Herpes virus, even known as cold sores, is a tiny virus that affects a lot of people. It caused by HSV-1 virus (Herpes Simplex Virus -1) and is transmitted from person to another very easily. The herpes virus can live inactive within a person’s immune system for a lifetime, causing periodically wounds or ulcers. When there is no treatment, symptoms of herpes usually last for 10-14 days, causing redness, pain and burning sensation. By boosting the immune system through a healthy diet, changing the lifestyle you can help keep the virus inactive.
Diet and herpes
Herpes usually makes its appearance when people experience a period of increased anxiety, when they do not eat well, or even when there is a weak immune system. The first step to fight cold sores is to improve the functioning of the immune system by increasing nutrient intake.
Foods and substances in the treatment of herpes
Foods rich in L-lysine
Lysine is an amino acid that can prevent the reproduction of herpes virus. It can help treat and prevent herpes. Good food sources of lysine are legumes (beans and lentils), fish (cod and sardines), red and white meat (chicken or turkey), parmesan and some vegetables. People who are prone to herpes can for a short time take L-lysine supplements 1,000mg three times a day.
Colorful red, orange and green vegetables contain antioxidants such as carotenoids, bioflavonoids and vitamin C that help heal wounds on the skin, while also strengthening the body’s immune system. Vitamin C enhances immune function by improving and reducing the duration of herpes symptoms. Since vitamin C intake through diet is insufficient, vitamin C supplementation of 1,000 mg per day is recommended.
It is a natural substance produced by bees. Propolis is rich in antioxidants and is one of the most powerful antimicrobial elements of nature. It reduces pain and time of wound healing, compared to classical antiviral ointments, while creating a layer of lip protection. Beware of allergies.
Zinc takes part in many chemical reactions involving wound healing, skin repair and defense mechanisms from viruses or infections. It is a very important micronutrient, as it helps keep herpes virus inactive. Rich sources of zinc are meat (liver or beef), pumpkin seeds, nuts and various vegetables such as spinach. In addition, you can take 30 mg zinc supplement twice a day.
Foods that can aggravate herpes
Certain foods can cause inflammation, weaken the body’s immune defense system and further aggravate skin irritation. Avoid as much as possible the following foods to reduce the severity and duration of symptoms.
Foods rich in L-arginine
Arginine is an amino acid with opposite action (antagonistic) from lysine. In particular, arginine is essential for the reproduction of the virus. It is recommended in periods of high intensity and anxiety to reduce the consumption of foods rich in L-arginine, such as wheat, oat, nuts (peanuts, nuts, hazelnuts), pumpkin seeds, chocolate and spirulina. Attention to supplements for athletes, as they are often good sources of arginine.
High consumption of sugar suppresses immune function and can aggravate inflammation. Caution is needed as sugar is usually “hidden” in various foods we consume every day, such as bottled drinks, packaged snacks as well as products such as yogurt, cereals, biscuits, granola and muesli.
High amounts of alcohol suppress immune function and can aggravate symptoms such as fatigue, pain and inflammation of the skin.