Parasite Cleanse Diet: Best Foods to Eat
- Published on: 23 June, 2020
- Last update: 23 June, 2020
As you may know, one of my biggest passions in life is finding the root cause of health problems and conditions rather than treating or suppressing the surface. A significant piece of that puzzle involves treating the gut for hidden infections (including parasites and microorganisms such as pathogenic bacteria). An overgrowth of these pathogens can wreak havoc on the immune system and contribute to everything from bloating and gas to inflammation and skin conditions. It all beings in the gut.
While searching for answers to my own health disorders (cystic acne, IBS, candida, etc.), I came across the concept of doing a parasite cleanse. (If you haven’t read my extensive posts detailing my first experience embarking on a parasite cleanse or would like a refresher, check out Part 1 and Part 2 here!)
While my first cleanse consisted of a variety of tinctures and difficult-to-get-down shakes, I have now created my very own capsule formula made of all-natural herbal ingredients to avoid the unfortunate taste of those bitter tinctures and drinks. My formula is called ParaPro and I originally made it just for me so that I had an easy solution to keep up with cleansing and gut maintenance.
If you’re not ready for a cleanse, there are much less intense measures you can start with in order to naturally cleanse your body of harmful parasites: the foods you eat! You can also incorporate these foods during a full parasite cleanse regimen in order to target the bugs from multiple angles.
Using Food TO Parasite Cleanse
While a wide variety of cultures around the world recognize the importance of incorporating a parasite regimen regularly (usually with natural herbs and oils), for whatever reason, we in America lost this practice over the years. “Spring cleaning” or a yearly cleanse/reboot in general is vital to maintain our health and rid the body of overgrowths that can live in our gut for years (gross, I know- but a good reason to get them out!)
Cleansing via the diet you eat each and every day is the best place to start. You can make the greatest impact by being mindful of what you put on your plate, as the foods you eat can quite literally fight or feed disease! Focusing on the foods below is a great way to begin if you’ve been curious about completing a cleanse, but aren’t sure you want to buy a supplement and undergo the entire process. By incorporating specific healing ingredients, you not only stop feeding parasites but you also work towards killing them entirely thanks to the naturally occurring plant chemicals. Food is medicine.
Best Natural Foods + Diet to Cleanse Parasites
There are a variety of natural ingredients and foods you can add to your diet in order to naturally rid your body of pathogens and parasites. However, I have found that specific ingredients work far more efficiently than others. The 12 foods that I recommend for a parasite cleanse are:
- Pumpkin seeds
- Chia Seeds
- Sweet Potatoes
- Thyme Leaf
- Olive Leaf
Turmeric is one of my favorite medicinal plants on the planet. It is hugely popular today for pain and inflammation, and I’m so happy that people are attuned to the benefits of this amazing food. Ayurveda describes turmeric as pungent, bitter, astringent, and stimulating, and indicates it for use in “tissue states” that appear depressed and stagnant.
A “stagnant” tissue state is present when “liquids exceed solids”, which happens for example when someone is experiencing swelling in the body such as bloating and edema. A “depressed” tissue state is present when the metabolism is low or depressed, which would appear as weight gain, fatigue, cold hands and feet, a slow pulse rate, poor circulation, and a pale complexion/tongue. In Western terms we would often see this in a person who has a parasite overgrowth, low thyroid function, a B-vitamin deficiency, or even an iron deficiency. (Keep in mind that parasites and fungi are notorious for sequestering and robbing us of iron and B-vitamins in the first place!)
In order to treat these tissue states, turmeric invigorates the blood and rekindles digestive fire, making it the perfect food for the control and elimination of parasites and fungi. Turmeric is highly anti-fungal and anti-parasitic, making any herbal regimen more effective.
