30 Foods That Cause And Reduce Mucus Production

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.

Mucus-Producing Foods

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 30 mucus-causing or mucus-thickening foods to consider removing from your diet:

  1. Processed meats
  2. Milk
  3. Cheese
  4. Cream
  5. Cream cheese
  6. Cottage cheese
  7. Yogurt
  8. Ice cream
  9. Butter
  10. Wheat
  11. Bread
  12. Pasta
  13. Cereal
  14. Chickpeas
  15. Beans: black, red, white, lima
  16. Lentils
  17. Peanuts
  18. Peas
  19. Bananas
  20. Cabbage
  21. Potatoes
  22. Corn and corn products
  23. Soy products
  24. Sweet desserts
  25. Candy
  26. Coffee
  27. Tea
  28. Soda
  29. Alcoholic beverages
  30. Deep-fried foods

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 30 mucus killing foods:

  1. Garlic
  2. Watercress
  3. Celery
  4. Pickles 
  5. Onions
  6. Scallions
  7. Shallots
  8. Parsley
  9. Lemons
  10. Limes
  11. Grapefruit
  12. Olive oil
  13. Avocado oil
  14. Coconut oil
  15. Bone broth
  16. Herring
  17. Trout
  18. Flounder
  19. Mahi-mahi
  20. Mackerel
  21. Black cod
  22. Anchovies
  23. Cayenne pepper
  24. Cardamom
  25. Chamomile
  26. Black pepper
  27. Horseradish
  28. Flax seeds
  29. Peppermint
  30. Herbal tea

Further Reading: Anti-Mucus Diet: What To Eat And What To Avoid