Many of us have heard of hepatitis B. But do we all know what it is? Well, hepatitis B is a virus that affects the liver.
Many people get affected by acute hepatitis B, wherein the infection stays for a short period of time and then people recover with appropriate medication.
However, there are also cases where the infection lasts for a long term and is called chronic hepatitis B. Such a chronic situation is dangerous because over a period of time, it can damage your liver.
When kids and young children are affected by this virus, they usually get affected by chronic hepatitis B and proper treatment should be given.
The hepatitis B virus spreads through contact with the blood and body fluids of an infected person.
Some of the common reasons could be having sex with an infected person without the use of condom, a mother who has this virus can pass it on to her baby during delivery, sharing needles for injecting drugs with an infected person, getting a tattoo or piercing done with tools that were not sterilized or sharing personal items like razors or tooth brushes with an infected person.
Sometimes, you might have hepatitis B and might not even know because you do not know the symptoms. However, if you are affected by this virus, you may just have a feel that you have a flu.
Other symptoms could be feeling very tired, headache, mild fever, belly pain, loss of appetite, discomfort of the stomach, vomiting, dark urine, tan coloured bowel movements and yellowish eyes and skin. Once all these symptoms vanish, you get affected by jaundice.
Hepatitis B can be diagnosed with simple blood tests and it is essential to follow a healthy diet for this condition.
A bad diet can sometimes lead to liver problems. If you consume a high calorie diet, you may gain weight and overweight has a direct impact on the building up of fat in the liver, called "fatty liver".
With the World Hepatitis Day just around, we have listed some healthy diet tips that you might have to follow if you are suffering from hepatitis B.
Unrefined whole grains contain all the nutritional benefits of the grain kernel. This includes the bran and germ. Whole grains are rich in vitamin B, fibre, carbohydrates, minerals and proteins.
Whole grains are rich in important nutrients like vitamin B6, vitamin E, magnesium, zinc and copper. People with hepatitis B suffer from low energy and fatigue; hence, a fuel-rich diet of whole grains can help.
Hepatitis B patients should consume a lot of fruits. Apples, oranges, grapes and bananas are a few among them. Eating apples can help the hepatitis B patients to improve their immune system, greatly reducing the chance of suffering from a cold.
Oranges are rich in vitamin C and increase the body's ability to resist against bacteria, thereby enabling the hepatitis B patients to recover faster. It is good for these patients to eat bananas too, given the fact that this fruit has high calorific value.
Grapes consumed by hepatitis B patients can help them to recover their liver health, as they contain minerals like calcium, potassium, phosphorous, iron, protein and vitamins B1, B2, B6, C and P.
For hepatitis B patients, it is recommended that they eat about two and a half to three cups of vegetables without fail. They are full of essential nutrients and are easy to digest. Additionally, they also contain antioxidants, which can protect the liver cells from damage which is like a bonus for hepatitis B patients.
It is good to consume a mix of several veggies rather than sticking to a specific one. Spinach, carrots, mushrooms and natural fungus can help a lot, whereas, it is good to avoid celery, tomato, seaweed and cabbage. Starchy vegetables such as potatoes can also be consumed in minimal.
While it is required to include fats in your diet to stay healthy, it is important that you avoid trans-fats that are highly saturated. Certain oils like palm oil are highly saturated. A good alternative would be olive oil.
It is advised by doctors to consume at least 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil. Try to make your salad and food dressings with cold pressed olive oil. Other oils recommended for hepatitis B patients are canola oil and flaxseed oil.
Lean meat is also a part of healthy liver diet and can be consumed by hepatitis B patients; however, they should ensure that they do not eat red meat. Chicken is the best option here.
Protein is an essential building block that your body needs to repair and replace tissues that have been damaged. Eggs are a rich source of protein and very safe to be consumed by hepatitis B patients.
While soy products have lot of health benefits and are also a part of a healthy liver diet, it is vital to remember that you do not consume them in excessive amounts, which can be harmful. Limited quantities should work fine.
Other foods that constitute a healthy diet for hepatitis B patients include nuts, seeds, fish, poultry, tofu, whole milk, yogurt and cheese.
For hepatitis B patients, it is advisable to eat at least 3 meals a day. If you cannot eat proper quantities with your 3 meals, have smaller meals about 5-6 times a day.