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2 Foods You Should Never Eat If You Have a Virus

Seeds and nuts can be great sources of plant-based protein and valuable nutrients, especially for people eating mostly raw foods and vegetarian diets. But some components of seeds and nuts boost immunity, while other components can actually lower your body's resistance to viral infections. These can be the foods that feed viruses.

When you have a virus, take special care as seeds and nuts contain high levels of the amino acid arginine.

Vitality SuperGreen, found in the new Body Ecology Antiviral Protocol, is a preferred source of vegetarian protein as an alternative to nuts and seeds. Try it as a nourishing morning drink or an afternoon energy booster and pick-me-up!

Yes, nuts and seeds can be great vegetarian sources of protein and nutrients, but watch out if you have a virus — nuts and seeds can encourage viral infections!

So what should you eat when you have a virus? Click here for more information on the Antiviral Protocol.

The Good

Besides providing a valuable and a vegetarian source of protein, both seeds and nuts also provide helpful essential fatty acids. These omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids play a crucial role in brain function and encourage normal skin, hair, and bone growth. They also regulate metabolism, maintain reproductive function, and can prevent depression.

As research has told us time and again, there are plenty of reasons to love nuts and seeds. Eating nuts more than three times a week could help you to live longer — by reducing the risk of death caused by cancer or heart disease.1,2 Nuts can not only lower the risk of death among men and women, but they may help to improve cognitive function in older adults, again thanks to a hefty dose of brain-protective fats.3,4 Even the humble sunflower seed has been hailed as one of the “top nuts” for lowering cholesterol to improve heart health, out of 27 nuts and seeds reviewed by the American Chemical Society.5

But despite their many health benefits, you might have a hard time digesting most nuts and seeds when you first start Stage 1 of The Body Ecology Diet. This is a time when your "digestive fire" is most likely to be quite low. This problem should correct itself over time as your inner ecosystem becomes increasingly fortified with great tasting fermented foods and beverages. For some people, however, nuts and seeds will always be hard to digest — so simply avoid them.

We have specialty courses to meet all of your health needs. Click here to find out more.

In our bestselling book The Body Ecology Diet, you will note that the only nuts we recommend eating as you start the diet are almonds. Almonds are the most alkaline of the nuts.

Soaked seeds like pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds are acceptable on the initial stages of The Body Ecology Diet, but sesame seeds are not. While all nuts and seeds are high in copper and oxalates, sesame seeds have an extremely high copper content, and we get reports that they do not work well for many people. Peter D'Adamo, author of Eat Right for Your Type, found that blood types B and AB test poorly for sesame seeds.6

So are nuts and seeds right for you on a regular basis? Here's where the Body Ecology Principle of Uniqueness comes into play. You are basically an experiment of one. So experiment and see what works best for you.

There is another time when it is best for virtually everyone to steer clear of nuts and seeds.

2 Foods That Feed Viruses to Avoid: Nuts and Seeds

When you have a virus, take special care as seeds and nuts contain high levels of the amino acid arginine. While research has been conflicting at best, some studies show that arginine may actually encourages attacks of herpes-like viruses.7,8 A diet with too much arginine enhances the growth of low-grade chronic (often unnoticed) viral infections, as well as bouts of chicken pox, shingles, mononucleosis, or even just a common cold sore (herpes)!

So when you feel a virus coming on, or you suspect you are harboring low-grade chronic viral infections, be sure to avoid arginine-containing nuts and seeds.

If you are a raw foodist or vegetarian and rely on seeds and nuts for protein, Body Ecology's Vitality SuperGreen can be a great plant-based alternative that provides an excellent source of complete, easily-assimilated protein, enzymes, vitamins, minerals, lignans, essential fatty acids, nucleic acids, and beneficial microflora. Proteins are also in the grain-like seeds recommended on The Body Ecology Diet: quinoa, millet, amaranth, and buckwheat.

Our recommended fermented foods and beverages contain protein, and they also greatly enhance your ability to digest all proteins. Even better, the Body Ecology Immune Power Protein Shake provides a complete source of vegan protein and may help to calm inflammation and boost immunity.

There's been a big buzz about Body Ecology in the news. Here's our latest feature in The Chalkboard.

Anti-Viral Lysine to the Rescue

Since viruses do not respond to antibiotics or most other traditional treatments, a healthy diet is the best way to encourage healing. Protect your body from susceptibility to viruses by lowering your intake of arginine and increasing your intake of another basic amino acid, lysine. Lysine boosts your body's immunity and could protect you from future outbreaks.

