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Diet For Jaundice: Foods To Eat And Foods To Avoid

Jaundice is a condition that affects the liver. When the levels of bilirubin in your blood rise drastically - the condition is called jaundice. Jaundice is not a disease but rather a symptom of an underlying disease. The skin, mucous membranes and whites of the eyes turn yellow due to excessive bilirubin production.

One gets affected by jaundice when there is an increase in bile pigment. Jaundice can affect anyone regardless of age. The symptoms that accompany jaundice include abdominal pain, headache, fever, nausea, loss of appetite, weight loss and vomiting. Some of the reasons for jaundice are malaria, cirrhosis and other liver disorders [1] .

The yellow appearance of the skin is due to the excess bilirubin, a waste product of the RBCs, present in the bloodstream or in the tissues. And, medications are not the only means of treatment required for jaundice [2] .

A strict diet is necessary to alleviate the symptoms of jaundice. Individuals suffering from the condition should cut down the intake of salty and spicy foods, should avoid oily and fried items and should eat foods that are easily digestible. Raw and semi-cooked foods should be forbidden [3] .

Importance Of A Strict Diet For Jaundice

If you have jaundice, you ought to choose foods that can be easily digestible. Maintaining a strategic distance from salt, fat, oil and flavoured content is exceptionally essential. Being careful about what you eat is one of the best ways to get a fast recovery.

The processing of fats and fat solvent vitamins becomes difficult due to the absence of bile, which is essential for the absorption of fat. Eating all kinds of foods can give your body extra workload, whereas a well-balanced diet help keeps your body functioning well - as well as help cure and manage the symptoms pertaining to the condition [4] [5] .

Your liver is one of the most important organs required for the well-functioning of your body by taking in the food and turning it into energy. So, when there is a disruption in this process, your body develops jaundice.

The diet you follow plays a significant role in your liver function. With a healthy diet devoid of extra fat, sugar etc., your liver function is improved naturally. This helps in clearing out the toxins from your system, thereby managing the symptoms and also limiting the onset of the condition in the future [6] [7] .

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Foods To Eat For Jaundice

1. Tomato

One of the most beneficial foods to be consumed during jaundice, tomatoes are proven to be an effective cure for jaundice symptoms. Tomato is an antioxidant and is rich in vitamin C. The presence of lycopene in tomatoes help in rejuvenating the liver cells, thereby, curing the symptoms of jaundice [8] .

2. Gooseberry

Gooseberries are packed with a plethora of health benefits and one of the most effective ones is in terms of jaundice. Rich in vitamin C, Indian gooseberries/amlas possess antioxidant properties too. Consequently, the antioxidant-rich amla helps to rejuvenate and cleanse the liver cells [9] .

3. Sugarcane

Drinking sugarcane juice while suffering from jaundice is an effective way to manage the symptoms. Regular consumption can help restore the liver capacity and aids in digestion [10] .

4. Lemon

Rich in vitamin C, like the aforementioned vegetables and fruits, lemon is advised as a beneficial food for individuals suffering from jaundice. Drinking lemon juice in a controlled and regular manner on an empty stomach assist in the speedy recovery and alleviates the symptoms of jaundice, as it helps unblock the bile ducts [7] .

5. Carrot

Rich in beta-carotene and low in cholesterol, carrots are a great source of vitamin A and C. These vitamins and nutrients present in the carrots helps to detox the liver and is beneficial for the proper functioning of the liver[11] .

6. Buttermilk

A rich source of calcium and iron, buttermilk is fat-free making it easy to digest. Drinking buttermilk every day is a natural and easy way to cure jaundice, studies reveal [12] .

Apart from the above-mentioned types of food, an individual suffering from jaundice should drink at least eight glasses of water every day. Moderate consumption of herbal tea is also advised.

Natural digestive enzymes such as honey, orange peels, pineapple, papaya and mango can be consumed.

Fruits and vegetables such as avocado, grapefruit, Brussels sprouts, grapes, pomegranate etc., are also beneficial [13] .

Soluble-fibre foods such as kale and broccoli, berries, almonds, brown rice and oatmeal are also beneficial for managing the symptoms of jaundice [14] .

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Foods To Avoid For Jaundice

Keep in mind not to opt for semi-cooked foods in light of the fact that these are hard to process. Being careful about what you eat is one of the best ways to get a fast recovery. It is recommended to avoid foods that worsen jaundice. Instead, include foods that will keep you healthy. Don't choose high protein foods as they are not easy for the liver to metabolise protein [15] .

Read on to know the types of foods that should be avoided while suffering from jaundice [16] [17] .

1. Salt

Avoiding salt is proposed to recover from jaundice. Having salt all the time may cause harm to your liver cells and hinder the recuperation process from jaundice. Avoid salt-rich foods such as pickles, because salt is one of the foods that worsen jaundice.

