Phlegm. Even sounds like a dirty word, doesn’t it? And it’s certainly not a pleasure to have. Especially when you’ve got a build up of it in your nose and chest.
This build-up of phlegm is more commonly known as mucus congestion and that’s just when the nasal or chest cavity becomes bloated due to the buildup of mucus. Most of us simply know it as the thing that makes you sound ridiculously when you speak.
Besides making it hard to breathe (and get taken seriously when you talk), mucus congestion also presses blood vessels tightly along the sinuses, producing a rather painful sensation.
The good news is that there are several fruits and veggies that really help to get rid of the congestion – and they taste yummy, too!
A Few Interesting Things About Mucus Congestion You Might Like to Know
Mucus congestion is mainly caused by sinus inflammation and infection, influenza as well as the common cold. Depending on its severity and how quickly proper medical attention is given, it can linger from a couple of days to a week. Pregnant women can also experience fleeting bouts of mucus congestion from time to time due to hormonal changes.
It can be also a symptom of underlying health problems like vasomotor rhinitis, nasal polyps and hay fever. Lastly and ironically, excessive use of over the counter nasal drops and sprays can also trigger mucus congestion.
The Best Fruits and Vegetables for Mucus Congestion
The next time your nose feels a bit clogged and stuffy, make sure you pick up the following vegetables and fruits to keep mucus congestion at bay:
When it comes to fending off mucus congestion, reach for a grapefruit. Apart from having loads of vitamin C, which acts as a natural antihistamine, it also contains a fairly high amount of salicylic acid that helps inhibit the production and buildup of mucus in and around the body’s airways.
#2. Steamed Pumpkin
Steamed pumpkins are packed with omega-3 fatty acids that don’t just prevent the onset of inflammations, but also slows down mucus production. To add to that, pumpkins also contain xanthin and leutin, antioxidants that help reduce your risks of having respiratory problems sooner or later.
Recommendation: Whip up a warm pumpkin soup by adding a little bit of milk (or nut milk) along with cinnamon and salt. It only takes a few minutes to make and is nourishingly anti-mucus.
Another way to make steamed pumpkin delicious is to add it into a smoothie. You can even upgrade it to a super-mucus-fighting smoothie recipe by adding in a tiny bit of raw onion and raw ginger, a scoop of coconut oil, and a banana. You’ll hardly taste the onion or ginger while getting their mucus-combatting benefits!
Onions can come on pretty strong, but they’re a very potent tool to keep both mucus congestion and other cold and flu symptoms at bay.
That’s ’cause raw onions are very abundant in quercitin, a natural chemical that blocks free radicals and toxins that cause respiratory issues like asthma and bronchitis. Raw onion is a bit too strong to eat so blend it with other mucus-fighting ingredient into a smoothie or combine it with yummier fruits and veggies into a congestion-clearing juice recipe!
Aside from having copious amounts of essential vitamins and minerals, pineapples also contain bromelain, a natural chemical that helps regulate mucus production and distribution in the body.
If you’re juicing pineapple – make sure you’re also juicing the pineapple core since that’s the part most abundant in bromelain!
Ginger is loaded with a natural chemical called gingerol, which has a lot of antioxidant properties. Besides helping vitamins and minerals to diffuse in the body better to speed up the healing of damaged cells, gingerol also aids in preventing the nasal cavity from swelling profusely during the onset of mucus congestion.
Raw ginger is best so add is fresh and raw into your smoothies, juices or right at the end of your stir-fries!
Peppermint leaves contain high amounts of phytonutrients that significantly reduce the release of histamine in the body. Besides easing up the effects of various health problems that commonly affect the respiratory system like hay fever and asthma, the oils in peppermint leaves can also clear up a stuffy nose in no time.
Not to mention, mint leaves add a wonderful flavor to every fresh juice, smoothie or tea you add some to!