Lysine has potent antiviral properties and actually prevents bacteria and viruses from spreading in your body! In regard to arginine’s potential to spread the herpes virus, the University of Maryland Medical Center states, “Lysine has antiviral effects by blocking the activity of arginine, which promotes HSV replication… Most experts believe that lysine does not improve the healing of cold sores. But supplementation may reduce recurrences or improve symptoms.”9

As a symptom-reducer, lysine is powerful, even showing promise in relieving the severity of a mental disorder like schizophrenia when taken alongside regular medication.10 This essential amino acid that the body cannot produce on its own is easy to find in Body Ecology-friendly grains like amaranth and quinoa and is plentiful in fish.

Avoid these sources of arginine if you have a virus:

  • Nuts and seeds: Peanuts, almonds, pecans, cashews, etc.
  • Chocolate
  • Caffeine
  • Oats
  • Soybeans (unless they are fermented, such as miso)

Add these foods rich in lysine instead:

  • Fish
  • Body Ecology grain-like seeds: Amaranth, buckwheat, and quinoa.
  • Cow's milk kefir: Dairy kefir should be avoided on Stage 1 of The Body Ecology Diet while the inner ecosystem is healing and can be integrated on Stage 2 if it is well-tolerated.

Heal Your Inner Ecosystem and Boost Your Immunity

The Body Ecology Diet (BED) provides a great way to protect your body from viral and fungal infections by cultivating a lavish inner ecosystem of beneficial bacteria. With a focus on adding fermented foods and drinks, following the Body Ecology program populates your intestines with probiotics that aid digestion, increase nutrient absorption, and boost your immunity — making you less susceptible to infections of all kinds.

Keep in mind that until your inner ecosystem heals, most nuts are too acid-forming to consume.

Nuts and seeds can be a wonderful addition to a healthy diet, but if you have a virus, decreasing your intake of the amino acid arginine and increasing your intake of lysine can help your body heal. With proper nutrition, you'll lower your likelihood of suffering from common viruses.

If you’re ready to start the healing process and need to get a virus under control, we urge you to begin with our complete 4-10 day Antiviral Protocol. The Body Ecology Living Cookbook also has tasty and delicious low-arginine solutions for everyone, including people following vegetarian and raw food diets. It contains flavorful recipes with key foods mentioned in this article, like Heidi's Onion Pie with amaranth crust.

What To Remember Most About This Article:

Nuts and seeds are known to be healthy foods — unless you have a viral infection. When you’re sick, nuts and seeds can encourage the growth of viruses in the body. The reason? They contain the amino acid arginine in high levels, which has been known to trigger attacks of herpes-like viruses and further the growth of low-grade viral infection.

If you are trying to recover from a viral infection, arginine-rich nuts and seeds are best to avoid.

While viruses do not respond to antibiotics, improving your diet can help to support healing in the body. You can strengthen your body’s natural defense by reducing arginine intake while increasing the intake of another basic amino acid called lysine. Antiviral lysine can help to strengthen immunity and protect against viral outbreaks.

To heal from a virus and reduce the risk of infection in the future, it helps to support your inner ecosystem with the beneficial bacteria that it needs to thrive:

  • Drinking a fermented drink like Passion Fruit Biotic daily can aid digestion and nutrient absorption, while boosting immunity.
  • Instead of eating your favorite nuts and seeds, try Vitality SuperGreen as a nourishing vegetarian protein alternative and tasty morning drink, rich in vitamins, minerals, and beneficial microflora. Our chocolate Immune Power Protein Shake also provides a complete source of vegan protein.
  • On Stage 2 of The Body Ecology Diet, you can enjoy milk kefir as a probiotic-rich source of lysine, if it is well-tolerated.
  • Check out our bestselling book The Body Ecology Diet for more information on the recommended nuts to eat or use The Body Ecology Living Cookbook to make low-arginine recipes that support your healing.
  • Try the complete Body Ecology Antiviral Protocol. It includes immune-strengthening products, the Antiviral Webinar and transcript, and the ultimate recovery e-book to help suppress your virus within just 10 days.

