Sinus problems are unpleasant, no matter what your symptoms are. Congestion, headaches, sinus pressure, or runny nose can be quite irritating, but you can help ease them by eating foods that support the immune system.
Mucus tends to drain from your nose, but respiratory infections, colds, allergies, or nasal polyps can inflame or swell up nasal passages. By blocking the sinuses, which are pockets located along your eyes, nose, forehead, and cheekbones, they begin to fill up with bacteria-laden mucus. This accumulation can lead to a sinus infection, which you can typically fight with natural remedies or over-the-counter decongestants or cold medications. Drinking lots of fluids and eating healthy foods can also help the body fight off an infection.
Food alone may not be able to cure a sinus infection, but certain foods may help relieve symptoms. These foods contain antioxidants that may help ease breathing by decreasing inflammation in your system. Think of eating the right foods as putting the right kind of fuel in your car to ensure it runs well. Eating the wrong foods, such as processed foods, fried foods, and dairy products, can contribute to more inflammation. Give your body the nutrients it needs when you have a sinus infection. Continue reading to learn how these foods can benefit you.
Garlic contains antibacterial and antimicrobial properties that help fight against viruses. In order to help activate garlic’s properties, simply crush or chop it to release allicin, the active compound. The antibacterial properties of allicin may help relieve mucus build-up and promote sinus drainage. This may help alleviate pressure in the sinus, but more research is still necessary.
From jalapeños to serranos, hot peppers can help clear your sinuses because they help to soften mucus. Capsaicin is the active ingredient in peppers that gives them their spice, but it also activates the immune system and reduces inflammation. Peppers won’t completely get rid of a sinus infection, but they may clear out mucus and relieve sinus pressure.
Whether you have a sore throat, sinus infection, or upset stomach, ginger can come to the rescue. According to a 2020 study, ginger may relieve congestion and runny nose. The small study monitored 80 people who took 500 milligrams (mg) of ginger extract daily. At the end of the study, the results indicated that the ginger extract was just as effective as taking 10 mg of loratadine (also known as Claritin). Ginger also exhibits antibacterial properties that may help fight viruses.
Some refer to water as the liquid of the gods, while others can’t seem to hydrate at all. One of the best things to do when you have a sinus infection is to drink more water than you would normally. Water helps to flush waste from the body, keep the tissues healthy, and regulate body temperature. Drinking plenty of water when you have a sinus infection can thin mucus and reduce congestion. You can also drink herbal teas, provided you don’t sweeten them with sugar. Use natural sweeteners like stevia or raw organic honey instead.
Pineapples are naturally rich in antioxidants that help protect mucus membranes from damage. The enzymes in pineapple also help break down bacteria and mucus that build up within the sinuses. This can ultimately reduce inflammation and decrease the painful side effects that result from a sinus infection.
Unlike pineapple, mint cannot fight bacteria and break down mucus in the nasal passages. Mint doesn’t eliminate congestion; rather, the menthol in it helps to stimulate nerve receptors in the nasal passages. This makes it feel as though more air is passing through, which can ease breathing. You can also add peppermint essential oil to a diffuser and inhale the vapor to promote better breathing. Drink a cup of peppermint tea as well!
Colorful Fruits And Vegetables
Eating the rainbow, which you can learn more about by clicking here, can increase your antioxidant intake. Colorful fruits and vegetables contain carotenoids and flavonoids, which may have anti-inflammatory effects on the body. Some studies indicated that certain antioxidants in foods help defend against infection. Great colorful foods to eat include kale, strawberries, oranges, collard greens, cherries, spinach, tomatoes, blueberries, and beets.