A sinus infection is the inflammation of the sinus cavity due to a virus, bacteria or fungus, according to MedlinePlus 1. Sinusitis causes sinus pressure, congestion, a low-grade fever, thick nasal discharge, body chills and sinus headaches and is commonly treated with over-the-counter medications or antibiotics if considered bacterial. Although there are no foods that will cure sinusitis, certain foods will help decrease the amount of mucus trapped in the sinuses, reduce congestion and enable to body to drain phlegm more effectively. Do not implement a diet for treatment of any condition before consulting with a doctor.
If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.
Spicy foods, such as horseradish and hot sauce can help open congested sinuses, leading to discharge. Spicy foods have been used to open the sinus cavity and promote the restoration of normal breathing, according to the HealthMad.com 3. Spicy foods will not cure sinusitis, but will help keep the sinus passages open, allowing the body to rid itself of the thick mucus prolonging the infection. MSN.com warns that spicy foods to treat a sinus infection are not for everyone. Some people may experience temporary relief followed by increased congestion. Based on the way the particular spicy food digests in the stomach will determine if it will increase nasal inflammation. Discontinue eating spicy foods if condition worsens.
- Spicy foods, such as horseradish and hot sauce can help open congested sinuses, leading to discharge.
- Spicy foods will not cure sinusitis, but will help keep the sinus passages open, allowing the body to rid itself of the thick mucus prolonging the infection.
Soup and Tea
What Causes a Runny Nose When Eating?
Eating and drinking liquid-based hot foods will help thin mucus and promote nasal drainage, helping the sinuses restore to their normal state. Drink plenty of liquids and eat hot soups to promote sinus health, according to MedlinePlus 1. Eating soups or drinking herbal teas, heat up the mucus trapped in the sinuses and causes the mucus to thin, much like congealed fat in a frying pan. HealthMad.com recommends eating chicken noodle soup and consuming hot beverages. Do not consume any beverages containing caffeine because these beverages can lead to dehydration and increased nasal congestion.
- Eating and drinking liquid-based hot foods will help thin mucus and promote nasal drainage, helping the sinuses restore to their normal state.
- Eating soups or drinking herbal teas, heat up the mucus trapped in the sinuses and causes the mucus to thin, much like congealed fat in a frying pan.
Fruits and Vegetables
Fruits and vegetables are the best food choices when suffering from a sinus infection. Fruits and vegetables help to promote overall health and are considered low-mucus producing foods, according to Harvard’s School of Public Health 4. The average adult, consuming 2,000 calories a day should eat nine servings of fruits and vegetables. Eat vegetables with every meal and replace pre-packaged snacks with fresh fruit 4. Fruits and vegetables contain vitamins, minerals and other infection-fighting elements that promote general and sinus health.
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- MedlinePlus: Sinusitis
- MSN.com: Best and Worst Foods for Your Sinuses
- HealthMad.com: Four Best Foods to Eat with a Cold
- Harvard School of Public Health: Vegetables and Fruits: Get Plenty Every Day
- MedlinePlus. Sinusitis. Updated May 17, 2018.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Flu: What to do if you get sick. Updated October 8, 2019.
- American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, & Immunology. Patients self-medicating: persistent rhinitis overuse decongestant nasal sprays. Updated March 31, 2014.
Diane Marks started her writing career in 2010 and has been in health care administration for more than 30 years. She holds a registered nurse license from Citizens General Hospital School of Nursing, a Bachelor of Arts in health care education from California University of Pennsylvania and a Master of Science in health administration from the University of Pittsburgh.