A parasitic infection occurs when you eat, drink or come into contact with food, water or soil that is contaminated with feces. Parasites can cause an array of negative symptoms, including abdominal pain, vomiting, gas, bloating, diarrhea, bloody stool and weight loss. If you have a parasitic infection, you must see your doctor immediately because you will not be able to treat it on your own, Ann Louise Gittleman reports in her book, "Guess What Came to Dinner: Parasites and Your Health." In the meantime, add certain fruits to your diet to get a head start on getting rid of the parasite.
These tiny and juicy dark black fruits supply vitamins and minerals and taste sweet, but they might also have parasite-destroying capabilities. Gittleman reports that adding blackberries to your diet once you have been diagnosed with a parasitic infection might help your body fight it off more quickly. The nutrients that blackberries contain might target parasites and help destroy them so you can recover from your infection faster. Eat a bowl of blackberries plain or add them to yogurt or cereal to take advantage of these benefits.
Tapeworms are a common parasitic invader that can cause a variety of symptoms, including abdominal pain and weight loss. Tapeworms rob your body of the nutrients it needs for good health by consuming them itself, which also encourages their growth. Pomegranates and their juice might have anti-parasitic properties that target invaders, particularly tapeworms. Gittleman suggests drinking four glasses of pomegranate juice every day for the largest benefit. Pomegranate seeds can be added to salads, but might not have as many anti-parasitic properties as the juice.
Fresh pineapple is an important fruit to add to your diet while trying to rid your body of parasites. Pineapple is a tropical fruit that contains specific enzymes that target parasites and help destroy them. Bromelain and papain are two enzymes in fresh pineapple that have protein-digesting capabilities, which work by minimizing parasites so your body is able to get rid of them. Eat fresh pineapple plain or add it to a fruit salad or bowl of oatmeal to get these anti-parasite benefits.
A fresh papaya is an anti-parasite food that has enzymes similar to those in pineapple. Papayas also contain bromelain and papain, which might target the parasite and help destroy it. Gittleman adds that some cultures, such as people in Mexico, use the seeds from a papaya for their anti-parasitic properties. Taking 1 tbsp. of dried papaya seeds on an empty stomach for a week might help your body fight back against damaging parasites. Gittleman adds that they can be sprinkled on a green salad as another way to add them to your diet.
- University of Maryland Medical Center; "Intestinal Parasites"; March 2010
- "Guess What Came to Dinner: Parasites and Your Health"; Ann Louise Gittleman; 2001
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Parasites