The key to healing IBS is finding and treating the root cause of the illness. It could range from food intolerances, to bacterial overgrowth, candida, parasites and more. I’ve dealt with digestive issues for years, not knowing what the cause was. After numerous tests, elimination diets, and medicinal protocols, it was discovered that I had a parasite. I honestly wasn’t super surprised to hear this news given that most people with digestive issues have one or more infections, whether it’s bacterial, parasitic, or yeast.
Only time will tell if this parasite is the true cause of my digestive distress, and I know it will take time to repair and heal my gut. First and foremost, I wanted to know how to kill this thing! In addition to a medicinal protocol, I was interested to learn what type of diet I would have to follow and for how long. I had already removed gluten and dairy from my diet with virtually no improvement, so what now?
Parasites, like bacteria, feed on sugar and starch. Therefore, a paleo diet is optimal for healing a parasitic infection. This means no grains (rice, oats, pasta), no white, starchy carbs (potatoes, bread), and no sugar. Small amounts of raw honey and stevia are allowed on my particular protocol. Clean animal protein, lots of veggies, and healthy fats are what I have to stick to. Personally, I like eating this way. I feel better, I have more energy, and I don’t crave a lot of sugar anymore.
Whether or not you are fighting an infection, these foods are great to enjoy for their numerous nutritional properties.
Raw pumpkin seeds– consuming pumpkin seeds along with plenty of fluid can help prevent and get rid of parasites. Pumpkin seeds are delicious and easy to incorporate into your meals or snacks. I like to put raw, sprouted pumpkin seed butter in my smoothies.
Coconut oil- contains lauric acid, which has anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, and anti-microbial properties. It is converted to monolaurin upon ingestion, which helps kill protozoa. I always cook with coconut oil, and I add it to my smoothies.
Papaya– this fruit and its seeds have a strong capacity to destroy worms, including intestinal worms. Papaya contains an enzyme called papain, which helps the environment in your gut ward off parasites.
Pineapple– contains an enzyme, bromelain, which helps digest protein. This helps minimize the parasites and allows your body a chance to get rid of them.
Raw garlic– this is one of the best ways to kill parasites. Garlic contains allicin which helps get rid of parasites. It’s most effective when consumed raw.
Apple cider vinegar– helps neutralize the body’s pH and improves digestion.
Herbs that are effective in fighting parasites include garlic, barberry, goldenseal, oregon grape, anise, wormwood, curled mint, and black walnuts. Speak with your medical professional about how to incorporate these herbs.
Parasites are actually pretty common, and some people can have parasites and experience no symptoms. They can actually lie dormant in your body for years!
If you suspect you might have a parasite, I encourage you to see a medical professional. Functional diagnostic testing can help determine if and what type of infection is present. Please contact me for more information on testing. Of course, you can go ahead and start incorporating the foods above, if only for their good taste and nutritional value!