Shingles is a painful condition caused by the herpes zoster virus. If you've had chickenpox, you're prone to shingles and your risk increases as you get older. While antiviral medications can ease your symptoms when you have shingles, your diet is also important. In addition, if you want to reduce your risk of getting shingles and help you recover if you develop it, you also need to keep your immune system strong so that it can fight the virus.
Shingles is caused by a type of herpes virus that affects the nerves. It causes pain, tingling and burning on the skin, as well as the development of itching and blisters on the skin. If you had chickenpox as a teenager, the virus remains dormant in your body. When the virus stays dormant in nerve cells and then becomes active again, it is called shingles. In most people, however, the virus remains dormant and does not get reactivated to manifest as shingles. The symptoms of shingles are as follows:
“What causes shingles?” As well as the question of the foods that those who suffer from this disease should stay away from. These foods are:
Foods high in arginine: Arginine is an amino acid that helps the shingles virus multiply. Foods such as chocolate, nuts and canned tuna contain high levels of arginine. Other arginine-rich foods to avoid are tomatoes, wheat, brussels sprouts, grapes, blackberries and blueberries.
Foods high in sugar: Sugar is bad for the immune system. Sugar slows down white blood cells that attack pathogens in the body. In addition to foods such as sweetened sodas, candies, and pastries, sugar can hide in many highly processed foods. If you want to boost your immune system to help fight shingles, read food labels closely and reduce your sugar intake.
Refined carbohydrates: Refined carbohydrates are posses high glycemic index. White bread, white rice, and processed flour are among the things you should stay away from when it comes to refined carbohydrates. Pasta, sugary cereals and white potatoes are also on this list. As a general rule, you should avoid refined carbohydrates by minimizing the amount of processed foods you eat.
Saturated fats: You should avoid saturated fats, which are solid at room temperature, by limiting the amount of fatty meat, butter, and cheese you eat. Oils such as coconut oil also have a high saturated fat content. Choosing foods that contain low-fat or unsaturated fats instead can boost your immune response and help your body prevent the chickenpox virus from reactivating and causing shingles.
Alcohol: Alcohol weakens your immune system, increasing your chances of developing shingles and making it harder for you to recover from shingles. Alcohol disrupts the microbiome, the "good" gut bacteria that help us fight infection. It also damages certain structures in the GI tract, including epithelial cells, T cells, and neutrophils that line the intestines.
“What is good for shingles?” The question can also be answered as follows: The shingles virus develops when your immune system is not strong enough. Here are the foods you can include in your diet in order to strengthen your immune system and fight shingles:
Lysine is another amino acid that is an essential component of protein. Lysine is an essential amino acid and your body cannot produce lysine. For this reason, you should get lysine from food or supplements. Foods rich in lysine include eggs, tofu.
“What should a shingles patient eat?” If you are wondering, you should know that vitamins and minerals that strengthen your immune system can help you prevent shingles and heal faster. These include vitamin A, which is good for gut health and is found in carrots, eggs, and sweet potatoes. Vitamin C can help build antibodies to fight infection and is found in citrus fruits and tomatoes. Sunflower seeds contain both vitamin E and zinc. There is also some evidence that vitamin B6, folate, iron and selenium can help protect your body from the chickenpox virus. “How should nutrition be in shingles?” With the answers to the question, you can make modifications to your diet and be healthier.