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 chickenpox), 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 that can help ward off the symptoms.

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

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.

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.

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.


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.

Dr Axe 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).

Jeff Hayward

Jeff Hayward

Jeff has more than 15 years of experience writing professionally about health, travel and the arts among other subjects. He continuously looks to improve his own overall health through exercise, diet and mindfulness. He is also a proud stay-at-home dad that loves taking photographs both professionally and as a hobby.