Foods That Help Prevent and Heal Cold Sores
This section of HealWithFood.org's Guide to Preventing Cold Sores presents foods that may help prevent herpes outbreaks. If you are interested in more general information about nutrition and cold sores, check out this Guide's diet tips for preventing cold sores. For delicious recipes that combine some of the best cold sore fighting foods, go to the Guide's recipe directory.
#1: Red Marine Algae
In Asia, red marine algae has been considered an immune boosting superfood for centuries. More recently, also the international scientific community has credited red marine algae with extraordinary health benefits. According to recent research, red marine algae has properties that may help control and reduce the spreading of the herpes simplex virus. These properties are thought to be associated with the high levels of the herpes-fighting sulfated polysaccharides and carrageenans found in red marine algae. Besides including red marine algae in your anti-herpes diet, you can use it topically to gain relief from symptoms associated with cold sores.
#2: Lemon Balm
Lemon balm, an aromatic herb in the mint family of plants, has been shown to have antiviral properties which may help prevent cold sore outbreaks. Dried lemon balm can be used to make cold sore fighting tea, while fresh lemon balm leaves make a great addition to salads and smoothies. Cold sore fighting creams containing lemon balm are also available and can be used topically to heal cold sores.
Celery is an all-around healthy food, and it may be one of the best foods for those who are prone to herpes outbreaks. Not only is it low in arginine, an amino acid that is required for the replication of the herpes virus, it is also rich in lysine. Lysine is an amino acid that has been found to be active against the herpes virus in vitro due to its ability to inhibit the metabolism of arginine. In addition, celery provide sa fair amount of vitamin C which has been shown to shorten the time until remission of symptoms associated with a herpes outbreak.
#4: White Tea
Drinking white tea is a great way to give yourself a health boost and to decrease your risk of experiencing a herpes outbreak. White tea has been shown to possess strong antiviral properties, even stronger than green tea. These antiviral activities have been shown to be effective at deactivating the herpes virus.
#5: Iceberg Lettuce
Lettuce is one of the best plant-based low-arginine sources of herpes-fighting lysine. As you know, lysine fights cold sores by inhibiting the metabolism of arginine, an amino acid that helps the herpes virus replicate. Iceberg lettuce, which has a lysine/arginine ratio of 1.60, is a particularly good vegetable for people who want to reduce their risk of herpes outbreaks. Romaine lettuce and green leaf lettuce also have attractive lysine/arginine ratios (around 1.20 for both).
With a lysine/arginine ratio of 1.50, turnips are nearly as good as iceberg lettuce in protecting people from herpes outbreaks. In addition, turnips are packed with immune boosting nutrients which can further reduce your risk of getting cold sores. As an added bonus, turnips are very low in calories. When buying these powerful cold sore fighting veggies, make sure they are smooth-skinned, heavy, and firm.
Be sure to check out the other sections of HealWithFood.org's Guide to Fighting Cold Sores as well: