Our body’s mucus production is meant to keep us healthy as it serves as a sort of sticky tape that collects dust, bacteria, and other potentially harmful airborne particles.
This is 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 in COPD patients negatively impacts both lung function and quality of life.
It also can increase the number of COPD-related exacerbations and hospitalizations.
It can even have more detrimental effects as the article says 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.
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
So what’s left to eat?
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.
Here are 21 mucus killing foods:
- Pumpkin seeds
- Honey or agar
- Cayenne pepper
- Olive oil
- Decaf tea
Further Reading: Anti-Mucus Diet: What To Eat And What To Avoid
Christine Kingsley, APRN is the Health and Wellness Director at the Lung Institute where she focuses on providing helpful online resources for people looking for information on various lung diseases, breathing exercises, and healthy lifestyle choices. She advocates for holistic care that involves working with your doctor to explore all options including traditional and alternative care while focusing on diet and exercise as proactive measures.