Do you eat a diet that puts you at high risk of Candida?
Discover the yeast-food connection
May 25th, 2013
Thrush and Food. That is what this site is about, and although they may seem like an odd pairing there is a definite relationship between what you eat and your body’s ability to fight off a yeast infection, so if you are interested in being (or staying yeast free) and eating some great food, I think we can help you.
Know your enemy
– what exactly is a ‘yeast infection’?
Your body plays host to hundreds of small bacteria, yeast and other micro organisms. One of these is Candida Albicans. It generally lives harmlessly enough in our gut. It is not a problem if it stays there and stays in the numbers that nature intended it to be. However, our gut has an ecology. There are things that keep it in balance, and things that can tip it out of balance.
If your gut is out of balance in a way that makes life too easy for the candida albicans, then you will experience candida over growth.
Things that can cause this overgrowth include:
- Certain medications
- Too much sugar available for the candida
- Its natural competition is weaker than normal (for example acidophilous bacteria)
Candida not only lives in our gut, but also on most surfaces in our body (technically our gut is a surface of our body, or part of our skin, as it is ‘open’ at both ends). Normally candida is not a problem on our skin, but again, if the ecology of the skin is disturbed – then candida can cause infections.
Most common candida infections are:
Problem #1 Vaginal yeast infection
Problem #2 Oral thrush
Problem #3 Nipple thrush
Problem #4 Baby’s nappy rash (not always caused by yeast, can also be bacterial or purely a rash caused by irritants – ie faeces.
But you can also get a yeast infection:
- In your toenails
- Around your anus
- In your crotch
- On the glans of your penis
- Under breasts
- Under fat rolls
- In your belly button
Basically any where on your body where the conditions are right, you can get a yeast infection. Generally candida requires a warm moist environment in which to grow. Some parts of our body are warm and moist naturally, and some become so in the presence of another problem – a cut, a bad burn, someone who is wheelchair bound and therefore prone to more moisture on their back and buttocks than usual, etc.
Other factors can contribute to your topical or genital yeast infection.
For example, things that contribute to oral thrush include
- Dry mouth – can be because of medication, chemotherapy etc.
- Being a smoker – causes the corners of your mouth to be moist more often than usual
- Baby’s catching it from their mother’s infected nipples
- Having AIDS – persistent oral thrush is one of the early signs of active HIV.
Risk factors for vaginal yeast infections include:
- Being on the oral contraceptive pill
- Taking oral steroids
- Being pregnant
- About to get your period
- Being a diabetic
- Sex – semen is alkaline, and candida prefers that to acidic
- Using any topical applications that change your skin’s ph (ie soap, douche, bubble bath etc)
- Clothing that creates a warm damp environment – for example because it is too tight, or it is synthetic and doesn’t breath.
- Having sex with a partner who is infected.
I think I have a topical yeast infection,
Well, it is worth getting it checked to make sure that it is a yeast infection, and not a bacterial infection, or something else. Statistically a women’s health centre in the US said that about 24 – 30% of women coming in who thought they had a vaginal yeast infection had something else.
So if you think you have a topical yeast infection, go to your doctor and get them to take a swab. If it is yeast, then generally it will respond well to a topical cream, combined with some lifestyle changes. Sometimes a topical cream alone will do the trick, but often the cream clears the thrush up initially but the yeast just reappears in a few weeks.
I think I have systemic candida what do I do now?
Systemic candida is something that wholistic practitioners are more concerned about in general than your regular doctor is. This is because systemic candida is identified by wholistic practitioners as a precursor or cause of other diseases.
Wholistic practitioners are worried that systemic candida (or an excess of candida albicans in the gut) can lead to such conditions as:
- Irritable Bowel syndrome
- Food intolerances
And many other conditions. As I said, they view it as a precursor, and that to avert these diseases candida must be kept under control.
So what do you do if you think you have systemic candida?
I would recommend a two pronged approach.
Number 1 See your GP to rule out any serious diseases that might be causing similar symptoms – fatigue, for example, is a common symptom of systemic candida, but can also be caused by a host of other things, such as poor sleep hygiene, vit B 12 deficiency, cancer etc.
