Have you woken up one morning with terrible pain in your forehead or between your eyes? To add to this agony, you experience a swelling face, stuffy nose and congestion. Your upper teeth hurt and it feels like your head is about to explode! If you have these symptoms, it is an indication of Sinusitis!
What is Sinusitis?
Sinus points are basically air spaces in your skull lined with mucous membranes. Most people have four sets of nasal sinuses.
- Two in the forehead above the eyes
- One inside each cheekbone
- A group of them, called the Ethmoid Sinuses, behind the bridge of the nose
- Another group behind the nose and underneath the brain called the Sphenoid Sinuses
These sinus points are like fingerprints. If there is an infection in these points, it leads to a condition called Sinusitis. Basically, it is an inflammation of the sinus cavity due to a virus, bacteria or fungus. Tiny hair-like structures called Cilia move mucus across Sinus Membranes, towards an exit.
All of your sinus cavities connect to your nose to allow a free exchange of air and mucus. Infections or allergies affect the sinus tissues, making them inflamed, red and swollen. But don’t worry, nature is loaded with remedies for most conditions!
Foods That Help Cure Sinusitis
- Spicy Foods: Hot spices like pepper, chillis (capsicum), jalapenos, relieve sinus congestion as they help release the mucus that causes a stuffed nose. Spicy foods help in opening the sinus cavity and promote the restoration of normal breathing.
- Garlic: contains an enzyme called Allicin that destroys bacteria and viruses that cause Sinusitis.
- Vitamin E: found in nuts, seeds and vegetable oils helps you get rid of a sinus congestion.
- Zinc: in Lean Meat, Poultry, Licorice and Seafood helps in relieving a congestion.
- Warm Herbal Teas: like Peppermint, Ginger, Licorice and Holy Basil (Tulsi) teas are some of the best for your sinuses and throat during a bout of Sinusitis. Tea moistens mucus membrane, helping to clear the sinus network.
- Chicken Soup: contains an amino acid called cysteine that causes a runny nose and clears out the nasal congestion.
- Leafy Green Veggies, tomatoes, oranges, yellow fruits and veggies contain Vitamin A that helps build a healthy mucus membrane.
- Grapefruits, Oranges and Lemon are rich in Vitamin C and antioxidants. Thus, they help clear a sinus congestion. Oxidation damage can contribute to Chronic Sinusitis. Antioxidants protect the mucus membranes from free radical damage.
- Pineapple is rich in antioxidants which protect the delicate mucus membranes from damage. Bromelain, an enzyme found in pineapple, breaks down the junk that builds up in sinuses and reduces inflammation.
- Coconut Oil is very good at reducing inflammation and also in killing many bacteria, viruses, and fungi. Try oil pulling with a spoonful of coconut oil and you’ll notice your sinuses clear up. Simply swish around a spoonful of it for five to ten minutes and spit it out.
- Turmeric/Ginger Root: Turmeric root is wonderful, fragrant and contains natural anti-inflammatory Curcumin. This spice is also an antioxidant. When combined with spicy ginger root and brewed for hot tea, this combination can help loosen mucus from clogged nasal passages, alleviate sinus pressure, and make you feel better all around. Ginger root also has the added bonus of calming an upset stomach – a frequent side-effect of excessive night time sinus drainage.
- Apple Cider Vinegar: acts as a boon for sinus infections. Firstly, it is a natural antibacterial, antiviral, anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory that can kill the destructive microorganisms which cause the infection. Secondly, it helps the body maintain a healthy alkaline pH level, which helps breaking up mucus and discourage the proliferation of the condition.
Worst Foods For a Sinus Infection
- Caffeine weakens your adrenal glands and causes sinus congestion
- Fried foods/Processed foods containing additives are best avoided during a sinus infection
- Foods with high sugar content, especially ice cream, worsen a sinus infection
- Refined carbs like bread, pasta, and rice do not help during sinus congestions
- Fermented foods like cheese worsen sinus
- Starchy heavy foods like noodles are not for people with a sinus problem
- Milk is known to worsen a sinus congestion as it thickens mucus and promotes microbial growth
- Foods high in saturated fats like egg yolk and meat are to be avoided during a sinus infection
Keep your sinus clean and relax, breathe refresh and stay healthy! We hope this article helped you. Please do leave your thoughts in the comments below!