9 foods that worsen sinus problems and nasal congestion
The sinus and nasal areas are known for being incredibly sensitive. They can be affected by various factors, such as pollution, poor air quality, allergens, changing climate, humidity, ongoing diseases, etc. Food choices are another aspect that might aggravate issues such as nasal congestion and sinusitis. Foods such as kiwi, berries, pumpkin, papaya, and pineapple, are exceptional for sinus health. On the other hand, some of the worst foods in this regard are listed below.
Tomatoes contain high levels of acidic content. So, eating tomatoes can increase a person’s histamine levels. Due to that, people with a history of allergies can suffer from allergic reactions and sinus inflammation. Tomatoes have several anti-inflammatory properties, but people with sinus issues shouldn’t eat the fruit too much due to its high acidity.
Furthermore, the high acidity in tomatoes also triggers acid reflux in people. It is bad, especially for people with a history of nasal and sinus issues.
When people eat jalapeños or other hyper-spicy food items, they might notice that their nose starts watering almost immediately after eating some portions. Spicy foods facilitate the production of plenty of histamine in the body. Histamine, in turn, triggers inflammation and aggravates pre-existing allergic reactions in people. Therefore, one must think twice before dialing up the spice content in their food, especially if they suffer from sinus issues.
Pizza is considered an incredibly unhealthy food due to its high amount of processed elements. Even a single slice of pizza contains refined preservatives and taste enhancers that can cause damage to one’s cardiovascular system and digestive tract.
From a sinus perspective, pizza and frozen pizzas must be avoided as they contain high amounts of trans-fatty acids. Apart from the fact that these acids are not nutritional, they also cause inflammation if eaten in small quantities. Hydrogenated oil, a vital aspect of the fast-food industry, is the primary source of trans-fatty acids found in pizzas.
Cakes and pastries
Foods with refined sugars are never too far from the top of any list of the worst foods. For example, cakes, pastries, aerated sodas, and bakery products are filled with refined sugars. These sugars tend to cause inflammation, which, in turn, increases mucus production in a person’s body. As a result, one may experience nasal congestion and sinus issues if one eats these foods regularly. Cakes and pastries must be eaten in minimal portions, especially by people with sinus and nasal issues.
Milk and cheese
Dairy products are generally good for the body as they help strengthen the person’s bone health, keep them away from cardiovascular diseases, and help lower blood pressure. However, dairy products, including milk, cheese, yogurt, ice cream, and mayonnaise, have other properties that trigger nasal congestion and sinus-related issues.
Milk, for example, thickens the mucus inside a person’s body. It increases the chances of experiencing conditions such as nasal congestion and sinusitis. Moreover, a thicker mucus layer causes allergens to remain within the body, making allergic attacks and reactions last longer and more uncomfortable.
What’s more, the milk thickens mucus and stimulates its production. Therefore, people with nasal congestion are usually advised by healthcare experts to avoid milk and other dairy products for a while until their health significantly improves.
Like milk, bananas also increase the production of mucus in the body. Additionally, bananas, especially if eaten during winter, can trigger sinus problems in people. Due to this, nutritional experts usually advise people not to eat bananas at night before bed. Doing so can clog one’s nasal cavity and cause shortness of breath while napping.
All kinds of nuts can cause severe allergic reactions. Like some of the other foods on this list, nuts can increase the histamine level in some consumers. Therefore, someone with sinus problems or who experiences frequent bouts of nasal congestion is advised to steer clear of walnuts, hazelnuts, almonds, and other kinds of nuts. Furthermore, nuts are also high in omega-6 fatty acids, which worsens the condition.
Beef and pork
Red meat-based foods such as beef and pork are also on the list of foods to avoid to keep one’s nasal health in check. Such food items contain high amounts of protein, which causes mucus accumulation in the body and worsens sinusitis symptoms in people with the condition.
Sunflower oil contains high amounts of omega-6 fatty acids, a nutrient that aggravates sinus issues in people. Usually, foods rich in this essential nutrient are good for the body as they contain plenty of antioxidative properties. However, this element has also been found to worsen the severity of nasal irritation and congestion. If one eats foods containing omega-6 fatty acids, one will experience issues caused by sinus inflammation.
In short, eating foods such as tuna, sunflower oils, cured meats, and other items containing omega-6 fatty acids is not advisable for people with sinus issues.
Apart from these foods, one must not eat chocolates, pasta, and nuts to maintain sinus health and avoid problems such as nasal congestion. Instead, one can opt for bright-colored veggies and certain fruits that help reduce inflammation and the buildup on the sinuses.