What to Eat and Avoid to Prevent Sinus Inflammation

What to Eat and Avoid to Prevent Sinus Inflammation

April 1, 2020
Sinusitis has various causes, such as allergies. However, certain foods can trigger or alleviate the inflammation, and knowing the foods can help ease the discomfort. Every year, especially during the cold and flu season, approximately 37 million adults, visit the hospital with sinus infections. Sinusitis, an inflammation of the sinus tissue lining, can either be acute or chronic. Acute sinusitis is the most common infection, and it clears within a few weeks. Chronic sinusitis lasts for a few months and, at times, can occur several times in a year. Bacteria is a common cause of sinus inflammation, but viruses and allergies can also be a trigger. However, regardless of the cause or severity of the infection, it is crucial to watch the foods you eat. Certain foods can cause congestion and inflammation of the sinuses.

1. Stay Hydrated

Dehydration affects not only the body’s essential functions but also causes the mucus to thicken. Thick mucus clogs the sinus and provides the perfect environment for bacteria to multiply and causes inflammation. Drinking the recommended amount of water is crucial for your body, as well as the nasal cavity.

2. Take Antioxidants in Plenty

Antioxidants help to fight free radicals that contribute to chronic sinusitis. Furthermore, they protect the mucus membrane. Bright colored vegetables and fruits such as berries, kiwi, pumpkin, papaya, sweet potatoes, and pineapple are all rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. Pineapple also contains enzymes that break down the buildup on the sinuses and reduces inflammation.

3. Include Peppers with Your Meals

Peppers clear the nasal congestion and soften the mucus for smooth flow. The hot chill contains capsaicin, which can ease pain, stimulate the immune system, and reduce inflammation. Peppers cannot treat sinusitis, but they are a great way to reduce congestion. However, take the spicy food in moderation as it may lead to abdominal pain and indigestion.

4. Garlic and Ginger Can Help Too

Garlic has Sulphur compound rich in antibacterial and antifungal properties that reduce inflammation and fight viruses too. Ginger also has anti-inflammatory and antioxidants, which speed up healing, decrease pain, and swelling. Furthermore, because it has antihistamine, ginger can help ease allergies, discomfort, and sinus pain. You can also use turmeric because it has the same benefits as ginger.

Food to Avoid

Dairy and related products are common culprits for congestion and microbial growth. Avoid dairy if you have had previous episodes of sinus infections. Also, try to avoid refined sugar as it is pro-inflammatory and increases the production of mucus. Other foods to avoid include tomatoes (contain histamines), chocolate, cheese, gluten, and fruits like bananas, which can cause congestion.

What Are Other Remedies to Ease and Prevent Sinus Infections.

Apart from the food, there are other ways you can prevent congestion, such as:
  • Run water into the nasals to clean it of excess mucus
  • Inhale steam in the shower or bend over a pan with hot water
  • Use a humidifier to moisten your air in your home to prevent the nasals from drying out
  • Elevate your head to keep the mucus from clogging your sinus
  • Don’t forcefully blow your nose as it can irritate the nasals
  • Use the decongestants with caution
  • Don’t use antihistamines unless prescribed by the doctor
If you have chronic sinusitis due to a deviated septum, our doctor can also recommend other treatments such as surgery. After the assessment, Dr. Mark. T. Agrama can prescribe:
  • Balloon Sinuplasty clear the sinus by flushing the built-up mucus with saline solution
  • Stereotactic navigation is a minimally invasive procedure that checks out any abnormal growths
  • Endoscopic sinus surgery opens up the drainage passage of the sinus to restore its function
  • Complex nasal polyp surgery. Nasal polyps are noncancerous growths on the sinus or nasal passages. The procedure, if done correctly, can clear the nasal passages and ease discomfort.

Who’s at Risk of Getting Sinus Infections?

Most people are affected by sinus infections, but some people are more at risk than others because of certain factors such as:
  • Swollen nose
  • Blocked drainage sinus ducts
  • Nasal polyps
  • Weakened immune system
  • Allergies

Schedule an Appointment

If you notice sinus-like symptoms such as swelling of the nose and pain, visit our doctor at South Florida ENT Associates.