Salicylates – what are they?
If you are suffering from food intolerance symptoms, leaky gut syndrome or food problems then you best sit up and take notice. This post is sure to provide you with some home truths about food intolerance symptoms, your own state of health and the impact of salicylates.
For starters, just let me say that it is no easy feat trying to get the ‘i’ and the ‘y’ in the right order when spelling salicylates. To pronounce salicylates, you say “sal-iss-i-lates”. The word salicylic acid is derived from the word “salix” meaning Willow. Salicylic acid is a plant hormone that plays a major part, among other things, in the metabolism of plants.
Salicylates are naturally occurring chemicals in food. They are a part of the make up of fruit, vegetables, herbs, spices, seeds, bark and flowers. Salicylates are not added by a food manufacturer, they simply exist in nature in varying degrees.
Salicylates – reactions
According to Friendly Food written by experts at the RPA Allergy Unit in Sydney, the common food intolerance symptoms, or more directly, symptoms related to naturally occurring chemicals such as salicylates, MSG and amines are hives and swelling, chronic headaches, mouth ulcers, stomach pains, IBS (irritable bowel syndrome), nausea, sinus problems and a general feeling of being unwell. Reactions to salicylates can be just as debilitating as an allergy even though they are not considered the same thing.
Depending on how sensitive you are to naturally occurring chemicals such as salicylates, mono-sodium glutamate (MSG) and amines, your reaction can vary. It can depend on your threshold, dose consumed of food high in salicylates and how regularly you have consumed these foods.
It might be comforting to know that as children get older their systems generally get better at handling naturally occurring chemicals such as salicylates and amines. As food intolerance symptoms are linked to an irritation of the nervous system, we generally tend to grow out of the food problems. For adults, it can be a gradual build up along with what food we have previously put in our body that can cause food intolerance symptoms.
Salicylates – what steps to take
If you would like to work out if you have salicylate intolerance symptoms then you will need to conduct a food elimination diet. This food challenge should be conducted over a two to three week time frame.
Food colors, food additives and preservatives are usually also a problem for those who are sensitive to naturally occurring chemicals in foods.
To reduce the impact of your symptoms you best look at what is in your pantry as well as products you are using personally and around the home. Here are some steps to take:
- Eat fruit that is moderate to low in salicylates most of the time.
- Remember that you can be dose affected so be aware of those foods that are high to very high in salicylates.
- Eat fruit when it is ripe as unripened fruit is higher in salicylates.
- Stop using herbs and change your oil to safflower or sunflower oil, until you have finished your food elimination diet.
- Flavors easily go undetected. Avoid flavors such as spearmint and peppermint.
- Look at your laundry detergents as these can be scented. Same with air fresheners and cleaning goods.
- Stop wearing perfume, aftershave or deodorant that has scents that may irritate you.
- Be aware that some medications such as Asprin contain salicylates.
- Peel fruit and vegetables as salicylates can be higher just under the skin.
- Make a list of alternative products before you go shopping to make it easier to avoid things with salicylates.
Friendly Food is one of the most comprehensive books covering food intolerance symptoms and naturally occurring chemicals such as salicylates, amines, MSG and allergies. It will assist you with a food elimination diet along with The Failsafe Cookbook.
I hope my article has added value to your understanding of salicylates. If so, please leave a comment below or share this article so others may also benefit.Your News On Food brought to you by Eileen Baudinette Food and Health Commentator. © 2009 – 2012 thenewsonfood.com ———————–
I’m no medical expert and information contained on this blog is written through my own experience with the aim of furthering your education on health. It is your responsibility as to how you use this information and I cannot be held liable for any misinterpretation or misuse of the information provided.