Cold sores cause misery for many. They’re painful, unsightly and can spread easily. They are also a very popular topic on this blog, so when one reader suggested Vitamin B2, also called riboflavin, as one way of preventing them I knew I had to share it with all my cold sore readers.
Vitamin B2 is one of the group of eight B vitamins which can help to reduce stress, a common trigger of cold sores in many people. There are different types of vitamin B including B1, B2, B3, B6, B9 and B12.
Vitamin B helps the body process and use fats and protein. B complex vitamins are necessary for healthy skin, hair, eyes, and liver. They also help the nervous system function properly.
In addition to producing energy for the body, riboflavin also works as an antioxidant by fighting damaging particles in the body known as free radicals.
Vitamin B deficiency can cause cracks and sores around the mouth, another indication that it’s so great at fending off cold sores.
How do you get vitamin B2 into your diet?
There are many foods rich in vitamin B2, including:
- Marmite and other yeast extract spreads
- Mushrooms, in particular crimini mushrooms which hold the most out of all the mushrooms, though others contain differing amounts
- Meat such as venison, beef and liver
- Dried herbs, spices and peppers e.g. paprika, dried coriander, spearmint, parsley and chili powder
- Oily fish such as mackerel, atlantic salmon and trout
- Milk (both cow and goat’s milk)
- Sesame seeds
It’s interesting to note that many of the above are also known allergens – it’s very important to understand the food you eat and don’t eat to make sure you are getting a balanced diet with all the nutrients, minerals, protein and calcium you need.
Nettle tea contains vitamin B2
Surprisingly nettle tea leaves contain vitamins C, B1, B2, B3, B6 and vitamin E. It is also a natural source of calcium and iron, as well as being naturally caffeine and sugar free. Nettle tea is rich in protein and it contains a considerable amount of fibre and also aids digestion.
So all in all, you can’t go far wrong with a mug of nettle tea.
If you get cold sores you will also be interested in reading “The do’s and don’ts of fighting cold sores”. It’s THE most popular blog post on this blog – amazing really that so many people get them. I hardly ever get cold sores now by following some simple rules, avoiding my food triggers, keeping my immune system strong and taking Echinacea and L-Lysine.