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Foods that can help fight herpes

To treat herpes and prevent recurrent infections, a diet that includes foods rich in lysine, which is an essential amino acid that is not synthesized by the body, should be consumed through your diet or through supplementation. Some of the food sources that are rich in Lysine are meat, fish and milk.

On the other hand you should reduce the consumption of foods rich in arginine, which is also an amino acid but unlike lysine, favors the replication of herpes virus in the body and can slow down recovery.

It is important to mention that lysine-rich foods also contain arginine, because both amino acids are found in protein-rich foods, so you should choose ones that contain a higher amount of lysine than arginine.

Foods that can help fight herpes

Foods you should eat

To prevent recurrent herpes attacks, the following foods should be included in your diet:

1. Lysine rich foods

It is believed that lysine may help prevent recurrent herpes and help speed up its treatment as it decreases the replication of the virus in the body by strengthening your  immune system. Lysine is considered an essential amino acid because the body is unable to produce it, so it must be ingested through food.

Sources of lysine are milk, yogurt, eggs, avocado, beans except black, peas, lentils, meat, liver, chicken and fish.

2. Foods rich in Vitamin C

It is also important to include in your diet foods rich in vitamin C, as it can stimulate your immune system, protecting the body from infections, as well as contributing to the formation of collagen and skin regeneration, favoring the healing of wounds that arise during a crisis of herpes.

Some sources of foods rich in vitamin C are orange, kiwi, strawberry, lemon and pineapple. Learn more foods rich in vitamin C.

3. Foods rich in Zinc

Zinc is a mineral that performs various functions in the body, which in addition to strengthening your immune system, also favors wound healing. Some foods rich in this mineral are oysters, meat and soy.

4. Other foods that can strengthen your immune system

Other foods that can help increase defenses are those rich in omega-3, vitamin E, probiotics, and selenium. Some examples of these foods are flax seeds, olive oil, garlic, sunflower seeds, kefir and ginger.

What to avoid

To prevent herpes, arginine-rich foods should be reduced from your diet, because it is an amino acid that may stimulate virus replication and increases the frequency of seizures. Some of these foods are oats, granola, wheat germ, peanuts, chestnuts and almonds.

Another important measure is to avoid coffee, as well as white flour and sugar-rich foods such as chocolate, white bread, biscuits, cakes and soft drinks, because these are pro-inflammatory foods that make recovery difficult.

In addition, it is also important to avoid cigarette smoking, alcohol consumption and unprotected sun exposure, as these are factors that weaken your immune system and increase the risk of the virus manifesting itself.


Foods that can help fight herpes

It is believed that lysine supplementation may help prevent recurrent herpes and treat lesions faster. In general, the recommended dose for the prevention of recurrent herpes is 500 to 1500 mg per day of lysine.

In cases where the virus is active, up to 3000 mg a day of lysine is recommended during the acute period, and a doctor should be consulted to indicate the most appropriate dose for the case in question. In addition, your doctor may also recommend the use of zinc, omega-3, vitamin E and C supplements.

Bibliography >

  • MAILOO Venthan, RAMPES Sanketh. Lysine for Herpes Simplex Prophylaxis: A Review of the Evidence. Integrative Medicine: A Clinician's Journal. 16. 3; 42-46, 2017
  • PEDRAZINI María, ARAÚJO Vera, MONTALLI Victor. The effect of L-Lysine in recurrent herpes labialis: pilot study with a 8-year follow up. Revista Gaúcha de Odontologia. 66. 3; 2018
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