Foods that increase inflammation
Diet can have a large impact on how you feel and how your body reacts. Poor nutrition can result in a myriad of negative health impacts including causing or exacerbating your sinus symptoms. Refined sugars for example can create an imbalance of hormones in your system and actually promote the growth of ‘negative’ bacteria (unlike the ‘good’ bacteria in your intestines or gut).
An allergy is an autoimmune response and may result in inflammation and congestion. While we may think of food allergies as being an anaphylactic reaction to nuts or strawberries, food allergies – or more appropriately food intolerances – can also affect your sinuses. One of the major dietary contributors of congestion and nasal inflammation is dairy.
Some foods either contain histamine or cause the body to release histamines. Additionally, some foods also contain tyramine which is a chemical that can also trigger headaches. These include:
- Processed meats – aged, cured and those containing nitrates (salami, bologna, pepperoni)
- Dairy – Milk, Cheese, Butter, sour cream, yogurt
- Artificial sweeteners
One of the things you can do to determine what foods effect you and how is by keeping a food journal. Eliminate certain suspected foods one at a time – such as milk/dairy for 2-3 weeks. Be sure to read labels and a general rule of thumb is to purchase and consume fresh foods – The less processing the better!
Foods that support sinus health
On a more positive note, there are some foods and supplements that decrease inflammation and promote sinus health. While not all are clinically proven to be effective, some individuals have benefited from using the following:
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin D complex
- Primrose Oil
- Panax Ginseng and locorice
- Foods rich in antioxidants – dark leafy greens fruits and vegetables
- Additionally – certain probiotics have been created to promote healthy sinuses.
Before starting any dietary changes you should consult with a healthcare professional for appropriate dosages and supplements. Our medical staff can help create a dietary plan that may help improve your symptoms.