Q: Can you recommend some anti-parasitic foods for those on a budget?
A: Absolutely! Here are 12 common foods that anyone can use to help oust out those "bad bugs."
1. Cabbage in its raw form is a vermifuge. Add to salads, juice it or make 'kraut with it. Looking for 'kraut & cabbage recipes? See HERE.
2. Raw Carrots contain a substance which has anti-parasitic power. You can parboil chopped carrots for 2 minutes to kill off any germs, if you like, or simply eat raw.
3. Radish & Daikon Radish. Parasites are not keen on pungent foods. You want to eat these raw or juiced.
4. Garlic, Onion & Chives. Garlic is a common cheap food that is a well-known vermifuge. All are in the same "stinky" allium family. Yep, parasites aren't keen on being stenched!
5. Bitter Greens such as Kale, Collard & Chard. If you're into foraging, Dandelion greens (sometimes you can find them in health food stores or farmer's markets as well), Sow Thistles (Sonchus sp.) and Wild Lettuces (Lactuca sp.) make excellent bitter greens. The fresh ones can be juiced or added to smoothies, while fresh or dried can be added to soups and stews. Note that parasites dislike all bitter-tasting foods.
6. Pumpkin & Squash Seeds. These are vermifuge foods and they are pretty dirt cheap. While pumpkins only come out in the fall, you can buy several and they will keep for several months. All types of squash seeds have anti-parasitic properties and you can buy squash all year round.
The seeds do require some work, however. Wash seeds of the strings, then spread out on a cookie sheet and dry on the lowest setting in your oven (about 2 hours). You can also dry them faster at 300F, but you'll have to watch them so they don't burn. Once dried, they are easy to handle. Use a pumpkin or melon seed cracker (sometimes called pliers, scissors or sheller) to crack the seeds from their shell (great to do while watching TV or listening to music :)). Once opened, you can soak them for 4-8 hours, rinse well and then eat as is. Alternatively, dry them using a food dehydrator (about 1-2 hours) or place them on a cookie sheet at 300F for 10-15 minutes (keep an eye on them so they don't burn) or at 170F for several hours.
7. Papaya Seeds. Not a lot of people think about eating papaya seeds, but they are edible and anti-parasitic. To do: Cover seeds with water + 1-2 TBSP apple cider vinegar and lemon juice. You can also use only apple cider vinegar or only lemon juice. Let sit overnight. Strain and eat. The taste? Kinda like capers. Try tossed onto a salad :)
8. Sour Foods. Parasites like sweet (aka sugar), not sour. Many sour foods are low glycemic, and there are lots of choices here, including lemons, limes, grapefruits, pomegranates and granny smith apples.
9. Warming Spices such as cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger and cayenne pepper. Nope, these aren't foods per se, but adding these pungent spices to your foods will help keep parasites at bay. Cloves have been shown to help dissolve the biofilms (kinda like force fields) made by candida and you'll often see it listed as an ingredient in anti-parasitic supplements.
10. Aloe Vera Gel. While not a food per se, cooling aloe vera gel is a mild anti-parasitic. This is a good one for someone who has both parasites and leaky gut (or some kind of gut inflammation). Aloe vera does have a mild laxative effect, so be aware if you have a tendency towards diarrhea.
Aloe vera gel is easy to find in health food stores and online. Just be aware that citric acid is an added preservative that may cause reactions in some individuals (if so, discontinue use). You can also take a leaf of an aloe vera plant, split it down the center with a knife, open it up, then scrape out the inner goop with a spoon. Taking Aloe vera in plant form is much more potent, however you'll also notice that it has an astringent taste if you simply add it to water and take it that way.
How to take? Add 1-2 TBSP to a cup of water or add to smoothies and juices. You can also add aloe vera to sun teas.
11. Apricot Kernels. Yep, if you open the pit of an apricot, you'll find edible, anti-oxidant rich seeds. To open the pit: place the pit in a folded up tea towel or in a plastic bag. Use a hammer to crack open the pit. The seeds, besides being anti-parasitic, are highly astringent and contain B17, also known as laetrile. Since they are slightly toxic, a dose is 2-5 seeds per day.
How to eat: as is (some of the seeds are quite bitter while others are reminiscent of almonds in taste). You can also grind them and add to nut butters or toss them into soups, stews and smoothies.
12. Avocado Pits. While not antiparasitic, avocado pits help to boost the immune system and combat bacterial, viral and fungal infections. They are high in antioxidants and soluble fiber and are known to regulate GI issues such as ulcers, constipation, dysentery and diarrhea.
To Do: dry pits in the oven at 250F for about 2 hours (you can also use a dehydrator, which will require several hours or place on newspaper and let dry for several days). Once dried, grind pits using a food mill, food processor or blender into a powder. Store in an air-tight container in the pantry. Add 1 TSP to a shake, smoothie or as tangy bits on a salad.
To great fight busting days ahead,
Originally Written 2016. Updated 2021.
Savvy Health &