Cold sores can be incredibly painful and a reason for social awkwardness. While the blisters around your mouth can prevent you from enjoying your regular meal; there are some foods that do not cause much discomfort, yet prolong the duration of the outbreak.
When cold sores scab and reopen, eating acidic foods can aggravate the sore. Some foods to avoid are: citrus fruits, tomatoes, fruit juices, wine, soda, pickles, and vinegar-based salad dressings. Hot and spicy foods can also have a tendency to break cold sores. We recommend eating warm foods, and reducing salt and spice consumption.
Some foods suppress your immune system during a cold sore outbreak. This may lead to recurrence of a cold sore. Avoid processed foods like sugary breakfast cereals, packaged snacks, frozen foods, canned foods, pasta meals and high calorie snacks.
Herpes simplex virus, that causes cold sores, requires arginine (amino acid) to replicate and thrive in your body. Depriving the virus of arginine can certainly reduce the duration and severity of an outbreak. Foods that contain arginine include flaxseeds, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, chocolate, spinach, whole grains, almonds, peanuts, hazelnuts and walnuts. Avoid these foods completely when you feel the first few symptoms of a cold sore.
A cold sore outbreak cannot be stopped once you have it. What you can do is eat food that helps in preventing the outbreaks. Lysine (amino acid) blocks arginine, and stops the virus from replicating. Lysine-rich foods like vegetables, legumes, milk, cheese and fish are helpful in strengthening your immune system and preventing cold sore.
As for foods during an outbreak, cold foods, vegetable juices, and warm soups can satisfy your hunger while preventing the sore from being aggravated.