Mould illness is an increasingly common condition I see in clinic. This blog post summarises what to eat when you have mould illness.
Other blogs that you might be interested in include:
- The Ultimate Guide To Mycotoxins
- Ochratoxin A
- The Ultimate Guide To IBS
- SIBO: What Causes It
In previous blogs I have discussed how mould and mycotoxins can cause imbalances in the gut such as leaky gut, malabsorption, and imbalances in the gut microbiome, deplete the body of glutathione (the main antioxidant in the body), increasing inflammation, and making you more susceptible to infections.
So we need to consider all these factors when considering what foods to eat when we have mould illness.
If you are working to recover from mold illness, the first thing you should do with your diet is eliminate processed, refined foods. Preclinical research has found that a processed diet worsens the neuro-inflammatory effects of mould. So, I recommend avoiding four categories of inflammatory foods:
- Acellular carbohydrates (meaning they lack intact cells) such as flours and grains and refined sugar…with the exception of raw honey
- Industrial seed oils
Another key group of food to remove are those that are commonly contaminated with mould and mycotoxins. Unfortunately, mould doesn’t just grow in water-damaged buildings, it also grows on:
- Grains: wheat, barley, oats, rya, corn, rice, sorghum
- Meat and milk from grain-fed animals
- Dried fruits
- Conventional coffee
- Wine and beer
Furthermore, there are certain foods that have been discussed in the research to be often be contaminated with mould and mycotoxins, but can provide significant benefit to our health. I recommend limiting and getting the best quality you can afford:
- Nuts and seeds
I recommend first doing a 30-day grain-free diet, after which you can try incorporating small amounts of gluten-free grains (oats, rice being the most well tolerated often) into your diet.
The Low Mould Diet: What to eat when you have mould illness
So what to eat.
Pastured and Wild-Caught Animal Products
Allowing animals to graze on pasture reduces the mycotoxin levels in their meat and milk. Therefore, by eating pasture-raised meat, poultry, eggs, and dairy (if you tolerate dairy), you can minimise your consumption of mycotoxins.
Dr. Crista emphasises the importance of supporting healthy bile flow in the detoxification of mycotoxin process, and thus I recommend eating bitter vegetables every day as they promote bile flow. Examples include:
- Wild rocket
- Dandelion leaves
Starchy Vegetables and Whole Fruit
Most people affected by mould tolerate one to two servings of starchy vegetables and whole fruit per day, such as:
- Sweet potato
Prebiotics and Polyphenols
Eating probiotic foods to restore your gut health is essential, but don’t forget to feed your beneficial mycotoxin-degrading gut bacteria with prebiotic foods. Some of my favorite prebiotic foods are:
- Green banana flour
- Jerusalem artichoke
Polyphenols are found in plant foods and offer antioxidant and prebiotic benefit. Quercetin and resveratrol have been found to protect the body against mycotoxin-induced cellular damage. Include:
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Purple sweet potato
- Green tea
Consuming natural antifungal foods may help restore a healthy microbial balance and combat opportunistic yeast infections that frequently occur in individuals exposed to mold. Try including:
- Coconut oil
- Basil, oregano, and thyme
- Ceylon cinnamon
- Raw honey
If you are wondering what to eat when you have mould illness then download a 2 page summary that you can stick on your fridge door as a resource (coming soon).
Other Treatment Of Mycotoxins (discussed in more detail in The Ultimate Guide To Mycotoxins)
- Supplement binders such as activated charcoal, anti-fungals like oregano oil, liposomal glutathione. There are others that can be considered on an individual basis.
- Sweat – sauna therapy is a great option, as is exercise (if this is tolerated).
- Break The Mold by Dr. Crista
- Mycotoxins By Dr. Nathan
- Toxic by Dr. Nathan
- The Alex Manos Podcast episode with Dr. Jill Crista
- The Alex Manos Podcast episode with Dr. Ann Shippy
- The Alex Manos Podcast episode with Oliver Barnett from The London Clinic Of Nutrition
- A slightly different low mould diet by Dr. Jill Carnahan can be found here.
- Mycotoxin: Its Impact on Gut Health and Microbiota
- Effects of Mycotoxins on the Intestine
- Impact of Mycotoxins on the Intestine: Are Mucus and Microbiota New Targets?
- Modulation of Intestinal Functions Following Mycotoxin Ingestion: Meta-Analysis of Published Experiments in Animals
- Probiotic Supplementation Reduces a Biomarker for Increased Risk of Liver Cancer in Young Men From Southern China
- Effect of Supplementation of Fermented Milk Drink Containing Probiotic Lactobacillus Casei Shirota on the Concentrations of Aflatoxin Biomarkers Among Employees of Universiti Putra Malaysia: A Randomised, Double-Blind, Cross-Over, Placebo-Controlled Study