Published Date January 06, 2022

All you need to know about Salicylate Sensitivity

By Arpita Sudev

2 min read

All about coffee, Almonds, Capsicum and salicylate sensitivity.
Salicylate Sensitivity

Salicylate is a general term for chemicals that have salicylic acid as their base. Salicylic acid is a naturally occurring organic acid found in a variety of plants. These plants produce it as part of their defense system against diseases, insects, bacteria, and environmental stress.

They occur as a natural ingredient in many fruits, vegetables, and spices. Natural and synthetic salicylates are also found in many common health and beauty products. Salicylic acid is used as an ingredient in synthetic salicylates and a variety of other products. In medicines and drugs; Aspirin, for example, is made by combining salicylic acid with a chemical called acetic anhydride.

Salicylate sensitivity is when your body has a reaction to salicylates, but it does not involve your immune system. It is the body’s inability to handle more than a certain amount of salicylates at any given time. When people with salicylate intolerance eat foods that contain salicylates over a prolonged period, it may cause gastrointestinal inflammation, inflammatory bowel disease, diarrhea, and Crohn’s disease.

The percentage of people suffering from salicylate sensitivity is unknown but it occurs more often in adults than children. In comparison, the daily intake of salicylates from the foods we eat is estimated to be 10–200 mg on average.

Some common symptoms of having moderate to high salicylate foods are:

  • Sinus inflammation and infection
  • Polyps (small, non-cancerous growths) in the nasal and sinus passages
  • Asthma
  • Hives
  • Fever
  • Tissue swelling
  • Inflammation of the large intestine can cause abdominal pain and discomfort
  • Diarrhea
  • Swelling of hands/feet/face/eyelids/lips/throat
  • Trouble breathing and wheezing
  • Frequent need to urinate

Foods that have High Salicylate content

  • Beverages: Beer, bubbly drinks/ soda, regular coffee, tea, wine, rum.
  • Fruits: Apricots, apples, avocados, varieties of berries, cherries, dates, currants, grapes, guava, orange, pineapple, plum, prunes, and raisins.
  • Vegetables: Capsicum, chillies, chicory, canned mushrooms, pepper, green olives, tomato paste & sauce, zucchini, artichoke, broad beans, broccoli, corn, cucumber, eggplants, fava beans, okra, watercress, squash, spinach.
  • Nuts, Seeds & Snacks: Almonds, peanuts, pine nuts, pistachios, savoury chips & crackers.
  • Condiments, Herbs & Spices: Anise seeds, cumin, cinnamon, curry powder, fenugreek, garam masala, honey, jam, mace, mint, mustard, oregano, paprika, pepper, turmeric, etc. 


Some important considerations when undertaking a diet low in salicylates are:

  • Salicylate is highest in unripe fruit, and lowest in fruit ready to drop off the plant
  • Salicylate is highest in the skin zone of fruit and vegetables (skin and just below the skin)
  • Salicylate is concentrated by processing such as fruit or vegetable juices, sauces, pastes, powders, jams, syrups, and flavourings.

Related Tags



Gastrointestinal Inflammation





Salicylic Acid

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