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Sinusitis: What to Eat and What to Avoid. | Can Sour Foods Affect Sinuses? 

A collaborative study done by experts in The Institute of Health Management Research (IIHMR), Bangalore and the International Institute for Population Sciences revealed that over 134 million Indians suffer from the symptoms of chronic sinusitis. Most of these people don't even realize that the core problem and the solution for sinusitis could be what they consume daily. Even if they do have some knowledge regarding the same, it isn't completely factual. One of those is:

"Sour food can worsen sinusitis"

The most common side effect cited against sour foods is that they may elevate the chances of cough and cold. And since most people relate cough and cold to sinusitis, they believe sour foods have an equally abysmal reaction inducing sinus infections. 

Is it true? Or is it just a myth?

Balance Ayurveda has done extensive research on this subject. Hence, comes this blog in play (or read, technically) that can tell you:

  • What is sinusitis?
  • Can sour food affect sinusitis?
  • What foods to avoid to prevent sinusitis?
  • What foods to eat to prevent sinusitis?

So, hang on to your reading glasses! We are in for a ride!

A brief introduction to sinusitis

Sinus infection or sinusitis is the inflammation of the sinus tissue lining. Sinuses are spaces present within the bones. They are placed between your eyes, on your forehead, and behind your cheekbones. 

How do sinuses help your body?

The sinuses present in your body release mucus that keeps your nose moist. So, every time you inhale oxygen, the mucus helps in fighting dust, allergens, and other pollutants. 

Sinuses, when healthy, have air. However, when they become filled and blocked by fluids, they become a home for germs, leading to infections. 

Symptoms of sinusitis 

  1. Blocked nose.
  2. Thick discharge from the nose. 
  3. Pain on the face that gets worse when a person bends forward. 
  4. Aching teeth

“Fact: Sinus or sinusitis is a major health issue affecting people worldwide. A report by the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology confirmed that more than 31 million people in the US suffer from sinusitis. That means more than a billion dollars is spent each year in America on drugstore medications. Each year, there are over 16 million doctor visits and more than $150 million spent just on prescribed medications.

When it comes to causes, sinuses can be caused by many factors like low immunity, smoke, allergens, and nasal swellings caused by flu. But, one of the most prominent reasons is food. In the next section, let's discuss more Ayurveda sinus treatment through food!

How can food affect sinusitis?

The ancient Ayurvedic philosophy holds that the food we eat determines who we are. Certain foods can make your body feel stronger and healthier. At the same time, some edibles can trigger inflammation and discomfort. Studies show that around 37 million people each year find their way to the hospital with sinus infections.

Sinusitis can be acute or chronic.  Acute sinusitis is curable within a few weeks (and also the more common variant of the sinus). Chronic sinusitis can last longer (months or even years). In both cases, there are 3 triggering factors:

  •     Bacteria and viruses
  •     Allergens
  •     Food intake

Food, in fact, is one of the most undermined causes of sinusitis. Most patients don't know that what they eat may be triggering a sinus infection. These food items can cause congestion and nasal inflammation of your sinuses. Some food items also contain histamine and tyramine that react badly leading to sinus infections.

The big question here is:

Is sour food ALL the reason behind sinus infections?

The answer is no. It's a big, fat myth that sour foods can cause sinus infections. Sure, there are some sour edibles like tomatoes that can worsen sinusitis. But, then again, sour foods like lemon can cure sinus infections.  Ayurveda for sinus allergies can help you get rid of sinus infections without any side effects. 

Our next sections delve deeper into what foods you must avoid and what to eat if you have sinus infections. 

What foods to avoid to avoid sinusitis? 

According to Ayurveda and medical science, some foods can aggravate sinus infections. This means they can increase phlegm production which leads to more congestion. Here is a list of food items that you must avoid if you have sinus or sinusitis:

  • Dairy and dairy-related products
  • Refined sugar since it increases inflammation and produces thick mucus.
  • Tomatoes since they contain histamines
  • Chocolate
  • Gluten
  • Certain fruits like bananas increase congestion

What foods can help in improving sinusitis?

If there's a problem, there's certainly a solution. Lung care with Ayurveda mostly involves a healthy diet. Balance Ayurveda suggests these top ingredients that can help in removing sinus infections:


How does ginger and garlic help improve sinus symptoms?

Ginger has antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties that help in reducing inflammation and healing. Garlic is rich in Sulphur compounds that act as antibacterial and antifungal agents.

Can ginger and garlic cure sinuses completely?

No. But ginger and garlic have antihistamine properties that can help ease allergies and pain caused by sinus infections.


How does pepper help improve sinus symptoms?

Pepper contains capsaicin. This particular active component helps improve the immune system, remove pain, and reduce any signs of inflammation. It can clear the congestion and allow a smoother flow of mucus.

Can pepper cure sinusitis completely?

No, pepper cannot cure sinus. But it can reduce symptoms like congestion, which can provide relief.

Caution tip: Don't consume too much pepper. It may improve sinusitis but it will lead to problems like indigestion.

Fruits like pineapples

How do pineapples help improve sinus symptoms?

Pineapples have copious amounts of antioxidants which can protect the mucus membranes from being damaged. It also helps in decreasing the production of mucus. 

Can pineapples cure sinusitis completely?

Pineapples can effectively improve sinusitis. They have enzymes that can reduce inflammation by breaking down mucus production. 


How does horseradish help improve sinus symptoms?

Horseradish has a high nutrient composition. It has Vitamin C, potassium, folate, zinc, calcium, magnesium, dietary fiber, and manganese that helps in reducing inflammation to high extents. 

Can horseradish cure sinusitis completely?

To an extent, yes. Horseradish is quite similar to peppers with its spicy content. It also has an organic chemical composition like sinigrin which can reduce congestion. 

Here are other foods that you can take to improve sinusitis:

  • Turmeric
  • Vitamin-C-rich foods like lemons, oranges, tamarind, and tart cherries.
  • Dark leafy vegetables and fruits are rich in antioxidants like spinach and kale. 
  • Chyawanprash for sinusitis relief

Bottom line

Both Ayurveda and medical science firmly believe that sour foods don't necessarily affect sinusitis in a negative way. Sour foods like lemons can help tremendously in improving sinusitis. But sour fruits like tomatoes would rather trigger a sinus infection. So, understand what works for your body and eat accordingly. If you cannot find these ingredients in your nearby market or fail to add these always in your diet, you can always try supplements built with Ayurveda for sinuses.

At Balance Ayurveda, we aim to provide only the top-notch ayurvedic supplements that can help elevate your life without any side effects. Check out our website and decide for yourself!

Comments (1)

  • on Apr 25, 2024

    I always spent my half an hou to read this website’s articles or reviews everyday along
    with a cup of coffee.

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