Nutritional Connection to Cold Sores and Shingles
July 19, 2016
By Wendy Cates-Dancer, RN
Cold sores are caused by the herpes simplex virus and shingles is caused by the herpes zoster virus (the same virus that causes chicken pox). Once you are exposed to these herpes viruses, they can remain dormant, usually along the nerves, for many years until your system is weakened by stress or lack of sleep. A cold, flu or other viral infection can cause on outbreak of cold sores or shingles.
So what can you do nutritionally to prevent these flare ups? A lot! Read on to learn how.
Keep Your Immune System Strong:
- Take probiotics. Eighty percent of your immune system is made in your intestinal tract. When you maintain sufficient beneficial bacteria (also known as probiotics) in your intestinal tract, you are less likely to have flare ups. Most people do not get enough good bacteria in their diets, even if they eat yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, miso or kimchi. For that reason, we recommend taking a bifidobacteria supplement to support intestinal health and strengthen immunity. During the winter months, take one capsule three times a day, ten minutes before each meal.
- Get sufficient rest. Make sure you get 8-9 hours of sleep each night—this is when your immune system is replenished.
- Consider taking Super Lysine. Super Lysine provides the body with extra help to fight sores and shingles. This amino acid helps attack both the herpes simplex and herpes zoster viruses. Lysine assists the immune system by creating antibodies to fight infection, making it a great supplement during the winter months.
Consume Immune-Building Foods and Beverages:
- Eat your veggies. Vegetables are the nutritional powerhouses of good immune systems. Eat one to three cups per meal. Be sure to get plenty of green leafy vegetables in your diet since they are high in vitamins and minerals.
- Make sure you get enough B’s. Grass-fed meat, nuts, and sweet potatoes provide the B vitamins that support your immune system. Make a pot of our delicious Chicken Wild Rice Soup to boost your body’s defenses.
- Add garlic and healthy oil to your dishes. Good news! Garlic, coconut oil and extra virgin olive oil all have antiviral properties.
- Drink plenty of water. Make sure to get at least eight to ten glasses of water down per day to flush out waste and toxins to keep your body healthy.
Avoid Immune-Suppressing Foods:
Skip the sugar and processed carbs. Sugar and processed carbohydrates that turn into sugar, zap your immune system. To stay healthy, pass on eating chips, candy, cookies, pie, soda and alcohol that are so plentiful during the holiday season.
Try these healthy entertaining dishes to keep your immune system strong
- Salmon deviled eggs and an olive tray for appetizers
- Nuts, herring, and fruit for snacks
- Herbal or green teas (Echinacea, dandelion root, and green teas all support your immune system)
For more information about this topic, listen to our radio show: Nutrition to avoid cold sores, shingles and other viruses.