Vegan foods with more lysine than arginine

There is some very limited and preliminary evidence that a high ratio of lysine-to-arginine in your diet may be beneficial for reducing outbreaks of HSV-1 (herpes labialis). Common foods with more lysine than arginine are dairy and various meats. However, some vegan foods also fall in this category, based on USDA data. What follows is an abridged list of these food items. It is also worth to note the writing of Jack Norris on this topic.


  • Kidney beans
  • Pinto beans
  • White and/or “Navy” beans
  • Adzuki beans
  • Snap beans (green/yellow)
  • Edamame (but not mature soy)
  • Black Turtle or Black beans
  • Cranberry beans
  • French beans
  • Great Northern beans
  • Lima beans
  • Natto
  • Pigeon peas
  • Tamari sauce
  • Winged beans


  • Sweet corn (but not popcorn or other varieties)
  • Farina (cooked)

Starchy tubers

  • Potatoes (all colors)
  • Sweet potatoes


  • Asparagus
  • Beetroot
  • Carrots (mature only)
  • Cauliflower
  • Celery
  • Kale
  • Lettuce (all kind)
  • Parsley
  • Spinach (raw or canned, but not frozen)
  • Sprouted lentils (only sprouted)
  • Tomatoes (and all tomato products)
  • Turnip
  • Chinese Cabbage (pak-choi or pe-tsai)
  • Chayote
  • Calabash
  • Summer Squash (including zucchini)


  • Cremini
  • White
  • Portabella


  • Wakame
  • Kelp


  • Cinnamon
  • Fennel seeds
  • Ginger
  • Oregano
  • Parsley


  • Apple
  • Apricots
  • Pears (including Asian Pears)
  • Avocado
  • Bananas
  • Cherries
  • Figs
  • Guavas
  • Mango
  • Melon or Cantaloupe
  • Nectarines
  • Peaches
  • Pineapple
  • Plums
  • Watermelon



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