In fact, a Brazilian research team tested curcumin, the active plant compound found within turmeric, against 23 strains of fungi and found that it was able to completely inhibit the growth of a majority of them, including Candida albicans. Curcumin is also invaluable in remedying the depressed mood that often accompanies the tissue states above. As found in another study, curcumin may be used as an effective and safe option for the treatment of patients with Major Depressive Disorder.
Another one of my favorite foods for a natural parasite cleanse is pineapple (or more specifically, the core). The core of a pineapple is extremely rich in bromelain, a protein-digesting enzyme that helps break down and eliminate intestinal parasites from the body.
Bromelain causes cuticle damage in worms, which leads to the loss of their motility and eventually results in their death. By incorporating pineapples into your diet, the protective layer of these bugs is slowly eroded so that they are easier for your immune system (and herbs) to fight and eliminate.
No matter where you look, garlic is listed as a remedy for a wide variety of issues. Garlic has a long checklist of benefits, including boosting the immune system, strengthening the appetite, and even remedying seasickness while traveling. Of course, one of the biggest benefits of garlic is its ability to kill parasites!
Part of this anti-parasitic magic lies in its richness of sulfur compounds, such as alliin, allicin, diallyl sulfide, and ajoene. These compounds are antibiotic in nature and are able to destroy pathogenic organisms by raising the “heat” of the stomach, bringing up the levels of hydrochloric acid. This “digestive fire” is extremely important, as chronic low levels of HCL allow bacteria and yeast, like candida, to overgrow in the gut.
An excellent food to add to your diet for parasite cleansing is pumpkin seeds. Pumpkin seeds are one of the oldest natural methods of treating parasites. These seeds have the uncanny ability of inhibiting non-beneficial bacteria and organisms in our body while leaving the “good guys” alone.
When either chewed or ground up, pumpkin seeds release what is known as tetracyclic triterpenes, which are substances that purge parasites from the body. Other plant compounds within the seeds (like cucurbitins) actually paralyze worms and prevent them from holding onto the intestinal walls. This allows the bodily to readily and easily eliminate the worms during a bowel movement.
Another quality that makes pumpkin seeds so amazing for gut health is that they are one of the richest natural sources of magnesium, a vital mineral that a majority of us are deficient in. This magical mineral helps with a ton of different health disorders, but is super important when it comes to reducing intestinal inflammation (which so often comes with gut dysbiosis in the first place).
Truly one of the most powerful healing foods in general (thanks to their antiviral, antibiotic, and antioxidant effects), blueberries are filled with iron, magnesium, zinc, and vitamin K, all of which help to lessen chronic inflammation and block harmful bacteria.
The dietary phenols found within blueberries provide a favorable environment for the growth of beneficial bacteria, and likewise help create an unfavorable environment for pathogens and parasites. This means they inhibit the “bad guys” while having little to no effect on the probiotics we need for proper health!
Blueberry leaves, on the other hand, contain a substance called myrtillin, which greatly helps to reduce blood glucose in both animals and humans. By sipping on a cup of hot tea that contains the chopped,
dried leaves with each meal, blood sugar levels are encouraged to stay low and stable, which can greatly help those with type 2 diabetes.
Chia seeds are a type of food that often gets overlooked, but they are jam-packed with fiber, calcium, iron, phosphorus and antioxidants. In fact, chia seeds are so high in fiber, you can get your entire recommended daily amount in one serving. This soluble fiber acts as a prebiotic which supports the growth of healthy probiotics in the gut, further helping to prevent and treat illnesses.
Chia seeds are also considered a mucilaginous food, and mucilaginous foods are essential for gut health. In fact, the entire digestive system is coated with a mucosal layer that is integral to its function. Healthy mucosal cells secrete protective mucus and digestive fluids, absorb nutrients thoroughly, and prevent immune reactions by keeping pathogens and undigested food particles out. Our mucosal layer also directly interacts with our microbiome.
