver, meat), vitamin K-rich foods (sprouts, broccoli, green leafy vegetables), high-calorie foods (milk, rice, potatoes), and hydrating fluids (water, coconut water, white rice kanji).

Dengue fever reduces your body's capacity for digestion, making it difficult for the stomach to digest foods that are rich in fats. Avoiding fatty foods such as cheese, fatty meat cuts, butter, deep-fried foods, and avocado can help reduce the load on your digestive system and conserve energy for recovery.

Yes, papaya leaves can help treat dengue fever. Juice made from fresh papaya leaves has been shown to help increase platelet counts, which tend to drop during dengue fever. Papaya extract also contains digestive enzymes (papain and chymopapain) that can aid in digestion and reduce bloating.

Fluids are essential during dengue fever to prevent dehydration and maintain electrolyte balance in the body. Drinking plenty of water, coconut water, and other hydrating fluids can help replace fluids lost through sweating and other symptoms of dengue fever.

No, it is not recommended to drink coffee, energy drinks, or other caffeinated beverages during dengue fever. These drinks can cause dehydration and muscle breakdown, which can worsen symptoms and delay recovery. Instead, opt for high-calorie foods like milk and rice to gain energy, and drink plenty of hydrating fluids to support your body's recovery process.

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