In the absence of a proven cold sore cure cold sore sufferers just have to try their best to shorten the length of their lesions, to lessen the presence of pain and to keep good overall health both during and after an outbreak.
Of course, a good cold sore cream has a massive role to play in achieving these ends, but in an era when a large part of us are waking up to the impact of diet on everyday and long-term wellbeing, it is sometimes useful to remind ourselves of just how much of an impact food can have on helping us to both avoid and minimise cold sores.
And what better time to do this than Christmas! Christmas just happens to come smack-bang in the middle of winter when climatic conditions are at the most conducive for both the spread of the cold sore virus to first-time sufferers and outbreaks for those who’ve already experienced at least one outbreak. Christmas also happens to involve a lot of festive eating and drinking, some of which may only serve to increase the cold sore risk.
So for our take on Cold Sore Friendly Christmas Eating, read on.
Sling the Salty Snacks
According to the Journal of Clinical Investigation ingestion of too much salt serves to undermine immune function. Replace salty snacks with lovely fresh crudités instead. For example, carrots and other vegetables are brimming with immune-boosting vitamin A. We suggest Crudités at Christmas for those who want to keep and stay well.
Manuka for Sweeter Moments
Trifle, Christmas cake, Christmas pudding, brandy butter, sweets, chocolate etc., Christmas is full of sweet moments. However, as Nutrition Journal reports, sugar impairs the ability of white blood cells to kill bacteria. If you must have a bit of sweetness at Christmas, why not opt for manuka honey instead. Manuka has antiviral properties and certainly has the edge over sugar when it comes to Christmas cold sore sweetness.
There’ll be no Chestnuts Roasting by the Fire
Chestnuts have a high arginine content and a high arginine-to-lysine ratio so, unfortunately, will only help your cold sore prosper. The same goes for other nuts. Try Swiss, Gruyere, Blue or Edam cheese for foods that are high in lysine and have a high lysine-to-arginine ratio.
Drink Tea not Spirits to Keep Your Spirits Up
The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism found that boozing increases stress hormones; bad news if you are a cold sore sufferer and want a drink at Christmas. Try rooibos tea for its stress-reducing flavonoid Aspalathin. An alcoholic drink might seem like a shortcut to stress-relief, but this is only likely to prove short-term. If you really want to beat cold sores this Christmas, put the kettle on.
Save Your Stocking Chocolates for the New Year
Chocolate may be one of your favourite foods but is, unfortunately, full of arginine, which just happens to be one of the cold sore virus’s favourites. If you really don’t want to develop a cold sore this Christmas, try snacking on papaya, mango or apricot instead. Of have a glass of milk, which is full of lysine.
What’s Important to You?
Skipping some of the less cold sore sufferer friendly foods at Christmas might not sound like much fun, but if you really want to stay well this winter it is recommended. But ultimately, what you choose to do will reflect who you are and what is important to you. And if you do find yourself with that tell-tale tingle, reach for your tube of Herstat cold sore cream.