Number 2 If your GP turns up the all clear on your general health, then it is time to look at your diet.
Why is diet so important in controlling my candida?
Food is what we give our bodies not just to fill us up, but to provide us with the essential nutrients we need for fuel and for repair. Different parts of our body require different foods. If those parts of our body do not get the essential nutrients that they require then they will not be able to function well, and as they stop doing their part we may get sick very quickly, or we may experience chronic lingering illnesses that stress our other organs, leading eventually to serious illness.
Well, what diet should I be on to control my yeast infection?
To control your yeast infection your diet needs to do a few different things:
- Support the healthy function of your body by providing essential nutrients
- Remove the foods that the yeast is feeding on – which often have other adverse side effects for your body any way.
- Eat foods that encourage the candida albicans competition – probiotics and prebiotics.
So let’s step through what you need to do
1. Support the healthy function of your body by providing essential nutrients
If in your candida free diet you aimed just to starve the candida, you could go for water only, but that would be ridiculous, as water only does not make for a healthy life time eating plan, at least not a very long one! You need to eat a diet that promotes your overall best health. It needs all the essential nutrients – vitamins, minerals etc that your body needs to feed and repair itself.
Eating a diet lacking in essential nutrients leads to everything from
- Heart disease
- Brain decay (dementia, alzheimers)
- Skin problems
- Cancer etc etc
So you need to eat the widest variety that you can of healthy foods.
The way you eat your food is also important. Not all nutrients are that easily accessible, especially if your gut is in any way compromised. For example, did you know that many nutrients are fat soluble? This means that you should have healthy fat with your salad. Healthy fat? Things like avocados, olive oil dressing (make your own to ensure that it is healthy), nuts. This will allow you to absorb more that the carrot and lettuce has to offer. I am not talking about a lot of fat, you will still need to bear in mind that if you eat more than your daily allowance of calories you will gain weight. But hopefully you will be eliminating some bad calories and replacing them with good foods.
Also, cooking some foods in the right way makes their nutrients more available than eating those same foods raw. Soaking certain foods can also make their nutrients more readily available, for example whole grains such as rolled oats and nuts are best eaten soaked.
Chewing properly is also very important. Digestion begins in the mouth. Food is broken down into more digestible pieces when we chew properly, and more digestive juices are secreted that help our digestive system work properly.
2. Remove the foods that the yeast is feeding on
– which often have other adverse side effects for your body anyway
Refined sugar is a major food source for candida. And conditions that lead to high levels of available sugar in the body exacerbate candida (pregnancy, diabetes etc)
By refined sugar we mean white sugar, definitely, and to a lesser extent raw sugar, brown sugar. It contains no vitamins, no minerals, no good fats, no fibre. It is purely refined calories and as such by some people it is considered to be a drug.
It raises blood sugar levels as it is released into the blood stream instantly upon consumption. So as well as feeding candida, it calls upon your pancreas to release insulin. If this demand is made too frequently your pancreas can cease to function effectively and type 2 diabetes can result.
Refined sugar, because it is an ‘incomplete food’, must have nutrients added to it before it can be digested. So when you eat something with a lot of refined sugar, for example candy, your body must add magnesium, calcium and so on to the sugar to allow the body to digest it. If your body frequently needs to draw upon your mineral stores, then your ready stores of these minerals becomes depleted. Your body will then pull from deeper stores in your body, for example calcium from your bones. Over time you can develop osteoporosis and other chronic nutrient deficiency diseases.
The less refined the sugar the better it is for you, and our bodies do need some amounts of sugars to survive. But by this I do not mean some amounts of refined sugar. A body can get all it needs from the components of a healthy diet, for example fruit and vegetable and grain.
When eating to starve candida, some people elect to remove all refined sugars, some people elect to remove all refined and all simple sugars (this includes most fruits), and many people advocate the removal of grains, especially refined ones like white flour. Consult a wholistic practitioner if you like, or just experiment. Try cutting out everything for a few weeks and then reintroducing carbohydrates starting with the least refined most complex ones first. See if anything makes you experience a recurrence of your symptoms.
