What are the Best and Worst Foods While Dealing with Herpes?

Let’s face it. Dealing with herpes can be incredibly challenging. The symptoms and outbreaks are not something you can easily avoid. They can be very disturbing, and can really affect your life in an adverse way.

However, it doesn’t mean that you can do nothing about it. If you manage to be mentally and emotionally strong enough, there are actually quite a few things you can look forward to in order to deal effectively with herpes. One of the most important ones is changing your diet.

Well, we know that you have heard about the positives of changing to a healthy diet like a thousand times, but when it comes to dealing with herpes, we aren’t exactly talking about the same diet changes as you need to do while just trying to lead a more healthy lifestyle. Also, it’s actually crucial to have the right diet while dealing with herpes, as it can make all the difference when it comes to controlling the condition.

With that being said, let’s take a look at the best and worst foods while dealing with herpes.

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Best Foods for Herpes

Well, most of the best foods for herpes out there are the ones that come with high amounts of lysine. Including lysine-rich foods is considered to be the key while fighting the herpes virus.

There have been some studies on the effects of the amino acid, lysine, on herpes outbreaks. They revealed that lysine is capable of reducing the occurrences, severity as well as duration of the outbreaks. Similarly, lysine is also believed to be very beneficial for your immune system, which helps increase the resistance against the herpes virus, thus preventing it from reproducing easily.

Once you manage to restrict the reproduction of the herpes virus, you would experience a great change when it comes to the duration and frequency of the outbreaks. Furthermore, lysine also comes with the ability to fight off many other different types of harmful viruses, which is obviously always a great plus.

However, it’s also important to note that the idea here is to have more of lysine and less of arginine. In other words, your lysine intake ideally needs to be far greater than your arginine intake. This is because while the former helps prevent outbreaks, the latter is known to trigger them.

Let us now take a look at some lysine-rich foods that may be worthy of being included in your diet while dealing with herpes.


Many fruits out there are very rich in lysine, including many autumn fruits such as pears and apples. Similarly, other seasonal fruits such as mangoes and apricots, too, may turn out to be helpful while dealing with herpes.


Many vegetables come with high amounts of lysine, and hence something worth considering to include in your diet. Some of those vegetables are brussel sprouts and broccoli, and they are known to come with high amounts of lysine. Similarly, even beans are rich in lysine, and may even help add a bit of diversity to your diet so you may want to consider them as well.

Dairy Products

Dairy products are considered one of the best types of foods when it comes to dealing with herpes effectively. Besides being very rich in lysine, they also seem to be coming with other benefits that help improve your overall health.

Yogurt is one of the most lysine-rich foods out there, and hence a must if you’re struggling to keep the outbreaks at bay. However, you also need to note that the yogurt shouldn’t include gelatin or corn syrup, as they tend to contain arginine and may trigger an outbreak. Usually, natural and home-made yogurt, without gelatin, corn syrup or other preservatives or flavors added to it may work best.

Similarly, milk, too, may give a great lysine boost to your body, and it’s recommended to drink two to three glasses of milk daily while trying to prevent the outbreaks.


Foods to Stay Away From

As we have already hinted above, foods rich in arginine may trigger outbreaks, and hence something you would want to stay away from.

Acidic or arginine-rich foods are known to help the herpes virus in reproducing, which is obviously the last thing you would want while dealing with herpes. Furthermore, you may also want to note that arginine is also produced in some quantities by your body itself. So as completely avoiding arginine is not possible, you would at least want to make sure that you don’t include foods that come with high amounts of arginine in your diet.

In other words, foods that are low in lysine and high in arginine are exactly the ones that you will want to avoid while dealing with herpes.

With that said, here’s a list of foods that are believed to be coming with high amounts of arginine:

  • Seeds and nuts
  • Gelatin
  • Oats
  • Lentils
  • Corn syrup
  • Chocolate
  • Protein supplements
  • Coconut (but not coconut oil)
  • Orange juice (but not orange itself)


While watermelon itself doesn’t seem to be coming with high amounts of arginine, it contains a nutrient known as citrulline, which is believed to increase the production of arginine in the body. Hence, it leads to the same outcome, which is an increase in the levels of arginine in the body, which, in turn, leads to more outbreaks.

Acidic Foods

Acidic foods, too, are known to trigger outbreaks. It’s recommended to avoid all foods that may lead to acidity. They include:

  • Alcohol
  • Caffeine
  • Red meat
  • Food additives
  • Junk food
  • Processed foods
  • Artificial ingredients

Acidic foods may not only trigger outbreaks, but also result in weakening your immune system. It would thus make it easier for the herpes virus to reproduce and cause more damage to your body. Similarly, a weakened immune system also makes you vulnerable to other different types of viruses.

Finally, caffeine has also been found to help the body in the utilization of arginine, which tends to result in frequent flare-ups.