FAILSAFE diet: salicylates food list and information

Salicylates are natural chemicals found in plants, including plants that we eat. Salicylates are high in the leaves, stems, peel and flesh of plants, acting as a natural pesticide. Aspirin, one of the most well-known salicylates, was derived from the bark of a tree way back when. The active element is salicylic acid.

Note: if you are sensitive to aspirin, you are sensitive to salicylates.

Salicylates aren’t good or bad in and of themselves, but they can build up in some people and cause symptoms. Each person’s maximum level is individual to them. We call this a person’s threshold.

The Royal Prince Alfred Hospital Allergy Clinic/FAILSAFE diet is designed to weed out food intolerances, including salicylate sensitivity.

Symptoms of salicylate intolerance

  • Respiratory symptoms – asthma-like effects
  • Headaches, migraines
  • Digestive discomfort
  • Urinary frequency
  • Vaginal soreness, irritation
  • Irritability, restlessness, difficulty concentrating or focusing, restless legs
  • Interrupted sleep, insomnia
  • Tinnitus
  • Arthritis, joint pain, inflammation
  • Swelling, fluid retention
  • Mouth ulcers, rashes around the mouth
  • Cough that won’t go away
  • Sore, itchy, watering eyes
  • Muscle twitching, tremors

Understanding the salicylate response

Salicylates inhibit cyclooxygenase (COX), an enzyme mediator that synthesises prostaglandins, which are involved in our pain and inflammatory response.

When COX is inhibited (slowed, stopped), our immune cells are activated – basophils, eosinophils, macrophages, mast cells, platelets, lymphocytes. These cells/substances are all involved in our allergy or ‘pseudo-allergy’ response.

Salicylate intolerance is therefore actually an enzyme deficiency, thought to be due to intake of COX inhibitors like phenols or salicylates and low levels of phenol-sulfur-transferase (PST).

Salicylates are processed by the liver in phase two conjugation (detoxification), which requires several key elements to work effectively: glutathione, sulfur, glycine, PST and glucuronic acid. Most often, however, salicylate intolerance is a PST enzyme deficiency.

Enzymes break larger things into smaller things so they can be utilised. If this process isn’t working, there is a build-up of the larger things, in this case, salicylates. The build-up results in symptoms eventually appearing.

Testing for salicylate intolerance

Salicylate content of food

The content of salicylates in foods can vary dramatically even for the same food. The levels vary due to the season, parts tested (inner or outer leaves, bark, skin, pulp, juice), how fresh the food is, method of cooking (or raw), peeled, the thickness of peeling, local variations, farming practices, and how ripe the food is at harvest.

With that in mind, here is a searchable salicylates food list. Keep in mind spelling differences and name variations between countries!

