Sinus Congestion

Your eating habits can play an important role in whether you aggravate or clear up your sinus congestion. Sure, you might think it’s allergies or a pesky summer cold at first, but if you think about it, it all comes down to what you’re eating. Certain foods can alter your sinuses and cause unpleasant reactions. For instance, your body can produce mucus in an attempt to remove the substance.

But what foods clear or congest your sinuses? There are various foods that you may or may not be aware of that are the culprits behind your congestion. Here are a few dietary tips to consider to clear your sinuses, as well as foods you should consider steering clear of.

17. Best Foods

Best Foods

16. Spicy Food

Spicy Food

Typically, spicy foods like peppers, jalapeños, and horseradish can release mucus in your nostrils, ultimately clearing them. However, if you suffer from acid reflux or other gastrointestinal issues, you should avoid spicy foods that can trigger heartburn. Often, stomach acid flows upward and can irritate and inflame the nasal passages, causing them to become swollen and blocked.

15. Chicken Soup

Chicken Soup

Chicken soup contains an amino acid known as cysteine, which can irritate a process that aids in mucus breakdown, leading to a runny nose and cleared sinuses.

14. Warm Drinks

Warm Drinks

Tea and other hot drinks moisten the mucus membranes that promote the movement of mucus through your sinuses.

13. Foods Rich in Zinc, Vitamin A, C, and E

Foods Rich In Zinc

Vitamin A is known as a membrane conditioner, which helps build healthy mucus membranes in the head and throat. Leafy greens, orange and yellow vegetables, tomatoes, and fruits are known to be rich sources of Vitamin A. Citric fruits such as grapefruit and lemon are rich in vitamin C. Vitamin E is found in nuts, seeds, and vegetable oils, while zinc can be found in red meats, poultry, and seafood.

Related: 10 Early Signs to Warn You About Vitamin C Deficiency

12. Garlic


Garlic releases an enzyme called allicin when crushed or chopped. This enzyme can destroy bacteria and kill viruses that cause sinus infections.

11. Pineapple


This sweet and refreshing fruit contains bromelain, which is known to work wonders for allergies and inflammation after surgery, particularly sinus surgery.

10. Coconut Water

Coconut Water

This water is high in electrolytes and potassium and has body cleansing properties as well.

Related: 10 Sinus Headache Remedies You Can Try At Home

9. Worst Foods

Worst Foods

8. Caffeine


Caffeine can weaken your adrenal glands, as it is dehydrating, and can cause sinus pain and worsen congestion.

7. Fermented Foods

Fermented Foods

Foods like cheese can worsen your sinus congestion.

Related: 10 Foods That Are Linked to Cancer

6. Fried and Processed Foods

Fried Foods

Foods that are heavily processed or contain additives should be avoided during a sinus infection.

5. Starchy Foods

Starchy Foods

Foods like noodles are a big no-no for people who often experience sinus problems.

4. Saturated Fats

Saturated Fats

Foods high in saturated fats like egg yolk and meat should be avoided during a sinus infection.

Related: 14 Foods That Can Reduce Your Risk of Stroke

3. High Sugar Content Food

High Sugar

Soft drinks, desserts, and ice cream can often worsen sinus infections.

2. Milk


Milk is known to worsen sinus congestion, as it thickens mucus and promotes microbial growth.

1. Refined Carbohydrates

Refined Carbohydrates

Bread, rice, and pasta can further congest the sinuses.

Related: 14 Foods That Can Reduce Your Risk of Stroke


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