Candida is an yeast organism that is normally present in the digestive system in tiny amounts compared with the billions of bacteria than normally keep it in check. Under certain conditions when the balance of these organisms change and the immune system is weakened Candida overgrows and becomes a yeast infection.
Candida albicans is the yeast that is normally responsible for the majority of infections but other species such as Candida Glabrata, Candida Tropicalis and Candida Parapsilosis can also be involved.
Candida overgrowth seems to cause huge problems for many people who have it as it can be so persistent and hard to control. The yeast is a more complex cell than a bacteria which makes it more difficult to eradicate when it becomes pathogenic. It can convert into a mycelium form ( a network of fine filiments) which can penetrate the intestinal wall contributing to a condition known as “leaky gut” (increased intestinal permeability).
The normal intestinal barrier is compromised allowing bacteria, toxins and food to leak into the bloodstream. This leads to other problems including food allergies and intolerance as the immune system does not recognize the larger particles of food that can then “leak” across the intestinal lining into the blood stream. The immune system perceives them as invaders and sets up an
immune reaction against them. If you want to know more about leaky gut you can get a free report at this site: Leaky Gut Cure
There are many facets of treating Candida naturally.
- Bowel Cleanse
- Heavy Metal Detox
- General Body Detox
- Natural Antifungal Treatment
- Gut Healing
- Replenish good bacteria
- Balance Hormones
In this article we are going to look at several diet options:
This is the aspect of Candida treatment that people hate the most. The first thing that people say when they see the list of foods to avoid is “What’s left to eat?” The diet restricts almost everything apart from meat, poultry and vegetables.
The main purpose of the anti-Candida diet is to starve the yeast of sugar that feeds it. This means cutting out sugar and all products that contain it like cakes, cookies, candies, desserts, sodas, fruit-juice and ice-cream unless sweetened naturally with Xyitol or Stevia. All artificial sweeteners are banned too.
The diet also restricts fruit except low sugar ones like strawberries, cherries, and papayas which should be eaten in moderation. In some cases fruit has to be excluded altogether as it is not tolerated at all.
All refined foods like white bread, cakes, cookies, white pasta, white rice, all refined flours are to be avoided.
The majority of anti-Candida diets restrict dairy products as the lactose is a form of sugar that can feed the yeast. Unless you are allergic to dairy products live yogurt is usually allowed.
Although yeast products do not feed yeast many people with Candida overgrowth become sensitive to yeast so yeast products often have to be avoided as well. This includes vinegar and products containing it like pickles, olives, many sauces and salad dressings.
Blood Sugar Control Diet
An alternative to the anti-Candida diet is the blood sugar control diet. If you have Candida you almost certainly have a blood sugar control problem and you should feel a whole lot better if you control your blood sugar with diet.
The usual approach to treating Candida is to follow the anti-Candida diet for a month before introducing some natural antifungal supplements. They can be much more effective if you are feeling better and your body is more nourished before using them by using the Blood Sugar Control diet.
There is usually a certain amount of what is called “die off” when the yeast is starved by the diet and the supplements kill the Candida. You will deal with this better if your vitality is improved first by getting your blood sugar balanced.
The blood sugar control diet is a diet that excludes foods that trigger insulin but allows more foods that will nourish you. This is a way of eating that includes protein at each meal with low starch foods.
People with Candida often have poor digestion so the key here is to eat less and chew your food really well. Three smaller meals a day with 2 snacks in between if necessary is ideal. Eat before you are hungry.
Eat low fat protein like organic or free range chicken, turkey, low mercury fish, tofu, low fat yogurt and low fat cottage cheese ( unless you know you have a dairy intolerance). You can have lean grass fed beef occasionally.
Non starchy vegetables such as broccoli, spinach, and green beans are high in fiber and low in carbohydrates, which make them ideal for better blood sugar control. If you eat more green vegetables with your protein you won’t feel hungry and will have more energy.
Avoid heavy starches such as potatoes, rice and pasta. You can eat fruit but no bananas. One piece of fruit in a four-hour period should be okay but no fruit juice. Other things to avoid are:
- Sugar in any form, including soft drinks
- Fruit juices and dried fruits
- Baked beans
- Black eyed peas, (cowpeas) Garbanzo beans (chickpeas), Refried beans
- Lima beans
- Corn (limit popcorn to one cup)
- Barley, Rice
- Burritos (flour tortilla), Tamales
- Caffeine, Dextrose, Maltose, Sucrose, Glucose, Honey, Corn Syrup, Rice Syrup, Cane Syrup,
Your body needs healthy fat. Every single cell of your body is surrounded by a membrane that is made up of fats. Your hormones are made from fat. Low fat diets starve your body of these essential nutrients. Good fats help control weight by slowing the release of glucose into the blood stream.
Essential fatty acids are found in fish, seeds, nuts, and plants. Virgin olive oil, extra virgin coconut oil, flaxseed oil, almonds, and avocados are examples of other healthy sources of fats.
Unhealthy fats are transfats, hydrogenated fats, most margarine, supermarket oils (unless cold pressed), oils that have been heated to a high temperature and deep fried food.
Getting back to basics when starting out on treating Candida naturally means eating in a way that keeps your blood sugar steady. It means eating fresh real food both cooked and some raw. Organic produce will give you more nutrients and reduce your exposure to pesticides.
Once your blood sugar is under control you may feel so much better that you will not need to go onto the anti-Candida diet. We will look at the next part of the program next week.
This article was the second in a series of articles about intestinal Candida. You can read the first part here