Sinus Infections
Natural Remedies

Dietary Changes for Sinus Infections

| Modified on Nov 09, 2023
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Cure sinus infections at home without antibiotics by implementing specific dietary and lifestyle changes to reduce nasal congestion and alleviate sinus pain. Since having good general health is dependent upon a number of factors, it only stands to reason that balancing these factors can also lead to healing of specific health conditions, such as sinus infections. Components that factor into overall health include the effective functioning of the body's systems as well as a healthy diet, exercise, and emotional well-being.

Treating Sinusitis without Antibiotics

Many individuals turn to medications and other over-the-counter treatments the moment they realize they are fighting a sinus infection. Actually, there are a number of steps that can be taken prior to using medication to treat such a condition. Appropriate dietary changes as well as specific lifestyle changes can be used to remedy nasal congestion and infection as well as to prevent recurrence of sinus infections.

Dietary Recommendations

A balanced diet is one of the most effective ways to treat any health condition. In addition to remedying a sinus infection, a number of nutritional recommendations can help boost the immune system, fight infection, and offer relief.

Adding foods rich in vitamin C is one of the most important first steps. Grapefruit, oranges and tangerines have all been shown to clear congestion and support immune function. Adding chili peppers, ginger, garlic and/or horseradish to the diet helps break up mucus and relieve congestion. Pineapple, a food high in bromelain, and foods such as salmon, tuna, and walnuts, high in omega-3 fats, help reduce inflammation. Drinking plenty of water is also important for flushing and cleansing the body.

Foods to avoid:

In addition to adding specific foods to the diet, certain foods should also be avoided. Common allergy-causing foods, such as dairy products, eggs, wheat, and corn should be eaten in very limited amounts. Sugar substitutes, carbonated drinks, caffeine and sweetened foods and beverages should also be avoided.

Lifestyle Changes

Certain lifestyle changes can also contribute to recovery. Avoiding smoke and identifying specific environmental allergies helps prevent nasal irritation. Likewise, using a humidifier helps keep the sinuses moist. Exercise is also important to promote recovery and wellness.

While it may seem that making dietary and lifestyle changes is a null attempt to treat a sinus infection, these changes have a drastic effect on the nasal passageways as well as on overall health.

Continue reading below for tips from our readers who healed their sinus issues with dietary changes!

Related Links:

10 Cold and Flu Home Remedies
Antibiotic Resistance and Natural Alternatives
Antibiotic Side Effect Remedies
Find Relief from Sinus Infections Naturally
Natural Allergy Relief: 10 Simple Remedies to Alleviate Symptoms
Natural Sinus Congestion Remedies

10 User Reviews

Posted by Kristin G. (Phoenix, Az) on 02/06/2016

I just wanted to add that after a few years of chronic sinus infections, I realized that mine were caused by food allergies, mainly gluten. Once I eliminated gluten, my sinus infections went away. The remedies on this site have been just as helpful to me as antibiotics. Usually with the antibiotics, the infection would re-surface anyway.

Dietary Changes
Posted by Cathleen (Los Angeles, Ca) on 11/24/2014

*Nearly* eliminating dairy has made a dramatic reduction in the number of sinus infections I suffer. I am unable to force myself to give up all cheese but by avoiding dairy most days I would say my occurrence of sinus infection has been reduced by two-thirds.

Dietary Changes
Posted by Cherylee (Johannesburg, South Africa) on 06/06/2013

I have suffered with really bad sinus for over 2 years. It has been steadily getting worse and worse to the point that I could not even smell or taste anything for over a year!

I would also wake up in the middle of the night and sneeze about 20 times! And mornings were the worst... just sneezing over and over till I could hardly stand.

I was in my local Dischem chemist looking for yet another cure when the sales assistant asked me if I ate BANANAS???? Bananas I asked??? She said I should just try cutting them out for a month. Well, I had already cut out dairy, wheat and sugar all to no avail so it was worth a try.

