What Foods Trigger Herpes Outbreaks
Should I Supplement Daily With Lysine?What should you do if you have frequent herpes outbreaks?
What foods are high in Lysine?
Most Vegetables and fruits
What foods are high in Arginine?
All nuts and nut products
Dried beans including soybeans and tofu
Protein shakes, multivitamins and body building supplements that contain arginine
The above food recommendations are meant to point you in the right direction towards managing your outbreaks and living a vibrant, healthy life. As discussed, there are many known triggers when it comes to herpes and certain foods. Each person with herpes is unique in their body and what things trigger a herpes outbreak. For those who are sensitive to foods, I highly recommend a Paleo style diet.
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Diet High In Lysine And Low In Arginine
In previous sessions I told you about the relationship between herpes and lysine and also between herpes and arginine.
You already know that lysine intake helps to prevent herpes outbreaks and arginine intake contributes to their appearance and increases their intensity and duration.
For this reason, your diet should be rich in lysine and poor in arginine.
You will achieve this purpose if you consume foods high in lysine and low in arginine such as milk and its derivatives.
A classic combination is to eat brown rice with cooked dried beans. While brown rice is rich in arginine, dried beans contain an excess of lysine that overcomes the lack of this amino acid in brown rice.
Popcorn contains more arginine than lysine, but people infected with the herpes virus can enjoy popcorn if they sprinkle it with nutritional yeast that adds a cheesy flavor.
Arginine is neutralized because one tablespoon of nutritional yeast contains 190 mg more lysine than arginine.
Fish, meats and dairy products are rich in lysine. However, eating too much of these protein-rich foods can raise your bodys acidity and cause a herpes outbreak. Moderation is the key.
If you cant get the foods you like to make up a diet high in lysine and low in arginine, you can use a lysine supplement.
What Questions Should I Ask My Doctor
You may want to ask your healthcare provider:
- What is the best treatment for me?
- What are the side effects of antiviral medications?
- How can I reduce the risk of future outbreaks?
- Whats the best way to prevent getting another STI?
- How can I protect my partner from getting genital herpes?
- Should I look out for signs of complications?
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Millions of people are living with the herpes virus that causes genital herpes. Its a common STI. You shouldnt be embarrassed or put off seeking medical care if you develop symptoms. Treatments can ease symptoms, reduce outbreaks and protect sexual partners from infection. Having the virus shouldnt affect your relationships or sexual health. However, you do need to tell your sexual partners that you have the virus. Your healthcare provider can discuss ways to prevent spreading this STI.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 11/23/2020.
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Which Foods Should You Avoid During An Outbreak
If you have symptomatic oral or genital herpes, youll likely experience outbreaks on occasion even with a flawless diet.
During a herpes outbreak, the best way to fight the virus and speed up healing is through the use of an antiviral medication such as valacyclovir. This is a prescription medication that youll need to talk about with your doctor.
While theres no proof that food can worsen or improve a herpes outbreak, many people with herpes report improvements after avoiding certain foods.
Avoiding foods with a herpes outbreak is tough, but generally, stay away from anything spicy, salty or oily, as these foods are most likely to irritate the lips and gums. Acidic drinks, like fruit juices, are also best avoided if you have open cold sores that could potentially become irritated.
Studies also show that arginine, an amino acid found in a variety of foods, can play a role in the spread of viruses such as herpes. Arginine has viral growth properties, meaning it may increase the rate at which viruses like HSV-1 and HSV-2 multiply in the body.
As such, its best stay away from foods high in arginine like turkey breast, pork loin, chicken breast, nuts , pumpkin seeds, chickpeas, soybeans, dairy products and lentils during an outbreak of herpes.
Instead, stick to a simple, healthy diet that gives you a complete supply of vitamins, minerals and essential nutrients without supply excessive amounts of arginine.
