Once you have acquired the herpes virus and have experienced cold sore outbreaks, it means that you'll need to live with it and manage your symptoms
Once you have acquired the herpes virus and have experienced cold sore outbreaks, it means that you’ll need to live with it and manage your symptoms for the rest of your life. One way to do so is by following a diet that’s rich in lysine.
Although lysine does not kill the herpes virus, it can help inhibit the growth and replication of the virus. Continue reading to find out how eating lysine-rich foods such as beets and apricots can help you manage your cold sore outbreaks.
What Is Lysine?
An amino acid, lysine is very important for many bodily functions. You need lysine for calcium absorption as well as for collagen formation. If you don’t have cold sores, you may be able to get enough lysine from your regular diet.
However, if you have cold sores and you want to prevent frequent outbreaks, then you may need to increase your intake of foods that contain a high concentration of lysine. Alternatively, you can take a lysine supplement or use lysine lip balms, ointment, and creams.
How Does Lysine Affect the Herpes Virus?
The herpes simplex virus, which is the cause of cold sores, needs a host cell in order to replicate. Once you get infected, the virus will hide in your nerve cells. When the virus becomes active, it will then make its way to your skin cells where it will grow, replicate, and cause cold sores to form.
During the herpes viral replication process, an amino acid called arginine is essential. What lysine does is that it prevents your body from being able to absorb arginine from the foods you eat.
In short, when you increase your intake of lysine, you’re interfering with the supply of arginine which the herpes virus needs. So, you’re basically making it difficult for the herpes virus to reproduce and grow.
What Foods are Rich in Lysine?
The human body doesn’t have the inherent ability to synthesize lysine naturally. This means that you need to absorb lysine from your diet or by taking a supplement. Foods that are known to be rich in lysine include:
With a 300% lysine to arginine ratio, a 10-gram serving of margarine contains 6mg of lysine and only 2mg arginine.
- Plain yogurt
The lysine to arginine ratio of plain yogurt is one of the highest at 298%. You’ll get more than 300mg of lysine and just 104mg of arginine when you eat a 100-gram serving of plain yogurt.
- Swiss cheese
Most types of cheese such as Swiss cheese, edam, and gouda cheese have a lysine to arginine ratio of more than 250%. Fifty grams of Swiss cheese can give you 1,308mg of lysine and only 469mg of arginine.
If you’re looking for fruit sources of lysine, papaya is one of your best options, with a 253% lysine to arginine ratio.
Very healthy and extra rich in lysine, beets are an excellent addition to your diet. You can get more than 50mg of lysine and only 22 mg of arginine from a 100-gram serving of beets.
- Skim milk and low-fat milk
Just like most dairy products, skim milk also has a higher content of lysine than arginine. The lysine to arginine ratio for skim milk is around 220%, and it’s around 219% for low-fat milk.
Another fruit that’s rich in lysine, a half kilo of mangoes can give you more than 140mg of lysine and only 65mg of arginine.
The lysine content of apricots is almost twice that of its arginine content. Apricots have a high lysine to arginine ratio at around 215%. Apples and dried pears have a slightly lower lysine to arginine ratio than apricots but it’s still more than 200% for both.
- Whitefish, snapper, eel, pollock, catfish, and smelt fish
These fishes are also excellent sources of lysine, with lysine to arginine ratio of 154%. Mackerel, herring, and pike have a slightly lower lysine to arginine ratio, but they’re still high at more than 150%.
What About Eggs?
Eggs contain almost the same amount of lysine and arginine. The lysine to arginine ratio for whole eggs is just 106%, which means that its lysine content is only 6% higher than its arginine content. A 45-gram whole egg can give you 369mg of lysine and 349mg of arginine.
This means that for preventing cold sore outbreaks, eggs may not necessarily be the best choice of food. However, if you cook egg dishes and use other food items that are rich in lysine like cheese, then you may be able to get more lysine from your meal.
Foods to Avoid
Here are several examples of foods that have a higher content of arginine than lysine.
If you snack on 100 grams of hazelnuts, you’ll get 1,837mg of arginine but only 340mg of lysine. You’ll be supplying the herpes virus inside your body with a lot of arginine, and that can trigger the virus to replicate freely. Pine nuts and walnuts have a lysine to arginine ratio similar to hazelnuts, at only 19%.
- Orange juice
Drinking a 250ml serving of orange juice is the same as eating 100g of hazelnuts, walnuts, and pine nuts. The lysine to arginine ratio of orange juice is very low at also 19%.
- Almonds, Brazil nuts, and pecans
These nuts have the same lysine to arginine ratio which is quite low at 27%. They’re much better than hazelnuts and walnuts, but not by much.
What You Need to Remember When You Have Cold Sores
Foods rich in lysine don’t really get rid of the herpes virus. Nothing actually does since there is no cure for the disease yet. However, you can better manage your symptoms if you also take prescription antiviral medications. Alternatively, you can also try home remedies such as tea tree oil and lemon balm oil.
Remember to avoid kissing and oral sex whenever you have cold sores. Wait for your herpes blisters to completely heal and disappear before you engage in intimacy to prevent spreading the virus to your partner.
You can actually still engage in sex even during an outbreak of cold sores. However, you should try using dental dams if you want to perform oral sex. So as to ensure that your sexual performance doesn’t suffer whenever you have cold sores, take Male UltraCore to improve your performance in the bedroom.
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