Here are 7 types of food that can increase phlegm.
7 foods that can increase mucus
1. Foods high in histamines
Foods that cause your body to release histamine can increase mucus production. However, this often only affects people who have histamine sensitivity or intolerance, which is likely to be the result of enzyme deficits in the gut. Foods high in histamines include:
- Some types of fish, such as tuna, pike, and mackerel
- Processed meats
- Dairy products such as milk, cheese, butter, and cream (for some people)
- Fermented products such as alcohol, yogurt, and sauerkraut
- Citrus fruits
2. Processed foods
Food additives such as preservatives and thickeners can mess with your gut and cause problems such as dangerous inflammatory reactions or intestinal disease. Both excessive and inadequate mucus production can be triggered by these artificial substances.
Chocolate can also contribute to increased mucus production, particularly if you have an acid reflux disorder such as laryngopharyngeal reflux or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Chocolate can weaken your lower and upper esophageal sphincters. These sphincters serve as gatekeepers that make sure that food and liquids flow in the proper direction (downward) and prevent stomach acid from entering your pharynx, larynx, or esophagus. You can get hoarseness, a sore throat, heartburn, a persistent cough and mucus in the back of your throat if the sphincters are weak and stomach acid gets into the wrong places.
Caffeine is another chemical that can weaken your esophageal sphincters and cause stomach acid to back up into your esophagus and throat. Phlegm production may result from this irritation.
Alcohol can weaken the esophageal sphincters, creating irritation and increased phlegm, just like other foods and beverages that cause mucus. Alcohol is also a diuretic, which means that if you consume too much alcohol, it could lead to dehydration and make it difficult for phlegm to drain properly.
6. Carbonated beverages
7. Foods that trigger reflux
According to studies, foods that trigger GERD can also increase mucus production:
- Fried food
- Citrus fruits
- Fatty meats such as bacon
What causes too much phlegm?
- Sickness: Your immune system starts an inflammatory response to fight off diseases including colds and sinus infections. As part of this response, your body overproduces mucus, which can lead to coughing, runny nose, sore throat, or breathing issues. Chronic disorders such as cystic fibrosis, asthma, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease that impair the mucosal tissue can also cause excessive amounts of phlegm.
- Food allergies: Allergies can result in excessive mucus production, which can cause congestion or breathing issues, as well as other symptoms including skin rashes, edema, and dizziness. Some of the most frequent food allergies are eggs, milk, soy, fish, shellfish, wheat, peanuts, and tree nuts. Even if you are not allergic to them, some people find that they experience more phlegm when they eat certain foods.
- Pollution: Exposure to smoke or pollution can also cause your body to produce excessive amounts of mucus to ward off environmental irritants.
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
Milk, mucus, and cough https://www.allergy.org.au/patients/food-other-adverse-reactions/milk-mucus-and-cough
Phlegm and mucus: how to get rid of it https://health.clevelandclinic.org/mucus-and-phlegm-what-to-do-if-you-have-too-much/
Too much phlegm and snot? You should eat these 6 foods more often https://www.lifehack.org/503947/too-much-phlegm-and-snot-you-should-eat-these-6-foods-more-often
Does milk increase mucus production? https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19932941/
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