Illnesses and foods to avoid


Diet therapy in different illnesses is a big subject and deserves a complete book in itself. This chapter only touches it briefly for general guidance of readers. Readers who want to go into more details had better refer separate books pertaining to these illnesses.


o Cut down chocolates and sweets, highly salted snacks and extra sugar.

o Eat plenty of shellfish, nuts etc., for zinc and fresh fruits and vegetables for vitamin C.


o Avoid undercooked and unwashed foods, raw or lightly cooked eggs, unpasteurised dairy products

o Cut down on tea, coffee, colas and alcohol

o Eat plenty of wholegrains, fruits & vegetables, nuts & oily fish, eggs and pasteurised dairy products.


o Avoid drinking tea with meals since tannin in tea inhibits absorption of iron from food.

o Eat plenty of fortified breakfast cereals, fresh green vegetables and fish for iron.


o Cut down on highly refined foods, saturated fats, sugar and salt for osteoarthritis.

o Eat plenty of wholegrain cereals, fresh fruits and vegetables for osteoarthritis; soyabeans and tofu & fish for rheumatoid arthritis.


o Avoid foods that trigger attacks according to your susceptibility (e.g., foods containing additives-benzoates, sulphites or gallates; cider, wine and beer; Bread & blue cheeses; Food’s drinks & snacks containing colourings; Cow’s milk, cereals, eggs, fish and nuts (especially peanuts).

o Eat plenty of foods rich in B vitamins such as green leafy vegetables and pulses and rich in magnesium such as sunflower seeds and dried figs.


o Avoid smoking, physical inactivity and obesity.

o Cut down on saturated fats, coffee and eggs.

o Eat plenty of fruits & vegetables, oily fish.


o Cut down on coffee, tea and other drinks containing caffeine; Fat & sugar if you are overweight; rice for reducing ‘vayu’ in body (‘vata’ dosha in ayurveda).

o Eat plenty of cabbages, guava, papaya and kiwi fruit for vitamin C and oily fish.

Bad breath

o Avoid Garlic, onion, alcohol and all tobacco products.

o Cut down on sugar, sweets, sweet drinks, cakes and biscuits to protect the teeth and gums and reduce plaque.

o Take plenty of raw vegetables and apples to help to protect the gums; ginger, mustard & cinnamon (Dalchini) for the sinuses; wholegrain cereals and water to avoid constipation; carrots, broccoli, spinach and citrus fruits for beta carotene and Vit. C.

Blood pressure

o Avoid salty food and added salt, pickled foods, fats especially saturated fats, excessive amount of alcohol.

o Eat plenty of fresh fruits & vegetables and oily fish.


o Avoid smoking.

o Cut down on Alcohol and caffeine.

o Eat plenty of fresh fruits & vegetables, pumpkin seeds and oily fish.


o Avoid Alcohol, highly spiced foods & pickles and barbequed foods.

o Cut down on fatty foods and salt

o Eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables and complex carbohydrates such as potatoes, brown rice and wholegrain bread and pasta.


o Avoid solid foods and mucus forming foods (e.g. milk, curd, pulses such as urad, massoor, rajmah, chana, fatty and fried foods etc.)

o Take plenty of Vit. C, garlic and onion (which act as natural decongestants), fluids to help prevent dehydration.


o Avoid bran, nuts, seeds and sweetcorn.

o Eat plenty of fruits and cooked green leafy vegetables for soluble fibre, foods rich in beta carotene, oily fish for vitamin D.


o Cut down on refined carbohydrates.

o Take plenty of water about 2 litres a day, take unpeeled fruits, green leafy vegetables, wholegrain cereals and wholemeal bread for insoluble fibre.


o Take plenty of water before, during and after exercise to prevent dehydration, foods rich in calcium such as dairy products and fish, nuts & seeds for magnesium, vitamin B2 (riboflavin) from fortified breakfast cereals and yoghurt, avocados and vegetable oils for vitamin E and fish or eggs for vitamin B12 if the problem is night cramps.

