8 Best Types of Foods for Cold Sore

Cold sores are also referred to as herpes and fever blisters. The causative virus is herpes simplex virus type 1 or type 2. According to the estimates, around 40-85% of the persons in USA have suffered from a cold sore during some point in their lives. Foods, which increase the healing process of a cold sore, do so by boosting the immunity and stopping spread of dormant virus. You should eat a well-balanced and healthy diet to help the body repair itself during an outbreak of cold sore.

Foods to Eat When You Have a Cold Sore

1. L-lysine

An amino acid known as L-lysine is present in some proteins, vegetables and fruits. Herpes virus requires an acid L-arginine to replicate, whose effects are inhibited by L-lysine. L-lysine is naturally present in dairy products such as cheese and milk, chicken, eggs, fish, and fruits and these foods should be consumed during an outbreak of herpes. You should chose foods that have highest content of L-lysine such as yogurt that have 705 mg of L-lysine and pork ribs that have 4,730 mg of L-lysine to stop herpes virus infection.

2. Vegetables and Fruits

Fresh vegetables and fruits when eaten in raw and whole form provide your body the essential nutrients and vitamins that are required to heal. You should eat beets, mangoes and apricots to help healing of cold sores. Green peppers, dark green leafy vegetables and oranges are a rich source of antioxidant vitamin C, which helps in wound and skin healing. This can reduce the time required to heal cold sores.

3. Alkalinity

The alkaline and acid balance of your body is affected by the dietary choices you make. Which foods to eat when you have a cold sore? A diet that consists of alkaline foods helps in healing cold sores and stops herpes virus from replicating. You should avoid eating acidic foods including sodas and chocolates and instead of them eat alkaline foods such as grapes, pineapple, lemons and kiwi daily. You should drink a glass of water (8 oz) with a juice of one lemon while you are having an outbreak of herpes every day so as to counteract acidic foods ingested during the day and provide alkalinity.

4. Cold Foods

Discomfort caused by fever blisters is relieved by eating cold foods as they reduce swelling and numb sensitive nerve endings. It is recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics that for children you should give cold drinks including milk, ice water or juice and frozen items such as ice pops and milk shakes. However, parents should choose non-acidic juices such as apricot nectar or apple juice as acidic juices such as orange juice or lemonade may worsen the discomfort due to fever blisters. The same holds true for adults as well.

5. Water

Which foods to eat when you have a cold sore? Make sure that you are drinking lots of water every day while you having an outbreak of herpes. Water may help in diluting any harmful food products you have consumed particularly acidic foods. Temporary relief in pain of an open cold sore can also be provided by drinking a glass of chilled water.

6. Vitamin E Supplements

Vitamin E helps in soothing the skin in relieving discomfort and pain caused due to cold sores. It helps in repairing damaged skin and reducing inflammation and also acts as an antioxidant. Vitamin E supplements can be consumed orally as capsules or you may increase your intake of foods rich in vitamin E such as spinach, almonds, avocados, olive oil, sunflower seeds and sweet potatoes.

7. Quercetin Containing Foods

Flavonoids are compounds that are present in plants naturally, are responsible for providing the vibrant colors to vegetables and fruits and also provide protection to them from insects and microbes. Some of the flavonoids also possess anti-viral properties. Quercetin is a flavonoid, which is abundantly found in nature is especially effective in inhibiting replication of viruses such as of HSV type 1. Which foods to eat when you have a cold sore? Food rich in quercetin are apples, capers, broccoli, lovage, cherries, many berries and red grapes.

8. Zinc

Zinc has anti-viral properties and it inhibits some viruses including HSV. It is recommended by many experts to apply zinc topically to prevent recurrent outbreaks of herpes simplex. However, there are limited studies that evaluate the link between herpes simplex and dietary consumption of zinc. Nevertheless, zinc plays a vital role in maintaining a strong immune system; hence, it’s a good idea to boost your intake of zinc.

Zinc needs vitamin B6 to get properly absorbed from the intestines and is present in various foods such as red meat, poultry and oysters. Zinc obtained from plants such as grains, nuts and legumes is different than obtained from animals and is not used readily by your body, though oats are a rich source of zinc and which can be easily used by the body.

Foods to Avoid When You Have a Cold Sore

1. Arginine-Rich Foods

Arginine, an amino acid that is present in many foods is required by the HSV to replicate in the body and run its complete course after infecting the body and following an outbreak of herpes. You can minimize the severity and duration of an outbreak of cold sore by not eating arginine rich foods including peanuts, chocolates, hazelnuts, walnuts, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds and flaxseeds. Arginine is also present in whole grains and dark leafy green vegetables.

2. Processed Foods

A diet that is rich in refined and processed foods can lead to poor immunity. Sugar is especially damaging for the immune system as it interferes with the ability of the white blood cells to kill bacteria. Impaired immunity can result in recurrent outbreaks of cold sores. Moreover, when you eat processed foods that are rich in sugar while having an outbreak of cold sore, it will significantly impair the ability of your body to heal the cold sores efficiently.

3. Acidic Foods

After four days of infection, the cold sores rupture to form an open sore. A scab forms on these open wounds and if proper care is not taken, these scabs may crack and reopen. You should minimize eating acidic beverages and foods such as oranges, pineapples, grapefruit, tomatoes, wine, and soda and fruit juice to avoid worsening of a ruptured cold sore. Salty snack items such as pretzels and pickles and salad dressings containing vinegar may also aggravate a ruptured cold sore.

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