It’s just about that time of year again. It seems like each year as the seasons change from summer to fall, I can’t help but get a killer sinus infection. It hasn’t quite struck yet, but I’m preparing myself, especially since this year I have to be particularly careful with what I take. Since that’s the case, I’m prepping myself with a few general dietary and lifestyle changes to try to prevent and eventually treat a sinus infection should I end up getting one. By balancing a healthy diet, exercise, and my emotional well-being, I’m hoping I can prevent a sinus infection before Little One makes her grand entrance.
Treating a Sinus Infection without Antibiotics
I realize most people turn to medications and other over-the-counter treatments the moment they realize they are fighting a sinus infection. However, I also understand that the majority of these treatments are relatively aggressive and not the best option for baby and I. So, rather than relying on an antibiotic or even an over-the-counter medication, I am taking matters into my own hands with other treatment options. I plan on making dietary changes as well as specific lifestyle modifications to promote effective sinus and nasal function and to remedy nasal congestion and infection should either occur.
A healthy diet is one of the single most effective ways to treat any health condition. For treating a sinus infection, a number of nutritional recommendations can boost the immune system, fight infection, and offer relief.
Foods rich in vitamin C are an essential component of an infection-fighting diet. Grapefruit, oranges, and tangerines have all been shown to clear congestion and support immune function and are a few of my favorite citrus foots to boot! Chili peppers, ginger, garlic, and/or horseradish are also great for breaking up mucus and relieving congestion. Likewise, pineapple, a food high in bromelain, and foods such as salmon, tuna, and walnuts, which are high in omega-3 fats, help reduce inflammation. Drinking additional water is also important for flushing the body and rinsing out infection.
Foods to Avoid
Eliminating some foods from the diet is just as important as adding in beneficial foods. Common allergy-causing foods, such as dairy products, eggs, wheat, and corn should be eaten in very limited amounts if you suspect you may be developing a sinus infection. Other foods to avoid include sugar substitutes, carbonated drinks, caffeine, and sweetened foods and beverages.
Certain lifestyle changes can also support recovery from a sinus infection. Avoiding smoke and identifying specific environmental allergies helps prevent nasal irritation. For me, avoiding areas with heavily floral landscaping can also be helpful. Likewise, using a humidifier helps keep the sinuses moist. I like using our essential oils diffuser beside our bed with a few oils like lavender and wild orange to calm my sinuses and relieve inflammation. And, believe it or not, exercise is also important to promote recovery and wellness.
While it may seem that making dietary and lifestyle changes is an ineffective way to treat a sinus infection, these changes have a drastic effect on the nasal passageways as well as overall health. I’ve used these remedies previously, and they always help shorten my recovery time. I’m hoping that this year, they’ll help me avoid a sinus infection altogether.