Key Foods That Cause Herpes Outbreaks
Some of the top questions that I see happening in our private community are around preventing outbreaks. You guys are asking is there something that is in my diet that is triggering this or is the someway I can control my outbreaks with nutrition. Basically, what can I do to prevent these dang things from interrupting my life? Ok so the YAASSSS you can. This is good news, right? Trust me, Im like you and I want to do everything I can to prevent an outbreak and keep that sucker dormant. Before we dive in and cover the top foods that cause outbreaks I want to make sure we cover the main reason why these foods are Xed off our list. It boils down to one simple protein called arginine. Arginine is an essential amino acid that is crucial to our overall health. It supports things like blood flow, circulation and helps the blood vessels relax. We clearly need arginine in our system. The problem occurs when we have an abundance of arginine in our body it can be like lighter fluid to a flame or miracle grow to a weed. We want to be aware of what foods are high in arginine and foods that trigger a herpes outbreak. We can combat the arginine with another essential acid called lysine. This The other biggie, why some of these foods are on our dont go there list, is because they lower our immune system. A low immune system equals a chance for the herpes virus to come out and play.
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Are Cold Sores Contagious
Oral herpes is contagious to others who do not have it.
The virus is spread from person to person by kissing, by close contact with herpes lesions, or from saliva even when sores are not present. Infected saliva is a common means of virus transmission. The contagious period is highest when people have active blisters or moist sores. Once the blisters have dried and crusted over , the risk of contagion is significantly lessened. HSV can also be spread through personal items that are contaminated with the virus, such as lipstick, utensils, and razors. Despite popular myth, catching herpes from surfaces, towels, or washcloths is a very low risk, since the virus does not usually survive long on dry surfaces.
Foods High In Arginine
Hazelnuts, walnuts, sesame flour, chocolate, black tea, coconut, oats, whole wheat, gelatin, peanuts, soybeans and wheat germ are foods rich in arginine. These foods also contain lysine, but the arginine content exceeds the lysine content.
Coconut water and coconut oil do not contain arginine and can be included in your diet.
If you are interested in the diet for herpes sufferers, you should know which foods are high in lysine and low in arginine.
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Diet Immunity And Cold Sores
If you get cold sores, eating a nutritious, well-balanced diet to support your immune system is important. The herpes simplex virus causes cold sores.1 Symptoms of the virus, such as painful blisters around the mouth, may reappear throughout the years. This is because the virus lies dormant in nerve cells in your skin, even if you dont see any cold sores when you look in the mirror.
Viral infections and fevers are a common cause of cold sores.2 In addition, people with weakened immune systems from certain conditions are most at risk for complications from the herpes simplex virus.3 Taking steps to support immunity, such as eating a healthy diet, is important for your lip health and overall health.
Although dietary recommendations vary from person to person, there are some dos and donts on foods to eat to support immune health:4
Best And Worst Foods For Herpes
Beverly Meyer, Clinical Nutritionist, MBA
As I write and speak about in this post and Podcast on Herpes or Shingles, the ratio of the amino acids Arginine to Lysine is the key. Arginine feeds all Herpes viruses . Arginine is balanced by Lysine. Reducing high Arginine foods, handling your stress, and taking a small dose of Lysine daily can be a big help. I also take a few Monolaurin every week as a preventative. My Olive Leaf is whole leaf I take it daily.
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Dating Sites For People With Herpes And What Foods Can Cause A Herpes Outbreak
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Lysine And Herpes Outbreaks
Lysine is an amino acid that human beings need and must obtain through the consumption of supplements or foods rich in proteins that contain it. Our organism is not able to synthesize lysine and that is why this amino acid is essential.
For this reason, the consumption of foods rich in lysine is a recommendation you should take into account in your diet.
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Adopting An Alkaline Diet
Watermelon: this is the easiest method because they are easy to eat with great taste and can improve the effectiveness of your alkaline diet. Fruits and vegetables in general are perfect for an alkaline diet.
Adding lemon to your water: a quick method to enhance your alkaline balance. Stay away from soda, or caffeinated drinks because they increase your arginine amount which will lead to outbreaks.
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What Typically Triggers Cold Sore Outbreaks
If you were diagnosed with the herpes simplex virus, especially type 1 , cold sore outbreaks may be common. While the virus may remain dormant during certain periods, when its triggered, you can expect to see cold sores.
