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Foods That Clear Up Mucus Production

Foods That Clear Up Mucus Production Foods That Clear Up Mucus Production


Mucus is a slippery substance that helps protect and moisten your mouth, nose, lungs, throat and digestive tract tissues. While it plays an important role in overall health, excessive amounts can become bothersome. In severe cases, it can interfere with your ability to breathe and function normally. In addition to medical treatments, when necessary, eating appropriate foods may help decrease mucus production or prevent your symptoms from worsening. For best results, seek specified guidance from your doctor or dietitian.

Fruits and Vegetables

Fruits and vegetables are prime sources of antioxidants, such as beta-carotene and vitamin C, which boost your body's defense mechanisms, promoting healing from colds, the flu and other infections associated with mucus buildup. Onions, garlic, horseradish, celery, parsley, lemons, watercress and pickles help reduce mucus production, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. Fruits and vegetables particularly rich in antioxidants include berries, cherries, citrus fruits, tomatoes, kiwi, broccoli, leafy greens, bell peppers and winter squash. Limit potatoes, bananas and cabbage, which may increase mucus production.

Warm Fluids

Warm fluids, such as water, herbal tea, hot chocolate and broth-based soups, may help loosen mucus, ease throat pain and reduce congestion associated with the common cold. Limit or avoid caffeinated beverages, such as coffee and black tea, which may interfere with rest, and milk-containing beverages and soups. Although dairy products aren't known to cause mucus, they may thicken its consistency and increase irritation, according to For added antioxidant and mucus-reducing benefits, choose broth-based soups containing vegetables, such as onions, celery or leafy greens. Chicken and legumes provide amino acids, which support strong immune function and physical strength, so broth-based chicken soup and lentil or split pea soups are additional valuable options.

Cold-Water Fish

Cold-water fish, similar to chicken and legumes, provide rich amounts of protein. The oil in cold-water fish contains more omega-3 fatty acids, which may reduce inflammation and mucus production, than other foods. For heightened benefits, choose baked, broiled or poached cold-water fish instead of red and processed meats, which contain inflammatory fats. Fish particularly high in omega-3 fats include salmon, albacore tuna, herring, lake trout, flounder, halibut, sardines and mackerel.

Nuts and Seeds

Nuts and seeds also provide anti-inflammatory fats and the antioxidant vitamin E. For omega-3 fatty acids, consume ground flaxseed, flaxseed oil, walnuts or walnut oil. If you're experiencing throat pain, nut butters, such as peanut, almond and cashew butter, provide soft-textured alternatives. As dense sources of calories, eating more nuts and seeds may help prevent unintentional weight loss, which can lead to a weaker immune system. Maintaining proper caloric intake and weight is particularly important if you have cystic fibrosis.

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