It's that time of year again. The snow is falling, the trees are bare, and you're constantly sniffling. Relieving congestion can actually be as simple as eating the right foods. As a person who suffers from congestion year-round (thanks allergies), I'm confident these ten foods will help you rid the sniffles. 

1. Chicken Noodle Soup

Mmm... chicken noodle soup

jeffreyw on Flickr

This classic feel-better soup can help relieve your congestion. According to Livestrong, chicken broth contains cysteine — an amino acid that helps break down mucus. Try this recipe the next time you're feeling congested.

2. Jalapeño Peppers


hepp on Flickr

Hell yeah, jalapeños! These green guys (along with other hot peppers) clear out the sinuses by breaking down mucus in the nostrils. Their acidity can trigger acid reflux, so eat them in moderation or you'll suffer from frequent heartburn.

3. Pineapple

sweet, pineapple
Caroline Liu

We already know pineapple rocks as the perfect counterpart to coconut (piña coladas, anyone?), but the bromelain enzyme found in fresh pineapple may help reduce inflammation.

#SpoonTip: If fresh pineapple burns your mouth or upsets your stomach, cooking it will neutralize that effect.

4. Lemon

sweet, lime, lemonade, citron, citrus, juice, lemon
Jocelyn Hsu

The wonderful lemon is back with more health benefits. The citric acid and antioxidants found in many citrus fruits help fight inflammation in your sinuses (and in your joints as well). Adding lemon juice to your water will help you stay hydrated, too.

5. Peppermint

chocolate, candy
Jocelyn Hsu

Indulging in holiday candy can actually help relieve your stuffy nose. Peppermint is an herb that contains anti-inflammatory agents that fight congestion. So suck on a peppermint candy, or sip caffeine-free peppermint tea before bed.

6. Cayenne

Product Shoot: Cayenne Pepper

vickysandoval22 on Flickr

Like other spicy peppers, cayenne's heat helps break down mucus, therefore helping fight congestion. Cayenne is frequently used as a powder, so it can easily top any dish to give it a kick. Or you can add it to your coffee à la Starbucks.

7. Ginger

flour, fish
Kendra Valkema

Another spice to try out is ginger. Ginger fights sinus inflammation and clears away mucus. There's a reason my former choir teacher had me eat a ginger chew before performances — it really clears the phlegm from your throat!

8. Horseradish

Horseradish Sampler

kevinphaines on Flickr

Save yourself a trip to the doctor by eating some horseradish to clear your sinuses. This root works exactly like ginger to fight congestion. If you don't have any horseradish mustard on hand, don't fret! Wasabi is a close relative, so a sushi run may be to your benefit.

9. Hot Green Tea

coffee, tea
Jocelyn Hsu

Is there anything green tea can't do? Hot beverages help with the tightness in your throat and chest when you're congested, so sipping warm green tea will relax your sinuses. Adding some honey to your brew can soothe your throat as well.

10. Mustard

wine, coffee, beer
Ally Malecha

Mustard's here to battle congestion in an unexpected way. According to Livestrong, adding mustard powder to a footbath will increase circulation to the feet, therefore reducing the amount of blood that gets sent to your inflamed sinuses. Your feet will smell like hot dogs, but I guess that's an added bonus?

These ten items can alleviate sinus pain and pressure. Stay healthy this winter — eat these anti-inflammatory foods, and take some time off for a spa day when necessary—mustard footbath included, of course.