Cystitis (bladder infection)

o Cut down on hot spicy foods and tea, coffee & fizzy drinks.

o Take plenty of water or other fluids and-cranberry juice.


o Avoid being overweight.

o Cut down on sugary sweetened soft drinks, cakes, confectionery and chocolate; Limit salt and salty foods; Reduce alcohol intake; Cut down on fats.

o Eat regular meals; Eat more starchy & high fibre foods such as wholemeal bread, beans, peas and lintels; Eat lot of fresh fruits & vegetables for soluble fibres & vitamins but beware of very sweet fruits such as grapes or mangoes or dates; Drink water or sugar free drinks.


o Avoid all foods (except those listed below) for the first 48 hours.

o Take plenty of water to replace lost fluid, Bananas for potassium, boiled white rice for low fibre carbohydrate and apples.

Note: Alcohol & caffeine shouldn’t be consumed by the person for at least 2 days after the symptoms have gone.


o Avoid any foods that exacerbate or trigger your eczema such as milk and eggs. Avoid touching materials or foods known to cause contact dermatitis.


o Avoid smoking.

o Eat plenty of foods that provide vitamin C such as citrus fruits and blackcurrants; Foods containing beta carotene such as carrots, apricots and spinach; Foods that supply vitamin E such as wholegrain cereals and sunflower oil.


o Avoid excessive amount of alcohol and evening primrose oil.

o Take plenty of pulses to supply vitamin B6, zinc and magnesium; calcium-rich dairy products especially milk that has been fortified with vitamin D; Rice, wholemeal bread, pineapple, blackberries and figs for manganese.

Eye disorders

o Eat plenty of carrots, sweet potatoes and dark green vegetables for beta carotene; Fruits and vegetables for vitamin C; Nuts, fish, wholegrains, seeds and green vegetables for their B-vitamins; Seed oils, wheatgerm and avocados for vitamin E.


o Cut down on sugar, cakes, biscuits and sweets; Caffeine in tea, coffee and colas; Alcohol.

o Eat plenty of iron rich foods, zinc rich foods, dark green vegetables for folate, complex carbohydrates, fish and egg for vit. B12.


o Avoid all hard to digest foods.

o Take plenty of fluids, especially fruit juices and small light meals like khichari.


o Cut down on pulses such as peas, beans and lentils; Brussels sprouts, cabbage and artichokes.

o Take plenty of yoghurt, herbs known to aid digestion, peppermint and fennel teas.


o Avoid bran products, unleavened bread and brown rice.

o Eat plenty of dairy products, nuts and pulses which are good sources of calcium; Oily fish for vitamin D.


o Avoid fried and fatty food and obesity.

o Eat plenty of starchy foods, such as bread and rice, fresh fruit and vegetables, oat bran and pulses for soluble fibre.


o Avoid all foods (except as mentioned below) for the first 48 hours.

o Take plenty of water to replace lost fluid, Bananas for potassium, boiled white rice and dry white toast for low fibre carbohydrate, apples to cleanse the digestive system.


o Avoid curries and other hot and spicy foods.

o Cut down on refined carbohydrates.

o Take plenty of apples, beans, oats, pears and cooked green leafy vegetables for their soluble fibre, wholemeal bread and brown rice for insoluble fibre and water.

Hair and Scalp problems

o Eat plenty of dark green leafy vegetables, carrots, sweet potatoes and egg for beta carotene and vitamin A; vegetable oils, nuts and oily fish for essential fatty acids; fish and pumpkin seeds for zinc.


o Cut down on excessive caffeine in coffee, strong tea and cola drinks and alcohol.

o Eat plenty of regular light meals to prevent low blood sugar levels; cold-pressed vegetable oils; avocados, nuts and seeds for vitamin E.

Immune system weakness

o Cut down on animal fats, sugar, alcohol, caffeine and highly processed carbohydrates.

o Eat plenty of protein rich foods; citrus fruits for Vit. C, vegetable oils for Vit. E, spinach, sweet potatoes and carrots which supply beta carotene.


o Cut down on Alcohol, coffee, tea, cola drinks and smoking.

o Eat plenty of zinc rich foods.


o Avoid heavy or fatty meals at night and smoking.

o Cut down on (i) Alcohol (ii) refined carbohydrates (iii) deep fried foods and other foods with a high fat content (iv) coffee (v) fizzy drinks.

o Eat plenty of (i) fresh fruits (ii) vegetables & vegetable juices, (iii) herbs & certain spices to improve digestion, (iv) more water (v) small frequents meals.


