As you might commonly know as snot, mucus is a gelatinous and sticky material that envelops your sinuses, nose, mouth, throat, and lungs. Yes, it seems gross, but it actually helps your body. The mucus present in the membranes of your nose traps allergens like pollen and dust, viruses, and bacteria to prevent them from getting inside your system, and you make fall sick. But as the saying goes, too much of something is never good. Mucus buildup can cause congestion, difficulty in breathing, and make you feel very uncomfortable. While there are several methods of mucus removal, being on a mucus-free diet is the easiest. Yes, some foods can trigger as well as bring down the mucus content in your body.
But, you need to know a few do’s and don’ts before you get started with your mucus-free diet. So, let’s see what we have to cover
- Mucus-causing foods to avoid
- What to include in your mucus-free diet?
Mucus-causing foods to avoid
You need to eliminate a few food items or at least reduce from your diet to avoid mucus buildup. Avoiding these foods would prevent you from facing chronic mucus problems that can even lead to COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease). These foods include,
Caffeinated beverages increase the chances of dehydration. This not only leads to increased mucus production, but it also makes the mucus thicker (1). Therefore, beverages that include caffeine like coffee, tea, and soft drinks should be avoided. Moreover, desserts and chocolates that contain instant coffee should be avoided as well. The caffeine has dehydrating effects on other foods.
If you are someone who drinks milk or its products every day, then stop right away. These include casein molecules and lactose that can stimulate increased mucus production. Therefore, being on a dairy-free diet will help you reduce your body’s mucus production (2). Apart from that, dairy products also make saliva and mucus thicker, creating many difficulties. So, try to cut out on ice cream, yogurt, butter, cream, and cheese.
There are some other foods that you must be aware of to keep your mucus content in control. These include soy, red meat, wheat, junk food, and sugar. Most wheat products contain gluten, which is majorly responsible for producing mucus. Furthermore, processed and high-fat red meat can increase mucus buildup. It is better to reduce these foods’ intake if you are planning for a mucus reducing diet.
What to include in your mucus-free diet?
You need to make sure that your daily diet includes specific foods to get rid of mucus. This way, you would follow a mucus-free diet that would keep the mucus content in your body under control. So, let’s take a look at the list below.
This fruit contains bioflavonoid bromelain, a proteolytic enzyme that helps in breaking down proteins. However, this enzyme also has anti-inflammatory properties and boosts immune function. Therefore, having this fruit will help in opening up the airways. Bromelain is also used in medicines as it supports the reduction of mucus production. Having a glass of pineapple juice would clear both lower and upper respiratory congestion.
If you want to break down excess mucus and toxins in your body, ginger will make an excellent fit for your mucus reducing diet. Ginger has vital enzymes with anti-inflammatory properties that keep the immune system safe. Thereby stopping it from engaging in the protection mechanism that creates mucus. You can even complement it with some turmeric to further increase the health benefits.
Tuna is popularly known as one of the best foods to get rid of mucus. It is the powerhouse of omega-3 fatty acids, which reduces inflammation and helps break down mucus. Omega-3 is good fat, which when taken frequently, will decrease the mucus production of your body. Fatty fish alternatives will provide you with adequate protein while ensuring controlled mucus production. However, if you do not like tuna, you can go for other fishes like salmon, mackerel, herring, and lake trout.
When you want to follow a mucus reducing diet, make sure that cucumbers are a part of it. It is a cleansing fruit with lots of Vitamin C, potassium, and water. Vitamin C in cucumbers improves the immune system that keeps mucus production in control. Furthermore, the alkaline nature of cucumbers reduces inflammation of the digestive tract. It also assists in nourishing the gut lining that prevents excess mucus production in the gut.
You need to be aware of a lot of things before you start with your mucus reducing diet. You would have to know about specific foods to get rid of mucus and learn about the ones that trigger its production. While foods like ginger, tuna, pineapple, and tuna are yes, coffee, dairy, and junk foods are not. Keep these intricate details in mind while customizing your diet.