Add These Foods to Your Diet to Treat Shingles

When it comes to calming the angry itching and pain from a shingles rash (caused by the same virus as chicken pox), you may be able to eat your way to relief. While there are some foods you should avoid that can cause the condition to worsen, there are others than can help ward off the symptoms.

Since June is dedicated to shingles awareness, now is as good a time as any to shake up your diet and hopefully feel better with less burning. The following six foods are things you might want to consider eating even if you’re not suffering from shingles, as they are packed with goodness.

1. Fruits and Vegetables notes that these whole foods provide your body with all the “micronutrients” it could ever want, thus helping to strengthen your immune system and maintain it.

The source adds that Vitamin B-6 is an especially important nutrient in the battle against shingles, as it benefits the nerves. With fruits in mind, bananas are a particularly good source of this B vitamin, adds the source.

2. Garlic

It might make your breath a little less than fresh, but who cares if it relieves some of the excruciating pain related to shingles? says that garlic has “antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties” and it can actually be used in 2-ways to combat shingles – the first is to crush 3-cloves of it and swallow them with water each morning.

The other method is a bit more direct (and is done in combination with the first method) – it involves putting garlic paste on the affected nerve areas to provide some relief. It might be best not to have any important meetings scheduled right after that, however.

3. Fish and Fowl

One of the essential amino acids found in certain fish and birds is called lysine, something you must get from food as your body doesn’t produce it on its own, according to While there are a number of sources of lysine (including red meat), these are generally lean choices with protein as a bonus.

The source notes, for example, that 1-cup of chopped roasted chicken has 38-grams of protein and 3-grams of lysine, which reportedly helps stop the spread of the shingles virus. Fish has a bit less lysine in general, but the best sources (per weight) are cod and sardines. Put some sardines on your pizza (if you can’t stomach them on their own), suggests the site.

4. Seaweed

A blog posted by Serendip Studio explains different approaches to treating shingles, namely a Western and Eastern way to calm it down. Visitors to the online community raved about the ability of seaweed to alleviate post-herpetic pain from shingles (after the rash disappears).

Suggestions include eating seaweed as a salad, which provided relief for at least one reader’s relative for 3-days. However, the source notes the pain returns if the salad is not eaten again on regular basis. Apparently you can find seaweed salad at grocery stores (check near the sushi, as it’s also used for wraps). On that note, you could also enjoy some sushi.

5. Whole Grains

These products don’t contain refined or “enriched” white flour, and can help your body all-around by providing an array of vitamins as well as fiber to help your digestive system function optimally.

When you’re shopping next, look for whole grain versions of your favorite foods including cereals, pastas, breads, rice (seek brown rice), and oatmeal. Also keep in mind that white rice and white bread can also spike your insulin levels, while whole grains help maintain more constant blood sugar levels, which can benefit your health and even your mood.

6. Water

This may seem like a no-brainer – of course you need water to live and function properly. But it can often fall to the bottom of the list when you’re trying to ensure you’re getting all the other recommended foods to tackle your shingles outbreak. notes, “Adequate hydration is the key to flushing out the virus from your system”. On that note, you should try drinking at least 8-ounces of water every 2-hours, adds the source. Sure, you may have to pee more often, but it’s a small price to pay if you’re ridding yourself of pain. Avoid other liquids that are sugary, or full of caffeine (and alcohol).