Everyone has allergies from time to time but feeling permanently stuffy or having a runny nose can be a problem. People who suffer greatly from regular sinus problems may be surprised to hear that your diet can play a big role in your sinus health. Whether it’s eating food that promotes the problem or not eating enough of the beneficial ones, you can take active steps to regain control over your sinus health and relieve infections as they arise. By knowing the foods to eat and what to avoid, you can start to feel more energized and reap the benefits.
What Foods Help With Sinus Health and How To Relieve A Sinus Infection
Related: 3 Ways To Relieve Sinus Congestion
The warm, dark environment of the sinuses creates the optimal space for infections, learn how to clear sinuses, combat and relieve sinus infection, and improve your sinus health with these tips.
10 foods for sinus health to relieve infection
- Antioxidant-Rich Foods
- Coconut oil
Effective Everyday Tips on How to Clear Sinuses
Behind the Stuffy Nose
The sinuses are small air pockets in the skull around the eyes, nose, and forehead that are lined with mucous membranes. They moisten the air we breathe in while also catching dust, microbes, and allergens before these can reach the lungs.
This warm, moist environment is the perfect breeding ground for bacteria, fungi, and mold, but the body does a good job of removing or destroying the captured bacteria, spores, and cysts before they can begin growing.
Problems arise when our mucous membranes are damaged, or the mucus becomes too thick to move freely. When this happens, infections can explode to life in the pockets of your sinuses and lead to a more severe condition.
Sinusitis can be painful and debilitating. A few of the symptoms of a sinus infection to watch out for are:
- loss of smell
Sinusitis can also be caused by allergies, nasal polyps, the common cold, immune deficiencies, dental infections, or a deviated septum. There are things you can do and foods to add to your recipes that can help prevent sinus infections or clear your sinuses up.
Foods to Prevent Viral and Chronic Sinus Infections
Preventing the symptoms of sinus infections is always better than treating it. If you want to have a healthy sinus system, learning how to clear sinuses starts with adapting these healthy eating habits:
1. Drink More Water
Plenty of fresh, clean, filtered water is essential to the health of our sinuses. You can ease most minor symptoms of chronic sinus infections by drinking plenty of clean, purified water.
The body relies heavily on water to perform every function. When we don’t get enough, the body robs water from nonessential functions to keep the essential ones going.
This can quickly lead to thick mucus that doesn’t flow smoothly, clogs the sinuses, encourages bacterial growth, and later on, the development of infections
2. Eat More Pineapple
Pineapple is rich in antioxidants, which protects the delicate mucous membranes from damage. The enzymes in pineapple also break down junk that builds up in sinuses and reduces inflammation.
3. Add Peppers to Your Meals
Everyone knows that hot peppers can clear sinuses. When you eat something hot and spicy, you might feel nasal discharge or nasal obstruction soften and become looser.
That’s because of capsaicin, the compound in chili peppers that gives them their heat, eases pain, reduces inflammation, and stimulates your immune system.
While it may not be able to treat sinusitis infections, it’s still a good way to clear sinuses of mucus. Just use it wisely and in moderation because eating too many spicy foods may lead to indigestion, nausea, or abdominal pain.
4. Include Horseradish in Your Daily Diet
Horseradish might not be a common food you eat everyday, but it does have a lot of health benefits. The health benefits of horseradish are mainly attributed to its high nutrient and mineral content, which includes dietary fiber, vitamin C, folate, potassium, calcium, magnesium, zinc, and manganese, as well as its organic chemical composition of enzymes and oils, like sinigrin, a powerful glucosinolate.
This spicy root acts much the same way as chili peppers, reducing inflammation and stimulating the immune system.. It also has antibiotic properties.
5. Spice It Up with Garlic
Garlic and its relative, the onion, stimulate many of the same pathways as peppers to reduce inflammation and pain. Allicin, a sulfur compound created when garlic is crushed or cut, is antibacterial, antifungal, and even kills some viruses, too.
Garlic has powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that make it a perfect addition to any meal. Not only do your sinuses benefit, but it’s great for protecting the heart and fighting the common cold. What makes garlic so great is you can easily add it to your meals. It’s a very versatile spice that goes well with almost anything! Try these garlic mushroom burgers for a tasty and healthy meal packed with garlic.
What makes garlic so great is you can easily add it to your meals. It’s a very versatile spice that goes well with almost anything!
Related: Garlic Mushroom Burgers
6. Increase Probiotics Intake
The friendly bacteria in our bodies help keep less helpful bacteria and fungi infections at bay.
Your gut is made up of trillions of microorganisms. Probiotics help to keep the balance of friendly and harmful bacteria in check. When your gut is thrown out of balance, bacteria has a chance to thrive. Taking probiotics also helps to enhance your mood, improve your digestive system, and boost your immune system.
Fermented foods contain probiotics. Vegan options include sauerkraut, kimchi, pickles, coconut yogurt, tempeh, miso, and kombucha.
You can also take an SBO (soil-based organism) Probiotic from Sunwarrior to create a healthy microbiome. SBO probiotics are naturally resistant to the harsh environment of the digestive system. This means they don’t need to go through any synthetic processes to benefit your body and gut.
7. Consume Antioxidants-Rich Foods
Oxidation damage can contribute to chronic sinusitis. Antioxidants protect the mucous membranes from free radical damage.
