Do you suffer from sinus and allergy pain? Does the change of season bring on sneezing, itchy eyes and/or a burning throat? For some this can cause throbbing facial pain, bring on a headache, interfere with sleep and your ability to function during the day.
As always, we think the best medicine is FOOD! Here are a few simple tips from our in-house Naturopath Jenny Allwell for using foods to help reduce the frequency and severity of sinus congestion.
Diet – eat simple, easy to digest foods that support the body to clear infection such as fruits and vegetables and small amounts of good protein. Adequate fluid is essential to reduce inflammation and to thin mucous secretions. Vegetable soups, broths, filtered water and herbal teas such as ginger and lemon are recommended. Warming foods with spices such as turmeric and chilli are good for clearing congestion and increasing Qi flow through the body.
Avoid – dairy, gluten and sugar until the issue has cleared as these are all known to be highly inflammatory and mucous forming.
Also avoid preservatives, flavourings and additives and generally reduce chemical exposure as much as possible. Use natural soap, shampoo and body products, avoid perfumed sprays such as air fresheners and keep a Himalayan salt lamp to help reduce irritants in your home.
Vitamin A - is essential for the health of the mucous membranes and foods such as sweet potato, pumpkin, carrot, spinach and eggs are a good source.
Vitamin C - is essential for immune health - parsley, kiwi fruit, citrus fruits, broccoli and tomato are good food sources.
Zinc - is needed for cell repair and health - ginger, pecans, sesame seeds, oysters and chicken are good food sources.
Fermented foods - such as sauerkraut and kombucha can help re-balance the gut bacteria which is crucial to good immune function. These foods should be kept to minimum if fungal issues are suspected.
Reduce stress - exercise regularly, walk and do yoga. Get out in the sunshine as often as possible for vitamin D (immune system enhancer).
Breathing exercises - try alternate nostril breathing (pranayama) as it slows down your breathing and helps protects the airways by humidifying, warming, and cleaning the air entering the lungs.
By Jenny Allwell, Naturopath, Allwell Natural Healing.