REFERENCES:

  1. Marta Guasch-Ferré, Mònica Bulló, Miguel Ángel Martínez-González, Emilio Ros, Dolores Corella, Ramon Estruch, Montserrat Fitó, Fernando Arós, Julia Wärnberg, Miquel Fiol, José Lapetra, Ernest Vinyoles, Rosa Lamuela-Raventós, Lluís Serra-Majem, Xavier Pintó, Valentina Ruiz-Gutierrez, Josep Basora and Jordi Salas-Salvado. Frequency of nut consumption and mortality risk in the PREDIMED nutrition intervention trial. BMC Medicine, 2013; 11: 164 DOI: 10.1186/1741-7015-11-164.
  2. Sabine Rohrmann and David Faeh. Should we go nuts about nuts? BMC Medicine, 2013; 11: 165 DOI: 10.1186/1741-7015-11-165.
  3. Piet A. van den Brandt, Leo J. Schouten. Relationship of tree nut, peanut, and peanut butter intake with total and cause-specific mortality: a cohort study and meta-analysis. International Journal of Epidemiology, June 2015.
  4. Cinta Valls-Pedret, Aleix Sala-Vila, Mercè Serra-Mir, Dolores Corella, Rafael de la Torre, Miguel Ángel Martínez-González, Elena H. Martínez-Lapiscina, Montserrat Fitó, Ana Pérez-Heras, Jordi Salas-Salvadó, Ramon Estruch, Emilio Ros. Mediterranean Diet and Age-Related Cognitive Decline. JAMA Internal Medicine, 2015; DOI: 10.1001/jamainternmed.2015.1668.
  5. American Chemical Society. "Sunflower Seeds, Pistachios Among Top Nuts For Lowering Cholesterol." ScienceDaily.
  6. D'Adamo, Peter, and Catherine Whitney. Eat Right 4 (for) Your Type: The Individualized Diet Solution to Staying Healthy, Living Longer & Achieving Your Ideal Weight: 4 Blood Types, 4 Diets. New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1996. Print.
  7. “A multicentered study of lysine therapy in Herpes simplex infection,” by R.S. Griffith, et al. Dermatologica. 1978;156(5):257-67.
  8. Virology. 2008 Apr 25;374(1):23-32. doi: 10.1016/j.virol.2007.11.014. Epub 2008 Jan 28.
  9. “Lysine.” University of Maryland Medical Center.
  10. Caroline Wass, Daniel Klamer, Evangelos Katsarogiannis, Erik Pålsson, Lennart Svensson, Kim Fejgin, Inga-Britt Bogren, Jörgen A Engel and Birgitta Rembeck. L-lysine as adjunctive treatment in patients with schizophrenia: a single-blinded, randomized, cross-over pilot study. BMC Medicine, (in press).

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    imonies on how a spell caster cured people Herp disease. Thou I never believe in
    spell, I said to myself "seen is believing" I took his name and searched it on
    GOOGLE, I saw many testimonies myself. Quickly, I copied his
    email drezikespellcasterhome@outlook.com I emailed him, he gave me a form to
    fill which I did, then he called me and told me that his gods required some items
    in which he will use in casting a curing spell on me. And di told him to get the
    listed items needed to prepare my cure because by then i have little faith in him,
    few hours later he called me and told me he is through preparing the cure. so he
    send it to me I got my parcel, it was a herbal cure as described by DR. EZIKE.
    I took the herbal cure and after taking it for a week and some days. He told me
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  • Morgan Moral

    Been a Herps is just like been through hell; well special thanks to God almighty
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    diagnosed of this disease in the year 2008. Thou I was taking my medications buy
    I was not myself. Until last two weeks. My friend came to me and told me that he saw many test
    imonies on how a spell caster cured people Herp disease. Thou I never believe in
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    email drezikespellcasterhome@outlook.com I emailed him, he gave me a form to
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    in which he will use in casting a curing spell on me. And di told him to get the
    listed items needed to prepare my cure because by then i have little faith in him,
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    send it to me I got my parcel, it was a herbal cure as described by DR. EZIKE.
    I took the herbal cure and after taking it for a week and some days. He told me
    to go for check up, I went to the hospital and had a test,and i was cured. Quickly
    I called him and tell him what happened he congratulated me. I promise to tell
    the world about him. You can contact via email drezikespellcasterhome@outlook.com

  • Dave Desmond

    Hello to everyone, i want to give a testimony on how i was cure from HIV. I Never believed i was ever going to be HIV Negative again,Dr obosele has given me reasons to be happy. i was HIV positive for 20years and all the means i tried for treatment was not helpful to me, but when i came on the Internet i saw great testimony about Dr obosele on how he was able to cure someone from HIV. This person said great things about this man and advice we to contact him for any Disease problem that Dr obosele can be of help, well i decided to give him a try, he requested for my information which i sent to him, and he told me he was going to prepare for me a healing portion, which he wanted me to take for days, and after which i should go back to the hospital for check up, well after taking all the treatment sent to me by Dr obosele, i went back to the Hospital for check up and now i have been confirmed HIV Negative, he can also cure you on (HERPES SIMPLEX VIRUS) friends you can reach Dr obosele on any treatment for any Disease he is the one who i can show you all up to, reach him on....droboselespelhome@gmail.com

