Vanquish a Virus with Food & Lifestyle

By Jane Barthelemy.
Did you know there are over 400 different viruses that can affect your health? And over 200 viruses that can cause a common cold? No matter if you have the flu or another virus, there’s a LOT you can do to build your immune system and eat in ways that will clear a virus. Other virus-based illnesses include chicken pox, mumps, hepatitis, meningitis, pneumonia, herpes, mononucleosis, Epstein-Barr, and AIDS. It’s time to say good-bye to viruses!

What Is a Virus?
A virus is a small organism that can only replicate inside the living cells of another organism. Viruses can infect all life forms – humans, animals, plants and even bacteria. In fact, they’re the most abundant type of biological being that exists! Viruses are smart, and immunization shots are frequently ineffective because viruses can genetically mutate to survive the toughest medications. Antibiotics do not affect viruses, so we don’t have a quick fix.


Viruses are genetic parasites
They can’t reproduce on their own, so they use your cells to do their work for them. Viruses carry genetic material, reproduce, and evolve through natural selection. However they have no cell structure. A virus can float in the air and enter through a body orifice such as the nose, mouth or ears. It can be carried by an insect bite. It can spread through skin contact, or in food and water. Some viruses spread through sexual or by blood contact. A few viruses can mask their presence in your body so that your immune system doesn’t recognize them.

Bolster the Immune System
Your body has excellent defense mechanisms to fight viruses. Most viruses are defeated by your own white blood cells. Your immune system is reinforced by your healthy lifestyle habits and the foods you eat. Here are the ten best ways to build your immune system.

  1. Eat Organic. This eliminates many GMO’s, chemicals, and pesticides.
  2. Avoid these worst immune-suppressing foods: sugar, wheat, GMO foods, boxed breakfast cereals, sweets, packaged and processed foods. Alcohol, smoking and toxins also are immune suppressors.
  3. De-Stress. Observe, face and express your emotions. Don’t stuff them down.
  4. Get lots of sleep. Turn off Wi-Fi & electronics at night.
  5. Cultivate Friendships! Spend time having fun!
  6. Exercise every day. Move the lymph. It improves your brain function.
  7. Belly Laugh every day. REALLY laugh!
  8. Wash Your Hands, but not with anti-bacterial soap.
  9. Have sex once or twice a week (um, if you’re a consenting adult).
  10. Do a detox cleanse once or twice a year.

Optimize Lysine, Minimize Arginine Foods
The amino acid Lysine suppresses all viruses. The amino acid Arginine encourages all viruses. Eating foods with highest ratio of lysine to arginine can discourage the virus and it will dissolve more quickly. Arginine competes with lysine for absorption. Viruses loves arginine, and they are discouraged by lysine! Tipping your diet away from arginine and towards lysine helps your body resist or overcome the virus.

nut-freeForget about nuts for a little while!

Whether you’re healing a cold, a cold sore, the mumps, or any viral infection, the food guide below will help heal more quickly. Your anti-viral diet may be temporary for a week, or a few months. It could be longer depending on your level of health and your specific virus.

High Lysine Foods are GOOD for Healing a Virus!
In general, foods high in lysine are dairy, cheese, fish, and meats. However these are all Acid-producing foods. Your objective is BALANCE. Eat coconut oil for lauric acid, which defends against viruses.

Eat foods rich in lysine, such as fish, chicken, beef, lamb, milk, cheese, beans, brewer’s yeast, mung bean sprouts. Many fruits and vegetables have more lysine than arginine, except for peas.

High Arginine Foods are BAD for Healing a Virus!
Foods high in arginine are nuts, chocolate, wheat, all grains, and coconut. Darn! If you’re doing a Paleo alkaline diet or anything similar, this can be challenging. Eat plenty of fermented foods! Fermenting lacto-bacteria break down arginine, increasing the ratio of lysine. See the chart below that lists foods by their Lysine-Arginine ratio and Alkalinity. Use it intelligently and don’t be rigid. It can help guide you in your food choices.

no-chocolateForget about chocolate for a little while!

Worst Foods to Eat on Anti-Viral Diet

This chart below shows foods with the lowest ratio of Lysine to Arginine. These are best to eliminate when healing a virus.

