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Too Much Phlegm And Snot? You Should Eat These 6 Foods More Often

Too Much Phlegm And Snot? You Should Eat These 6 Foods More Often

Let’s be honest here. Snot, phlegm and all such icky discharges from our bodies tend to gross us out to the point where we think mucus is bad. The truth is, mucus is very important for our bodies in the same way that motor oil is to an engine.

Mucus is particularly helpful for the respiratory system

Mucus helps us in three ways:

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  • by forming a protective cover over the tissues, preventing them from drying out and cracking;
  • by coating the tissue linings of the nose and throat like a sticky trap, preventing dust and bacteria from getting into the body and causing harm;
  • while phlegm and snot (mucus in the lungs and nose) look gooey and disgusting, they contain antibodies to fight off infections, enzymes to kill bacteria, protein to make it a hostile environment and plenty of other cells.

Do I have too much mucus?

Even at your healthiest, your body produces about 1-1.5 liters of mucus every day. However, when battling with an allergy, infection or something just too spicy, your body goes into a mucus overdrive – resulting in a runny nose or the urge to hock. Coughs and colds are your body’s way of throwing out the infected phlegm and snot, though a lot of it also travels to your stomach and gets thrown out by the digestive system. You have excess mucus when battling an infection or allergy and obvious signs include a stuffy nose, coughing, crusty eyes and believe it or not, bad breath.

Certain foods have the ability to dry out mucus, in gentle and natural ways. If you are fighting an infection, try these foods to help eliminate mucus and bring it down to normal levels.

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1. Onions

Onions are great for health overall and a compound called quercetin has shown promise in treating allergies and inflammation; as well as attenuating mucus production in the respiratory system. Note that quercetin is also found in leafy greens, tomatoes and other brightly colored veggies.

2. Pineapples

Despite its thorny appearance, a pineapple’s sweetness can help asthmatic and bronchial patients, as well as those with seasonal allergies, coughs and colds due to an enzyme called bromelain. Bromelain breaks down proteins, which phelgm and snot have in plenty, thus thinning it down and helping the body eliminate the excess.

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3. Chicken Soup

Various studies over the years have proven that a bowlful of hot, spicy (with things like garlic and pepper) chicken soup is very effective in clearing out mucus by thinning it down and helping the lungs fight off further infection.

4. Citrus Fruits

A great and healthy way to eliminate infections and mucus from the body is antioxidants – and citrus fruits are bursting with vitamin C – one of the best antioxidants that nature has to offer. These anti-oxidants act as natural decongestants, loosening the phlegm and snot and helping the body throw it out.

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5. Olive Oil

Olive oil brands often harp about a healthy compound, ‘oleocanthal’. This compound basically mimics the effect than anti-inflammatory drug ibuprofen has on the body, which helps thin out mucus and alleviate bronchospasms (coughing).

6. Green Tea with Honey

Most green teas including chamomile have plenty of flavonoids which reduce inflammation of the mucous membrane, thus lessening the body’s mucus overdrive. Honey is yet another anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory agent that further helps thin and reduce phlegm and snot. Aided by warm water, both of these help the body rid itself of the excess mucus that much faster.

Do some foods cause more mucus?

While foods by themselves don’t really cause the body to make excess mucus; some do aggravate an already inflamed or infected mucus lining, irritating it further. If you have excess mucus, avoid dairy and wheat products as well as alcohol, coffee, high-fat and high-sugar foods.

Featured photo credit: FitnessJournal via fitnessjournal.co.nz

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Last Updated on October 16, 2018

The Ultimate Guide to Help You Sleep Through the Night Tonight

The Ultimate Guide to Help You Sleep Through the Night Tonight

It’s well past midnight and you’ve got to get up in less than six hours. You toss and turn all night. Before you know it, another hour passes by and you start panicking.

If I don’t get to sleep in the next 30 minutes, I’m going to be exhausted tomorrow!”

One thing is for sure, you’re not alone. Over 70M+ Americans have stated that they don’t get the proper sleep they need at night.[1] So what could possibly be causing this insomnia epidemic?

Throughout my entrepreneurial journey of building my language learning company, I have experimented and researched dozens of best sleep practices. Some have flopped but a few have dramatically improved the quality of my life and work.

In this article, I’ll look into the reason why you’re sleep deprived and how to sleep through the night tonight.

Why you can’t sleep through the night

The first step to improving anything is getting to the bottom of the root problem. Different studies have shown the reasons why most people cannot sleep well at night.[2] Here are the main ones that the average person faces:

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Stress

If you’ve ever stayed up at night worrying about something, know that it’s a major sleep inhibitor. When you’re feeling stress, your mind and body becomes more activated, making it incredibly difficult to fall asleep. Even when you do manage to sleep, it won’t be deep enough to help you feel rested the next day.

Exposure to blue light before sleep time

We’re exposed to harmful blue light on a daily basis through the use of our digital screens. If you’ve never heard of blue light, it’s part of the visible light spectrum that suppresses melatonin, our sleep hormones. Other harmful effects include digital eye strains and macular cellular damage.