  • http://coldsores and sunflower seeds susan

    Ive had cold sores since i was a teen and ate sunflowers by the bags when i was younger and never had problems with breakouts until recently i dont always breakout when i eat them i just wondered why i would breakout sometimes and not others. I also find my breakouts getting worse as i get older they seem to be coming almost monthly lately and have been mostly getting breakouts during my monthly cycle. I have found that taking the lysine and using apple cider vinegar soaked in cotton and holding it on the sore helps cut the duration to two to three days.

  • Carol A.

    Yes, folks, once you are infected with the herpes simplex virus (cold sores, shingles, herpes STD), it is with you for life. It lies dormant along nerve roots and is reactivated by stress, fatigue and food triggers like chocolate and nuts. I recently found out from my holistic doctor that lysine is poorly absorbed without Vitamin C. I had avoided Vitamin C because it made my heartburn worse, but the doctor prescribed a non-acid form called "ascorbyl
    palmitate". I am now taking 500 mg of L-Lysine with 500 mg of Ascorbyl palmitate three times a day. It seems to be working to decrease herpes outbreaks, in both frequency and severity.

  • Zuzyq

    I looked through the food groups and the lysine vs arginine ratio. I think if one eats yogurt which is very high in lysine and adds some blueberries and sunflower seeds, it should balance out... I think if one keeps track, a balanced meal can be composed keeping the lysine higher. Am I right?

  • HAROUN

    I DO HAVE THE PAINFUL SHINGLES AND LOVE NUTS AND SEEDS IS NOT EATING NUTS A PERMANENT MEASURE HOWEVER I HAVE LEARNT MORE ABOUT LYSINE THROUGH THESE FEW COMMENTS WHAT SHOULD BE DONE TO NATURALLY REMOVE THE PROBLEM AND THE PAIN

  • http://Google Ruth

    I too am very confused about quinoa. I love it, but saw where the argenine is higher than the lysine. I would like someone to comment on that because it would be good to be able to know if it's going to cause an outbreak.

  • Mark

    What about black seeds/black seed oil (black cumin seed, Nigella Sativa)? Though I could avoid it by not even posting, still I'm wondering if some smart_ _s is gonna reply with, "Yeah, what about 'em/it?' -- Thanks to anyone that gives an 'honest' reply and/or anyone that can make me laugh (need a good one of those, too!).

  • Rae

    If quinoa is listed as something "safe" as far as the arginine levels, why do I find that it contains a significantly higher amount of arginine than it does lysine? What's the deal?

  • LDE

    Experienced a nasty outbreak of shingles over a year ago and lived with pain for almost a year. My doctor never discussed the lysine/arginine connection and took me a very long time to figure out on my own. I'm convinced that I over-ate trail mix, almonds and nutella and brought on the shingles. (I was eating a lot). It was not stress related for me, although I could feel myself getting run-down prior to shingles. Will start to get mouth ulcers when I do eat nuts/oats... I can't believe this information is not more widely known today. Doc prescribed pain killers when what I really needed to do was change my diet. Also found that vitamin D was helpful, as well as lysine.

  • http:// sar

    I take Lysine and it immediately [within 4 hrs] brings on bladder inflamation and joint pain. Even 1/2 tablet does this. HAve herpes prodromals 80% of the year+ and try not to eat nuts, but feel Im missing out on a lot of nutrition. Anyone else have problem with lysine supplements?

  • Stacy

    Yes, this means if you have herpes you shouldn't eat nuts and should avoid things with high argenine contents. Unless you want to get sick and have an outbreak. This means forever.
    Some nuts trigger outbreaks for me within a week of eating them. I can eat very small amounts of peanuts but thats it.
    I've also had bad reactions to protein powders and herbalife drinks which all have high argenine levels. With those I had flu like symptoms, body aches, horrible headaches, etc that lasted 6 weeks until I figured out what was making me sick. I now have absolutely no outbreaks and haven't even had a cold for a few years. I've learned to live nut free.

