Diet. Treatment of sinusitis may center on developing general healthy dietary guidelines, in addition to making some key adjustments in your relationship with food.
Dietary recommendations for sinusitis include:
- Eat foods rich in vitamin C, like grapefruit, oranges, and tangerines. Studies that have shown that high levels of vitamin C help clear congestion.
- Add chili peppers, ginger, garlic, and/or horseradish to your daily recipes. These foods contain agents that break up mucus and relieve congestion.
- Eat pineapple. It contains bromelain, which helps reduce inflammation in the nasal passages.
- Choose high-quality, organic, hormone- and antibiotic-free “grass-fed” meats.
- Increase your omega-3 essential fatty acids by selecting high-quality wild-caught salmon, miminal-mercury albacore tuna, fish oil, avocados, and sprouted walnuts.
- Eat raw, organic vegetables.
- Add high-quality fiber to your diet, such as ground flax seed.
- Add healthy saturated fats to your diet, such as organic virgin coconut oil.
- Choose sprouted, whole-grain products.
- Add nutrient-dense, unprocessed foods, such as sprouted nuts and seeds, to your diet.
- Drink purified water throughout the day.
Foods to AVOID include:
- Common allergy-causing foods such as dairy products, eggs, wheat, and corn (including corn derivatives such as dextrose, maltodextrin, corn syrup, fructose, modified starch, corn starch, margarine, shortening, and corn oil) – Chronic sinusitis can be caused by an underlying food allergy or intolerance.
- All simple or refined carbohydrates (white flour, white rice, white bread, pasta, cookies, cakes, crackers, processed snack foods, etc.) – Read more about good cards and bad carbs.
- All foods containing refined sugar or artificial sugar-substitutes such as aspartame, Splenda®, etc. Choose a natural sweetener like Xylosweet instead.
- Alcoholic beverages in excess, since they hinder the functioning of the immune and digestive systems
- Limited cheese and wine
- Fungi such as mushrooms
- Pickled foods
- Sweetened fruit juices that spike blood sugar levels too rapidly
- Fruit juices, since they spike blood sugar levels too rapidly
- Carbonated soft drinks that cause blood pH levels to become acidic
- Bottom crawlers such as oysters, clams, and lobster that may contain toxic levels of mercury
- Deep-sea fish such as tuna, mackerel, and swordfish that may contain toxic levels of mercury. Choose minimal-mercury albacore tuna instead
- Farm-raised fish that contain PCBs and not enough omega-3 essential fatty acids, due to their land-based diets. Choose wild-caught salmon instead.
- Sodium nitrite found in processed foods such as hot dogs, lunch meats, and bacon
- Monosodium glutamate (MSG) found in many foods as a flavor enhancer
- Hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils found in many processed foods, deep-fried foods, fast foods, and junk food – Read more about good fats and bad fats.
- Limited caffeine intake – While moderate amounts of caffeine may be beneficial, excessive consumption of caffeine may aggravate sinusitis.15
Other helpful tips for sinusitis sufferers:
- Avoid smoke – smoke irritates nasal membranes. (If you’re a smoker, quitting is one of the best things you can do for your sinuses.)
- Use a humidifier or Xlear nasal spray to keep the sinuses moist. Being too dry can also be a problem.
- Don’t swim in chlorine pools or contaminated water.
- Identify unknown allergies and effectively treat fungal infections such as Candida.
- Avoid feather, old, and/or moldy pillows, which frequently are the cause of allergies.
- If you have “silver” dental fillings, get an evaluation from a mercury-free dentist who specializes in the safe removal of mercury amalgam fillings. Mercury in the body damages immune cells, which then lose their ability to ward off infections such as sinusitis. Find a mercury-free dentist in your area now!
Exercise. Though exercise is a very important part of maintaining a healthy lifestyle, those suffering from sinusitis often experience pain and throbbing in the head and sinuses, even with moderate activities such as jogging. Therefore, walking and biking are both great exercise options, which will promote recovery by aiding in circulatory and respiratory health. Just remember that overly intense physical activity may worsen the symptoms of sinusitis by pushing an already-weakened immune system too hard.