While some people believe that food can trigger cold sore outbreaks, environmental factors are more likely to trigger an outbreak than anything else.
Exposure to hot sun, cold wind, a cold, or other illness is usually the cause of an unexpected cold sore outbreak. Fluctuating hormones might also be to blame.
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Sweets And Sugary Foods
Sugar is known to work against the bodys immune system. However, you rely heavily on your immune system to fight off the herpes virus. Therefore, sugary foods and drinks shouldnt be your companion.
Viruses such as herpes can be suppressed by sugar. You may also suffer from immune dysfunction if you consume too much sugar since it inhibits the bodys ability to absorb and utilize vitamins B and C. Itd be best not to eat sugary desserts like ice cream, chocolates, cake, and other sweet drinks.
Herpes In Kids And What Foods Can Cause A Herpes Outbreak
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What Are Cold Sores
Cold sores , sometimes called fever blisters, are groups of small blisters on the lip and around the mouth. Often the first sign of a cold sore is a spot that tingles, burns, itches, or causes discomfort. A blister usually forms within 6 to 48 hours. The skin around the blisters is often red, swollen, and sore. The blisters may break open, leak a clear fluid, and then scab over after a few days. They usually heal in several days to 2 weeks.
Colds Fever And Immunity Busters
Getting another illness like the common cold can bring on herpes outbreaks because your immune system is busy fighting the new thing.
A fever is popularly known to cause HSV-1 outbreaks, or cold sores, giving them the name fever blisters.
Those with compromised or taxed immune systems will have more frequent herpes outbreaks. After all, thats the reason things like UV light, which affects immunity, and fighting off other illnesses are outbreak triggers at all.
An immune system compromised by receiving chemotherapy can lead to more outbreaks, as can an immune system weakened by HIV.
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Foods That Trigger Herpes Recurrence
While some foods can aid your recovery during a herpes flare-up, others can increase the chances of a recurrence of this infection. Following are some food items you should avoid:
Sugar: Sugar is bad for the immune system. Sugar hinders a main component of our complex immune response, slowing down the white blood cells that attack pathogens in the body. Besides the obvious culprits like sugary sodas, sweets, cake and pastries, sugar can hide in many processed foods as well. If you want to boost your immune system to help you fight herpes, lower your sugar intake by reading food labels closely and replacing sugar with natural sweeteners such as fruits, dates, figs, etc.
Unhealthy fats: Saturated fats, which are typically fats that are solid at room temperature, are not good for your body. You can limit their consumption by avoiding foods such as fatty meat, butter and cheese. Coconut and palm oils also have a high saturated fat content. Packaged and preserved foods are also known for high trans fat content and bad quality of oil. Choosing low-fat foods or those with unsaturated fat such as olive oil, sunflower oil, flaxseed oil, walnut, etc to boost your immune response and help keep herpes flare-ups at bay.
The Importance Of Balance
If youre having trouble giving up these arginine-rich foods which wed understand as many of them are staple parts of a healthy, balanced diet then you may want to consider taking a daily lysine supplement to help balance your arginine intake. This may be the best idea since many of the above foods are rich sources of vitamins, minerals and complex carbohydrates.
One good strategy is to make sure to balance out your high-arginine foods with high lysine foods. For example, if youre eating a meal that contains wholewheat pasta, try balancing this out with some fish, beans or avocado.
If youre going to cut out anything from the above list, Id recommend nuts and chocolate, as these seem to be the worst offenders!
Read Also: How To Reduce Herpes Outbreaks
Indian Diet Plan For Herpes Infection
Following is a sample diet plan, which can be followed during herpes infection as well as after it, to prevent a recurrence of the disease.
- Early morning: Warm water + walnut + raisin
- Breakfast: Paneer/egg sandwich + strawberry smoothie
- Mid-morning: Fruit salad with roasted seeds
- Lunch: Spinach chapati / veg pulao + soya curry + any seasonal green vegetable + salad
- Evening tea: Herbal tea + sprout bhel
- Dinner: Chapati + soya curry + mixed vegetable