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iVillage.com: What to Eat When: Food Fixes for Everyday Aches and Pains

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You Feel Congested: Eat Hot Peppers

Whether it’s triggered by a cold, a sinus infection, allergies or your coworker’s perfume, being stuffed up and congested can make life miserable. Hot peppers to the rescue! Capsaicin -- the plant compound that gives hot peppers their eye-watering zing -- dilates blood vessels in the nose, helping to flush out inflammation and open clogged sinuses even faster than decongestant nasal sprays can, says Teresa Graedon, Ph.D., co-author of The People’s Pharmacy Quick and Handy Home Remedies. Two teaspoons daily is the research-proven dose -- and you can mix them with a bit of food, if you find them tough to swallow on their own. Other great congestion-relievers: 1/4 cup of hot salsa or chili-flavored chutney, or one tablespoon of hot sauce, horseradish or wasabi.

(CREDIT: Stockbyte/Getty Images)
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The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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