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10 Foods You Need to Avoid If You Have Canker Sores

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Avoid these 10 foods to help reduce canker sore breakouts.

While there is no evidence that eating any specific food will directly lead to a canker sore breakout, avoiding ones that can potentially trigger the sores should lower your susceptibility to them.

Plus, there are a number of foods that will aggravate any existing sores that you should stay away from during an outbreak so that you can heal faster and reduce pain.

We explore the 10 worst foods that you can eat if you regularly get canker sores, helping you lower their frequency and improve healing time when you do get them.

Citrus Fruits

Citrus Foods to Avoid
Pineapple
Grapefruit
Lemon
Orange

Citric acid is one of the food types that can directly contribute to the formation of canker sores. It can be found in high amounts in orange juice and grapefruit juice.

Not only can citric acid cause canker sores, but it also should be avoided during breakouts. The high acidity content can create irritation on your mouth tissue, while also potentially causing the growth of more sores.

Acidic Fruits

Acidic Foods to Avoid

Tomato

Strawberry
Fig
Pomegranate

Any fruits that are highly acidic, such as tomatoes and strawberries should also be avoided by canker sore sufferers. The excessive acid may increase the chance for more sores and may also reduce your healing time once they have already formed.

Avoiding beverages that are made from acidic fruits or vegetables including tomato juice and pomegranate juice is also recommended to optimize the healing time for your canker sores.

Salty Snacks

Salty Snacks to Avoid
Chips
Pretzels
Peanuts

Although gargling with salt water is often considered a home remedy for canker sores, eating salty snacks is not. The excessive salt found on potato chips, pretzels, and other bar-style snacks can irritate the inside of your mouth, triggering canker sores or aggrevating existing ones.

When you have canker sores inside your mouth, laying off salty and rigid snacks like chips will reduce inflammation and ensure that the sores are not aggravated by any sharp edges.

Spicy Foods

Spicy Foods to Avoid
Hot Pepper
Chili Sauce
Spices
Curry

One of the best ideas for a canker sore diet is to stick to foods that are on the bland side. Eating foods that are rich in spices or contain heat can lead to a canker sore outbreak or cause additional pain to ones that have already developed.

Even if you are used to eating spicy foot, any dish that you would consider “hot” and can irritate either the mouth or throat should be avoided if you want to limit the frequency of canker sores.

Sugary Drinks

Sugary Drinks to Avoid
Soda
Non-Natural Fruit Drinks
Energy Drinks

Sugar-filled drinks such as soda pop contain a variety of ingredients including high fructose corn syrup and phosphoric acid, both of which can trigger inflammation inside the mouth and increase the possibility of more canker sores developed.

While these drinks should be limited in general, it is more important for people suffering from canker sores to monitor their soda intake. If you already have an outbreak, then you should stick to water or natural iced tea to improve your healing time.

Arginine-Rich Foods

Arginine-Rich Foods to Avoid
Chocolate
Nuts (Peanuts, Walnuts, Hazelnuts, Almonds)
Seeds
Oats

An amino acid which is usually beneficial for our bodies, Arginine is believed to be a contributing factor to the outbreak of canker sores. Foods rich with arginine provide a variety of benefits to our bodies, but they should be eaten in moderation by those who are at risk of regular canker sores.

Peanuts, walnuts, and hazelnuts are all arginine-rich foods that you should steer clear from if you have already had a breakout. Plus, this includes peanut butter, almond butter and milk-substitutes that are made from various nuts.

Pumpkin seeds and sesame seeds, although a healthy addition to any diet, are the worst offenders from the seed family and should be kept at a minimum.

Coffee

If you enjoy a warm cup of coffee every morning, you will want to skip it on days that you feel a canker sore coming on. Coffee includes a large amount of salicylic acid, which can lead to irritation against the sensitive tissue inside your mouth.

For an alternative caffeine fix while you are suffering from canker sores, try brewing some tea before letting it cool down.

Eggs

Eggs are a food that many canker sore patients may have a sensitivity too, which can trigger the outbreaks of the sore. While not as common as other foods on the list, if you find yourself regularly suffering from sores, try taking a break from eating eggs.

If you notice that a reduction of eggs in your diet leads to fewer canker sores, then you may have found one of your triggers.

Cheese

Like eggs, cheese can also be a trigger food the contributes to new canker sore outbreaks. It is recommended that cheese is eaten in moderation by those who are prone to the sores and significantly reduced when the sores are present.

As we recommend with eggs, limit your cheese intake during your breakout to ensure that you heal in the quickest amount of time possible.

Fried Foods

Avoid Deep Fried, Battered Foods

Eating fried foods on a regular basis is not recommended in any diet, but could be especially bad for canker sores. It is believed that both the heated oil and the crunchy exterior of fried foods can aggravate the inside of the mouth, which can increase pain for existing sores.

*Exercise Supplements

Pre-Workout, Branch Chain Amino Acids

If you like to hit the gym, then you may be taking one of the many workout supplements that include arginine as the main ingredient. While the amino acid is great for putting on muscle, it can trigger canker sores, especially when combined with some of the flavor-additives that include sugar found in the mixtures.

Check any supplements that you are taking to make sure that they are arginine-free if you want to limit the chances of another canker sore outbreak.

Next Article: Herbs and Supplements for Canker Sores