Mucus plays an important role in our body but its excessive production is a sign that our immune system is struggling and it can cause us a lot of discomfort, like having a constantly stuffy and runny nose, irritated throat and difficulty breathing.
Certain conditions, like allergies, colds, and infections, as well as dehydration can cause excessive mucus.
What is Mucus and What Is Its Role?
“Mucus is incredibly important for our bodies,” according to Michael M. Johns III, MD, director of the Emory Voice Center and assistant professor of otolaryngology — head and neck surgery at Emory University. “It is the oil in the engine. Without mucus, the engine seizes.”
It may surprise you, but our bodies produce approximately 1 liter of mucus daily. It is healthy and normal and we do not even notice that this happens on a regular basis.
Mucus is made up of water, salt and different proteins that catch foreign particles, recognized by our body as invaders. It contains antibodies that eliminate the germs and defend the body from becoming infected.
When we cough, our body is eliminating the viruses and other invaders that have attacked it, together with the accumulated mucus. That is why coughing is important when we are ill.
However, when we do not have a bacterial infection but we have a cough that does not go away for days or even weeks, crusty eyes in the morning, a constantly congested nose and an irritated throat, our body sends us a different signal that we need to heed. It is often a sign that our system is overloaded with toxins and irritants.
There is one more important factor that can assist or obstruct our body in the healing process: our nutrition.
The importance of proper nutrition regarding the production of mucus
Acidic types of food have a tendency to create excess mucus in the body.
In order for us to keep our bodies vital and healthy, the percentage of alkaline foods that we consume should be 60 %, and the amount of acidic-forming foods should be 40 %, according to the majority of nutritionists and dietitians.
When we fail to help our body achieve its natural balance and harmony by consuming overly acidic foods for longer periods, it produces extra mucus to defend itself from too much acid in order to eliminate it from our system. This can cause other problems, such as bad digestion, a nose, throat and lung congestion and other unpleasant symptoms.
It is a warning signal that our body is struggling to achieve its slightly alkaline pH balance, which ranges from 7.35 to 7.45. If we do not provide it with the necessary nutrients, vitamins and minerals, our body will try to compensate by extracting the alkaline minerals from our bones, which eventually results in calcium loss and various health problems.
It is important to note that acidic environment in our body can also occur due to emotional stress, immune response or any other condition that limits the oxygen and nutrients supply to our cells.
These types of foods trigger excess mucus
- Wheat products (bread, pasta, bagels, muffins)
- All corn products
- Deep fried food
- Sugary treats (cakes, pies and pastries)
- High-fat red meat
- Soy Products
- Safflower/sunflower oil
- Jams and Jellies
- Caffeine (coffee, tea, energy drinks)
To help our bodies keep its natural alkaline pH environment, it is necessary to combine acidic foods with those that are alkaline in every meal. These types of food bring the necessary alkaline balance into our system and help our bodies eliminate the excessive mucus production:
- All sorts of radishes are wonderful at cleansing mucus
- Cauliflower and broccoli
- All leafy greens and herbs
- Bamboo shoots
- All types of citrus fruits
- Ginger and turmeric
- Brussels sprouts
- Hot peppers
Water is also essential in order to clear mucus and flush out toxins from our system.
It is as simple as that: eating lots of fresh fruits and vegetables every day and drinking water regularly is one of the most important factors for clearing excess mucus and keeping our bodies healthy.