Herpes is a viral infection that can cause sores or blisters on the mouth or genital area. While there is no specific diet for people with herpes, certain foods may trigger outbreaks or worsen symptoms. Here are some foods that you may want to limit or avoid if you have herpes:
- Arginine-rich foods: Arginine is an amino acid that can trigger herpes outbreaks. Foods in arginine include nuts and seeds, chocolate, oats, and protein sources like red meat, poultry, and seafood.
- Citrus fruits and juices: Citrus fruits and juices, such as oranges and grapefruit, are acidic and can irritate the sores caused by herpes.
- Alcohol: Drinking alcohol can weaken the immune system and increase the likelihood of outbreaks.
- Caffeine can have a similar effect as alcohol, weakening the immune system and increasing the risk of outbreaks.
- Processed foods: Processed foods are often high in sugar and can weaken the immune system, making it easier for the herpes virus to cause outbreaks.
It’s important to note that everyone’s body is different, and some people with herpes may not have any food triggers. If you have herpes, keeping a food diary and noting any foods that trigger outbreaks or worsen symptoms may be helpful. You may also want to talk to your healthcare provider about any dietary changes you’re considering.