Today many people suffer from candida and yeast overgrowth. In fact, studies show the amount of people suffering from the common cold/allergies is approximately equal to the number of people candida effects per year. If left untreated, candida can cause extensive damage to your health specifically in relation to gut health and immune function. Although treating candida is necessary, it will never be completely eliminated. Candida is meant to exist in the body and helps to regulate the amount of sugar in the bloodstream.
What Causes Candida Overgrowth?
Candida can spread throughout the body very easily and can be difficult to control. There can be many reasons for the onset of overgrowth, but a few of the common scenarios are as follows:
- High amount of stress weakening the immune system
- Diet high in processed foods and refined sugar
- Depletion of gut bacteria through extensive antibiotic use
- A poor, unbalanced diet
- Birth Control pills
- Type 2 diabetes
- Consuming a lot of alcohol
Candida is meant to stay dormant in the cells, however when it comes out of this dormant state poor health begins. Unexplained fatigue, severe sugar cravings and mood swings are just a few of the typical symptoms associated.
Foods to Consume
Low carbohydrate sources work best to combat the harmful yeast. The idea behind this principle is that because candida feeds off of sugar, starving the yeast of food will help to destroy it. Also, it is very important to consume a high amount of green foods. Green vegetable sources provide the body with vital nutrients to build immune function and defend the body against harmful bacteria.
- Herbs & Spices
These are known to be beneficial for their antifungal and antioxidant properties. They also act as a natural anti-inflammatory and aid in circulation.
- Whole Grains
Non-glutinous grains contain a high amount of fibre to keep your digestive tract at an optimal state. Healthy digestive function keeps your bowel movement regular helping to increase the rate at which candida can be eliminated.
Non-starchy vegetables provide the body with vitamins and minerals while starving the yeast from sugar. Vegetables should be bought fresh only and should be consume raw, lightly steamed or grilled.
Foods to Avoid
Following the strict diet is usually considered the toughest part of a candida cleanse. The foods that feed candida are the ones people crave the most. These include sugars of all sources not solely sweets and desserts as many believe. Sugar is the best source of nutrition for yeast growth and development.
Alcohol has a tendency to spike blood sugar levels. These beverages also contain high carbohydrate and sugar level especially with “mixed drinks”.
All dairy products should be avoided except for kefir, ghee and probiotics. Dairy products contain a milk sugar known as lactose.
Although fruit contains natural sugar it does feed candida.
- Processed foods & Refined Sugars
Most people with candida overgrowth do have gluten sensitivity. Continuing to consume food one is sensitive to can cause damage to the body and hinder immune function. A decrease in immunity can make a person more susceptible to yeast overgrowth.
This category includes condiments and soft drinks in addition to sweets. The best option is to check all food labels to be sure your items do not contain sugar.
- Starchy vegetables
Although very nutrient rich these should be avoided until candida subsides. When all is cleared starchy foods can be reintroduced one at a time.
- Vinegar (Excluding Apple Cider Vinegar)
Vinegar is created in a yeast environment and can cause inflammation in the gut. The reason for the exclusion of ACP is that unfiltered sources do help fight against candida.
Posted by Meaghan LaFranca, M.Sc, Nutritionist, Colon Therapist