Avoiding sugar can strengthen the immune system. Vitamin C, zinc, magnesium and the correct dosage of the protein building blocks lysine and arginine also help against recurring outbreaks of herpes.
After infection, herpes viruses often “sleep” in the spinal cord for a long time and multiply suddenly when the immune system is weakened. Then they cause the typical painful blisters.
Strengthen your immune system
The right diet can support the immune system. Anyone who is overweight should reduce their waist circumference because belly fat forms inflammatory messengers and thus weakens the immune system. An anti-inflammatory diet is generally recommended – with emphasis on vegetables, good fats, and sufficient protein. An important building block is the extensive renunciation of sugar in order not to indirectly feed the herpes viruses.
The aim should always be to supply the necessary vital substances directly with food and not as a dietary supplement. Because the body can better absorb and process these substances in their natural compound. Vitamin C, zinc, and magnesium as well as the amino acids (protein building blocks) lysine and arginine are particularly important for boosting the immune system.
The ratio of lysine and arginine
A healthy person needs the amino acids arginine and – as an opponent – lysine in a balanced ratio. Arginine supports immune system functions and also appears to improve fat burning and performance. But: arginine also supports the proliferation of herpes viruses – lysine, on the other hand, slows them down. Lysine is an essential amino acid, so we have to get it from food, the body cannot make it itself. Among other things, it needs lysine for wound healing and cell division. Studies suggest that lysine also causes a lower susceptibility to stress. However, the disadvantage of long-term very high doses of lysine is that it can apparently increase blood pressure.
Since lysine is mainly found in animal foods, vegans have a harder time meeting their needs. It should also be noted that some good natural mineral sources such as wheat germ, pumpkin seeds, and oatmeal are also rich in arginine.
The most important tips:
- Rest and regularity in eating, three-meal structure.
- If you are overweight: reduce waist circumference. Belly fat produces numerous hormones – including inflammatory messengers that put a strain on the immune system. Intermittent fasting may help with weight loss.
- Avoiding sugar to strengthen the immune system: if possible no sweets, pastries, or sweet dried fruit; especially avoid chocolate. Bitter substances from the pharmacy help against the craving for sweets.
- Moderate carbohydrates, preferably using old types of grain: spelled, emmer, einkorn, and sham grains such as buckwheat and quinoa.
- Eat high in lysine – up to 30mg of lysine per pound of body weight per day – and low in arginine.
- Prefer foods rich in lysine: eggs, muscle meat, fish (except for tuna); tofu, cottage cheese, low-fat quark, parmesan, gouda, cow’s milk; lower amounts also in fruit and vegetables – especially in legumes: beans, lentils, chickpeas, soybeans.
- Avoid foods rich in arginine: nuts, chocolate, wheat germ; also tuna, oatmeal, uncooked rice, whole wheat pasta/bread, and peas.
- Does protein intake correctly: a total of 1 gram per kilo of body weight per day – Dairy products (e.g. porridge with rice flakes and milk or breakfast quark in the morning); Sea fish several times a week (also provides omega-3 fatty acids); legumes (few peas); also like algae. Nuts are rich in protein, but avoid them in a sensitive phase!
- Use good oils: canola oil, linseed oil, olive oil, walnut oil; vegetable fats like avocado.
- Vitamins and minerals to strengthen the immune system: daily 500 vitamin C, 15 mg zinc, and 300 to 500 mg magnesium.
- Vitamin C Sources: Sea buckthorn juice, kale, peppers, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, kiwi, lemons, oranges, grapefruit, sauerkraut.
- Sources of magnesium: example spinach, berries, bananas, amaranth, quinoa, soybeans, and fish.
- Sources of zinc: example liver, yeast flakes, soybeans, lentils, and quinoa.
- Drink plenty: at least 2 liters per day of water (still mineral water), unsweetened tea (e.g. sage, chamomile, thyme), or broth; do not drink coffee with meals.