This is particularly helpful for people with sulphation problems (sulphation is one of the methods our body uses to detoxify).
This is a list of high salicylate foods that the Feingold programme recommends avoiding.
Note, this diet is best implemented with the help of a nutritionist.
Source - Feingold programme. http://www.feingold.org.dietshell
Salicylates are found in the following:
Natural flavouring and colouring
Aspirin and products containing aspirin and salicylic acid.
High Salicylate Foods:
Apples (most varieties)
Grapes (also raisins, currants, sultanas)
Melon (water and Cantaloupe)
Cucumbers and cucumber pickles
Peppers (bell and chilli)
Tomatoes and tomato products
Peanuts with skins on
Herbs, Spices, Condiments
Cardamom, caraway, cayenne, cumin, curry
Chilli powder, garam masala, tumeric
Cider and cider vinegar (apples)
Dill, mint, oregano, rosemary, sage, tarragon, thyme and mixed herbs
Pepper (black and white)
Tea (all brands)
Wine and wine vinegar (grapes)
Molasses and honey
Wintergreen ointment (methyl salicylate)
Rose hips and acerola (often found in vitamins)
Foods indicated in red are found in practice to be the most problematic, where salicylate sensitivity exists. Avoid all these foods for 4-6 weeks and as many of the remaining ‘black’ ones as possible (particularly grapefruit, kiwi and pineapple).
Foods indicated in green below represent ‘Safe’ foods (they contain negligible or low levels of salicylates). Foods indicated in black contain moderate amounts of salicylates – eat sparingly.
Pear – peeled
Apple – green golden delicious, peeled
Apple – red golden delicious, peeled
Beans and peas
Herbs, Spices, Condiments
Gin, whisky, vodka
Cold pressed oils such as sunflower
After a few weeks experiment with re-introducing the high salicylate foods – although not too frequently. These foods are often tolerated after a period of abstinence. Ask your Nutritionist to take you through the full procedure. Supplementation to support sulphation also improves tolerance. This is something that would be considered if improvements are seen on eliminating the salicylate rich foods.
List expansion is based on research by Anne Swain. Anne is the head dietician at the allergy unit in the dept of clinical immunology at Sydney’s Royal Prince Alfred Hospital. She is a key member of the team that leads the world in assessments and management of food intolerances. She is co-author of ‘Friendly Food’, ‘The Simplified Elimination Diet’ and ‘Salicylates, Amines and Glutamates’.
Within the Feingold web site, reference to Anne’s research is referred to as ‘definitive’.
Her research is based on salicylate levels per 100g of food, which would suggest that the herbs and spice list may not be such a problem (who eats 100g of mustard or oregano?)
The ‘red’ foods represent those found by the Feingold programme to be the most problematic.
There are three additional foods that I would emphasise on this list - grapefruit, kiwi and pineapple. These are high salicylate containing foods according to Anne Swain’s research, although not flagged up on the Feingold programme.
Lastly, Anne Swain’s research enables a list of ‘safe’ foods to be recommended. Bananas are very low salicylate containing foods. However, they contain high levels of phenolics* so are indicated in black i.e. to be consumed sparingly. Cocoa is another very low salicylate food but high in phenolics and has been left off the list completely.
* the PST (phenol sulpho transferase) enzyme is needed to metabolise high-phenolic substances and has been shown to be low in those with autism (and ADHD). Salicylates depress PST levels even further. Hence, as well as trying a high-salicylate food free period (to try and raise PST levels), avoiding high phenolic foods such as bananas is also judicious (to take stress off the enzyme system itself).