Benefits of Natural Salicylic Acid in Food

Natural salicylic acid and other compounds from which aspirin was originally modeled, can provide some amazing benefits. As with many other natural compounds, problems and side effects with aspirin use didn’t surface until the chemistry of the product had been synthesized, purified, and concentrated into drugs.

Because it's actually made from natural fruit or vegetable extracts, it can be applied internally, or ingested internally as well. You can't get much more versatile than that!

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Fruits and vegetables contain phyto-nutrients and salicylic acid may well be another kind of phyto-chemical. Foods provided by mother nature have always been the best medicine!

Benefits of Natural Salicylic Acid

Vegetarians have higher levels of natural salicylic acid in their blood because they consume more fruits and fresh vegetables. Higher salicylic acid concentrations may also be a major contributor to lower rates of various cancers and better overall heart health.

When you naturally increase salicylic acids by consuming more fruits and veggies, the anti-clotting effects responsible for many of aspirin’s serious side effects don’t occur.

In simple terms, if you get your salicylic acid naturally from the foods you eat, you get the anti-inflammatory benefits as well, which helps prevent hardening of the arteries. (Called arteriosclerosis). What you don't get are any of the bleeding problems that are caused by taking aspirin alone.

Furthermore, studies have shown that following the Mediterranean diet, rich in vegetables, fruits, and omega 3 fatty acids, can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease by 30 percent. The diet also lowers plasma levels of C-reactive protein, called CRP, which is an inflammatory mediator and primary marker for heart disease risks. Lower CRP’s also reduce your risk of colon cancer.

New research also indicates that heavily cooked foods tend to increase CRP levels. Those that are lightly steamed or eaten raw, decrease CRP levels. This study supports the idea that much of our diet should be consumed in raw form, particularly fruits and veggies. Omega 3 fatty oils can also lower CRP levels.

The rate of consumption of fruits and vegetables continues to decline. This alone, has decreased natural salicylic acid blood plasma levels dramatically. Of course, the natural salicylic acid content in fruits and vegetables continues to decline too.

Plants produce salicylic acid as a way of protecting themselves against pests and disease. In earlier times, most people grew their own food or purchased them from local farmers. Pesticides were not available so only the hardiest of plants survived. Unfortunately, today things are far different.

Typically, most fruits and vegetables are not grown organically. Pesticides and control practices, (such as temperature, water, and sunlight exposure) hinder a plants ability to produce salicylic acid naturally, so levels have therefore waned. For example, researchers in Scotland evaluated commercial vegetable soups and organic vegetable soups for salicylic acid content. The organic soup's vegetables contained 6 times the amounts of salicylic acids as the commercial soups. It's a shame that many health authorities overlook studies like this.

Building Systemic Acquired Resistance

Why go to the expense of buying organic when you can simply pop a daily aspirin instead? The bigger picture is that plants have their own type of immunity, which produces what is called ‘systemic acquired resistance’.

Salicylic acids form a crucial pathway for developing this resistance. The higher the natural salicylic acid content, the more potent other complex compounds important to human health become. A good example is grapes. The compound resveratrol, known for its strong antioxidant properties and heart protection ability, is reduced by 70 percent when grapes are sprayed with fungicides.

Salicylic acid is just one of many beneficial components present in whole foods. To stay healthy, consume a wider variety of raw fruits and fresh vegetables and add spices to your dishes, all of which contain higher levels of salicylic acid. Buying them locally is always a smart choice!

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Natural Salicylic Acid Foods


Raisins, Prunes, Raspberries, Blackberries, Blueberries, Cantaloupe, Cherries, Cranberries, Currants, Dates, Guava, Oranges, Pineapple, Plums, Strawberries


Broccoli, Chili, Peppers, Cucumbers, Okra, Spinach, Squash, Sweet Potatoes, Canned Tomatoes, Tomato paste/sauce, Green Peppers, Radishes, Zucchini


Aniseed, Cayenne, Celery Powder, Cinnamon Powder, Curry, Dill, Fenugreek Powder, Garam Masala, Mustard Powder, Ginger Root, Rosemary, Sage, Tarragon, Tumeric, Thyme, Mint, Black Pepper, Bay leaves, Basil, Caraway, Oregano, Paprika, Nutmeg

(Other items that have significant salicylic acid include Worcestershire sauce and honey.)

Taking an aspirin everyday might make you think you are doing the right thing. It would be far better however, to just include more salicylic rich foods in your daily diet. Making simple dietary changes and using inexpensive nutritional supplements such as Bromelain for pain, can make a big difference.

Bromelain is an enzyme extracted from the pineapple plant. It has been shown to be very effective in treating inflammation without side effects, especially those of aspirin and NSAIDS. Its also an effective treatment for those with rheumatoid arthritis, when 2,250 mg. are taken twice daily between meals.

When considering health matters, eating more pesticide-free raw foods becomes especially important. Consuming more foods that contain natural salicylic acid are far more likely to serve your health better than processed foods, any day of the week!

Related Pages

Daily Aspirin – Does It Really Keep the Doctor Away?

The Benefits of Phytonutrients for Health and Aging

Eating a Balanced Diet Decreases Weight and Increases Energy

Mediterranean Diet Meal Plan

Omega 3 Oils – To Improve Your Health

Healthy Vegetables - Buying Guide and Serving Suggestions

Healthy Heart Diet, Nutrition, and Lifestyle

Reduce the Risk of Cancer through Nutrition

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