Sinus infections are triggered when bacteria or virus enter the nasal passage, causing allergic reactions, inflammation and swelling of the nasal passage. This results in excessive secretion of mucus that creates blocks in the sinus. While chronic sinusitis requires medical treatment, recent studies claim that a change in diet can be effective to ward off a possible sinus infection. A sinus health diet includes specific food and beverages that clear nasal passages and reduce the inflammation.
Best food for sinuses
Add fruits, vegetables and spicy food like hot sauce and mustards to your diet. Fruits and vegetables strengthen the immune system while spicy food clear nasal passages, although consuming too much spicy food can lead to nasal congestion. Eat vegetables like broccoli and tomatoes that are rich in antioxidants. Drink plenty of fluids like water and fresh juices. Fluid consumption dilutes the mucus and drains it out. Herbal tea and chicken soup can also be included in your diet as both have anti-inflammatory properties that help to thin mucus in the sinuses.
Make sure you use garlic and onion in your food, as both have anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that can relieve nasal congestion and inflammation in the nasal membrane. Eat fruits that are rich in vitamin C, like the kiwi fruit, which is loaded with antioxidants as well. Include spices like ginger and chili pepper in your diet.
Food to be avoided
Make a list of the food items you are allergic to and avoid them. In addition, avoid caffeinated drinks, alcoholic drinks and dairy products. Caffeine and alcohol drains water from the body, leading to dehydration. Dehydration results in accumulation of mucus and can cause nasal congestion. Dairy products can promote mucus production and thicken the existing phlegm. Also avoid consuming processed food, frozen food and food items with artificial ingredients like monosodium glutamate that can trigger headaches and sinus like symptoms.
It is best to avoid late night meals as well. This is due to the connection between sinusitis and acid reflux, which may cause inflammations.
A diet by itself cannot cure a sinus infection, but it can certainly help people who are prone to sinus infections by keeping the sinuses clear and ensuring proper functioning of the nasal passages. When a person suffers from acute sinusitis, the best thing to do is consult a qualified physician. Do not consider a diet to be a substitute for medication. And finally, before you make any changes to your diet, discuss it with your doctor.