Our body’s production of mucus is actually meant to keep us healthy as it serves as a sort of sticky tape that collects dust, bacteria, and other potentially harmful airborne particles so our body can get rid of these things more easily before they have a chance to settle into our lungs.
However, if you have a chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), mucus production is often so excessive that it can actually hurt your health.
Mucus and COPD
An article published in the International Journal of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease explains that the increase in mucus secretions commonly found with COPD patients negatively impacts both lung function and quality of life.
It also can increase your number of COPD-related exacerbations and hospitalizations.
It even can have more detrimental effects as the article goes on to say that several studies have found that people with “chronic mucus hypersecretion” have a higher risk of death. This is true in regard to respiratory-related death, death due to pulmonary infection, and some even found a higher mortality rate in general.
Though a person without COPD is generally able to get rid of excess mucus, those with this disease often have a more difficult time because of poor function of the cilia in the respiratory tract and from having an “ineffective cough” due to weak respiratory muscles and obstructed airways.
One way to help combat these effects is to stay away from foods that can potentially increase mucus production even more.
About the Production of Mucus
The human body constantly creates mucus; however, you don’t notice it most of the time because it is usually thin in consistency and thus slides down the back of your throat and you never even know it was there.
However, there are times that your mucus will change in consistency, and it is these times that you notice the production, and all you want to do is get rid of it.
As previously mentioned, mucus gets thicker and stickier when you are sick, which is why you constantly blow your nose and hock back ‘loogies’ when you have a cold, a sinus infection or the flu.
It can also change consistency when your body is affected by an allergen and it is trying to protect your body from the allergen. Believe it or not, there are also certain foods that can cause you to create more mucus.
There are certain foods that, when eaten, can cause our bodies to produce even more mucus than ordinary or thicken the mucus that is already created, causing havoc in a different way. Therefore, avoiding these items can help ease the chronic mucus problems typically experienced with COPD.
With that thought in mind, here are 21 mucus-causing or mucus-thickening foods to consider removing from your diet:
- Red meat
- Ice Cream
- Corn and corn products
- Soy products
- Sweet desserts
- Alcoholic beverages
Foods That Reduce Mucus
While it may seem like you can’t eat anything because all of the major food groups have already been wiped out, there are actually some foods left that have the ability to reduce your mucus production.
- Pumpkin seeds
- Honey or agar
- Cayenne pepper
- Olive oil
- Decaf tea
These foods are known to activate the gustatory rhinitis, which speeds up the production of mucus and can make you feel miserable.