The type of foods to eat while living with HIV is very essential to your health. Eating a healthy balanced diet to keep you stronger and maintain your actual body weight matters a lot.
For instance, a nutritious diet boosts your immune system, and further helps fight off infections.
Focusing on exercise and a healthy balanced diet as you take your medications also ease issues brought on by HIV and its treatments.
Furthermore, a healthy balanced diet improves your energy and general body health.
In addition, you can stay over 50 years with the HIV virus, when you start the exercise and change your diet.
What you need to know, exercise is as crucial as food, it protects your body against other chronic illnesses associated with the HIV virus.
Exercise also improves moods, sleep, brain health, and reduces anxiety.
It is advisable to change your diet immediately you are tested HIV positive.
Poor dietary choices and a sedentary lifestyle reduces the body’s immune system and must be rectified.
They might worsen your health conditions and reducing your CD4 counts.
Therefore, drugs ministered to you cannot work effectively to fight HIV viruses.
What is the immune system?
Body immune systems are the activities that are carried out by the organs to fight off infections and toxins.
These organs may include thymus and tonsils, bone marrow and lymphatic system, and white blood cells, they work together to protect the body.
For instance, the spleen filters the blood by removing worn-out cells, therefore, helps the immune system to kill bacteria and other toxic substances.
What are the foods that boost the immune system?
Eating food that are rich in boosting the immune system are very recommended for effective body function and to help fight off HIV infections.
Here are foods to eat while living with HIV to stay healthy and stronger.
Vegetables are packed with the most essential nutrients.
They contain vitamins, minerals, and fibers.
In addition, vegetable has antioxidant properties that help fight off infection.
Vitamins and minerals, on the other hand, help boost the immune system and other body functions.
For that very reason, vegetables are essential types of foods to eat while living with HIV; they make you to stay healthy and stronger throughout the day.
Finally, vegetables protect you from other complications such as blood pressure heart attack, diabetes, and body inflammation. Below are examples of vegetables:
- Swiss chards
There are several vegetable foods to eat can make you stay healthy and stronger as you live with the HIV virus.
Eat plenty of fruits especially when living with HIV/AIDs. Fruits are high in vitamins.
They contain antioxidants that fight off infections and protect your immune system.
For you to stay healthy and stronger, ensure that there is fruits in your diet.
Examples of fruits that can boost your immune system are:
- Citrus fruits like grapefruits, and oranges
There are several whole fruits to eat that can make you stay healthy and stronger while living with HIV virus.
Another type of food to eat while living with HIV to stay healthy and stronger is green tea.
Did you know that green tea contains antioxidants that protects your immune system?
It also helps in blood pressure management and helps in weight loss.
Thus, reduces the lipodystrophy caused by excess fats, a potential side effect of HIV.
The antioxidant available in green tea also helps protect cells from DNA damage caused by free radicals.
Green tea is very essential as compared to milk tea, coffee, or chocolate tea.
Ensure you drink enough green tea to stay healthy and stronger.
Replace flavored drinks with porridge. Porridge contains essential nutrients that help boost the immune system.
It increases your energy level and enhances the effectiveness of the ARV drugs that you use to boost and fight off infections.
Studies show that drinking porridge improves your body’s immune system and ease issues brought on by HIV and its treatments.
Consider drinking porridge anytime you take ARV drugs to stay healthy and stronger.
Chamomile tea is an essential type of drink that you need to intake while living with HIV.
It contains apigenin, an antioxidant that helps improve body immune system to fight off HIV infections and reduce the risk of anxiety disorders.
It also helps enhance sleep and nerve relaxation.
Research reveals that those taking 3 cups of chamomile tea gradually boost the immune system and reduce anxiety.
Thereby, achieve great sleep as compared to those given placebo.
Thereby, drinking chamomile tea help you stay healthy and stronger throughout the day.
Grains are loaded with fiber, minerals, and energy-boosting B vitamins and contain a decent amount of protein much healthier for your body.
Whole grain contains antioxidant that helps fight off infections.
In addition, eat plenty of fiber can lower your chances of getting fat deposits called lipodystrophy, a potential side effect of HIV.
For that matter, the whole grain is among the best type of foods to eat while living with HIV to stay healthy and stronger. They include:
- brown rice
- whole wheat bread
Oats are loaded with beta-glucans, soluble fibers that boost the rate of satiety and promotes metabolism.
