Foods That Cause Excessive Mucus Production

Mucus is a gooey substance produced and secreted by specialized cells in the body. It’s something that is present in the nasal cavity and upper airways to catch microbes, pollutants and irritants that attempt to invade the body through the respiratory system. Mucus actually helps keep you from being sick. Too much of it, however, can be so annoying!

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Difficulty with breathing, stuffy nose, chronic cough, eyes that are crusty and puffy in the morning — these are some of the telltale signs that you have excessive mucus in the body. It can also leave you with a smelly breath even after brushing your teeth and using mouthwash. Anything you serve on the table may taste bland because your senses are dulled. You may also have a hard time thinking or concentrating if you have lots of mucus.

The production of too much mucus can be due to bacteria, viruses, allergies and exposure to irritants such as cigarette smoke and household cleaning products with harsh chemicals. However, did you know that the diet is regarded as a major cause of excessive mucus production? So if you are coughing and sneezing a lot, there’s a good chance that what you put in your mouth is the culprit! Below you will find foods that are known to trigger unnecessary mucus buildup.

Dairy Products

Experts say that milk and other dairy products are items that can really crank up those mucus-producing cells in the body. Casein and lactose found in milk are said to trigger excessive mucus production. The same is true with butter, cheese, yogurt and other dairy goods. Ice cream can definitely leave your nose and upper airways stuffed with mucus because it’s dairy and undeniably has tons of refined sugar in it.

Soy and Soy-Based Goods

If you think that switching to soy-based substitutes is a good thing in order to keep excess mucus away, think again. Too much consumption of soy beans and anything else that contains it (tofu, tempeh, soy nuts, soy milk, miso, etc.) is also said to blame for the production of lots of mucus.


Anything that contains tons of refined sugar can leave your nasal cavity and airway lined with more mucus than necessary. We all know that sugary foods are bad for your waistline as well as overall health. Consider limiting your intake of sugar if you’re feeling unwell because of too much mucus. Having stuffy nose may deaden your taste buds and leave you craving for really sweet stuff, but try your best to avoid them.

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Caffeinated Beverages

Since having stuffy nose may leave you feeling fatigued, you may be enticed to reach for a cup of coffee for that much-needed jolt. Don’t! According to experts, caffeine is a substance that can trigger those specialized cells along your airway to produce more mucus. It is also a terrible idea for you to glug down sodas. Not only do they have caffeine, but also lots of sugar. As mentioned earlier, refined sugar can cause your nasal cavity and upper airways to be flooded with mucus. Instead, chug plenty of water to help loosen thick mucus, allowing you to breathe much better.


Especially if you are allergic to wheat, the amount of mucus in your body may go through the roof if you consume any food product that has wheat in it. You might have to stay away from baked goodies, pastas and breakfast cereals in order to ward off too much mucus buildup. Never forget to check the list of ingredients when grocery shopping!

Red and Processed Meats

While they’re excellent sources of protein and iron, red meat can actually trigger excessive mucus production. Experts say that this is most especially true with individuals who are suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Make sure that you cut back on red meat production, especially fatty portions, if extra mucus is bugging you. Processed meats like bacon, salami and sausages should be eliminated from your diet as well.

Nuts and Seeds

Just like red meat, nuts and seeds supply the body with protein — and they can also leave your nasal cavity and the rest of your upper airways to be stuffed with mucus. While recovering, you might feel like watching some movies and snacking on popcorn. Don’t! Popcorn is something that can trigger excessive production of mucus.


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