Tuberculosis is a potentially severe infectious ailment that primarily affects the lungs. It is caused by the bacteria Mycobacterium tuberculosis, which spreads from person to person via tiny air droplets released into the air via sneeze and cough. If left untreated TB and not taken care of properly, it can be fatal and people who are undernourished are at a higher risk of developing TB and even relapse of infection after treatment. Several strains of tuberculosis resist the drugs that are used to treat the disease, while people with active tuberculosis should take antibiotics for months to thwart the infection and avert antibiotic resistance. The common symptoms of active TB are a chronic cough with blood-stained sputum, fever, night sweats and weight loss. Some of the general signs and symptoms include fever, chills, poor appetite, fatigue, and shortness of breath.

TB is a vicious cycle poor nutrition can promote the tenacity of active tuberculosis disease, and active TB can lead to aggravating malnutrition. Thus, it is essential to provide your body the essential vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and other nutrients it requires to beat active tuberculosis and regain stamina and strength, you need to eat a wholesome and balanced diet comprising a variety of healthy foods.

Also Read: Tuberculosis: Diagnosis, Causes, Symptoms And Treatment
Tuberculosis Diet

Dietary Guidelines:

Adding superior quality protein in the meal plan helps to build a robust immune system, the first-line defence mechanism of the body. Protein deficiency may potentially have a detrimental effect on the body’s ability to combat tuberculosis. Dairy and dairy products, lean meats, pulses, and legumes are some of the complete sources of protein-rich foods, have at least 2-3 serving daily.

Whole grain cereals, pulses and sprouted legumes help to meet the demands of dietary fibre, which supports keeping the gut microbiome healthy and eliminates toxins from the diet.

Add energy-dense foods like banana, cereal porridge, boiled peanut, sooji upma, dahlia kichadi and sprouted ragi porridge to meet increasing needs of calories for recuperating.

Load up with a rich array of fruits and vegetables heaped with antioxidants and vitamins A, C, and E to trigger the immune response and avert free radical’s damage.

Get adequate micronutrients like vitamins A, E and D3 and minerals selenium, zinc and iron which are essential for a healthy immune system. Include yellow-orange fruits and vegetables like orange, mango, papaya, pumpkin, carrots heaped in vitamin A, while vitamin C needs are met by including citrus fruits and vegetables like capsicum, potato, spinach, winter squash and tomato. Nuts and seeds are heaped with vitamin E.

Include green leafy vegetables twice or thrice a week to enrich iron content in the diet.

Key micronutrients like selenium and zinc are vital for triggering immune activity. Mushrooms, nuts, and seeds including sunflower seeds, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, sesame, and flax seeds are rich sources of both selenium and zinc.

Prefer a healthy source of unsaturated fats from nuts and seeds. Include oil such as olive oil, coconut oil, groundnut oil, sunflower oil, instead of butter or margarine.

Foods To Avoid

Limit intake of refined carbs such as maida and sugar-laden foods as they offer only empty calories devoid of nutrients.

Deep-fried foods and junk foods packed with saturated fats and trans-fat would worsen symptoms associated with TB such as diarrhoea, abdominal cramps, and fatigue.

Totally steer clear of alcohol during the entire period of treatment, as it can interfere with treatment and may result in side effects.

Avoid taking excessive caffeine and carbonated beverages.


Strictly adhering to a healthy diet regimen and following a disciplined lifestyle may help TB patients to convalesce well and improve their overall health status. However, it is important to take TB medications regularly and complete the course of treatment as prescribed by the healthcare provider. Though, initially, tuberculosis medications may cause certain side effects that may lead to nausea, upset tummy or poor appetite, in such situations seek advice from your healthcare provider on ways to manage.