There are two strains of the herpes virus – one that causes cold sores and one that causes genital herpes. Anyone who has herpes knows that outbreaks can be itchy, painful, and very uncomfortable.
People with herpes can have multiple outbreaks every year. While there is no cure for herpes, medication can help reduce the severity of the outbreaks.
But there’s also another way to help prevent getting as many outbreaks: by watching your diet. Avoiding or limiting your intake of certain foods can help.
Foods to Avoid with Herpes
Let’s discuss what changes you can make to your diet to help prevent herpes outbreaks.
Rethink Meal and Snack Choices
Arginine is one of your body’s eight naturally occurring amino acids – but it may be your worst enemy if you have herpes. The herpes virus needs arginine to grow.
Foods to avoid because they are high in arginine include:
- Sesame seeds
By eating foods high in arginine, you are essentially feeding the virus.
Lysine is an amino acid that balances out arginine. Lysine is found in meat and dairy products.
While arginine feeds the herpes virus, lysine helps block it. While lysine does balance out arginine, the problem is that too much lysine can make the body too acidic, which can ironically trigger a herpes outbreak.
So, when it comes to arginine and lysine, there is a delicate balance necessary to help keep outbreaks at bay. Choosing foods with more lysine than arginine can help prevent a herpes recurrence.
Unfortunately, many of our favorite breakfast foods are high in arginine and low in lysine, such as:
- Orange juice
- Peanut butter
Plain yogurt, on the other hand, is a great choice because it has almost three times as much lysine as arginine.
Most fruits are high in vitamin C, which is an immune booster, and therefore a good choice for people with herpes. Tropical fruits like pineapple and papaya are also low in arginine, making it a sound choice.
Limit Sugar Intake
Your immune system helps your body fight off viruses. However, sugar works against your body’s immune system.
Sugar can suppress your white blood cells from killing a virus such as herpes. Sugar can also affect your immune function by inhibiting your body’s utilization and absorption of vitamins B and C.
Avoid Refined Carbs
Foods containing heavily refined carbohydrates suppress your body’s immunity and can therefore lead to herpes outbreaks. The foods with the most refined carbs are:
- White bread
- White pasta
- Processed baked goods
- Sodas with high-fructose corn syrup
Avoid Alcohol and Caffeine
Alcohol and caffeine can also trigger a herpes outbreak, because they inhibit your immune system.
Foods You Should Eat if You Have Herpes
There are plenty of delicious foods you can eat that are good for your body and that won’t spark a herpes outbreak. Some good choices to consider are:
- Grass-fed beef
- Dairy products
All of the foods listed above have a high ratio of lysine to arginine, and therefore can help keep your outbreaks to a minimum. Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli are especially helpful in preventing outbreaks.
If you’re in a hurry, consider making a delicious smoothie from healthy fruits and veggies. Grab a snack of carrots and peppers and some cheese.
How to Manage the Herpes Virus
Once you get the herpes virus, there is no cure; however, you can manage outbreaks by making changes to your diet and your lifestyle. Try to avoid stress as much as possible, and learn stress-management techniques.
Stock your refrigerator with healthy foods that boost your immune system and help prevent outbreaks. Talk to your doctor about the best way to manage your condition, including your dietary choices.
Women’s Health Clinic in Florida
As a woman, you deserve the support and expertise of a doctor who understands your needs and is qualified to provide comprehensive solutions that will enhance your overall well-being.
Please contact us today by calling our office at (954) 538-1700 to schedule an appointment. The knowledgeable and friendly staff at Lady’s Care Center in Miramar, Florida, looks forward to serving you.