Ale and BeerModerate
Alfalfa freshHigh
Allspice dry, powderVery High
Almond fresh, rawVery High
Aniseed dry, powderVery High
Apple fresh, Golden DeliciousVery Low
Apple fresh, Red DeliciousLow
Apple juice, Mountain MaidLow
Apple fresh, JohnathanModerate
Apple canned, ArdmonaHigh
Apple fresh, Granny SmithHigh
Apricot nectar, LetonaLow
Apricot canned, ArdmonaVery High
Apricot freshVery High
Arrowroot powderZero
Asparagus freshLow
Asparagus cannedModerate
Avocado freshHigh
Bamboo shoots canned, SunshineZero
Banana freshZero
Barley dry, unpearledZero
Basil dry, powderVery High
Bay leaf dry, leavesVery High
Beans dried, blackeyeZero
Beans dried, borlottiZero
Beans dried, chickpeas/garbonzoZero
Beans dried, limaZero
Beans dried, mungZero
Beans dried, soya/soyZero
Beans dried, brownVery Low
Beans fresh, sprouts, mungVery Low
Beans fresh, French/greenLow
Beans fresh, broad/favaHigh
Beef rawZero
Beetroot freshLow
Beetroot boiledLow
Beetroot canned, Golden CircleModerate
BenedictineVery High
Blackberry cannedVery High
Blueberry cannedVery High
Boysenberry cannedVery High
Brandy HennesseyModerate
Brazil nut fresh, rawModerate
Broccoli freshHigh
Brussels sprouts freshVery Low
Buckwheat dryZero
Cabbage fresh, greenZero
Cabbage fresh, redVery Low
Canella dry, powderVery High
Caramels Pascall Cream CaramelLow
Caraway dry, powderVery High
Cardamom dry, powderVery High
Carob dry, powderZero
Carrot freshLow
Cashew nut fresh, rawVery Low
Cauliflower freshLow
Cayenne dry, powderVery High
Celery freshZero
Celery seed dry, powderVery High
Cheese cheddarZero
Cheese cottageZero
Cheese camembertVery Low
Cheese mozzarellaVery Low
Cheese blue veinVery Low
Cherry, morello, sour cannedModerate
Cherry, sweet freshHigh
Cherry, sweet cannedVery High
Chicken rawZero
Chicory freshVery High
Chili dry, flakesVery High
Chives freshVery Low
Choko/Chayote freshVery Low
Cider sweet and dryLow
Cinnamon dry, powderVery High
Cloves dry, powderVery High
Coca-Cola regularLow
Cocoa dry, powderZero
Coconut desiccatedModerate
Coffee cereal, EccoZero
Coffee instant, decaffeinated, AndronicusZero
Coffee instant, decaffeinated, HarrisZero
Coffee instant, decaffeinated, MocconaZero
Coffee instant, decaffeinated, NescafeZero
Coffee fresh beansModerate
Coffee instant, NescafeHigh
Coffee instant, Maxwell HouseHigh
Coffee cereal, chicoryVery High
Coriander fresh, leavesLow
Corn/Maize dry, cornmealModerate
Courgette/Zucchini freshVery High
Cranberry sauceVery High
Cranberry cannedVery High
Cucumber fresh, peeledHigh
Cumin dry, powderVery High
Currant frozen, blackVery High
Currant frozen, redVery High
Currant driedVery High
Curry dry, powderVery High
Custard apple freshLow
Date freshVery High
Date driedVery High
Dill seed fresh rawVery High
Dill seed dry, powderVery High
Egg chicken, raw, white and yolkZero
Eggplant/Aubergine fresh, no peelModerate
Eggplant/Aubergine fresh, with skinHigh
Endive freshVery High
Fennel dry, powderHigh
Fenugreek dry, powderVery High
Fig freshLow
Fig canned, kadotaLow
Fig dried, calamataHigh
Five Spice dry, powderVery High
Garam masala dry, powderVery High
Garlic fresh, cloveVery Low
Gherkin pickledVery High
Gin Gilbey’sZero
Ginger fresh, rootVery High
Golden Syrup liquid, CSRVery Low
Grape canned, light seedlessLow
Grape juice, light, SanitariumLow
Grape juice, dark, BerriHigh
Grape fresh, red, MalaitaHigh
Grape fresh, greenVery High
Grape dried, raisinsVery High
Grape dried, sultanasVery High
Grapefruit juice, BerriModerate
Grapefruit freshHigh
Guava cannedVery High
Hazelnut fresh, rawLow
Honey liquid, assortedVery High
Horseradish cannedLow
Kidney raw, unspecifiedZero
Kiwi fruit freshModerate
Lamb rawZero
Leek freshVery Low
Lemon freshLow
Lentils dried, brownZero
Lentils dried, redZero
Lettuce freshZero
Licorice NibsVery High
Liqueur CointreauHigh
Liqueur Tia MariaHigh
Liqueur DrambuieVery High
Liver raw, unspecifiedVery Low
Loganberry cannedVery High
Loquat freshModerate
Lychee cannedModerate
Macadamia nut fresh, rawHigh
Mace dry, powderVery High
Mango freshLow
Maple Syrup liquid, CampZero
Marrow freshLow
Melon, cantaloupe freshVery High
Millet dry, hulled and unhulledZero
Milo dry, powderVery Low
Mint freshVery High
Mints Allens strongHigh
Mints LifeSavers, peppermintHigh
Mints LifeSavers, regularHigh
Mints MintiesVery High
Mints SteamrollersVery High
Mints KoolmintVery High
Mixed Herbs driedVery High
Molasses liquidLow
Mulberry freshHigh
Mushroom fresh, raw, common, whiteLow
Mushroom canned, champignonVery High
Mustard dry, powderVery High
Nutmeg dry, powderVery High
Oats dry, oatmealZero
Okra cannedHigh
Olive, black cannedModerate
Olive, green cannedVery High
Onions fresh, shallot/spring onion/green onion (straight stem, no rounded bulb)Very Low
