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Foods That Trigger Herpes Attacks

Foods That Trigger Herpes Attacks Foods That Trigger Herpes Attacks

Herpes is a virus that many people carry in their bodies without knowing it. The herpes simplex virus can lie dormant in your body for years, and an outbreak of cold sores may suddenly occur. Andrew Weil, M.D., says that the herpes simplex virus causes cold sores, chicken pox, genital herpes and shingles. He explains that the virus affects more than 80 million people in America. Though medications are commonly used to suppress and treat herpes, the attacks can also be controlled through the diet. Avoiding certain types of foods can reduce the number of herpes outbreaks that you experience.


Peanuts may trigger herpes outbreaks, so you should limit your consumption of them if you have the herpes simplex virus. According to the San Diego Homeopathy website, foods high in the amino acid arginine speed up cell replication and may cause the herpes virus to become more active. The amino acid lysine works in opposition to arginine, decreasing herpes outbreaks. The higher the lysine-to-arginine ratio of a food is, the lower the likelihood it has to cause a herpes outbreak. Peanuts have 144mg of lysine but also 1,450mg of arginine per serving, according to the San Diego Homeopathy website. This gives them a low lysine-to-arginine ratio of 0.28.

Sesame Seeds

Sesame seeds are another food that may trigger outbreaks of herpes. There are 150mg lysine in a serving of sesame seeds and 1,240mg arginine. The lysine-to-arginine ratio of sesame seeds is 0.25. Weil recommends avoiding nuts and seeds if you are prone to having herpes outbreaks, in favor of foods like cheese and beef, which are high in lysine.


Wheat products like wheat germ, wheat bread and cream of wheat are another major culprit for herpes outbreaks. While they are generally healthy as they provide vitamins and minerals, the arginine content in wheat products is of particular concern to carriers of the herpes simplex virus. The San Diego Homeopathy website states that all wheat products have a lysine-to-arginine ratio of less than 1, which means they can cause the herpes virus to become active. Wheat germ, especially, has 1,330mg of herpes-activating arginine in each serving.

Grape Juice

The San Diego Homeopathy website states that the lysine-to-arginine ratio of grape juice is 0.21. This is because grapes, in particular, are one fruit that is high in arginine. Grape juice is likely to cause herpes outbreaks. Instead of drinking grape juice, a person with the herpes virus should drink vegetable juice or milk, which is lower in arginine.

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