Most of us spend time worrying about whether foods will cause us to gain weight. But what about gaining mucus? Many foods affect the production of mucus in our sinuses. A little is healthy. A lot can cause misery. If you suffer from sinus problems and have been searching for solutions, a good place to start is with your diet.
What About Mucus?
Our sinuses are always producing mucus, which is beneficial to body function and to keep out harmful elements from the air. However, during sinus infections, inflammation or swelling, the sinus membranes enlarge and close off the passageways that would allow normal mucus drainage. When the mucus becomes trapped in the sinuses, there is a build up in pressure, causing pain, headaches, toothaches and other forms of sinus misery. So if you are prone to such sinus issues, you’re going to want to eat a diet that minimizes mucus production and, thereby, minimizes the pressure and pain.
Foods to Avoid
Some of these foods are already on your list to avoid if you’re concerned about gaining weight. Well, now you have another reason to skip these goodies. Here are the major mucus multipliers.
Lactose intolerant people experience this phenomenon. Major mucus is produced by cow milk products. Everything from the dairy farm; milk, cheese, ice-cream, etc. should be the first items off of your list. Milkshakes and eggnog both measure the worst offenders.
This is a hard one, as sugar seems to be everywhere. What you’re trying to avoid is processed sugars as found in candy, desserts, cereals, soft drinks and so on. Chocolate is a major no-no. However, natural sugars found in fruits and vegetables are great (more later). Just don’t serve that apple in a pie.
If you already have a sinus infection, cold beverages slow down the movement of the cilia and trap in mucus. You do want to drink fluids with an infection to help flush out the mucus. Go for hot teas instead, and definitely stay away from sugary juices. Even 100% natural fruit juice is loaded with the “bad” kind of sugar. Apple good, apple juice bad.
Other Foods to Avoid
Alcohol, yeast, saturated and trans fats. Meats (stay away from that cow!) and foods with additives. Also, avoid bleached and refined grains as in white bread, rice or pasta.
Good For You Foods
These foods are ones known to produce low to no mucus, or are foods which can actually help break up the mucus you already have.
Fruits and Vegetables
The best fruits are citrus, but fruits like apples, pears, apricots, peaches and pineapple are all good choices. Yellow and orange veggies are great to stock up on because they contain carotenoids, known to help sinus health.
Hot Clear Liquids
As mentioned above, hot tea is ideal for sinus troubles. But so is clear broth or vegetable soups. Yup, the cure is Chicken Noodle Soup! The heat vapor from the beverage goes directly to the source, and will help loosen up mucus. It is vital to be hydrated. When you aren’t hydrated, the mucus becomes thicker, making it harder to drain.
Have you ever watched someone eating spicy food start to sweat? Their eyes water and they blow their nose. Ah! They blow their nose! Cheyenne peppers and horseradish contain capsaicin, a natural decongestant. Whether on food or inhaled in one brave snort, these spices will help your sinuses. For a little Japanese flair, try wasabi.
As mentioned above, if you are hydrated, you have thinner mucus and it will drain. Water will overall give you a healthier body. How do you know if you’re properly hydrated? The color of your urine should be pale yellow to clear. To compare, in the mornings after you’ve slept, you are dehydrated and will have a darker colored urine then.
About The Author:
For more information about foods related to sinus health, see an ENT (ear, nose and throat) doctor. If you are in Georgia, Atlanta sinus specialists can help you find solutions to your sinus concerns.