Let food be thy medicine! This one-of-a-kind mold detox diet will surely help you.
When you are detoxing from mold, food can be fuel or fire to your immune system and detox pathways—depending on what you eat (or don’t eat).
In fact, when you are detoxing from mold, sometimes foods can feel like it is working “against you” (not for you) as many folks find they become increasingly sensitive to multiple things.
In my mold detox diet journey, I developed MCAS (mast cell activation syndrome) wherein my immune system became hyperactive to practically EVERYTHING (foods, chemicals, smells, environments) and, as a result, my food intolerance list grew to the point where I was only able to eat 5 to 10 foods—not because it’s all I wanted to eat, but it’s all my body could tolerate.
Spinach gave me IBS.
Sweet potatoes spiked my blood sugar.
Nuts made me constipation.
I felt stuck! Perhaps like many of you—even with healthy foods! You are trying to do the right thing…but with so many conflicting food lists and dietary philosophies out there, what is the BEST detox diet to eat when detoxing your body from mold?!
While there is NO one-size-fits-all-approach to the “perfect” mold detox diet, here are some general recommendations that helped me and have continued to help many of my patients in conjunction with their mold detox protocol for kicking mold to the curb (for good).
Mold Detox Diet Strategy
The goal of a mold detox diet is NOT to starve mold away, drink juice-only or live in “restriction mode.”
Instead, the mold detox diet strategy is 3-fold:
- Boost and support the immune system (so it’s not so hyper-reactive)
- Support the liver and “biotransformation” pathways (your body’s ability to detox)
- Cleanse the gut of any unwanted candida, yeasts and bacterial overgrowth (SIBO, dysbiosis), while boosting and reshaping a healthier gut “ecosystem”
While supplements and even some medications may be necessary for kicking unwanted, unnatural mold out of your body, your diet can have an enormous impact on your immune system, liver, gut and hormones.
For this reason the “best” mold detox diet strategies I’ve seen to date for the majority of patients who become pretty sick with mold illness include:
- Gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free: Unfortunately, most sources of these foods in the U.S. are processed, hybridized and inflammatory in nature. Not to mention, many sources contain pesticides, herbicides and other toxins that you don’t need more of in your life.
- Autoimmune paleo approach: Many “moldies” have underlying autoimmunity or co-infections (such as lyme, mycoplasma, EBV, babesia, etc.) present, so an AIP approach helps keep the immune system within the ‘bumper lanes’ while detoxing from mold. To figure out what ‘immune reactive’ foods you personally tolerate, I will often run a Cyrex Array 3 and Cyrex Array 4 panel for more customization. An AIP diet limits eggs, soy, dairy, grains, beans, sugar.
- Short term low-histamine diet: Trial for 2-4 weeks, sometimes a little longer, while building up DAO enzymes and stabilizing the immune system.
- VARIETY: Intentionally incorporate variety into your daily diet (different vegetables, proteins, healthy fats) as much as possible to support your effort to build a healthier, more robust biome. Again, starvation is not the name of the mold detox diet game.
- Lowish/moderate carb intake: Stick to about 30-75 grams of added starch and fructose carbs like Manuka honey and fresh fruits (low starch veggies and greens do NOT count towards this). This helps keep blood sugar in check, which in turn, helps keep gut bacteria, candida/yeasts and hormones—like cortisol, in check.
Foods to Limit on a Mold Detox Diet
Keep your immune system in check with an anti-inflammatory and possibly low-histamine approach to your diet while you boost your detox pathways.
- Autoimmune paleo foods
- Beans & peas
- Grains (corn, wheat, buckwheat, pasta, etc.; some exceptions; stick to 1-3 gluten-free servings per week)
- Nightshade veggies and spices (peppers, egg plant, chili, paprika, etc.)
- Nuts & peanuts
- Soy (Seitan, tofu, etc.)
- High-histamine foods (can be problematic for some people, especially in early stages; it’s nearly impossible to limit ALL histamine foods, but ‘lower’ histamine is advised; sticking to 1-3 foods that have histamine in them)
- Additives – benzoate, sulphites, nitrites, glutamate, food dyes, artificial sweeteners (see exceptions below)
- Alcoholic beverages, including beer and wine, as well as kombucha
- Beverages w/ flavors, spices, black tea, green tea, rooibos tea
- Citrus fruits, papaya, banana (ripe), pineapple
- Commercial Condiments (some contain additives mustards, salad dressings, ketchup, mayos, etc. which may be bothersome)
- Dried fruits & dates
- Egg whites (may bother some, but not others)
- Fermented foods (sauerkraut, kombucha, yogurt, etc.)
- Foods sold in bulk bins (dried fruits, spices, nuts, grains, etc.)
- Instant coffee
- Jams, jellies (some)
- Pickled foods (canned artichoke, olives, pickles)
- Processed and/or smoked meats (bacon, sausage)
- Salty snacks, sweets with preservatives and artificial colorings
- Spices: allspice, cinnamon, cloves, curry, cayenne, mace, MSG, mustard, nutmeg, paprika, peppercorn, seasoning packets
- Veggies: Spinach, tomatoes, eggplant, pumpkin
Will I have to avoid these foods forever?
No, most people will NOT be sensitive to all these foods, nor will they have to avoid these foods “forever. Instead, the point of limiting these foods is to lessen the immune-stimulating load and implement a “clean slate” of the most allergenic foods that can upregulate inflammation in many people with autoimmunity. I tend to recommend 30 to 90 day protocols, followed by reassessment, reintroduction and experimentation.
