Mucous is necessary in small amounts for helping trap dirt and germs, which are then moved to the back of your throat and swallowed. Sometimes, such as when you have a cold or infection, you may have more mucous than normal or thicker mucous than normal, which makes it more noticeable. Too much mucous can cause health problems from stuffy noses, runny noses to difficulty with breathing. Typically, foods contribute to mucous mainly if they cause an allergic reaction, increase histamine production or increase acid reflux symptoms. Certain beverages and foods can cause excessive mucous in certain people because they have an allergic reaction to the particular food and can also worsen certain medical conditions like asthma, colds, the flu, emphysema, COPD and cystic fibrosis. These foods include:
Dairy products: They can cause excessive mucous, causing the mucous to be thicker than normal. Dairy foods include milk, yoghurt, cheese and the foods that have these dairy products in themHigh-fat red meat/processed meats: These can also cause excessive mucous to become a problem. This can happen with anyone, but is more of a problem with those who have COPD.
Wheat products, rye and barley: Gluten found in these products can cause excessive mucous. This is especially true for those who have an allergy or intolerance to gluten or if you have cystic fibrosis.
Alcohol: Each person is different, but too much alcohol can sometimes cause excessive mucous and the associated sinus problems.
Sugar: Caffeine and especially soda pop that contains both sugar and caffeine.
Certain fruits/vegetables: Such as bananas, cabbage and potatoes possibly cause excessive mucous, especially bananas.
Others: Caffeine, sugar, salt, non- herbal teas, (especially black tea), all create excess mucous. Soy is one of the most mucous-making plant foods there is. Those who give up meats and dairy and switch to soy products have a greater risk of creating an unhealthy mucous build-up in the body.