o Cut down on alcohol, tea and highly refined foods.

o Eat plenty of (i) Citrus fruits for Vit. C (ii) Nuts, sunflower & sesame seeds & shellfish for zinc (iii) Iron rich foods (iv) Brown rice, wheatgerm, pulses, oily fish and fresh nuts for Vit. B & E (v) Soyabeans, almonds and wholemeal bread for magnesium.


o Take plenty of fluids specially diluted fruit juices, small light meals (such as khichri), Garlic which has antiviral properties.


o Avoid late night meals that are greasy, spicy, rich or heavy.

o Cut down on caffeine found in coffee, tea, cola drinks and chocolate.

o Take plenty of (i) Sweetened milky malted bedtime drinks or other hot drinks with honey (ii) Starchy foods such as pasta, rice and potatoes in the evening meal.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome

o Avoid bran and foods that are known to produce wind such as peas, lentils and beans.

o Cut down on high fibre breakfast cereals.

o Take plenty of fresh fruits & vegetables which provide soluble fibre, live natural yoghurt and six glasses of water a day.


o Avoid alcohol.

o Cut down on spicy and fatty foods.

o Eat plenty of soyabean, egg & fish for protein, iron and B vitamins; green cabbage and pulses for folate; Oats etc., which are good sources of fibre.

Joint problems

o Avoid obesity.

o Eat plenty of (i) Fresh fruits & vegetables for beta carotene and Vit. C (ii) Avocados, nuts and sunflower seeds for Vit. E (iii) Oily fish & shellfish for essential fatty acids (iv) Wholegrains, cereals and, eggs for selenium.


o Avoid (i) Foods which may be contaminated with bacteria or viruses such as shellfish, unpasteurised milk products and underworked meats (ii) Smoking (iii) Alcohol.

o Eat plenty of (i) Fresh fruits and vegetables for Vit. C (ii) Wholegrains, wheatgerm, molasses, nuts, pulses, fish and green leafy vegetables for B-vitamins.

Liver disorders

o Avoid alcohol and heavily spiced foods.

o Cut down on (i) Saturated fat from meats & dairy products (ii) Sugars (iii) Coffee & tea.

o Take plenty of (i) Foods rich in Vit. C such as citrus fruits and strawberries (ii) Vit. B12 found in fish and eggs (iii) Folate found in green vegetables & fruits.


o Avoid spicy and fried foods.

o Take plenty of (i) Fluids including diluted fruit juices (ii) Light meals including foods that supply vitamin A (iii) Fruits & vegetable that are rich in vitamin C.

Premenstrual syndrome (PMs)

o Avoid alcohol.

o Cut down on Salt & Caffeine (in tea, coffee etc.)

o Eat plenty of (i) Small frequent meals high in carbohydrate & low in fat (ii) Foods containing Vit. B6 such as fish and wholegrains.


o Avoid (specially during attack) (i) Four ‘Cs’-Chocolate, Cheese, Citrus fruits, Coffee (ii) Alcohol (iii) Garlic, onion, back grapes (iv) Tea (v) All eatables having ‘tyramine’ e.g., dates, bananas, spinach, eggs, broad beans, soya sauce, fig, prunes etc. (vi) Chinese food (Monosodium gluconate (MSG) in Chinese foods often triggers migraines attack) (vii) Nitrates and Nitrites used as preservatives for some foods.

o Take plenty of (i) Regular light meals to prevent a drop in blood sugar levels (ii) Ginger in cooking or freshly grated with boiling water as a tea (iii) Magnesium rich foods.

Mouth Ulcers

o Avoid (i) Salt and salty foods such us chips (ii) Acidic foods such as pickles (iii) Sweets (iv) Alcohol.

o Eat plenty of (i) Dark green leafy vegetables and wholegrains for their folate (ii) Milk and potatoes for B-vitamins (iii) Foods rich in zinc such as shellfish and nuts.

Multiple Scelerosis

o Avoid alcohol & smoking.

o Cut down on saturated fat (dairy products & meat).

o Take plenty of (i) Wholegrains, cooked green leafy vegetables and fresh fruits for fibre and energy (ii) Water to avoid constipation (iii) Poly-unsaturated fats from sunflower, safflower, corn and soya oils and oily fish.