  • Lilah

    I am an avid sunflower seed eater. I have been eating them since I was 6 years old. As a grown up I would eat a bag a week, and I would also get a sore once a month. I found out about arginine upon research on the Internet cause I thought something was wrong with my immune system. Now I eat them occasionally, and I get one once maybe twice a year.I take 2000 mg of Lysine EVERY day sometimes I take another one later on before I go to bed if I'm sick or just feel one coming on. When I do have one ill take 4. You have to take them on an empty stomach though, something about it digesting properly. If you do take 3 don't take them all at once, take 2 in the morning and one at bed time. Taking too much at once can give you crampy diarrhea.

  • Carry

    Yes, if you have cold sores( herpes) you will always have to not eat nuts and also chocolate, unless you think its worth the coldsore. I cut them completely out of my diet and I don't get cold sores anymore. Getting to much sun all at once will also trigger it

  • Gina

    What about for someone who has plantar warts? It is my understanding that they are caused by a virus. I currently have a couple warts I am trying to get rid of...should I stay away from nuts?

  • Sarah

    This is very true. I have gotten cold sores since the age of 4 (I'm 32 now), and ever since I learned about 15 years ago about avoiding arginine and increasing lysine, my outbreaks have been less severe and shorter lived. Currently I have a cold sore due to overdoing cashew butter (1/2 serving a day for a week). I know better, but it's so good! Normally though, I eat maybe 1-2 servings of nuts a week, if that. I also avoid caramel coloring like the plague due to the almost immediate reaction I have. This is a very handy link: http://www.traditionaloven.com/tutorials/l-lysine_rich_foods.html

  • jerry davis

    does not eating "nuts&seeds",mean such seeds as beans ,peas, butterbeans, ect.

  • Rose

    Was doing some searching around to see if I could ferment the raw nuts so I could eat them and I found your link. Every time I eat just a small amount I get cold sores. I knew it had to do with too much arginine but didn't know about a virus. Now wondering how to get rid of the virus I have? I am taking lysine like it's going off the market and it doesn't seem to help much.

  • http://www.fms-help.com Dominie

    I have had FMS/CFIDS for 30 years. I discovered that chocolate, nuts and oatmeal caused me problems, but I didn't know that seeds could do this as well. Your article was very well-written and enlightening. One of my favorite snacks through the years has been pumpkin seeds!!! I have suffered from recurrent cold sores and even shingles twice. (Farewell, favorite snack!!!)

    I have a site for people with FMS/CFIDS at www.fms-help.com - online since 1996. I also write a weekly newsletter for fellow sufferers.

    Thank you for this valuable information about nuts, seeds and viruses!! (I have tried taking massive doses of lysine, but it doesn't help - at least not in my case.)

  • wendy

    you someone has the virus does this mean they can never eat nuts or it it only through a outbreak ? or is it just best to avoid it overall so that it can not be triggered? also if you are taking l-lysine on a daily basis can you eat nuts? thanks

  • Heather

    I have the herpes virus in my bladder. I was diagnosed by my holistic doctor. I have had it for almost 2 years. Urine tests or regular bladder tests do not show it but I certainly feel it! I take high doses of lysine which helps amazingly! He recently told me to cut out all nuts for awhile which I've done for about 3 months.

    Does this mean that I can never eat nuts again? I thought that a virus never really goes away .. it only lies dormant until something triggers it. Something like nuts or oats? It seems like the virus in my bladder never goes away. Ever.

  • Kristin

    Are you saying that if a person has herpes then they should ALWAYS avoid all nuts?!

  • joy

    what happens to the lysine-arginine ratio when almonds and sunflower seeds are sprouted?
    thanks a million!

  • HarryMonmouth

    I read this and I agree with it wholly. I have recently had a virus developing (reactivated chicken pox becoming shingles) and it is strange but my digestion seems to be most comfortable with fish sandwiches, which is something I can say I have probably never eaten before.

    I am also craving milk but something I would say to add value to your article is that I have had an incredibly light lactose intolerance for years. Barely enough to notice unless I drink over 6 pints of milk per day. The first I knew that something was wrong though is that I suddenly became violently lactose intolerant about three weeks ago. I've been just drinking lactofree since then and that seem to have helped a lot.

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Information and statements regarding dietary supplements/products have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Information on this website is provided for informational purposes only and is a result of years of practice and experience by the author. This information is not intended as a substitute for the advice provided by your physician or other healthcare professional or any information contained on or in any product label or packaging. Do not use the information on this website for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease, or prescribing medication or other treatment. Always speak with your physician or other healthcare professional before taking any medication or nutritional, herbal, or homeopathic supplement, or using any treatment for a health problem. If you have or suspect that you have a medical problem, contact your healthcare provider promptly. Do not disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking professional advice because of something you have read on this website.

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