Well, its been over 6 months now and no more sneezing, sinus and my taste and smell have returned!!!! Its apparently NOT actually the bananas themselves, but the gas they use to artificially ripen soft fruit. So all fruit that is ripened with gas causes this allergic reaction, and cutting out all these fruits have stopped all my sinus... JUST AMAZING!!!

Replied by G

Very interesting. This is the first time I've heard of this. My diet is healthy, but I sometimes like to have some dried fruit, and it's not always organic... I will have to look into this more! Bananas were a staple of my diet growing up (though not much now), and I've had sinus problems all my life, so there could be some link there. Thanks for your post here.

Dietary Changes
Posted by Diane (Los Angeles, Cal.) on 02/01/2013

I suffered from sinusitius for about 10 years and in my case I discovered that I didn't have a sinus problem but some sort of infection at the back of my head just below the crown. When I got a sinus attack I could feel that the back of my head was ice cold! I found that if I kept this part of the head warm (wearing one and sometimes two caps on my head) the sinus problem would cease! You can also use a blow dryer to warm the head. I never had an actual sinus problem! My head infection was causing mucus to run down my sinus area.

Now that I have gone on a healthy diet including eating fruits and vegetables, salads, pinto beans, black rice, juicing of fruits and vegetables, eating sardines, mackerel, salmon and cutting down on coffee and sugar. No meat. And plenty of water plus a glass of water with a lemon squeezed into the glass morning and night I now hardly ever need to wear a cap. My sinus nightmare is over!

Replied by Lela

I am you, the hat and all, for over 21 years.

Dietary Changes
Posted by Jaenfjfi (Omaha, Nebraska) on 09/04/2009

I have been using 1/2 tsp. of ACV with 1/2 cup of apple juice twice a day for my 5 year old son (he weighs 44 lbs)and it has helped after about a week (although he did have loose stools because he doesn't usually drink juice) He has struggled with sinus infections for the past two years. Had his adenoids removed and was still on antibiotics, antihistamines, and a nasal steroid spray (all at the advice of his ENT) for the past year. I just decided to stop medicating my young was going on for WAY too long with no positive results. I'm wondering what dietary changes you have made that help with sinus problems. Maybe by looking at dietary changes, we can avoid the congestion in the first place.

Replied by Joyce
(Joelton, Tn)
509 posts

Hello Jaenfifi, The loose stools are probably from the apple juice itself. So just put his ACV in whatever juice he likes (please not prune juice though because it is also a good laxative) and see if it solves the problem.

Replied by Andrea
(Parkwood, Qld Australia)

Hi Jaenfifi, sinus issues can be very debilitating when they continue over a long period of time, I should know I suffered for years on and off and nothing seemed to help. I find that cutting out wheat products and washing fruits and vegetables that are susceptible to mould in a solution of water and lugols iodine can eliminate some triggers. However, the best relief I have had and seems to be permanent, is using Wild oil of oregano. Due to the hot nature of oregano oil it may not be especially palatable to a 5 year old, but I just place 2-3 drops of oil into a glass of warm to hot water ( this helps with the dispersion of the oil) and stir it in using a non metal spoon/stirrer. I then drink most of it and stir again, this helps incorporate the remaining oil as the last bit seems to be the hottest and then drink it down. This clears my head within minutes and any full feeling or mucus build up dissipates and generally clears within the day. Hope this helps. I also have a nasal irrigator that I use periodically to clean out the nasal passages which doesn't allow bacteria to get a foothold. Good luck.Andrea.

Replied by Gail
(Red Deer, Ab. Can)

Your son could be allergic to milk and other dairy products.My ear's hurt and plug up when I consume these products. Hope this helps. I feel for him.

Replied by Pryor4
(Anderson, South Carolina)

My son (age 4) was sick for most of his first two years. We were told he was allergic to milk. However, I did not feel this was so. He had runny nose and sinus problems often, and also had skin problems. We started using raw milk and taking supplements (Shaklee) and he has not been sick in two years! I am struggling with sinus' this week and plan on using the ACV. My husband has used this before and it worked well.