To Vanquish a Virus Lowest Lysine/Arginine
Skip These Foods Ratios
Hazelnuts 0.2
Walnuts 0.2
Orange juice 0.2
Pine nuts 0.2
Watermelon 0.5
Tangerine juice 0.2
Grape juice 0.2
Tahini 0.2
Brazil nuts 0.2
Grapefruit, pink 0.2
Sesame seeds 0.2
Pecans 0.3
Rutabaga 0.3
Almond butter, plain 0.3
Almonds 0.3
Almond milk, unsweetened 0.3
Coconut Milk 0.3
Coconut Butter 0.3
Coconut, shredded 0.3
Peanuts & butter 0.3
Coffee, black 0.3
Sunflower seeds & oil 0.3
Grapes 0.3
Tapioca 0.3
Goji berries 0.3
Hemp seeds 0.3
Onions, mature 0.3
Blackberries 0.3
Blueberries 0.3
Macadamia nuts 0.4
Garlic 0.4
Pumpkin seeds & squash 0.5
Parsnip 0.5
Yams 0.5
Chia seeds 0.5
Flaxseeds 0.5
Rice, Brown 0.5
Rice, white 0.5
Chestnuts, fresh 0.5
Cashews 0.5
Gingko biloba 0.5
Oatmeal 0.5
Maca 0.5
Millet 0.6
Plantain 0.6
Strawberries 0.6
Elderberries 0.6
Squash, winter 0.6
Chocolate 0.6
Pistachios, shelled 0.6
Spelt 0.6
Popcorn 0.6
Corn 0.6
Wheat 0.6
Whole Wheat Bread 0.6
White Bread 0.6

14 Replies to "Vanquish a Virus with Food & Lifestyle"

  • comment-avatar
    Si-Ei November 6, 2022 (1:56 pm)

    Guess I’ll stop supplementing with L-arginine for a bit; having a bizarre Shingles episode! Stop all grains, except Quinoa, check. And, dive into veggies once again!

  • comment-avatar
    Ekwaun November 5, 2022 (7:13 am)

    Hi Jane,

    Are you aware of the arginine levels in coffee and beer?

    • comment-avatar
      Jane Barthelemy November 5, 2022 (5:53 pm)

      Hello Ekwaun, thanks for your comment. I am NOT aware of arginine levels in coffee and beer. Pray tell….
      Thanks again, Jane

      • comment-avatar
        Mike December 16, 2023 (8:13 pm)

        You say sesame seeds have a low lysine to arginine level. What about sesame oil? And how about coconut oil?

        • comment-avatar
          Jane Barthelemy February 25, 2024 (4:44 pm)

          Hi Mike, Thanks for your question and sorry for the delay. Apologies, your question is a little over my head. Better ask someone expert in the Lysine-Arginine chemistry in the body. Best wishes for your delicious health! Jane

  • comment-avatar
    Seagreengoddess March 19, 2022 (7:39 pm)

    What about taking a lysine supplement each day or a few times a week?

    • comment-avatar
      Jane Barthelemy April 11, 2022 (5:33 am)

      Hi Sea green goddess. Everyone is different, and the body is a veritable chemical factory. This question is a bit over my head. My approach is always to medicate with real organic foods. If you’re a vegan, you may not want to eat ALL the high-lysine foods. So, a lysine supplement might help. But there are so many other factors, so I cannot say. Best wishes for your delicious health! Jane

  • comment-avatar
    Don November 5, 2021 (8:38 am)

    Very interesting. I was aware of most on your food list, except for coconut. I have Meniere’s disease which many believe to be caused by a Herpes virus in the inner ear. So I have been following a high Lysine, low Arginine diet for a long time.

    My wife makes a cinnamon baked square that I add to my breakfast. It has some coconut flour and quite a bit of coconut sugar and it is baked. Do you think that this might be a high arginine ratio item?

    I also use Almond Milk, that’s how I found your site, I was searching to see how much arginine in Almond Milk. So that’s a second question for you 🙂

    • comment-avatar
      Jane Barthelemy November 17, 2021 (12:43 am)

      Hi Don, Thanks for your comments and questions. Yikes! You’re over my head here. All I can offer you is the lists on this article indicating Lysine and Arginine quantities in various foods. And these will vary according to the way the ingredients are cultivated and combined. Good luck figuring that one out! This is a lot of work for you. Does it improve your health condition noticeably to do the a high Lysine, low Arginine diet? I hope so.
      I’m working on an article now to correlate body acidity and our emotional spectrum. This is perhaps a different angle to healing disease that works for me, and might be relevant for you if the calculations get to be too much. Look for it soon: “Body Acidity. What’s Your Emotional pH?” Best wishes! Jane

  • comment-avatar
    Karen August 12, 2021 (7:56 am)

    Thank you for this information! I’ve been subsisting on lots of almond butter, almond milk protein shakes, and coconut. No wonder my pain has been awful.

    • comment-avatar
      Jane Barthelemy August 12, 2021 (5:01 pm)

      Vegetables!!! Kisses to you, Karen!

  • comment-avatar
    Claus July 22, 2021 (11:55 am)

    Hello, can you give us an idea of what to eat for breakfast using the high lysine / low arginine idea? Thanks.

  • comment-avatar
    Mariana June 11, 2021 (11:05 am)

    This was excellent info I’m always trying to up the lysine. Bummed because I thought elderberry was a good one! I even have it growing from seed! Bummer

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