3. Eat foods that encourage the candida albicans competition – probiotics and prebiotics.
Probiotics – yes we are talking ‘good intestinal flora’ – good bugs that help to regulate your immune system and keep nasties like candida in their proper place. This good intestinal flora also helps with the creation and absorption of B group vitamins and other essential functions. Various things can kill your intestinal flora, such as antibiotics (it kills ALL bacteria, the good the bad and the essential!) Poor diet can also contribute to their demise and to the supremacy of ‘bad bugs’ and yeasts/moulds. So part of eating to improve your health, and particularly to remove yeast infections, includes making sure you are taking in good bacteria. You can find them in yoghurt with live cultures, and you can get them in larger doses by taking a probiotic capsule. These capsules need to be refridgerated.
Prebiotics – these are foods that you can eat that make a better environment for the probiotics. Just as certain foods feed and promote the growth of bad bacteria and yeasts, certain foods feed the yeast’s enemies, and you want to eat these foods. Basically, prebiotics are indigestible carbohydrates. They pass through and into the intestinal system undigested, where they ferment and provide food for probiotics. An example of a prebiotic is lactulose, which is available in supplement form. However, many foods also contain prebiotics, for example raw oats, unprocessed wheat, unprocessed barley, Jerusalem artichokes, and soybeans.
What am I going to eat if I am cutting out all simple and refined sugars?
Well, this is why you need a specialised cook book that you can use as a guide. I agree it seems daunting to have to cut out all dairy, all readily available forms of sugar and all refined flour, as you may have to do to see what will make you healthy. But actually, there are plenty of things that you can eat while eating to cure your yeast infection. Many vegetables, nuts, whole unprocessed grains, meats, herbal teas are all available to you, and can make delicious meals.
What it takes is knowledge. It is awful to come home from work at the end of the day, particularly if you are feeling tired and yuck (as a result of systemic candida) and to face not just having to cook, but having to find something to cook that works with your diet, and that is tasty. What I do and I recommend to everyone is to get the cook book, then to sit down and select the recipes or recipe variations within it that work with your level of candida diet (the book itself recommends different ‘levels’ from just removing refined sugar, to removing all forms of simple and refined sugar), and then putting together a menu plan. Work out breakfast, lunch and dinner for a week and shop to it. Make a note of the recipes that you like, or that work really well for you. If you plan ahead a little bit you will find that it is achievable and not terribly time consuming.
What if I feel that I have no time to cook, or I hate cooking, or I just don’t think it will work because I have to feed my family as well?
Firstly, let’s talk about having no time.
You are eating things on a daily basis at the moment aren’t you? Where are you finding the time to get them? Are you buying prepackaged or take away, do you have toast and a milk shake every evening? If you really aren’t cooking AT ALL then you probably don’t have a great diet, and you will find that your health, energy levels and the amount of available time you seem to have to do things will actually improve if you take the time to eat properly. If you are exausted all the time because of poor diet and sugar highs/sugar lows, then you really will feel that you have more time if you eat healthily.
If you are cooking but like to cook easy fast meals and worry that the meals in the Candida Diet cook book will be fiddly and time consuming – don’t worry. The book includes recipes that are easy and fast to make, salads, soups etc. It also includes information on how long each recipe takes in both active preparation and total time. AND it lets you know what can be done ahead in each recipe.
If you still think you will have no time to cook for your health, then I would say you need to evaluate your priorities. How much do you want to be healthy? I have friends who a few years ago were very busy. She was a PA and he was a professional marketer. In addition they ran a student accommodation facility. They got home from work in the evenings at about 6, 6:30. They had to provide meals to the students, and they were committed to providing proper healthy meals, so what they did was prepare everything that could be prepared the night before, then when they came home they would heat up the prepared meal and any last minute extras, such as salad and rice. They were able to provide healthy stews, soups and casseroles easily. They just had to make it a priority and commit. Imagine how much better your life would be if you were healthier, and maybe that will give you the strength you need to commit.
Next objection, you hate cooking.
