Herpes and Nutrition: Can Food Fuel an Outbreak?

Herpes outbreaks come and go like clockwork for some, while others find their symptoms do not follow a distinct or recurring pattern. One thing that does seem to be consistent, however, is the role of diet in keeping herpes under control.

Diet and Herpes

Herpes is an illness that does not die in a set amount of time. Unlike a cold or flu virus, herpes does not have a definitive end date and continues to live in the human body permanently, lying dormant for some of the time, and resurging at others. As is the case with illness as a whole, diet can play a huge role in how often and how severely flare-ups occur.

Diet is related to herpes in several ways, ranging from simple immunity to the body’s acidity and bacterial balance. Food has the potential to make or break your herpes and create a healthy balance within your body, or wreak havoc and prompt outbreaks.

How Food Changes Herpes


Your immune system’s strength and efficacy is largely tied to your dietary habits. While diet will not change everything about your body, the food you eat is what fuels you and provides your body with the building blocks it needs to function. If your diet is filled with high-sugar foods, unhealthy fats, and empty calories, your immune system will not be strong enough to ward off impending flare-ups.

Conversely, if your diet is rich in fermented and probiotic-rich foods, plenty of vegetables, and healthy fats, you have a much greater chance of avoiding future outbreaks and keeping your body’s health strong.


Your body requires a certain balance of acidity. If acids are too high, you run the risk of suffering from problems with your metabolism being too high, and incurring acidity issues such as indigestion. If your acidity levels are too low, your metabolism might not move quickly enough, and you might suffer from constipation, undue weight gain, or general sluggishness.

Although these issues might not seem related to herpes, any time your boy is not functioning at its optimal level, you run the risk of having an outbreak. Certain amino acids have a profound effect on herpes. Foods high in arginine (think chocolate, peanuts, wheat, and soy) actually feed herpes, while foods high in lysine (most often found in meat, fish, and yogurt).

Keeping your body in good health despite having herpes requires some sacrifice in your diet, but is not an impossible task. Paying close attention to the foods you eat and your overall health will help keep outbreaks to a minimum and can greatly improve your quality of life.