Although the exact cause of canker sores is usually unknown, deficiency of certain nutrients is believed to increase the risk of developing sores in the mouth. In addition to nutritional problems, weakened immune system and diseases of the gastrointestinal tract are frequently associated with complex canker sores.
Eating a healthy diet helps to accelerate healing of the canker sores. A balanced diet also helps to meet the nutritional requirements of the body. As canker sores make eating painful, during the recovery period, you should avoid foods that irritate the mouth and aggravate the symptoms of canker sores.
Diet to Treat Canker Sores
Eat Vitamin B12 Rich Foods
Deficiency of vitamin B12 may cause canker sores. Studies suggest that therapy with vitamin B12 can reduce the canker sore discomfort, lessen pain and decrease the duration of the canker sore outbreak. By boosting the vitamin B12 reserve in your body, you can prevent recurrent canker sore outbreaks. Along with a healthy diet rich in vitamin B12 rich food, people susceptible to canker sore breakouts can take 1000 mcg of vitamin B12 supplement once daily for up to six months.
Animal products are the natural sources of vitamin B12. Meat, fish, milk, dairy products, eggs and poultry are the main dietary sources of this vitamin. Vegans who avoid all types of animal products have a higher risk of experiencing vitamin B12 deficiency. To meet their vitamin B12 requirement, vegans may consume breakfast cereals fortified with vitamin B12.
Eat Foods Rich in Folic Acid
Recurrent canker sore outbreaks can be a sign of folic acid deficiency. Increasing consumption of foods rich in this B vitamin helps to clear the sore rapidly and reduces the risks of further outbreaks. A diet rich in plant products can easily meet your daily folic acid requirement. The common sources of this nutrient include dark green leafy vegetables, beans, peas, sprouts, poultry and organ meets. Citrus fruits, though are rich in folic acid, should be avoided during canker sore outbreaks.
Eat Iron Rich Foods
Increasing intake of iron rich foods helps to treat canker sores rapidly. Iron deficiency is especially associated with recurrent canker sore outbreaks. Iron can be obtained from both animal and plant products.
The finest sources of iron include liver, red meat, egg yolk, oysters, dried fruits, dried beans, nuts, leafy vegetables and whole grains.
Eat Zinc Rich Foods
Zinc helps in healing of sores. Diet for canker sore patients should contain foods rich in zinc. Some of the richest dietary sources of zinc include meat, shrimp, scallops, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, yogurt, asparagus, mushroom and oat.
Foods to Avoid
Acidic fruits such as lime, lemon, tomato, strawberry, figs and apple worsen the symptoms of canker sore by irritating the ulcer in the mouth. By aggravating the canker sore symptoms, acidic fruits slow down healing of canker sores. To reduce discomfort, all types of acidic foods should be eliminated from the diet until the ulcers are cured completely. However, these acidic fruits are rich sources of ascorbic acid or vitamin C, a nutrient essential for maintaining the functions of the immune system. A weak immune system slows the speed of recovery. To meet your vitamin C requirement, you can take vitamin C supplements.