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What to Eat When a Herpes Outbreak Happens

Herpes outbreaks can come at the worst times, and sometimes it feels like they’ll never go away 1. Fortunately, a lot of research is being done concerning the relationship between diet and herpes 1. According to, the most important enzymes that affect the severity and duration of herpes are arginine, which triggers herpes, and lysine, which hinders it 1. Consuming a low-arginine, high-lysine diet is perhaps the most important thing you can do to combat a herpes outbreak 1. There are a couple additional vitamins and minerals to consider as well.

Foods to Avoid

When a herpes outbreak occurs, you should do your best to avoid foods with a high arginine content 1. Arginine essentially provides the food necessary for the survival of the herpes virus 1. High-arginine foods include:

  • coffee
  • chocolate
  • nuts
  • oatmeal
  • raisins
  • seeds
  • whole wheat bread
  • brown rice
  • coconut
  • lentils

You should also avoid eating fruits with high citric acid content, such as oranges and grapefruits, during an outbreak. In general, you should avoid processed foods and artificial cola drinks.

  • When a herpes outbreak occurs, you should do your best to avoid foods with a high arginine content 1.

Good Foods to Eat

Lysine Herpes Diet

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Lysine, on the other hand, serves to combat herpes when an outbreak occurs and helps prevent outbreaks as well 1. Foods with high lysine content include:

  • cheese
  • chicken
  • eggs
  • fish
  • milk
  • potatoes
  • beef
  • brewer’s yeast
  • yogurt
  • sprouts
  • avocados
  • papaya
  • mango
  • apricots
  • apples
  • figs
  • beets
  • lamb

Other Dietary Considerations

Broccoli, cabbage, and Brussels sprouts contain a compound known as indole-3-carbinol (I3C) that may be effective in suppressing herpes 1. Green tea is also a good thing to work into your diet, as it contains antiviral and antioxidant properties. Most organic herbal green or white teas are good. Consume lots of sprouts as well, because sprouts contain powerful enzymes and vitamins, even more than the actual vegetables themselves. Try to consume fruits and vegetables in raw form rather than cooking them, as cooked vegetables usually have lower vitamin content. Drinking fresh vegetable and fruit juice can do wonders for the immune system and your overall health. There are also some good enzyme and vitamin supplements on the market that can help control herpes 1.