2. Meat

Any type of meat ought to be strictly abstained from until the patient recovers totally. Meat principally contains saturated fats. Hence, it is not suggested for patients with jaundice.

3. Butter

Large quantities of butter or elucidated margarine are bad for your health can cause negative effects on your health. Butter is a source of saturated fat which ought to be abstained from during the recovery period as it gives extra workload to your liver making it difficult to near a cure.

4. Pulses

Any pulses, that are rich in fibre are to be avoided while one is suffering from jaundice. Apart from the fibre content, the protein content in the pulses to make it difficult for your liver to function.

5. Egg

Containing high amounts of protein and fat, eggs are extremely difficult to be digested. Since the liver plays an important role in protein metabolism, diet containing high protein such as eggs should be avoided.

Basically, limit your intake of iron, fat, sugar and salt.

View Article References
  1. [1] Gourley, G. R., Kreamer, B., & Arend, R. (1992). The effect of diet on feces and jaundice during the first 3 weeks of life. Gastroenterology, 103(2), 660-667.
  2. [2] Shah, N. I., Buchh, F., & Khan, N. (2019). Dietary Modification and Adequacy Among Jaundice Patients. Research & Reviews: A Journal of Health Professions, 5(1), 27-31.
  3. [3] Parker, R., & Neuberger, J. M. (2017). Alcohol, diet and drug use preceding alcoholic hepatitis. Digestive Diseases, 36, 298-305.
  4. [4] Parker, R., & Neuberger, J. M. (2018). Alcohol, diet and drug use preceding alcoholic hepatitis. Digestive Diseases, 36, 298-305.
  5. [5] Syed, A. (2018). Jaundice it is not a disease, it is a symptom of several possible underlying illnesses. Int. J. Curr. Res. Med. Sci, 4(11), 16-26.
  6. [6] Roshandel, H. R. S., Ghadimi, F., & Roshandel, R. S. (2017). A study to assess the effect of Iranian traditional medicine regimen for women in prevention of neonatal non-physiologic jaundice.
  7. [7] Abbas, M. W., Shamshad, T., Ashraf, M. A., & Javaid, R. (2016). Jaundice: a basic review. Int J Res Med Sci, 4(5), 1313-1319.
  8. [8] Chen, Z., Liu, Y., & Wang, P. (2018). Research progress on relationship between bile acids and intestinal mucosal mechanical barrier function. Chinese Journal of Digestive Surgery, 17(9), 967-970.
  9. [9] Manouchehrian, M., Shakiba, M., Shariat, M., Kamalinejad, M., Pasalar, M., Jafarian, A. A., ... & Keighobady, N. (2017). Efficacy of Maternal Chicory Aroma Water Consumption for Neonatal Jaundice: A Randomized Single-Blind Clinical Trial. Galen Medical Journal, 6(4), 312-318.
  10. [10] Lloyd, D. F. (2016). Dilated Cardiomyopathy: Think of the Diet. In Practical Pediatric Cardiology (pp. 109-115). Springer, London.
  11. [11] Bajaj, J. S., Idilman, R., Mabudian, L., Hood, M., Fagan, A., Turan, D., ... & Hylemon, P. B. (2018). Diet affects gut microbiota and modulates hospitalization risk differentially in an international cirrhosis cohort. Hepatology, 68(1), 234-247.
  12. [12] Kiss, E., Balogh, L., & Reismann, P. (2017). Diet treatment of classical galactosemia. Orvosi hetilap, 158(47), 1864-1867.
  13. [13] Peterson, E. A., Polgar, Z., Devakanmalai, G. S., Li, Y., Jaber, F. L., Zhang, W., ... & Quispe‐Tintaya, W. (2019). Genes and Pathways Promoting Long‐Term Liver Repopulation by Ex Vivo hYAP‐ERT2 Transduced Hepatocytes and Treatment of Jaundice in Gunn Rats. Hepatology communications, 3(1), 129-146.
  14. [14] Tong, D. P., Wu, L. Q., Chen, X. P., & Li, Y. (2018). Post‐operative care of interventional therapy for 40 liver cancer patients with obstructive jaundice. European journal of cancer care, 27(4), e12858.
  15. [15] Cantarella, C. D., Ragusa, D., & Tosi, M. (2018). Insights into maternal diet for the prevention of childhood leukaemia.
  16. [16] Opie, R. S., Neff, M., & Tierney, A. C. (2016). A behavioural nutrition intervention for obese pregnant women: Effects on diet quality, weight gain and the incidence of gestational diabetes. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, 56(4), 364-373.
  17. [17] Martínez-Cecilia, D., Reyes-Díaz, M., Ruiz-Rabelo, J., Gomez-Alvarez, M., Villanueva, C. M., Álamo, J., ... & Padillo, F. J. (2016). Oxidative stress influence on renal dysfunction in patients with obstructive jaundice: A case and control prospective study. Redox biology, 8, 160-164.

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