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Foods for Fighting Mucus in Your Body

author image R. Y. Langham, Ph.D.
R. Y. Langham served as a senior writer for "The Herald" magazine from 1996-99. Langham holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Fisk University, a Master of Science in marriage and family therapy from Trevecca Nazarene University and a Ph.D in family psychology from Capella University. Dr. R.Y. Langham published her first psychological thriller in September 2011. It can be purchased on, Barnes& and
Foods for Fighting Mucus in Your Body
Woman blowing her nose Photo Credit: Pixland/Pixland/Getty Images

Mucus is a thick fluid that can help lubricate your tissues and protect your mucus membranes from damage. It can be found in your nasal passages, throat, lungs, intestines, digestive system, urinary tract, reproductive tract and other body tissues. Illnesses, such as bronchitis, sinusitis, colds, influenza or cystic fibrosis, and food allergens can cause your body to produce too much mucus. Excessive amounts of mucus in your body can cause congestion and breathing problems. A healthy diet consisting of a variety of nutrients can prevent, reduce or eliminate excess mucus in your body.

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Vegetable Soup

A pot of vegetable soup surrounded by fresh vegetables
A pot of vegetable soup surrounded by fresh vegetables Photo Credit: marco palazzi/iStock/Getty Images

If you want to eliminate excess mucus in your body, try eating a bowel of warm vegetable soup. According to Swami Sadashiva Tirtha, author of the book “Ayurveda Encyclopedia: Natural Secrets to Healing, Prevention, and Longevity,” warm liquids such as broth-based vegetable soups are rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that can loosen mucus in your body, reduce nasal and chest congestion, provide hydration, strengthen your immune system and help you fight off viruses, infections and diseases. Other warm liquids that can help break up mucus in the body include herbal tea, hot apple cider and hot chocolate.

Fatty Fish

Walnuts Photo Credit: Design Pics/Design Pics/Getty Images

Eating 7 ounces of fatty fish approximately two to three times a week can help decrease the amount of mucus in your body. Judith E. Brown, author of the book “Everywoman’s Guide to Nutrition” states that fatty fish such as salmon, canned tuna in oil, sardines, mackerel and trout are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, healthy unsaturated fats that can reduce the amount of inflammation in your body, a common cause of excess mucus in the body. Other foods that contain omega-3 fatty acids include walnuts, flaxseeds, flaxseed oil, canola oil, soybeans, soybean oil and pumpkin seeds.


Greek yogurt in a small clay pot
Greek yogurt in a small clay pot Photo Credit: Liv Friis-Larsen/iStock/Getty Images

Eating a cup of yogurt in the mornings can help you get rid of extra mucus in your body. According to Lavon J. Dunne, author of the book “Nutrition Almanac,” yogurt contains probiotics called lactobacillus, which are live bacteria that can break up mucus in your lungs and replenish the “friendly” bacteria in your gastrointestinal tract. Other foods rich in probiotics include kefir, buttermilk, sauerkraut, Brewer’s yeast, miso and tempeh.

Celery, Garlic and Onions

Garlic cloves and slices of an onion on a cutting board
Garlic cloves and slices of an onion on a cutting board Photo Credit: Top Photo Group/Top Photo Group/Getty Images

Adding vegetables such as celery, garlic and onions to your meals can help you fight mucus in your body. According to Robert A. Anderson, author of the book “Clinician's Guide to Holistic Medicine,” these vegetables are rich in vitamins and minerals that can boost your immune system, reduce mucus production, unblock congested arteries and lower your risk of developing high blood pressure.

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  • “Ayurveda Encyclopedia: Natural Secrets to Healing, Prevention, and Longevity”; Swami Sadashiva Tirtha; 2010
  • “Parent's Guide to Cystic Fibrosis”; Burton L. Shapiro and Ralph C. Heussner; 2007
  • “Thurlbeck's Chronic Airflow Obstruction”; William M. Thurlbeck and Joanne L. Wright; 2009
  • “Clinician's Guide to Holistic Medicine”; Robert A. Anderson; 2007
  • “Nutrition Almanac”; Lavon J. Dunne; 2008
  • “Everywoman's Guide to Nutrition”; Judith E. Brown; 2007
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