Your nose hurts, you can’t stop sneezing, and your head feels foggy. These are symptoms that colds and allergies share, and they both zero in on your sensitive sinus cavities. Nasal congestion occurs when viruses, bacteria, or allergens, irritate the lining of your sinuses, causing them to swell and block airflow. These conditions can also create a buildup of mucus.
Diet can play a major role in supporting your immune system and your body’s other functions, including respiratory health. The next time you feel a familiar tingle telling you a sniffle or sneeze is coming on, consider snacking on these and your nose will thank you for it.
More than just a delicious fruit, pineapples contain a powerful digestive enzyme known as bromelain that can make your mouth tingle. This enzyme works by breaking down proteins, including the kind found in your mucus. Several studies have shown bromelain’s effectiveness at thinning out nasal mucus associated with sinusitis. Fresh or frozen pineapples are the best sources for bromelain — you won’t find it in the canned kind.
From lowering cholesterol to easing the symptoms of depression, turmeric (curcumin) has been touted for its many health benefits. This golden spice also has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial qualities that can help reduce swelling in the sinus cavities caused by colds, allergies, or sinus infections. You can incorporate turmeric in your daily diet by sprinkling the powder over eggs and potatoes, add it to sauces, or try this recipe for a cozy cup of Golden Milk.
If you have a clogged or stuffy nose, head to your refrigerator. Hot and spicy horseradish is a natural decongestant that stimulates your sinuses to improve draining. For instant relief, chew on freshly grated horseradish root and hold it in your mouth until the flavor subsides, then swallow.