In this case, chia seeds are helpful because “like attracts like” — eating mucilaginous foods supports our own healthy production of probiotic/protective mucus! Other mucilaginous foods besides chia seeds include aloe and slippery elm bark tea. Due to their relatively neutral taste, chia seeds can be sprinkled on top of most foods or even added to snack bites and smoothies.
Sweet potatoes are another one of those “superfoods” that so often get passed by, but with their nourishing fiber and beta-carotene content, they have strong antioxidant properties that are major helpers in digestion and detox.
The biggest benefit of sweet potatoes comes from their production of peptide substances called phytochelatins. When we consume these phytochelatins, they bind to the heavy metals within our bodies (such as cadmium, copper, mercury and lead) and safely remove them via the digestive tract. Sweet potatoes are best combined with cruciferous vegetables (like broccoli, brussel sprouts, and cabbage) as this helps further the process of liver detoxification.
One of the oldest and most highly regarded foods for soothing digestion is peppermint. Peppermint oil is extremely valuable for indigestion thanks to its carminative properties (aka ability to help expel gas from the intestines). On top of this, peppermint is a wonderful ally for those with IBS or any other bothersome digestive disorders as it actually regulates intestinal contractions and improves the digestion of fats.
The menthol within peppermint leaf acts as a powerful antispasmodic that can help restore peristalsis to a normal rhythm faster than any other ingredient, making peppermint leaf tea an ideal addition to your natural cleansing kit. Peppermint tea is also an excellent solution for treating intestinal parasites due to its antibacterial properties.
Don’t just think of parsley as a decorative herb! This simple food is extremely powerful for detoxifying and cleansing the body, particularly the kidneys.
Parsley is well-known in the herbalist world for strengthening the function of the kidneys, with parsley tea being a folk remedy for acne that is caused by impaired detoxification and elimination. Parsley contains a specific essential oil that acts as a mild and harmless irritant to the kidneys’ filtration systems, increasing urinary output (which helps the body get rid of excess waste). It’s great to include kidney support when you’re embarking on any parasite regimen.
An apple a day keeps the doctor away, and I’ll tell you why. Apples contain one of the greatest fibers known to man, a substance called pectin. Pectin binds to bad cholesterol in the body along with heavy metals, safely eliminating them while at the same cleansing the intestines. Pectin also acts as a prebiotic fiber that feeds to good bacteria in your gut while fighting and reducing pathogenic bacteria.
Thyme is one of the most versatile herbs known to man, dating back thousands of years to its early use as a potent antimicrobial. It is pungent, warm, and dry, making it especially effective for clearing the lungs of infection and excess mucus. Taken at the first sign of a cold or flu, thyme leaf can help ameliorate both bacteria and viruses as it boosts the immune system and warms the body.
It’s also very affective in relieving gastrointestinal problems such as gas, indigestion, diarrhea, sluggish digestion, and intestinal parasites. For this purpose, it’s best to consume thyme in tea form as well.
Whole olive leaf (along with its powerful extract) are the first two ingredients in my ParaPro formula for gut dysbiosis – and with good reason! I chose this herb as one of the “stars” because it’s a potent antimicrobial with antibacterial, antiviral and anti-fungal properties. Its main active ingredient, oleuropein, boosts the immune system and helps fight the overgrowth of a variety of pathogens.
Olive leaf has been found by multiple research studies to inhibit the growth of many viruses and parasitic protozoans. They found that there were no toxic side effects, even at high doses, making olive leaf one of the gentlest foods to help cleanse the intestines.
A Final Word on Foods That Help Cleanse Parasites…
So, there you have it! While there are many other foods that you can include in your diet to help rid your body of harmful bacteria and parasites, these are the 12 I recommend you start with and focus on.
These foods should generally be readily available wherever you shop, and in fact, you may already have most of them in your home. Plus, there are so many ways you can incorporate these ingredients into recipes you already love (such as stewed cinnamon apples, parsley cucumber salad, etc). I hope you enjoyed this post and don’t forget to read more about parasites here!