Why? Because it’s boring? Because you are no good at it? Well, again you can opt for our easy fast meal ideas if you want to. But if you really find it boring, then find a way to make it interesting. Someone once said “Only the boring are bored” What can you bring to cooking to make it more exciting? Imagine what is in it for you, the health that you are going to have. Learn all you can about the importance of the different nutrients the food has to offer and then delight in the favour you are doing yourself by cooking. Put on some good music, buy yourself a funky apron and imagine yourself as the healthy kitchen guru. Have fun with it. If you hate cooking because you are no good at it, then I would say, all the more reason to have another go. Forget all the people who might have criticised your cooking in the past. Cooking is a science. If you follow the recipe, you get the result. But it is also an art and there is room to get creative. If you still are sure that you are going to burn water when you cook, then perhaps enrol in a local cooking class or two. The anti candida diet cook book is clear and easy to follow. It should work for any one, but at the same time it has recipes that are exciting. (and yummy)
If you are worried about the candida diet because your family are going to hate it, don’t be.
Certainly if they are used to take away and prepackaged foods then it may be a bit of an initial shock. But the recipes are designed to be tasty, there is a wide variety of meal ideas included, and there are ways to modify the diet so that it can appear more ‘normal’ if the whole family aren’t eating to cure thrush. For example, if you are having a stew with brown rice and they really want pasta with their stew, that is an easy modification.
The Health and Gourmet Cooking Recipe book will help you know what you can and can’t eat, it will provide you the recipes that you need to help you prepare these foods in a way that is tasty – making it easier to stay on the diet. In fact, when you see the opotions you have for foods that you can eat, you won’t even notice what you can’t eat – as long as you remember to plan ahead. These recipes are what I use to keep me healthy and interested in food.
That being said, you can’t just eat healthily and expect your health to fall into place if you do not take care of yourself in other ways. Two of the most important additional things you can do for your health are drink the right amount of water, and get enough sleep. So when you get your copy of Health and Gourmet Cooking, you will also receive The Healing Power of Water and Powerful Sleep. Two excellent volumes to help round out your healthy lifestyle.
Plus Extra Bonus Health Resources
giving your more value
The Healing Power of water
Dr. Batmanghelidj a pioneer in the field of hydro-health has left us with a wonderful body of knowledge about the ability of water to help in the healing process. This report is packed with useful information about water healing and will transform the way you understand and think about water.
If you are exhausted and tired, sleep is one of the most important cures. And being well rested is just as important in staying healthy. Dr Postawski in this report helps the reader understand about how to get the best sleep in the least amount of time. This is vital information for everyone who has a busy schedule and feels run off their feet .When the body is tired it is more likely to get sick.
To get your copies of these books and get started on planning the new healthy you, all you have to do is go through the payment process below and then the book will be available for you to download instantly. It is available as an ebook, as we find that is fast, saves on shipping and is more discreet – you can keep it on your computer where no one will see it, rather than on your book shelf where someone is bound to spot it and ask you why you have an ‘anti candida’ cook book! However, we can supply you with a printed hardcopy if you prefer to hold ‘the real thing’. Just let us know and we will get back to you with what the price will be.
And because I am committed to helping you de-stress, we offer a No Questions Asked 1 Year Guarantee. So if you are in any way unhappy with the recipes and all the other advice and information the books contain, just let me know and you get a full refund within one year of your purchase.
100%, No Hassles, No Questions Asked, 1-Year Guarantee!
Because I know that my hand picked recipes are easy to prepare, tasty and will get you feeling healthy. Plus You get facts, tips, knowledge and information to cure yeast infections which are fantastic and a must have if you are suffering in any way from thrush. Because of all of this if you’re not happy, just let me know and you get a full refund with in one year of your purchase.
Happy cooking and best of health. And don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter or our RSS Feed and check our blog on Candida regularly, as much new information and recipes are being added all the time.
P.S.– Are you vegetarian and wondering if the cook book will work for you? We have notes attached to every recipe, indicating vegetarian and vegan suitability and modifications, and there are plenty of recipes that you can use. The recipes also mention if they are suitable for diabetics and gluten intolerant.
P.P.S – What if you don’t have a yeast infection but just want to eat more healthily? Yes this cook book is definitely for you. At the heart of our philosophy is that food should taste good, be easy to prepare and to contain as much whole food and as little processing as possible.