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Many people are currently taking an aspirin a day to reduce the risk of stroke and heart attack [by way of its blood thinning effect], and as an added bonus, reducing the risk of colorectal and gastrointestinal cancers by doing so. HOWEVER, the benefits of an aspirin a day need to be weighed against the potentially life threatening risk of gastrointestinal ulceration and hemorrhaging.
According to the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force’s updated advice, released 10/12/21, bleeding risks for adults in their 60s and up who haven’t had a heart attack or stroke outweigh any potential benefits from aspirin.
Is there a way of getting these amazing benefits without the risks of a bleeding ulcer, you ask? THERE IS! The benefits from aspirin are derived through plant compounds known as SALICYLATES. Salicylates are found not only in aspirin, but in many plant foods as well. To attain the benefits without the risks, start incorporating these foods.
HERBS, SPICES and CONDIMENTS high in salicylates: Cumin [this is the ace of spades high salicylate spice], Allspice, Anise seed, Cayenne, Cinnamon, Curry powder, Dill, Fenugreek, Garam masala, Ginger, Honey, Mace, Mustard, Oregano, Paprika [hot and sweet], Pepper, Rosemary, Sage, Tarragon, Turmeric, Thyme, Worcestershire sauce.
VEGETABLES high in salicylates: Chili [red], Chicory, Endive, Green olives, Sweet peppers, Radish, Tomato [paste and sauce], Zucchini.
FRUITS high in salicylates: Apricot, Blackberries, Blueberries, Cantaloupe, Cherries, Cranberries, Currants, Dates, Grapes, Guava, Orange, Pineapple, Plum, Prunes, Raisins, Raspberries, Strawberries, Sultanas [“golden raisins”].
Plants that have salicylic acid are generally rich sources of other phenolic acids, many of which have a marked anti-inflammatory and antioxidant related bioactivity.
Salicylates are believed to be at least partly responsible for the reduction in “western” types of cancer [e.g. colorectal] in people who follow a whole food, plant-based diet. They will also help to stimulate the AMPK pathway, similar to intermittent fasting, which has been found to be crucial in cleaning and repairing the cells of the body, as well as promoting health span and longevity.
Some people have an allergy to salicylates. They typically cannot tolerate aspirin. If that’s the case, it would probably be a good idea to avoid these foods. Otherwise, follow a high salicylate diet for its proven health benefits like lower risks of cancer, heart disease and diabetes.