Contributed by: Rachana Arya
Sinus congestion has many excruciating symptoms that can make you incredibly disoriented irritable.
That stuffy, perpetually foggy feeling that comes with having sinus issues can interfere with your daily life.
Sinusitis is an inflammation of the air-filled spaces in the skull known as the sinuses.
Sinus congestion occurs when mucus in your nasal passages does not drain properly, resulting in a buildup that obstructs your sinuses.
What are the symptoms of sinus congestion?
Sinus congestion is the feeling of fullness in different areas of your face, head, and neck caused by a blockage in the sinus cavities. Other symptoms include:
- Sinus pain
- Splitting headache
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Blockage or heaviness in sinuses
- Bad breath
- Pressure in face and eyes
- Fatigue and lethargy
Foods to quickly relieve sinus congestion
There are a number of ways to help relieve sinus congestion, including taking steam or over-the-counter medications and nasal sprays to ease up your nasal congestion.
However, for quick relief, and long-lasting results, the best medicine is food!
Eliminating or adding some beneficial food items can have a great impact on your nasal passage.
Why spicy foods can alleviate sinus symptoms
Eating spicy foods in moderation is a natural alternative to going to the pharmacy for allergy relief medication.
Hot spices — like chillies, jalapenos, curry, mustard and peppers — get high praise from the scientists working on sinus healers worldwide.
These foods contain the chemical component capsaicin, which is an active ingredient in many nasal sprays.
It aids in sinus decongestion and relief by activating specific nerves that relax, thereby softening any nasal obstruction and facilitating the flow of mucus.
So, if you like spicy food, make it a point to eat it when you have sinus problems.
Why raw garlic can alleviate sinus symptoms
Garlic is another versatile spice that thins out the mucous within your sinuses.
Similar to the benefits of peppers, garlic triggers a similar reaction by helping reduce inflammation and pain in the sinus passages.
Garlic contains an essential enzyme called Allicin that destroys bacteria and viruses that cause sinusitis.
When garlic is diced or crushed, this ingredient is released, which serves as an anti-fungal and anti-bacterial agent to counter the underlying factors of your sinus congestion.
Why ginger can alleviate sinus symptoms
Use ginger to open up mucus and moisten the sinuses. This root is revered its anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties, that you can help thin out the mucus in your nose and promote drainage.
The best ways to enjoy ginger is by adding them to hot lemon water or by creating a refreshing tea made with ginger, lemon, and honey.
Why apple cider vinegar can alleviate sinus symptoms
Another wonderful condiment to release congestion is apple cider vinegar.
Being a natural antibacterial, antiviral, anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory, it acts as a boon for sinus infections.
It contains potassium, which thins mucus; and the acetic acid in it kills the destructive microorganisms which cause the sinus infection.
Additionally, it aids the body in maintaining a healthy alkaline pH level, which helps to clear out the excess mucus that has built up in the cavities.
Why pineapple can alleviate sinus symptoms
Pineapple is a great decongestant as they are rich in antioxidants, that helps in breaking the mucus formation and reduce sinus tissue inflammation.
In addition to this, the enzyme called bromelain found in pineapple breaks down the junk that builds up in the sinuses and helps reduce inflammation and swelling.
Bromelain has been traditionally used as a medicinal plant in many native cultures due to its decongesting qualities, so consume these fruits during a flare-up.
Why horseradish can alleviate sinus symptoms
Horseradish is one of the more powerful natural nasal decongestants.
Like other members of the mustard plant family, it has many health benefits that are attributed to its high nutrient and mineral content.
Horseradish can help fight against mucus build-up, clear the sinus passages and ease mucus from the upper respiratory passages.
The foods we eat can have a significant impact on the tiny passages in our skulls.
You may think of milk, sweets, and sweet beverages as comfort foods, but if you are battling sinusitis, these aren’t going to help you – in fact, they can make the problem worse.
It is best to steer clear of these culprits as they promote the severity of sinusitis.
During a sinus flare-up, both drinking and smoking should be avoided since they irritate the respiratory tract and aggravate nasal inflammation.
Your best bet would be to avoid dairy, sugars and refined carbohydrates as well as red meat, especially at the time of sinus attack.
However, if you experience frequent and persistent sinusitis episodes, consult an ENT specialist immediately, as sinus surgery could be the best bet for you to get rid of this condition.
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