Recovering from a Parasite, Paleo Style


What about healing your stomach flora from a bacteria infection and parasite? What foods are best for building back your proper somach flora? All of the 50 billion bacteria drinks are fermented from milk, rice or soy. Are there vegetables that are particularly good?

I thought this inquiry I received via email was good blog subject matter, as it’s a really interesting question.  Are there certain things that we should add to our Paleo diet when we recover from any kind of GI distress, whether it’s from a bacteria, virus or even a course of anti biotics?  Not exaggerating with the last point; when we take meds, we have to recover from that, too, by the way!

Having a parasite, incidentally, was what brought me to Paleo, over seven years ago.  I took the meds to get rid of Giardia, but still felt awful for month..until I finally did my own research and learned that many of us have a latent allergy to gluten, triggered by stress, trauma or infection (and yes, that includes parasite infection).

I agree with what the reader suggests; many of the foods suggested by main stream media are not only not Paleo, some can make things worse.  For example, a fermented soy food or beverage is still soy, and a milk-based yogurt with pro biotics is still, well, milk.   Personally, if I had a stomach ache, the last thing I’d want is a dose of milk and soy…yikes!

Another great example is the over the counter antacid, Tums.   Some variations contain sorbitol, the sugar alcohol that is also indicated for use as a laxative.   Perfect! (Not so much…)

So what can you eat in order to feel better not only after a parasite, but after the meds to kill the parasite?

  • Fresh ginger root- boiled into a tea or included in your food, like in a stir fry
  • Fresh garlic, a natural microbe fighter
  • Oil of oregano, which is anti microbial
  • Turmeric, which is highly anti inflammatory
  • Coconut, coconut, coconut!  Another great use for coconut is soothing an upset stomach as it helps maintain intestinal flora
  • A probiotic supplement, one not sourced from dairy or soy and not containing yeasts
  • Add papaya and pineapple in moderation, to provide bromelain, an enzyme which aids in digestion
  • Focus on copious leafy greens, and possibly a bit less fruit, temporarily, as many bacteria tend to feed on sugar

In addition, if your stomach is feeling particularly sore, you may want to focus on steaming your veggies for a few days simply to make them easier to digest. 

It’s worth staying Paleo so as not to further upset an already compromised GI tract!