Shingles is an infection caused by the chickenpox virus which can be reactivated later in life. Shingles causes a painful skin rash and blisters to form on the body, especially around or near the eyes, but can also occur on other parts of the body. Shingles is often accompanied with flu-like symptoms such as fever, chills and fatigue. Shingles is known as 'herpes zoster'. Shingles can occur in people of any age but it's more common in older adults.
If you have shingles, or are suffering from postherpetic neuralgia (PHN), there are some foods you should eat to help the skin heal quickly and to reduce the risk of infection. The foods you should eat are high in antioxidants, vitamin C, anti-inflammatories and zinc.
Here are 5 foods to eat if you have shingles or PHN:
- Sarsaparilla (Smilax ornata) is a medicinal plant that is used to treat shingles and other inflammation related conditions such as arthritis. Sarsaparilla contains the chemical 'chirkine' which aids the production of collagen. Collagen is a protein based fibre found in your skin which gives skin its strength and elasticity, so it's essential for healthy skin.
- Saffron is a herb with anti-inflammatory properties. Saffron may help skin heal faster and can also treat mild shingles symptoms, such as pain and itching. Saffron contains the chemical 'crocetin' which decreases inflammation in the body.
- Peppers are good for the skin as they're high in vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant that protects the body from free radicals. Shingles can cause extreme dryness which may lead to infection so it is important to eat foods high in vitamin C to protect the skin from damage and increase the healing speed.
- Salmon fish contains omega 3 fatty acids, another powerful antioxidant that can decrease inflammation in your body. Shingles causes severe pain and if left untreated, this pain may lead to depression. Omega 3 fatty acids are anti-depressants that help reduce the sense of depression caused by shingles.
- Dark chocolate is high in antioxidants which protect the skin from cell damage. Shingles causes a loss of appetite which can lead to vitamin and mineral deficiencies, so it's important to eat high antioxidant foods.
We hope this blog post has given you some helpful advice about how to manage the pain and discomfort of shingles. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out! Our goal is to provide top quality information on various health topics so that our readers are empowered with knowledge they can use every day. What foods have helped alleviate your symptoms? Please share in the comments below or send us a message with an email!