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Diet For Recovering From Jaundice

Recovering from jaundice involves a carefully balanced diet to aid your liver's healing process. This article provides insights into the ideal dietary choices and habits that can promote a speedy recovery from jaundice.

  • 06 Nov 2023
  • 3 min read

Jaundice is an illness resulting from the accumulation of bilirubin (a yellow pigment) in the body. Bilirubin is a waste material that gets accumulated in the blood if the liver is not properly functioning. The accumulation of 2 to 3 mg/dL bilirubin in the blood causes the skin, nails, gums and eyes to become yellow. Although jaundice can affect people of all ages, newborns and older adults are most susceptible to it. The liver plays an important role in the digestion of fats, nutrient uptake, detoxification, and processing of medication. As jaundice occurs mainly due to liver dysfunction, people with jaundice are advised which foods to avoid and which foods to include. Let’s look at some of the foods to avoid when recovering from jaundice.


List of foods to include in the diet during jaundice

Diet plays a major role during the recovery period from jaundice; therefore, a healthcare provider may include jaundice treatment foods for better recovery. Foods and drinks for better jaundice recovery are water, fibre, fresh fruits and vegetables, coffee and herbal tea, whole grains, nuts and legumes, and lean proteins. Water provides hydration, helps in digestion, and also helps flush out toxins. Fresh vegetables and fruits contain liver-friendly nutrients, antioxidants, and fibre that prevent liver damage and ease the digestion process. Melons, cranberries, grapes, blueberries, lemons, grapefruits, papaya, avocado, olives, pumpkin, yams, carrots, broccoli, sprouts and cauliflower are great foods to eat during or after a bout of jaundice. Whole fruits are more beneficial due to their high fibre and low calorie content in comparison to juices.

Studies found that drinking coffee and green tea has been associated with reducing liver-related conditions and improving liver markers. High fibre content, antioxidants, and healthy fats in nuts and legumes are beneficial for the liver's health and functions. Tofu, fish, skinless chicken breasts, eggs, and legumes are sources of lean proteins that put less stress on the liver, making them good food for jaundice. Fish, especially those that contain omega-3 and zinc, can be beneficial for liver metabolic functioning.

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List of foods to avoid in the diet during jaundice

Jaundice is caused by the dysfunction of the liver; therefore, all the foods and drinks that contribute to additional liver damage need to be excluded from the diet. Some foods and drinks that can further damage the liver include alcohol, saturated and trans fats, refined sugar, packaged canned and smoked foods, sodium, raw or undercooked fish, shellfish, beef, and pork. Alcohol consumption in excess can cause liver inflammation and fibrosis; hence it needs to be avoided. Excessive use of refined sugar can result in weight gain and diabetes, which may worsen liver damage. Canned and packaged foods contain huge amounts of preservatives and salt, which can dehydrate the body, make metabolism difficult, and put pressure on the liver. Toxins and infectious agents (viruses and bacteria) present in raw or undercooked fish can damage the liver. Foods like beef and pork have a lot of amino acids and lipids that are tough to digest and put a lot of strain on an already damaged liver.



Dietary habits during jaundice can significantly affect the recovery process. For better recovery from an illness like jaundice, it is good to keep a food diary, which can help with sticking to the dietary plan. Talking with a healthcare provider or dietician can also be helpful in meeting the daily recommended nutritional needs for faster recovery.

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