Candida: What is it?
Candida albicans is a fancy name for a yeast that resides naturally in the human body in small amounts. Under normal conditions, it helps with digestion and nutrient absorption in the mouth and digestive tract. Sometimes, however, it gets out of control.
What can trigger an outbreak of candida? Glad you asked.
- Sugar and refined carbohydrates
- Oral Contraceptives
- Large doses of antibiotics (which can disrupt the ratio between Candida and other bacteria)
How do I know if I have a yeast infection?
There are a number of common symptoms, but they do not necessarily point toward candida. If you can say yes to a few of the following red flags, talk to your doctor and ask for a comprehensive stool test to find out for sure.
- Sugar and refined carbohydrate cravings
- Skin problems (fungal infections, eczema, psoriasis, hives, and rashes)
- Chronic fatigue
- Difficulty concentrating, poor memory, lack of focus, ADD, ADHD and brain fog
- Digestive issues such as bloating, constipation, or diarrhea
- Autoimmune disease such as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, Rheumatoid arthritis, Ulcerative colitis, Lupus, Psoriasis, Scleroderma or Multiple sclerosis
- Irritability, mood swings, anxiety, or depression
- Vaginal infections , urinary tract infections, rectal itching or vaginal itching
- Severe seasonal allergies or itchy ears
There are a number of ways to treat Candida, including various drugs and herbs, but the bottom line is that a diet change is required. Think of yeast in general. It breeds in warm, moist places and feeds on sugar. So if you remove the food source—sugar—Candida has to die.
An anti-Candida diet is designed to starve out Candida. This may take a while, but be patient and your body will thank you later.
What Not to Eat
So sugar is out of the question, as well as any foods ending in “-ose” (yep, that’s sugar in disguise). Read labels carefully. Also, starchy foods such as refined pastas, potatoes, white bread, and anything made with white flour are also off the table. When the body digests these foods, they break down into—you guessed it—sugar! And any sugar is going to nurture the Candida overpopulating your body.
Be careful with dairy products too, because some of them can disguise sugar too. Flavored yogurt, for instance. Reach for plain yogurts high in probiotics. These will help other types of bacteria in your body to fight for their rightful place in the intestinal kingdom.
What You Can Eat
But don’t go thinking that you have to starve yourself in order to starve Candida. There are plenty of foods still left to enjoy! Eat plenty of vegetables, lean meat, omega-3 fatty acids, slightly sweetened fruit (bananas, pears, and apples), and garlic.
Don’t forget to stay hydrated too, as water works to remove toxins from the body. Finally, a multivitamin a day can help rebuild your immune system in conjunction with the nutritious foods you are eating.
In conclusion, observe the anti-Candida diet as long as you need to. Don’t take risks where your health is concerned, and be sure to listen to your doctor as well.