It also helps in reducing the risk of stomach cancer
Brown rice contains a great amount of resistant starch.
Specifically, if cooked and then eaten after some time when it is cool, makes you stay healthy and stronger.
Note: The refined grains are not healthy, in most cases, you find that “whole grains” on the label or the supermarket sold grains label.
They are highly processed junk foods that are disastrous to your health and can cause chronic illness.
A very important natural type of food to eat while living with HIV is cinnamon.
Cinnamon has several health benefits including reduction of blood sugar and ease inflammation.
Furthermore, cinnamon may help prevent the spread of HIV virus cells. Cinnamon also reduces tumor size.
For better health, include cinnamon in your diet to reduce tumor, blood sugar, and inflammation, thus makes you stay healthy and stronger.
Most essential type of foods to eat while living with HIV/AIDS is omega-3 fatty acids. This is due to their several health benefits.
Omega-3 fatty acids help build muscle and a strong immune system.
It also reduces inflammations, type 2 diabetes, blood pressure, and lower cholesterol level.
Study shows that omega-3 fatty acids help boost body immune system and ease issues brought on by HIV and its treatments. Here are foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids:
- lean beef
- Fatty fish
- Nut oils
It is advisable to eat fatty fish 3 times per week to get enough of omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D, and to utilize the potential health benefits of these nutrients for better health.
Nuts and Seeds
Whole food like nuts and seeds are rich in fiber, minerals, and other vegetarian protein.
Nuts and seeds have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
Therefore, eating nuts and seeds may improve your immune system to fight against HIV infection.
It can further reduce heart disease, blood pressure, diabetes, and a certain type of cancer.
Consider including nuts and seeds in your diet, as they are the foods to eat while living with HIV/AIDS to healthy and stronger.
Here are examples as of nuts and Almonds
- Brazil nuts,
- Sunflower seeds
- pumpkin seeds
- chia seeds
- hemp seeds
Did you know there are a good number of edible mushrooms that are nutritious and can help you stay healthy while living with the HIV virus?
Mushrooms contain vitamin A, potassium, fiber, and an array of antioxidants.
This helps improve the body immune system to protect you against infections, thus, enable you to stay healthy.
It also helps in reducing inflammation in the body.
Eating mushrooms is more satisfying and helps reduce the intake of high calories.
The following are examples of mushroom:
They contain potassium, fiber, and vitamins A and C. Minerals and vitamins help boost the immune system that fights off diseases.
Sweet potatoes are rich in energy-giving and antioxidant, and this ease issues brought on by HIV and its treatments.
In addition, sweet potatoes contain carotenoids.
The carotenoids may help reduce the risk of developing chronic illness.
Note: sweet potatoes do not increase blood sugar.
However, it regulates blood sugar in those with type 2 diabetes, thus, enable you to stay healthy and stronger.
Chili Peppers Spice
Did you know chili peppers contain capsaicin? Capsaicin helps prevent the growth and spread of the HIV virus.
Chili peppers also help in the treatment of pain and help in eye health.
Nevertheless, the intake of too much chili pepper may cause irritation to your digestive tract.
Therefore, take a small quantity to stay healthy.
Some people purchase a capsaicin supplement to improve their immune system.
However, supplements may have a severe side effects. Instead, go the natural way and use chili pepper for better health.
A good natural spice to include in your diet is garlic.
Garlic contains vitamin C, vitamin B6, selenium, manganese, and fiber.
Therefore, it has been used for years as a medicine.
It helps reduce cholesterol levels, and blood pressure.
Furthermore, it aids in supporting the body immune system that fight off HIV infections and help you stay healthy.
In addition, garlic has distinctive taste and aroma when used as a spice.
Turmeric is one of the natural ingredients that contains curcumin.
The curcumin is rich in anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
Research shows that curcumin may be effective in treating and preventing chronic diseases such as heart disease and diabetes, and HIV.
In addition, turmeric helps improve the body immune system, therefore, protect the body from infections.
However, turmeric is not easy to absorb, but when mixed with fats and spices such as black pepper it can be absorbed faster.
So, consider turmeric spice in your diet to help you stay healthy.
Another type of spice to include in your foods to eat while living with HIV is ginger.
It can be used as either a culinary flavor enhancer or a medicinal herb.
