Foods High in Lysine

Can eating foods high in lysine help to prevent and treat herpes simplex infections such as cold sores and genital herpes?

This is a commonly asked question ever since it was discovered that taking lysine supplements could help to reduce the frequency and severity of herpes simplex viral (HSV) infections.

The typical dose is 1 to 3 grams three times daily to help with herpes simplex infections.

But how can you get this equivalent amount in food sources?

See the table below for the answers...

What About the Talk About Avoiding Arginine Rich Foods?

It is also suspected that eating foods rich in L-arginine might help the virus survive better.

When possible, cut back on foods high in arginine. These include beer, grain cereals, chocolate, seeds, nuts and peas. So the best option is to eat foods high in lysine and low in arginine.

But keep in mind that research data suggests that high levels of lysine is more important when it comes to stopping the virus from spreading.

Foods High in Lysine

The detailed table below lists the amount of lysine found in common foods.

It will also provide details on the amount of lysine relative to arginine.

More lysine and less arginine is better but focus on getting more lysine first.

Don't force yourself to eat foods high in lysine if you don't like them. Why? Because after a short while, you will probably give up.

Food Sources Weight (g)
30 g = 1 oz.
Lys (mg) Arg (mg) Ratio
Lys/Arg
Yogurt 227 706 237 3.0
Cheese 28 754 273 2.8
Beets 136 72 30 2.4
Milk, skimmed 245 (1 cup) 663 302 2.2
Ice Cream 133 381 174 2.2
Mango 300 85 39 2.2
Apple 150 17 8 2.1
Pear 180 23 12 2.0
Fig 65 19 11 1.7
Avocado 272 189 119 1.6
Salmon 85 (1 oz) 1550 1000 1.6
Tuna in Water 165 4480 2920 1.5
Cod 85 1390 906 1.5
Tomato 123 41 27 1.5
Tomato Juice 243 54 36 1.5
Chicken 109 1860 1320 1.4
Chicken Breast 181 2500 1870 1.3
Pineapple 155 39 28 1.4
Pork 454 7550 5530 1.4
Potato 150 190 140 1.4
Celery 120 32 24 1.3
Beef, steak 454 7320 5550 1.3
Turkey 152 2620 2020 1.3
Peach, dried 130 151 120 1.3
Lettuce, iceberg 75 60 52 1.2
Liver 113 1570 1420 1.1
Spinach 55 98 90 1.1
Whole Egg 50 410 388 1.1
Corn 154 210 200 1.1
Oysters 84 444 433 1.0
Banana 175 55 54 1.0
Asparagus 134 194 192 1.0
Shrimp 85 1500 1510 1.0
Strawberries 149 37 39 1.0
Carrots 110 44 48 1.0
Oats, Cereals 245 (1 cup) 1654 2056 0.8
Green Peas 146 463 625 0.7
Brussels Sprouts 88 130 178 0.7
Orange 180 62 85 0.7
Cashews 160 246 470 0.5
Yams 200 89 191 0.5
Garlic 3 8 19 0.4
Blueberries 145 17 49 0.3
Peanuts 144 1450 5050 0.3
Almonds 142 946 3540 0.3
Orange Juice 245 (1 cup) 22 117 0.2
Hazelnuts 135 459 2480 0.2
Walnuts 100 466 2520 0.2
Note: There are some variations in the number based on the specific subtype of foods. For example, low fat plain yogurt has 1060 mg of lysine whereas skim plain yogurt has 1160 mg. But the ratio of lysine to arginine is the same at 3.0.

Understanding What Foods to Eat and Why

From the table above, foods types list near the top has a much higher ratio of lysine to arginine and would be a good diet choice for those suffering from herpes simplex viral infections.

Yogurt and cheese give you a lot of lysine. As a matter of fact, a cup of yogurt (about 250 grams) will give you over 700 mg of lysine.

As another example, 85 g of salmon (about 3 oz.) gives you 1,500 mg of lysine.

Compare this to the recommended dose of 1,000 mg of L-lysine three times daily and you will quickly see that eating a 3 oz. serving of salmon will give you the equivalent amount as taking 1 and 1/2 pill of L-lysine supplement (assuming 1,000 mg per pill).

Bottom Line

There is some evidence to suggest that what you eat can have an positive or negative effect on how the virus thrives in your body.

Eating foods high in lysine could be a first step to controlling the viral infection naturally.

By giving yourself the proper mix of foods in your diet, you stand a better chance to reduce the frequency and severity of herpes viral infections.

The article Dose of Lysine to Use for Cold Sore reveals what the experts recommend. Don't forget to read the informative article Is Lysine Useful for Herpes?.

For a FULL unbiased review complete with a list of all the reported health benefits, side effects and warnings, see Health Benefits of Lysine.

 

Go to our Lysine Information Home Page

Related to Foods High in Lysine

L-Lysine, 620 mg 100 capsules

Return to Lysine Information Home Page

 

References for Foods High in Lysine

Revised: June 10, 2012

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