Just the simple term mucus grosses most of us out, right? Oddly enough, it’s a simple result of our body trying to protect itself. Sound strange? Check this out: the body produces mucus as a protection mechanism just like it does tears and saliva. Mucus (like other bodily fluids) contains an enzyme that helps break pathogens we encounter through the environment, our food, or when our immune system senses it’s under attack. This is why allergic foods produce mucus and why when you’re sick you produce more. So while it’s not a very enchanting thought, that fluid we all see as gross is good for us. The problem is if we’re consistently producing mucus all the time, which indicates the immune system consistently senses it is under attack. (This may also indicate our gut bacteria is weakened since it protects us from infection and unhealthy bacteria in which the body wouldn’t produce mucous in the first place.)
So, if we are producing too much mucus (post nasal drip after eating, constantly running nose, cystic white acne, or persistent mucus from the nose or eyes), we need to think about what we are eating, drinking, or encountering that is triggering the reaction. For many people, it’s the top allergenic foods: wheat, soy, dairy, tree nuts, eggs, and gluten (which wheat is part of). For others, it might be an autoimmune disease or simple zinc or good bacteria deficiency. So the first step is to find out the offenders, remove them, and go on an elimination diet if need be. Excess carbohydrates and refined sugar can also weaken good bacteria and, therefore, cause the body to produce mucus as a result. So whatever your case may be, figure that out first, and then add these foods below.
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Source: Basil Cucumber Salad
Perhaps one of the most cleansing fruits out there is cucumber. These are rich in water, potassium, and vitamin C all of which help to cleanse the body. Vitamin C also supports immune health, and cucumbers’ alkaline nature nourishes the gut lining and reduces inflammation in the digestive tract, which benefits the immune system further.
Source: Broccoli and Coconut Soup
Packed with detoxification properties, broccoli contains enzymes that help break down toxins, and they are a great source of vitamin C. Their fiber also feeds good bacteria and helps waste leave the body … no detox pills are needed!
Source: Millet With Spring Vegetables
Carrots are a humble root veggie so easy to forget in their ability to nourish us on a deep level. Carrots contain high amounts of vitamin C, potassium (the ultimate body cleanser), fiber, and high amounts of vitamin A which supports immune health further. These root veggies can be eaten raw or cooked and make delicious dinner sides instead of processed wheat pasta and refined carbs that enhance mucus production and weaken good bacteria.
Apples’ vitamin C and fiber known as pectin are what make them such a star at relieving mucus build-up in the body. Their potassium content only contributes to their abilities, and apples can be enjoyed in a variety of ways. Eat them, blend them, juice them, or bake with them. Cook them up with cinnamon and some pears for a naturally sweet dessert or use applesauce instead of sugar instead of butter and sugar in your next batch of muffins!
Source: Probiotic Cashew Yogurt
Berries are another fruit well known to cleanse the body, specifically the digestive tract, but that’s not all! Berries are also great sources of vitamin C, potassium, and antioxidants. This cleanse the blood, and their fiber helps break down toxins in the body to relieve inflammation and infection. Try using raspberries, blackberries, and blueberries in your next smoothie in place of sugary sweeteners or instead of sugary yogurts. They have a natural sweetness that lends the perfect flavor and will help support cellular cleansing and immune health naturally.
Source: Goji and Chia Overnight Oats
Ginger can help break down toxins and mucus very quickly due to the specific enzymatic benefits it holds. It also produces an anti-inflammatory effect in the body, which signifies to the immune system that it’s safe and doesn’t need to produce a protection mechanism like mucus in the first place. Use fresh ginger when possible, and add a little turmeric to benefit even further. Try them in a tea, a veggie dish, or even juice with them, or make a smoothie.
Source: Kimchi Kale Salad
Greens are one of the most powerful foods of all time to heal the body; with powerful amounts of vitamin A, C, B vitamins, and even vitamin E and potassium, they support the body on every single level. Cook with greens at night, eat them during the day or blend with them in the morning. They cleanse the body of mucus and toxins naturally, and their fiber will feed good bacteria while their high chlorophyll content will support immune and blood health.
Remember that if you’re suffering post nasal drip, excess mucus build-up of another kind, first look at what you’re eating that might be posing a problem. Then, if you remove allergenic foods and processed foods and still have a reaction, see a health specialist you trust to be sure you don’t have a bacterial infection. You should also begin adding in lots of fermented and probiotic-rich foods such as sauerkraut, real pickles, kimchi, kombucha, and yogurt and kefir (non-dairy options are available) to support your system even further. When you give your body healthy, cleansing foods regularly, mucus will subside naturally, and your immune system can support you the way nature intended.
Eat your way to good health with every single bite!
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Learn How to Cook Plant-Based Recipes at Home!
Reducing your meat intake and eating more plant-based foods is known to help with chronic inflammation, heart health, mental well-being, fitness goals, nutritional needs, allergies, gut health, and more! Dairy consumption also has been linked to many health problems, including acne, hormonal imbalance, cancer, and prostate cancer, and has many side effects.
For those of you interested in eating more plant-based, we highly recommend downloading the Food Monster App — with over 15,000 delicious recipes it is the largest plant-based recipe resource to help reduce your environmental footprint, save animals and get healthy! And, while you are at it, we encourage you to also learn about the environmental and health benefits of a plant-based diet.
Here are some great resources to get you started:
- Weekly Vegan Meal Plans
- Plant-Based Health Resources
- Plant-Based Food & Recipes
- Plant-Based Nutrition Resources
- The Ultimate Guide to Plant-Based Nutrition
- Budget-Friendly Plant-Based Recipes
- High Protein Plant-Based Recipes
- Plant-Based Meal Prep
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