What are the foods to eat if I have chest congestion?

It is a known fact that chest congestion can cause coughing, difficulty in breathing, wheezing and shortness of breath.  The congestion in the chest can be caused by certain illnesses or allergies and can be acute or chronic. The dense mucus secretions that cause the chest congestion can be managed with over-the-counter or prescription medications as well as treating the underlying cause. Additionally, there are certain foods that may have an effect on the production of mucus by the glands that line the respiratory system.

In case the chest congestion is accompanied by yellowish or greenish mucus, it indicates the presence of an infection. Once the individual experiences severe chest congestion, fever, wheezing or unusual discharge of mucus, it is best to schedule an appointment with a doctor as soon as possible. If you want to learn more about the management of this symptom, click here.

Water and other fluids

Water and other non-caffeinated fluids can help thin out the mucus secretions as well as ease the chest congestion. It is recommended to focus on water, clear broths and juice. Try to avoid soft drinks, tea, coffee and alcohol since they can cause dehydration and will only worsen the congestion.

Chest congestion

chest congestion can cause coughing, difficulty in breathing, wheezing and shortness of breath.

Remember that milk and milk products do not cause further congestion or increased production of mucus. Nevertheless, milk is considered more as a food than a beverage and must not be included as part of the fluid intake.

Spicy foods

Spicy foods such as chili powder and cayenne pepper can help drain the blocked sinuses and bronchial tubes. Capsaicin that is administered nasally is known to be effective in minimizing congestion caused by rhinitis. Take note that capsaicin is an active ingredient in cayenne pepper and widely utilized in treating pain and inflammation. The consumption of spicy foods especially those that contain capsaicin can help relieve congestion in the sinuses that can lead to chest congestion.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is a vital nutrient that the body could not produce and must obtain from another source. This vitamin is known to increase the effectiveness of the immune system. It can also minimize the severity and the length of certain conditions that cause chest congestion.

Foods that are rich in vitamin C are usually a natural source of water which helps minimize the thickness of the mucus. If an individual has an upper respiratory condition, it is important to focus on fruits that are rich in vitamin C such as oranges.

Chicken soup

Chicken soup has been the traditional remedy for flu, cold and chest congestion. It is important to note that chicken soup can help minimize the inflammation that causes chest congestion or make it worse. The heat from chicken soup can help thin out the mucus and make it easier to expel via coughing. Prior to the consumption of chicken soup, instruct the individual to hold his/her head over the bowl to allow the soothing vapors to reach the sinuses and bronchial tubes.


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