The thickening of the mucus and inflammation of the nasal cavities and sinuses due to bacterial and viral infections or allergic reactions causes sinus congestion. This congestion can be brought under control by consuming foods that are rich in anti-inflammatory properties, act as an expectorant, boost immunity, thin nasal secretions and possess antibacterial properties.
The protein called bromelain present in pineapples possesses anti-inflammatory properties making it very effective in treating various types of infections. Evidence suggests that bromelain can effectively control the inflammation of the sinuses and reduce mucus.
Omega-3 fatty acids can be very useful in reducing congestion and sinus swelling because of its anti-inflammatory properties. Sardines, anchovies, salmon, mackerel and nuts such as pecan, walnuts and butternuts are some of the foods that help with sinus congestion because they are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids. Cod oil, flaxseed and fish oil are also excellent sources of these fatty acids.
The ability of garlic to ward off infections because of the anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties it possesses makes it one of the most effective foods that help with sinus congestion. Adding fresh garlic to soup or boiling water and inhaling garlic infused steam will increase your body’s ability to fight infections. Garlic pills and garlic juice are also proven to be effective in reducing sinus congestion.
Drinking fluids such as water and hot tea can help curtail sinus infection. It is important to keep the body hydrated to ensure the nasal cavity stays moist. Intake of soups, especially the ones to which spices, herbs, horse radish and garlic are added, can be very effective since they help in decongestion. Keep away from beverages such as coffee because the caffeine present in it sucks out the moisture in the body.
Spices and herbs form an integral part of foods that help with sinus congestion. Some of the spices and herbs that are effective in combating sinus congestion are horse radish, wasabi, cayenne pepper, eucalyptus, aniseed and mint. Though horse radish can clear the congestion instantaneously, people suffering from stomach upset should intake this with care. Rosemary, an analgesic and Oregon grape root, an antioxidant rich in antibacterial and antifungal, are also effective in preventing sinus congestion.
Vitamin C, a natural antihistamine, is very effective in reducing inflammation and increasing immunity because of its antioxidant properties. Sinus congestion can be controlled by taking large quantities of Vitamin C daily. Oranges, tomatoes, lemon, strawberries, broccoli, artichokes and blueberries are some of the foods that help with sinus congestion. If you experience diarrhea or stomach upset, which are the side effects of excessive intake of Vitamin C, you will have to reduce the intake immediately.
Apple Cider Vinegar decreases production of mucus since it contains potassium. This can be taken by mixing it with water to which cayenne pepper and few drops of lemon are added to bring sinus congestion under control.