The feeling of thick mucus sliding down the throat is an unsavory one. Too much mucus is a sign that you have had a cold, allergies or maybe sinusitis (inflammation of the sinuses due to a virus, bacteria or fungus). Producing too much mucus is a sign that your body is reacting to "events" taking place inside you.
What Is Mucus?
Healthy mucus is a clear, lubricating secretion that protects the digestive, respiratory, urinary and reproductive tracts in our bodies. Mucus keeps the body from drying out, and it prevents unwanted substances, like bacteria, from entering the body. Mucus is found in the mouth, nose, sinuses, throat, lungs and the gastrointestinal track. It contains antibodies that go into overdrive when you have a cold, an allergy or have come into contact with an irritant.
Mucus Producing Foods
No foods actually produce mucus, but there are a few that tend to increase its production. Peanuts, artificially flavored beverages, dairy products and foods with high sugar content increase mucus production somewhat. If you have an allergy to certain foods, your body will overproduce mucus. Casein, a milk protein, stimulates the production of mucus in people who are allergic to milk. It is also known that the fat content of dairy products can thicken the mucus, so drinking milk that has less fat content can help prevent overproduction of mucus. Eating more fresh fruits (especially grapes) and vegetables also help cut down mucus as they are mucus cleansing foods. In general, an overall healthy diet and limitation of snacks will help you keep mucus production in check. Poor diets and consuming those foods that aggravate allergies result in more mucus.
More About Mucus
Inflammation due to colds, seasonal allergies and sinusitis all cause mucus overproduction. Cells llning the sinus passages produce more mucus when inflamed. Over the counter congestants and antihistamines are successful in helping control allergies.
When a cold is the culprit for mucus overproduction, drink lots of water, as water helps thin out the mucus and extinguishes it more easily. Using a nasal wash temporarily removes mucus. Inhaling steam and sniffing eucalyptus oil are two other natural methods that help reduce inflammation.