Onions freshLow
Orange juice, BerriLow
Orange fresh, nectarineModerate
Orange fresh, mandarinHigh
Orange fresh, tangerineHigh
Orange freshVery High
Oregano driedVery High
Ovaltine dry, powderZero
Oysters rawZero
Papaya/pawpaw freshVery Low
Paprika dry, powder, sweetVery High
Paprika dry, powder, hotVery High
Parsley fresh, leavesVery Low
Parsnip freshModerate
Passionfruit/granadilla freshLow
Peach nectar, LetonaVery Low
Peach freshHigh
Peach cannedHigh
Peanut butter, SanitariumLow
Peanut fresh, raw, unshelledVery High
Pear canned, Letona, BartlettZero
Pear fresh, Packham, no skinZero
Pear fresh, Packham, with skinModerate
Pear fresh, William, with skinModerate
Peas dried, green splitZero
Peas dried, yellow splitVery Low
Peas fresh, greenVery Low
Pecan fresh, rawLow
Pepper fresh, sweet/bell, redHigh
Pepper fresh, chili, green yellowHigh
Pepper fresh, chili, greenHigh
Pepper dry, powder, whiteVery High
Pepper fresh, sweet/bell, greenVery High
Pepper fresh, chili, redVery High
Pepper dry, powder, blackVery High
Persimmon freshLow
Pimiento canned, redLow
Pine nut fresh, rawHigh
Pineapple juice, Golden CircleLow
Pineapple cannedVery High
Pineapple freshVery High
Pistachio fresh, rawHigh
Plum fresh, Kelsey GreenVery Low
Plum fresh, blood redLow
Plum canned, redVery High
Plum prunes, canned, LetonaVery High
Pomegranate freshVery Low
Poppy seed dryZero
Pork rawZero
PortVery High
Potato fresh, large, no peelZero
Potato fresh, large, with peelLow
Prawn rawVery Low
Pumpkin freshLow
Radish fresh, small, redVery High
Raspberry frozenVery High
Raspberry freshVery High
Rhubarb freshLow
Rice dry, brown and whiteZero
Rosemary driedVery High
Rum Captain MorganVery High
Rye dryZero
Saffron dry, powderZero
Sage dry, leavesVery High
Salmon cannedZero
Sauce soyZero
Sauce Tabasco, McIlhennyModerate
Sauce WorcestershireVery High
Scallops rawVery Low
Sesame seed dryLow
Sherry sweet and dryHigh
Spinach frozenLow
Spinach freshHigh
Squash, baby freshHigh
Strawberry freshVery High
Sugar granulated, whiteZero
Sunflower seed dryLow
Swede (turnip/rutabaga) freshZero
Sweet potato fresh, whiteModerate
Sweetcorn/Maize fresh, on the cobLow
Sweetcorn/Maize canned, nibletsModerate
Sweetcorn/Maize canned, creamedModerate
Tamarillo freshVery Low
Tandoori spice dry, powderZero
Tangelo freshHigh
Tarragon driedVery High
Tea herbal, chamomileVery Low
Tea herbal, fruitModerate
Tea decaffeinatedModerate
Tea herbal, rosehipModerate
Tea herbal, peppermintVery High
Tea leaves, ChineseVery High
Tea leaves, peony, jasmineVery High
Tea Twinings, Lapsang SouchongVery High
Tea Twinings, orange pekoeVery High
Tea leaves, green, BurmeseVery High
Tea leaves, green, IndianVery High
Tea Twinings, Earl GreyVery High
Tea Twinings, English BreakfastVery High
Tea Twinings, Irish BreakfastVery High
Tea HarrisVery High
Tea Twinings, darjeelingVery High
Tea BushellsVery High
Tea Tetley, orange pekoeVery High
Tea Twinings, lemon scentedVery High
Thyme driedVery High
Tomato juice, HeinzLow
Tomato freshLow
Tomato juice, Goulburn Valley, Heinz, LeotonaLow
Tomato soup, PMU, Heinz, Kia-OraModerate
Tomato paste, Tom Piper, LeggoVery High
Tomato cannedHigh
Tomato paste, HeinzHigh
Tomato soup, Campbell’sHigh
Tomato sauce/ketchup, Campbells, Fountain, PMU, Heinz, IXL, RosellaVery High
Tomato sauce, HeinzVery High
Tripe raw, unspecifiedZero
Tuna cannedZero
Turmeric dry, powderVery High
Turnip fresh, whiteLow
Vanilla liquid essenceVery High
Vinegar Malt, liquidZero
Vinegar white, liquidVery High
Vodka SmirnoffZero
Walnut fresh, rawModerate
Water chestnut cannedVery High
Watercress freshHigh
Watermelon freshModerate
Wheat dryZero
Whiskey scotch, Johnnie WalkerZero
Wine white, dryVery Low
Wine roseModerate
Wine vermouth, dryModerate
Wine claretHigh
Wine RieslingHigh
Wine cabernet sauvignonHigh
Wine champagne or sparkingVery High
Yeast extract Marmite, SanitariumHigh
Yeast extract Vegemite, KraftHigh
Yoghurt wholeZero
Youngberry cannedVery High

Original price was: USD $9.95.Current price is: USD $0.00. ex GST/VAT/TAX
Original price was: USD $9.99.Current price is: USD $0.00. ex GST/VAT/TAX
Jessica Lloyd - Vulvovaginal Specialist Naturopathic Practitioner, BHSc(N)

Jessica is a degree-qualified naturopath (BHSc) specialising in vulvovaginal health and disease, based in Melbourne, Australia.

Jessica is the owner and lead naturopath of My Vagina, and is a member of the:

  • International Society for the Study of Vulvovaginal Disease (ISSVD)
  • International Society for the Study of Women's Sexual Health (ISSWSH)
  • National Vulvodynia Association (NVA) Australia
  • New Zealand Vulvovaginal Society (ANZVS)
  • Australian Traditional Medicine Society (ATMS)