Replied by Sunny

Awsome mom, nice to see that you don't want to give drugs to such a young child. Yes diet always helps. They way I see it its either an infection or allegies ( to food ex). There are netipots designed for little kids. If its an ifection then it need a killer of infection( garlic, oregano, etc) , read here that may are trying boiled garlic juice added to the sea salt solution for the netipot rinsing. ( might want to do it very light/ diluted as he is a young boy) Quadrupel efforts! Diet and neti pot, and supplementation. and eliminantion diet. For sinus problems no: sugar stuff, no milk, no cold stuff( feeds infection). Yes: hot/ warm drinks, lost of water, lots of lemon (

Pass the love forward- Sunny

Dietary Changes
Posted by T (Maryland, USA) on 05/18/2009

My son used to have chronic sinus problems. We went through the mill for several years with ignorant doctors and needless medications blindly prescribed because the fact was they hadn't a clue (they insisted he had asthma, then seasonal allergies, then sinus infection, etc. etc.). I didn't feel he had any of those; they just didn't fit. When I finally cut milk from his diet, voila! No more sinus problems. In his case it IS the dairy. Other sugars don't cause him any problems.

Dietary Changes
Posted by Anonymous (USA) on 12/13/2007

Dietary change can be a very good way to remedy sinus infections -- but make sure your readers know that what they might have cured with the diet change was more than the sinusitis itself. I had sinus infections without stop for several years and we tried just about everything. Turns out that the sinusitis was being caused by GERD and a change in diet was called for. You can sure tell when I'm behaving myself and following a low-acid, low-fat, no-caffeine diet -- no sniffles. Let your readers know that they'd best be careful with some of the cures on this pages for just that reason. A number of the acids here could very well make a GERD patient worse (though I don't doubt that they work for folks with normal stomachs).

Dietary Changes
Posted by Diana (San Diego, CA) on 09/27/2007

I have found that if I eat anything with corn in it I will get a sinus infection I have alway thought it was the high frutose corn syrup because if I eat or drink anything with the corn syrup in it I get sinus infections. Also just corn tortillas will do it. I don't know if it is just all the altering of the corn to to enhance the growing process but something is wrong with corn now. Also, when something tends to be in everything...just the amounts that are consumed can create allergies to it. All I know is that Corn is one of my biggest factors in getting sinus infections and bronchitis. If it does go into my chest... Lymphomyosot by Heel is a good homeopatic remedy for it. I can alway clear up the bronchitis within 24 hours with it. Just take it every 20 minutes until you feel it getting better then do it 2 to 3 time day until well. I don't get bronchitis anymore since using it. I use to get bronchitis 2 to 3 times a year before.

Dietary Changes
Posted by Jerry (Clay Springs, AZ) on 02/12/2007

I've had chronic sinus infections all my life. I decided to follow Doug Kaufman's Phase 1 diet for a few months to see if that might make a difference. I have now been on this diet for a year this month. This has been the best winter for me ever, I'm 52 yrs old. I haven't had all the respiratory ailments that I normally experience every year. Just to test if the foods to avoid might be the culprit, I ate some off the diet at Christmas and the sinus came back. I took the herbs and supplements he suggests and it is all cleared up. I know now that my problem was fungus and all the antibiotics I've taken in the past, also sugar and corn was killing me.

Replied by Carole
(Lake Zurich, IL)

Does anyone have a copy of the Phase 1 diet? What is it?

Replied by Anise
(Huntsville, AL)

Go to for more info. on Doug Kaufmann's Diet

Dietary Changes
Posted by Wendy (Brooklyn, NY) on 02/12/2007

Years of constant sinus infections led me to many doctors and I was told to get surgery, which didn't help a lot. Finally an allergist suggested I cut out wheat; and it has been amazing! Though I still occasionally have a sinus flare-up it's been a HUGE difference and I now think that I didn't have as many infections as I thought, that I was having allergic reactions to wheat! I would advise anyone considering sinus surgery to try this first. I would not have gotten the surgery had I known.