While daytime exposure to blue light is not very harmful, night time exposure tricks our brain into thinking it’s daytime. By keeping your brain alert and suppressing melatonin, your mind is unable to shut down and relax before bedtime.

Eating close to bedtime

Eating too late can actually be an issue for many people, especially those who are older than 40. The reason is, eating before laying down increases the chances of Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), in which stomach acid backflows into the esophagus.

Another reason not to eat too late is sleep quality. Even if you manage to sleep right after eating, it’s likely that you’ll wake up tired. Instead of letting your body rest during sleep, it has to digest the food that was entered before bedtime.

Rule of thumb: eat 3-4 hours before bedtime.

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Medical conditions

In some cases, it could be medical conditions that cause your sleep problems. If you can’t relate yourself to the above reasons or any of these common sleep problem causes, you should visit the doctor.

The vicious sleep cycle

The biggest danger to repeating the bad habits mentioned above is the negative cycle that it can take you through. A bad night’s sleep can affect not only your energy but your willpower and decision making skills.

Here’s an example of a bad sleep pattern:

You get a bad night’s sleep
–> You feel tired and stressful throughout the day.
–> You compensate it with unhealthy habits (for example junk food, skipping exercises, watching Netflix etc.)
–> You can’t sleep well (again) the next night.

    You can imagine what could happen if this cycle repeats over a longer period of time.

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    How to sleep better (throughout the night)

    To help you break the vicious cycle and stop waking up in the middle of the night, I’ll explain to you a list of actionable steps to solve your trouble staying asleep.

    1. Take control over the last 90 minutes of your night

    What you do (or don’t do) before bedtime have significant impact on the quality of your sleep. Many times, it can be the difference between staying up until 4am and sleeping like a baby.

    Here are a few suggestions:

    • Go from light to dark – Darkness stimulates production of the sleep hormone melatonin. Turn off unused light around the house, and think about investing into warm light that you can use in the bedroom before bedtime.
    • Avoid screens (or wear blue light blocking glasses) – Keep the bedroom a technology-free zone as the light from electronic devices can disturb your sleep. If you need to work, wear blue light blocking glasses (also known as computer glasses) throughout or before you sleep to prevent sleep disruption.
    • Find an activity that helps you to wind down  This could be anything that calms you down, and reduces thinking (especially unnecessary stress). Fir example, listening to soothing/good feel music, taking a hot bath, reading or meditating.
    • Keep any electronics you have on the other side of the room or outside the room – One of the most harmful things that can disrupt your sleep is the notifications you get from your smartphones. The simplest way to avoid this is to keep it away from you.
    • Create a bedtime routine – A night routine is a couple of things you do prior to going to bed. By doing these things every night, you’ll have a more restful and high-quality sleep. Learn how to pick up a night routine here: The Ultimate Night Routine Guide to Sleep Better and Wake Up Productive

    2. Eat the right nutrients (and avoid the wrong ones)

    What you eat (not just when we eat) plays a critical role in your sleep quality. If you’re ever in doubt of what to eat to improve your sleep, take the following into consideration:

    • Kiwi – This green fruit may be the ultimate pre-bed snack. When volunteers ate two kiwis an hour before hitting the hay, they slept almost a full extra hour. Kiwis are full of vitamins C and E, serotonin and folate—all of which may help you snooze.
    • Soy foods – Foods made with soy such as tofu, miso and edamame, are rich in isoflavones. These compounds increase the production of serotonin, a brain chemical that influences the body’s sleep-wake cycle.
    • Fiber-rich foods – Eating more fiber could be key for better sleep. Eating fiber was associated with more restorative slow-wave sleep—the more you eat, the better you sleep—per a study published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine. Fiber prevents blood sugar surges that may lower melatonin. Get a fiber boost from beans, artichokes, bran cereal and quinoa.
    • Salmon – Most fish, especially salmon, halibut and tuna boost vitamin B6, which is needed to make melatonin— a sleep-inducing hormone triggered by darkness.

    3. Adjust your sleep temperature

    Once you’ve gone through the first 2 recommendations, the last step to experiment with is temperature. According to Sleep.org, the ideal temperature for sleep is 60-67 Farenheit. This may be cooler than what most people are used to, but keep in mind that our body temperature changes once we fall asleep.

    Rule of thumb: sleeping in cooler temperature is better for sleep quality than warmer temperature.

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    Find out how to maintain the optimal temperature to sleep better here: How to Sleep Faster with the Best Temperature

    Sleep better form now on

    Congrats on making it to the end of this guide on sleep. If you’re serious about taking the necessary steps in improving your sleep, remember to take it one step at a time.

    I recommend trying just one of the steps mentioned such as taking a hot bath, blocking out blue light at night, or sleeping in cooler temperature. From there, see how it impacts your sleep quality and you can keep doing what works, and throw away what doesn’t.

    As long as you follow these steps cautiously and diligently, I know you’ll see improved results in your sleep!

    Featured photo credit: pixabay via pixabay.com

    Reference

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