As a medicine, ginger contains antioxidants, such as gingerol, that helps in several body health functions.
For instance, ginger helps in controlling nausea and reducing pain from acute and chronic inflammatory conditions.
In addition, the intake of ginger improves the body’s immune system and may help minimize the risk of heart disease, dementia and prevent the spread of tumor size.
On the other hand, ginger can be used as a culinary flavor enhancer, due to its sweet aroma, to improve food flavor.
In general, ginger helps in boosting body functions and defend you against disease infections and help you to stay healthy while living with HIV.
Eat Cottage cheese
Cottage cheese is packed with calcium, phosphorus, B vitamins, and selenium.
More so, adding cottage cheese to your diet may minimize cholesterol, blood pressure, and aids in supporting the immune system.
Therefore, cottage cheese is some of the type of foods to eat while living with HIV to stay healthy and stronger.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Vinegar has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
For that very reason, it helps boost the immune system and reduces body inflammation.
Especially, if added to your diet, apple cider vinegar may help curb your risk of heart disease, HIV infection, lower cholesterol, and blood sugar
In addition, apple cider vinegar also helps in weight loss thus, reduces the lipodystrophy caused by excess fats, a potential side effect of HIV.
Therefore, apple cider vinegar is the type of food to eat to stay healthy while living with HIV/AIDs.
Have healthy fats in moderation
Avoid saturated fats and transfat in your diet.
They contain harmful substances that increase blood pressure, cholesterol level and other chronic diseases.
Go for unsaturated fats like monounsaturated fatty acids available in olive oil and avocado.
The monounsaturated fatty acids contain antioxidants such as vitamins E and K, which improves the immune system.
Healthy fats reduce inflammation; prevent heart disease, diabetes, and metabolic syndrome.
NOTE: Always read the labels of foodstuffs you purchase in supermarkets, and any case labeled partially hydrogenated oil, and then know it has saturated fats and transfat.
Avocado, olive oil, nut oil are some of the foods to eat to stay healthy
Avoid added sugar foods
If you want to stay healthy and strong while living with HIV, then you need to avoid added sugar foodstuffs.
Too much sugar can increase heart disease and blood pressure.
This is linked to reduce the immune system and thus, can worsen issues brought on by HIV and its treatments.
Furthermore, added sugar foods and drinks may increase body inflammations and cholesterol levels.
For all these reasons, avoid added sugar foods and drinks to stay healthy.
Limit salt in your Meals
Did you know, too much sodium in food may have a side effect on the body’s neurological system
Furthermore, too much salt damages the immune system and this worsens issues brought on by HIV and its treatments.
Finally, too many salts can lead to weight gain, high blood pressure, water retention, and can trigger panic and depression.
For that matter, you should not have more than 2,300 milligrams of sodium per day to stay healthy.
Avoid Processed foods
Processed food and Refined flours contain saturated fats, trans fats, and a lot of sugar.
This can cause several chronic illnesses such as blood pressure, high cholesterol level, type 2 diabetes, heart attack, stroke, and obesity, which worsens your health conditions.
Also, avoid artificial food products, they contain a lot of added sugar.
Quit alcoholic consumption
Alcohol reduces serotonin production and blood flow.
Thus, reduces the body immune system and can worsen issues brought on by HIV and its treatments.
In addition, alcohol reduces the neurotransmitters in the brain.
This can cause other chronic disorders.
It can also cause the body’s system to slow down being that it is a depressant.
For you to stay healthy while living with HIV, avoid alcoholic drinks, and focus on a healthy diet to stay healthy.
Avoid smoking and drug abuse
Use of tobacco, marijuana, and illicit drugs such as opiates can affect blood flow reducing the production of serotonin.
Therefore, reduces immune system and this can cause chronic diseases such as heart disease, high blood pressure, erectile dysfunction, stroke, and diabetes.
Quit smoking and drug abuse are very important to general health. Replace the drugs with foods to stay healthy
You can consult a dietitian to help develop a meal plan tailored to stay healthy while living with HIV.
You can as well, See your doctor about any problems related to diet or weight.
Energy-dense foods are very important as they ease issues brought on by HIV and its treatments.
Avoid processed foods, added sugars, smoking, drug abuse, saturated fats, and transfat to stay healthy.
Do not forget to exercise regularly.