Cold Sore Prevention Diet


There’s been many studies done on the link between diet and cold sore outbreaks. Much like other parts of the body, your diet can affect how your body functions and performs tasks. By giving your body the best possible food, rich in vitamins and minerals, you help your body fight off harmful cold sore outbreaks.

Start with Quercetin

The flavonoids that give plants, fruits and vegetables their vibrant colors also contain a vital cold sore combating mineral. Quercetin, one of the most ample flavonoids in nature, can be particularly effective at reducing cold sore outbreaks. Good food sources you should include in your diet that have Quercetin are:

  • Capers
  • Apples
  • Lovage
  • Broccoli
  • Red Grapes
  • Cherries
  • Varieties of Berries

Customize Your Diet

A diet rich in amino acid lysine and low in the amino acid arginine may help manage cold sore outbreaks (learn more about the do’s and dont’s for cold sores). While lysine has been known to help with suppressing cold sore outbreaks, arginine is believed to aggravate the virus. Many proteins carry both these amino acids, so to balance it out, try to incorporate these foods into your new diet:

  • Yogurt
  • Cheese

And Avoid:

  • Nuts & Seeds

Pump Up Your Vitamin C & E

Vitamin C, or ascorbic acid, has been shown to inactivate a wide range of viruses, including cold sores. Vitamin C can also assist in the remission process. It can be easy to incorporate vitamin C into your daily diet, simply take a supplement or try these vitamin C rich foods:

  • Yellow Bell Pepper
  • Guava
  • Kale
  • Kiwi
  • Broccoli

Vitamin E is also high in anti-oxidants and immune system boosting properties. The immune system is the body’s greatest defense against a cold sore outbreak, so maintaining it is very important. Vitamin C & E complement each other, so try getting vitamin E rich foods into your diet as well:

  • Swiss Chard
  • Mustard Greens
  • Spinach
  • Turnip Greens

Get More Zinc

Zinc, the naturally occurring metal that our bodies require to function properly, also has fantastic immune system boosting and bacteria fighting properties. Many experts recommend a zinc supplement to combat frequent cold sore outbreaks. Zinc can be found in a variety of foods, mostly proteins, such as:

  • Oysters
  • Red Meat
  • Chicken
  • Nuts & Grains

However, if you want to avoid foods high in arginine, you’ll want to avoid red meat and nuts and grains. Simply take a zinc supplement each morning, with food, and you’ll receive all the benefits of this amazing mineral.

Things to Avoid

In keeping your new super diet on the right track, you’ll also want to avoid certain foods that can aggravate and trigger cold sores (read more about what can trigger a cold sore). These foods include spicy or overly acidic foods, as these can cause issues around the lips and possibly damage delicate tissue, allowing a cold sore outbreak to take place.