Helpful Ways to Stay Healthy with HIVThere was a time when a diagnosis of HIV was essentially a diagnosis for a terminal illness. While HIV cannot be cured, there have been many advances in treating and managing the condition so that it does not lead to complications or AIDS. Because HIV damages the immune system, it is important to do things that will boost your immune system as much as possible. This is a very important way to stay healthy when you have been infected with HIV.Changes to Your DietOne of the most important things to remember is that you can stay healthier when you have HIV by making changes to your diet. There are many foods you could add to your diet, which will help to boost your immune system. Some of the foods you need to add to your diet include the following:VitaminsVitamins become very important to your health. There are numerous vitamins and minerals that you may be losing since you have lost a great deal of your appetite and since you may be suffering from nausea, diarrhea and vomiting. Some of the vitamins that you need to add in your diet include:
· Vitamin AThis vitamin will help to protect your skin, lungs, and digestive system. It can be found in papaya, apricots, mangoes, maize, carrots, squash, spinach, green peppers, peaches, egg yolks, liver, and sweet potatoes.· Vitamin CThis vitamin is very important for the immune system and it can help you recover from infections. Foods that include high amounts of vitamin C include tomatoes, potatoes, lemons, grapefruit, mangoes, guava, and oranges.· Vitamin BThe vitamins in the B group are very important to boosting the immune system. There are many foods that include vitamins in the B group, such as fish, watermelon, maize, whole grains, avocadoes, chicken, potatoes, and navy beans.
Other SupplementsIn addition to vitamins, there are minerals and metals that you need in order to stay healthy. It is important to choose foods which will add these supplements to your diet. They include the following:
· IronAnemia can be caused by iron deficiency if you are suffering from any type of blood loss. You can ensure you have enough iron through eating such foods as: whole grains, dried fruit, fish, eggs, liver, poultry, leafy greens, and seeds.· ZincZinc is a major contributor to your immune system levels. If you become deficient, you will find that you have less of an appetite, and it is very important to eat healthily when you are living with HIV. Foods that have high amounts of zinc include: whole grains, peanuts, dairy, beans, maize, and shellfish.· SeleniumThis mineral can help build your immune system as well. You can add to your selenium levels with such foods as: dairy, eggs, peanut butter, beans, poultry, fish, and different types of nuts.
How You Prepare FoodsWhen you cook your foods, you could be taking away their vitamins and nutrients. It is important to prepare your foods properly in order to keep as many of their vitamins as possible. Here are some cooking tips:
· Use as little water as possible to boil vegetables.· Do not soak vegetables for a long time.· Do not skin grains, beans, and kernels.· Choose unrefined grains and cereals.· Add bananas to recipes. The fiber in bananas will help your body process vitamins in other foods.
HIV can be a scary diagnosis. However, you can still live a healthy life while you are living with the virus. A big part of staying healthy while living with HIV includes choosing your diet carefully to get the vitamins and minerals your body needs.Valerie Johnston is a health and fitness writer located in East Texas. With ambitions of one day running a marathon, writing for Healthline.com ensures she keeps up-to-date on all of the latest health and fitness news.