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one green planet

Most of the country is deep into spring, which means that those of us with seasonal allergies are stocking up on boxes of tissue, allergy meds, or those natural remedies we rely on to get us through a season of sniffles! Yet the changing of the seasons not only brings the airborne stimulants of blooming flowers and greening grasses but also the transitioning from frosty winter to warm and sunny days. Both of these environmental changes, along with allergies, tend to bring on that last cold before the summer.

All of this is to say that with the warming of our days comes a lot of mucus for a great deal of us!

With that said, how much do we really know about mucus? First off, it’s a type of phlegm that is “produced in the lungs and lower respiratory tract” and is meant to protect certain areas of the body from drying out, as well as “helps the body defend against foreign invaders.” With that said, while some mucus is healthy, “too much of it can be caused because of infections such as common cold or flu, irritation in nose throat or lungs, allergies,” as well as more severe ailments such as gastroesophageal reflux disease and lung diseases.

Luckily, for those non-severe conditions — such as allergies or the common cold — certain plant-based foods can help regulate and clear mucus and congestion such as pineapple and onion; as well as ginger, garlic, cayenne pepper, and cardamom. Here are 15 recipes from the Food Monster App that may help!

1. Blood Orange, Carrot, and Ginger Smoothie

Blood Orange, Carrot and Ginger Smoothie

Source: Orange, Carrot, and Ginger Smoothie

This Blood Orange, Carrot, and Ginger Smoothie by Daniela Modesto is a delicious and easy way to get some decongestion relief! Prepare a large pitcher of this nutrient-dense, gut-friendly decongestant at the beginning of the week for a go-to mucus relief remedy.

2. Garlic and Onion Sunflower Seed Crackers

Source: Garlic and Onion Sunflower Seed Crackers

Garlic has been used as a natural remedy for thousands of years due to its sulfur content. This Garlic and Onion Sunflower Seed Crackers recipe by Taryn Fitz-Gerald is an easy-to-make, nutrient-dense snack, perfect for those allergy-heavy months or to dip in your favorite soup for a bit of cold-derived mucus relief.

3. Vegan Pineapple Honey

Vegan Pineapple Honey

Source: Vegan Pineapple Honey

Pineapple aids in reducing mucus buildup due to a compound called papain that is found naturally in pineapple. Yet, when you’re under the weather with allergies or a cold, eating a high acidic fruit like pineapple doesn’t oftentimes sound appealing. Therefore, try this Vegan Pineapple Honey recipe by Anja Cass. There are only two simple ingredients — pineapple juice and your choice of sugar — and you’ve got homemade, completely vegan honey to help get you through those mucus-filled times!

4. Garlic Miso and Onion Soup

Source: Garlic Miso and Onion Soup

This Garlic Miso and Onion Soup by Adams Media not only provides the powerful ancient medicinal properties of garlic, but it’s also onion-rich! Onions act as expectorants, which “help break up mucus and congestion in the chest and reduce spasmodic coughs.”

5. Cardamom Coconut Chia Pudding

Source: Cardamom Coconut Chia Pudding

Traditionally found in Asian and Middle Eastern cuisine, cardamom is known for its many health benefits including antispasmodic properties, which “make it effective against a cough, and it can help relieve congestion in the nasal passages and lungs.” This Cardamom Coconut Chia Pudding recipe by Kanchan Koya Ph.D. offers up a protein-rich, slightly naturally sweet yogurt treat that will also help relieve mucus buildup!

6. Cleansing Detox Soup

Cleansing Detox Soup

Source: Cleansing Detox Soup

Whether it’s a cold or seasonal allergies, this Cleansing Detox Soup by Shannon Leparski will help clear congestion, reduce mucus buildup, fight inflammation, and nourish your body. This recipe includes the congestion-fighting elements of cayenne pepper, lemon juice, onion, garlic, and ginger, along with a whole host of plant-based ingredients that will restore you to health!

7. Gingery Yellow Rice

Gingery Yellow Rice

Source: Gingery Yellow Rice

During those months where you’re nose is running like a faucet, try having a tub of this Gingery Yellow Rice recipe Danielle Dewar on hand! It relies on a large helping of fresh ginger, as well as inflammation-fighting turmeric, the powerful health benefits of which are enhanced by freshly ground black pepper.

8. Quick Rise Garlic Bread

Quick Rise Garlic Breads

Source: Quick Rise Garlic Bread

Want a quick slice of toast in the morning? How about toast that will also help fight congestion? This Quick Rise Garlic Bread by Josephine Watmore is rich with mucus-relieving garlic, fiber-filled flaxseed, and heart-healthy olive oil. It’s a great way to start your morning!

9. Turmeric Smoothie

Turmeric Smoothie

Source: Turmeric Smoothie

This Turmeric Smoothie by Maryea Flaherty will not only fight inflammation, but it’s also rich in mucus-relieving papain from pineapple. On top of the papain, you’ll also get congestion relief from a teaspoon of fresh ginger, all of which are brought to life by the enhancing powers of freshly ground pepper.

10. Onion Soup with Apple

Onion Soup With Apple

Source: Onion Soup with Apple

A perfect recipe to provide congestion and mucus relief during that spring-time cold! This Onion Soup with Apple by Florian Nouh is super simple and alive with the flavors of onion, apple, and apple cider vinegar, coconut oil (or olive oil), and a bit of pepper.

11. Instant Chai Hot Chocolate Mix

Instant Chai Hot Chocolate Mix

Source: Instant Chai Hot Chocolate Mix

There’s nothing better than a soothing, warm, sweet treat when you’re feeling congested and under the weather! This Instant Chai Hot Chocolate Mix by Claire Ragozzino will hit the spot with its adaptogenic raw cacao powder, warming cinnamon, and congestion-relieving cardamom.

12. Arugula and Strawberry Salad with Cayenne Lemon Vinaigrette

Instant Chai Hot Chocolate Mix

Source: Arugula and Strawberry Salad with Cayenne Lemon Vinaigrette

This Arugula and Strawberry Salad with Cayenne Lemon Vinaigrette by Daniela Modesto combines the delicate sweetness of strawberries, mango, and lemon with the tangy spice of arugula and cayenne. With two cups of arugula and a few dashes of capsaicin-rich cayenne pepper, this is the perfect salad for that warm spring day when your sinuses are kicking up!

13. Fermented Ginger Beer

Fermented Ginger Beer

Source: Fermented Ginger Beer

There’s nothing like enjoying your blooming backyard garden with a cold brew in your hand. Yet, if you’re feeling congested switch out that beer with this gut-friendly, mucus-relieving Fermented Ginger Beer by Jessica Bose. This fermented beverage is packed with congestion-relieving ginger, as well as refreshing mint and vitamin C-rich lemon to get you back on your feet and mucus free!

14. Raw Garlic Butter

Source: Raw Garlic Butter

Ever felt that tingling sensation after eating a raw clove of garlic? That’s because raw garlic is incredibly potent. This potency makes raw garlic, such as this Raw Garlic Butter recipe by Nikki Stokes, one of the best agents for relieving congestion and reducing mucus. This vegan-friendly butter is thickened with nutrient-rich avocado and coconut oil, both of which offer a great source of plant-based healthy fat.

15. Spicy Sweetcorn and Onion Fritters

Spicy Sweetcorn and Onion Fritters

Source: Spicy Sweetcorn and Onion Fritters

Looking for a double whammy in mucus relief? Try these Spicy Sweetcorn and Onion Fritters by Holly Jade. Not only will the heat in this dish help clear congestion, but it’s also rich in the natural expectorant powers of onions.

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