Foods to Eat on a Mold Detox Diet
Eat an abundance and variety of real, nutrient-dense whole foods. And mix it up. Try not to eat the same exact meals every single day to help with diversifying your gut biome.
- Apple cider vinegar
- Bone broth: If you’re sensitive to histamine, try meat broth
- Dark leafy greens (except spinach): kale, chard, arugula, romaine, Bok choy
- Egg yolk and pasture raised cooked eggs (if tolerated)
- Fresh fruits – with the exception of plantains and citrus, most fresh fruits are considered to have a low histamine level (also see histamine liberators below)
- Fresh meats or frozen meats: Especially chicken, turkey, unnamed beef/bison, pork, duck and wild game (rabbit, ostrich, goose); Consume fresh’ leftovers’ within 1-2 days, or freeze and re-heat
- Fresh/frozen fish – wild caught salmon, cod, halibut, hake, trout, plaice (no mercury-heavy fish like mackerel, tuna or canned fish)
- Fresh vegetables – with the exception of tomatoes, pumpkin, eggplant and spinach
- Gluten-free Grains – gluten free oats, rice, quinoa, kelp noodles, Miracle noodles, Tigernut flour(if you do grains stick to 1-3 servings gluten-free grains/week and get the majority of starch in starchy tubers/root vegetables and non-grain foods)
- Healthy fats– ghee, extra virgin olive oil, avocado oil, avocado, coconut (butter, oil, milk), macadamia oil, MCT oil, sesame oil, flax oil, grass-fed butter
- Herbal teas – with the exception of black tea, energy drinks, mate
- Juices-celery, carrot juice, green juice
- Milk/Dairy substitutes – goat milk, sheep milk, coconut milk, hemp milk (note: some will tolerate ricotta cheese, cream and cream cheese from grass-fed cows; but if you are lactose intolerant, you will probably not tolerate many dairy substitutes)
- Most leafy herbs- cilantro, basil, sage, marjoram, thyme, oreganoStarchy tubers & roots: turnips, rutabaga, sweet potato, fingerling potatoes, potatoes, parsnips, carrots, beets
- Pure coffee – organic roast, decaf, black (no Keurig or Instant), mycotoxin free (kicking horse, purity)
- Seeds, coconut & macadamia nuts: sunflower seed butter, sesame, hemp, flax, coconut, chia, flax, pumpkin seeds, macadamia nuts (least inflammatory)
- Sweeteners: pure maple syrup, Manuka honey, pure monk fruit, 100% whole stevia leaf (instead of rebaudioside a or stevia extract)
Mold Detox Diet Superfoods
Here are a few honorable mentions:
- Apple cider vinegar shots
- Beets, carrots, celery
- Coffee for coffee enemas!
- Extra virgin olive oil (good quality like this)
- Fresh herbs and spices: cilantro, parsley, basil, oregano, ginger, turmeric, garlic, fennel, fenugreek, mint
- Ginger tea, Cistus tea, Detox tea, turmeric tea, milk thistle & dandelion tea
- Green juice, celery juice, beet juice, carrot juice
- Leafy green vegetables
I’m confused…you can eat SOME foods on a low-histamine diet, but not on an AIP diet, and vice versa…what is the “right way”?
Just breathe. There is NO one-size-fits-all approach or perfect mold detox diet. Instead, using both of these lists can help you customize the foods that do and don’t work for you, based solely on how you feel and symptoms. My advice is generally to start with an Autoimmune approach, and if you’re still ‘reactive’ to be curious about higher histamine foods, and in some cases high FODMAP foods if you have candida or SIBO. Again, there is NO one-size-fits-all approach.
3 Day Mold Detox Diet Meal Plan Sample
A mold detox diet doesn’t have to be boring or feel like you’re in “jail”. Mix it up.
Day 1 Mold Detox Diet
Scrambled egg yolks (pasture raised) in ghee w/ organic ground turkey, broccoli, mushrooms
Lunch: Harvest Chicken Salad
Arugula, pasture raised chicken, apple cider vinegar & extra virgin olive oil, steamed beets, roasted butternut squash, cup of bone broth or meat broth
Grass-fed beef burger patty, 1/2 avocado, side of carrot ‘fries’, sautéed rainbow chard in ghee, sea salt
Day 2 Mold Detox Diet
Coconut milk, pure paleo protein powder, berries, kale, ice, sunflower seed butter
Lunch: Lettuce Wrap
Romaine lettuce wrap w/ chicken, homemade mayo (or store bought), leftover carrot ‘fries’ & roasted summer squash
Dinner: Taco Bowl
Ground turkey AIP taco meat, roasted kombocha squash, fresh herbs, green beans, guacamole
Day 3 Mold Detox Diet
Gluten-free oats, sliced banana, dollop of coconut yogurt & macadamia nuts, collagen peptides or pure paleo protein powder,
Lunch: Leftover Taco Bowl
Ground turkey AIP taco meat, roasted kombocha squash, fresh herbs, mixed spring greens, paleo dressing
Wild caught salmon, cooked and cooled red potatoes, broccolini in ghee
A mold detox diet doesn’t have to be boring or feel like you’re in “jail”. Mix it up, aim to ‘taste the rainbow’ and if you are SUPER reactive to foods, try taking digestive enzymes and DAO enzymes with meals.