Many foods trigger the production of mucus by the body and should be avoided or eliminated entirely from your diet while fighting respiratory illnesses. As a general rule, any food that is "acid forming" in the body (these generally cause inflammation) will typically pose a greater threat of contributing to the body's overproduction of mucus than foods that are "alkalizing" (these generally fight/reduce inflammation). The following are some of the greatest offenders:
1) SUGAR (cane or beet sugar, corn syrup, fruit juices, etc)
2) DAIRY (milk, cheese, yogurt, ice cream, butter) & EGGS
3) GRAINS (whole grains, bread, pasta, cereal, etc)
4) ALLERGENS/SENSITIVITIES (foods you are personally sensitive to; examples might be wheat, corn, soy, nuts, some meats/seafood, cabbage, "nightshade" vegetables, etc)
5) CAFFEINE (coffee, tea, energy drinks, soda, chocolate)
6) TOXIC FOODS (super-refined foods, alcohol, high sodium, high fat foods, chemical laden foods, tobacco, etc)
7) MISC (bananas, oranges/clementines)
Other foods can actually be beneficial to the body in helping clear up or prevent mucus formation (again, many "alkalizing foods" will help do this as they help combat inflammation). Here are some great options:
1) OMEGA-3 RICH SEEDS & NUTS (fresh ground flax meal, chia seed, hempseed, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, etc)
2) ORANGE COLORED VEGGIES (carrots, bell pepper, carrots, pumpkin/squash, sweet potato)
3) OTHER CITRUS (lemons, grapefruit)
4) "ORGANIC SODIUM" FOODS (celery, beets, strawberry, etc; table/sea/mineral salta are "inorganic sodium" sources)
5) SULFUR RICH FOODS (garlic, onions)
6) HERBS & SPICES (chamomile, cayenne, thyme, oregano, mint, turmeric, ginger)
7) MISC (pineapple, watercress, probiotics, local raw honey in moderation, extra virgin olive oil, low-sodium vegetable broth, decaf tea)
While these are not exhaustive lists, and different variables may apply individually, this provides a good starting point for those seeking to weed out potential offenders, as well as introduce or increase foods that might especially benefit you. If you'd like further information, please also visit the Lung Institute https://bit.ly/2XmgffY or read this article on Inflammation and Mucus formation to understand the "why" of it all better https://bit.ly/2US3hoY
NOTICE: Please remember that we are not here to diagnose, cure, or prescribe for any illness or disease. Any recommendations provided herein are intended for educational purposes only. If you are in need of medical care, please contact your primary care provider.
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Jerri W., LMT, CWC
Licensed Massage Therapist and Certified Wellness Coach with over 25+ years of experience in pain management, relaxation techniques and lifestyle education.
Heather R., LMT, CWC
Certified Wellness Coach and Licensed Massage Therapist with a passion for helping others achieve optimal wellness through healthier living.
NOTICE: The information provided herein is meant for educational purposes only. We accept no liability for your use of the information provided. As always, use your best judgment and if in doubt, please consult your healthcare provider to determine the best course of action for your particular situation.