5 Foods that Help Destroy Mucus & Clear a Stuffy Nose

Allergy season is here again! That makes learning how to find relief from sinus pressure, itchy eyes, and mucus a top priority for many seasonal allergy sufferers. Thankfully, you don’t have to reach for those over-the-counter medications and prescription drugs to find allergy relief. You can also help manage your allergy symptoms naturally by simply adjusting the foods you eat!


Foods that help fight sinusitis and excess mucus production

We’ve put together a tried-and-true list of foods that help thin and expel mucus, plus foods you should try to eliminate or avoid if you have sinusitis, a runny nose, and nasal congestion.


1) Pineapple

Pineapple is not only delicious, but it tops our list of foods that destroy mucus! The reason for its superb mucus-fighting powers is bromelain. Bromelain is an enzyme mixture found in pineapple. People eat pineapple for its numerous health benefits, but reducing sinus inflammation and mucus or phlegm production is one of its top benefits. Adding more pineapple to your life is simple. Eat it by itself raw, mix some into a fruit salad, or try using it in your main dish like these Hawaiian BBQ Tacos. You can also find Bromelain in supplement form if pineapple isn’t your thing.

slice pineapple on a wood cutting board


2) Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is another powerhouse in the fight against mucus, sinusitis, and seasonal allergies. Not only does it help thin and break up mucus, but it also helps alkalize your gut and boost your immune system. It’s easy to add apple cider vinegar to your day. Simply mix one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar with a full glass of water a day and that should be enough to start realizing its health benefits. You can also make a tasty Apple Cider Vinegar Salad Dressing with it. Bonus, studies show that apple cider vinegar is also a great weight loss aid!

Overhead shot of a bottle of apple cider vinegar on a wooden table


3) Citrus Fruits

Citrus fruits also pack a punch in helping you find relief from sinuses clogged with mucus. Lemons, limes, berries, and oranges are high in vitamin C – one of the best antioxidants that nature has to offer. This helps support your immune system, but these antioxidants also act as natural decongestants, loosening mucus and helping the body clear it out. Grapefruit is also another helpful go-to fruit for clearing mucus because it helps reduce the amount of salt in the body which reduces inflammation overall. Citrus fruits are also easy to incorporate into your daily meals. Eat them by themselves as a snack or pop of something sweet at a meal. Or, you can mix up a hot tea with lemon and honey for a quick relief home remedy to sinus congestion.


4) Garlic

Garlic also contains enzymes that can dissolve mucus in our bodies. This mucus-fighter has dual powers. It’s also a natural antibiotic. When crushed, garlic releases a curative component called allicin that helps thin the mucus blocking your nasal passages. It also reduces the inflammation that’s contributing to your clogged airways. You can easily add garlic to your foods, or you can crush it and create a garlic steamer for quicker sinus relief.

Closeup of Garlic bulbs on wooden table


5) Celery

Celery is another mucus-fighting powerhouse. As a natural antioxidant that contains Vitamin A and beta-carotene plus a number of other vitamins and minerals, the lutein and zeaxanthin levels in celery can be a powerful immune system booster. Celery also helps lower inflammation which is one of the main reasons you can get that stuffy nose feeling that you just can’t clear. To make it a quick snack of celery sticks, add some nut butter and raisins or cut it up for some added crunch in a salad.



Foods you should avoid when you’re feeling congested


1) Dairy

Dairy is the main food group to avoid during a bout of sinusitis because milk and dairy products are historically known for causing inflammation in the body for many people. That means skip the milk, cheese, and yogurt when your congestion is at its worst. And, try to use it sparingly other times to help rid your body of inflammation long term. Inflammation in your sinuses causes the passageways in your sinus cavities to narrow and gives you that stuffy nose, congested feeling.


2) Processed foods

You should also stick to real, whole foods if you’re fighting seasonal allergies and congestion. The reason for this is that many processed foods and snacks like breads, pasta, cookies, and donut contain food additives and thickeners. These additives can mess with the mucus in your gut health, according to this study. This can lead to an inflammatory response, which can and does affect how clearly you can breathe.


3) Other top mucus producers

Chocolate, coffee, and alcohol are also on the list of foods to avoid while congested. All of these foods can weaken your upper and lower esophageal sphincters. These sphincters are responsible for keeping food and fluids going in the right direction. If these gatekeepers aren’t up for the job, it can cause stomach acid to come back up where it doesn’t belong and create more phlegm and mucus in the back of your throat.



More ways to destroy mucus and get natural allergy relief

Girl blowing her nose with handkerchief while sneezing - seasonal allergies

For more natural ways to beat seasonal allergies, check out this article. You can also visit your local AlignLife Chiropractor for a special adjustment that helps open up your sinuses. alignlife doctors also recommend Aller-Aid from Aceva for natural allergy relief.





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