Look for bright, colorful fruits and vegetables like citrus, kiwi, spinach, berries, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, and other similarly vibrant foods. These are often loaded with helpful antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins.
8. Add Ginger to Diet
This spice contains antioxidants, natural antihistamines, and anti-inflammatories that speed healing, decrease pain, and reduce swelling and congestion throughout the body. It eases allergies, sinus pain, nausea, and discomfort.
One of the best ways to enjoy ginger is with this ginger and turmeric tea. Turmeric and ginger are two of the healthiest ingredients known to mankind. This drink isn’t just a remedy tea for colds but rather a daily detox and rejuvenation.
9. Use Turmeric More Often
Turmeric is related to ginger and carries many of the same benefits. It is commonly found in Indian delicacies such as curry. The spice is a powerful medicinal plant used in many cultures around the world. Turmeric contains a group of compounds called curcuminoids. Out of these curcuminoids, curcumin is the most studied. Curcumin has been used to treat things like hay fever, depression, and high cholesterol.
Combine a little bit of turmeric with hot water, and then gargle the mixture to clear and heal the sinuses at the same time.
10. Supplement with Coconut Oil
Related: 15 Health benefits of Coconut Oil]
10 Ways to Clear Clogged Sinuses
Food alone may not be enough to get rid of the symptoms of your seasonal allergies and infections. e may not be enough to get rid of the symptoms of your seasonal allergies and infections. When it comes to sinus problems the foods you eat are just as important as the foods you don’t eat. Other lifestyle factors such as regular exercise and staying hydrated can all help prevent sinus problems and leave you feeling clearer. Try these easy activities to stay decongested and breathing fine even when sinus infections are at their worst:
1. Avoid Dairy Products
Dairy products are some of the most common foods that cause congestion. You should be avoiding dairy if you’re prone to sinus infections as dairy can thicken mucus and promote microbial growth. Cutting out dairy can make a significant difference with sinus problems for some people.
This especially applies to people who are currently experiencing nasal congestion and sinus pressure problems.
2. Exercise Regularly
Exercise improves circulation, moves lymph fluid, aids the immune system, and increases mucus production.
Try incorporating an exercise routine into your daily regimen, such as rebounding, jump rope, and jumping jacks to use gravity to help clear sinuses.
When you’re sick, however, you might not be able to perform any of these exercises, but try to do at least some stretching exercises. Any movement is better than nothing.
3. Inhale Steam
Inhaling steam can loosen mucus, break up buildups and gently clear sinuses. You can use a bowl of hot water, steam machines, or even a hot shower to hydrate away some of the pain.
4. Drink Tea
Warm herbal teas include some steam inhalation while the warm liquid carries away mucus. Holy basil, peppermint, chamomile, ginger, and licorice teas are excellent for the sinuses and throat during a bout of sinusitis.
Related: Turmeric Ginger Tea Recipe
5. Use Essential Oils
Many essential oils can stimulate mucous membranes and reduce congestion. A few drops in hot water can improve the effectiveness of steam inhalation. Use them in a hot bath or shower too. Eucalyptus, rosemary, peppermint, tea tree oil, lemon, thyme, and pine are some of the best ones for your sinuses.
6. Neti Pots
Neti pots help hydrate and clean out sinus cavities while stimulating the production of more mucus through nasal irrigation. Make sure you use clean, distilled water and keep your neti pot clean and disinfected between uses.
7. Do Oil Pulling
Oil pulling, especially with coconut oil, is a great way to kill bacteria in your mouth and throat while reducing inflammation in your sinuses. Simply swish around a spoonful of it for five to ten minutes and then spit it out.
8. Make a DIY Saline Nasal Spray
A simple saline solution is often enough to break up thick mucus and get sinuses clear, open, and moving again.
To make a saline nasal solution, first, you have to boil around 8 ounces of water and then let it cool to room temperature. Afterward, put it in a clean jar and throw in one teaspoon of baking soda and three teaspoons of kosher salt.
9. Apply Warm Compress
A warm towel can be placed over the face to increase circulation to the sinuses and gently loosen mucus. This is a good practice to do after steaming the face, using the neti pot, or while sipping a cup of hot tea.
10. Practice Stress Relief Techniques
Stress promotes sinus problems by creating oxidative compounds and limiting many of the body’s regular functions. Find ways to alleviate and release stress from your life.
Try doing meditation and practicing breathing exercises. Yoga is also a great exercise to relieve stress.
Other things that can stimulate your body’s natural healing properties are mind over body techniques and getting a massage.
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These are just some of the best ways to clear sinuses naturally. If infections get worse, seek advice from a medical professional.
Natural treatments and supplements are great, but you shouldn’t neglect taking the proper medication as well.
Fighting a sinus infection? Try this great soup recipe that uses many of the ingredients listed above!
Sinus problems can be a real issue and stand in the way of doing the things you love. If you’re constantly battling with a stuffy nose or sinus issues, it’s a good idea to incorporate certain foods into your diet. While doing things like cutting our dairy and exercising regularly may benefit your sinuses as well. By making positive and healthy lifestyle choices, you can help to improve your overall well-being and kick sinus problems to the curb.
Did this guide help you learn how to clear sinuses? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!
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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on March 12, 2019, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.