Muscular Dystrophy

o Cut down on snacks between meals and high calorie foods such as cakes, biscuits & fried foods.

o Take plenty of (i) Proteins (ii) Fibre from foods such as wholemeal bread, brown rice, vegetables and fresh fruits.

Nail Problems

o Avoid drinks like tea which contain tannin as it inhibits iron absorption especially if taken at meal times.

o Eat plenty of (i) iron (ii) Fish, pulses and nuts for zinc and selenium (iii) Citrus fruit and juice for vitamin C.


o Avoid (i) Full fat dairy products (ii) Fatty and sugary snacks such as biscuits, cakes, chips and nuts (iii) Nonveg foods containing high fat (iv) Alcohol.

o Eat plenty of (i) Complex carbohydrates found in pasta, potatoes, brown rice and wholegrain wheat (ii) Fresh fruit, vegetables, salads and pulses.


o Cut down on (i) Foods rich in phytic acid such as wheat bran, brown rice and nuts (ii) Foods containing oxalic acid such as spinach, chocolate (iii) Alcohol (iv) Salt (v) Caffeine.

o Take plenty of (i) Foods rich in calcium such as milk and dairy products (ii) Food sources of vitamin D such as oily fish and eggs (iii) Sensible exposure of skin to sunlight.


o Cut down on (i) Coffee, tea, chocolate and cola drinks which all contain caffeine (ii) Smoking (iii) Alcohol.

Parkinson’s Disease

o Take plenty of (i) Fibre rich wholegrains, prunes, fresh fruits and vegetables to relieve constipation and to provide vitamins B, C & E (ii) Fluids at least 1.7 litres a day.

Peptic Ulcers

o Cut down on Salt and soya sauce, spicy foods, caffeine in coffee, tea and cola drinks, Alcohol.

o Eat plenty of (i) Vegetables rich in beta carotene and fruits containing vitamin C (ii) Zinc rich food such as wholegrains.


o Avoid smoking and polluted environment.

o Take plenty of (i) Fluids especially fruit juices (ii) Fresh fruits & vegetables (iii) Oily fish, eggs and other good sources of vitamin A.

Prostate Problems

o Cut down on tea and coffee, alcohol and dairy products.

o Eat plenty of (i) Zinc rich foods such as shellfish (ii) Foods containing Vit. E particularly wheatgerm oil, nuts, seeds and green vegetables (iii) Oily fish (e.g., herring, sardines, mackerel).


o Eat plenty of (i) Fresh fruits and vegetables for vitamin C (ii) Shellfish and nuts for zinc (iii) Wholegrain cereals and pulses for B-Vitamins

(iv) Sunflower seeds, seed oils and avocados for Vit. E (v) Garlic and onions (vi) Decongestant herbs and spices such as ginger.

Sore Throat

o Avoid (i) Tobacco and alcohol (ii) Chilled water and drinks.

o Take plenty of (i) Fruits & vegetables for Vit. C (ii) Foods rich in Vit. A and beta-carotene such as carrots and spinach (iii) Oily fish for Vit. D (iv) Olive oil & avocados for Vit. E (v) Yoghurt to protect against the effects of antibiotics.


o Take Plenty of (i) Water (ii) Orange coloured fruits & vegetables and dark green leafy vegetables for beta carotene and Vit. C (iii) Nuts and wheatgerm for Vit. E and zinc (iv) Wholegrains, fish and pulses for their B-vitamins.


o Cut down on (i) Animal and dairy products which are high in saturated fats & cholesterol (ii) Salt, which raises blood pressure (iii) Smoking.

o Eat plenty of (i) Oily fish for Omega-3 fatty acids (ii) Oat bran and pulses for soluble fibre for reducing cholesterol (iii) Onion and garlic which may help to prevent blood clots.

Thyroid disorders

o Cut down on (i) Raw cabbage, turnips, peanuts and mustard which can inhibit the body’s ability to use iodine (ii) Smoking, alcohol and caffeine if the problem is an overactive thyroid gland.

Tooth and gum disorders

o Avoid (i) Sweet drinks and snacks between meals (ii) Sticky foods that lodge between the teeth (iii) Regular consumption of acid drinks.

o Eat plenty of (i) Calcium rich foods such as low fat milk, yoghurt and cheese (ii) Fresh fruits and vegetables for Vit. C.