Integrative Nutrition Blog
Could You Have Candida? Natural Ways to Tame Yeast
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Candida, also known as candidiasis, is an internal infection caused by a yeast-like fungus called Candida Albicans, often originating in the digestive tract following an imbalance in natural microbes.
It is especially common in women, and is sometimes difficult to diagnose because it can manifest in a variety of ways depending on the bio-individual body. But if you know the signs and are tuned in to your body, you should be able to address it naturally and prevent it from coming back. Here’s how!
First, recognize the symptoms.
Here are some of the uncomfortable symptoms you could experience with an overgrowth of candida.
- Skin rashes
- Gas, bloating, or abdominal pain
- Chronic fatigue or muscle aches
- White patches in the mouth or throat
- Vaginal yeast infections
- Brain fog or lack or mental clarity
- Constipation or diarrhea
- Cravings for sugar and starchy foods
- Bad breath
- Mood swings
- Environmental sensitivities/increase in allergies
Second, cut down its food supply.
Candida feeds on sugar, yeast, dead cells, and starch (which is converted to sugar in your body), so if you suspect candida is responsible for your symptoms the first thing you can do is reduce the following:
- Processed foods
- Anything with sugar, including fruit for a short while if your symptoms are severe
- Breads, pasta, pizza, crackers, and anything starchy
- Anything containing yeast
Yes, cutting the sweet and starchy stuff can be tough, but remember that it’s temporary and is worth getting back to your vibrant, healthy self again! A little bit of stevia or xylitol is ok if you need a treat.
You may also want to avoid eating anything too close to bedtime, to reduce the fermentation that occurs when undigested food remains in your digestive system overnight.
Third, nourish yourself with probiotics and yeast-taming foods.
Probiotics will help your body regain balance by reducing the “bad” bacteria and replacing it with “good” bacteria. This is a case where a supplement can make a big difference.
Additionally, here are some foods that kill candida, replenish beneficial microbes, or boost your immune system:
- Naturally fermented foods like sauerkraut replenish beneficial bacteria
- Raw garlic kills fungi
- Coconut oil kills fungi and can be used internally or externally
- Variety of non-starchy vegetables can replenish vitamins, minerals, and fiber
- Chamomile reduces inflammation, and can be used internally or externally
- Oregano oil kills fungi
- Aloe Vera juice helps detox and reduce inflammation
- Essential fatty acids, from nuts or fish helps repair tissue damage
- Ginger kills fungi
- Turmeric kills fungi and reduces inflammation
Gluten-free grains, eggs, organic meat, herbs, spices, other wholesome foods are also just fine as long as they’re not sugary, starchy, or alcoholic.
Finally, reduce stress.
Stress can exacerbate candida, not to mention lower your resistance to cravings and reduce immune function. While you’re healing, do your best to avoid stressful situations, get extra sleep, breathe deeply, and focus on more relaxing forms of movement such as yoga, walking, or stretching.
Adjust your diet for about 2 weeks and see how it affects your symptoms. If you feel and look better, then continue for another 2 weeks before beginning to slowly reintroduce fruit and small amounts of starchy foods. Continue taking probiotics and consuming the candida-killing foods regularly though to help keep the candida in check. It’s not likely to leave your system entirely, but with awareness and moderation you should feel like yourself again and have a new perspective on how your diet affects you.
Do you have experience fighting candida naturally? What have you tired that works for you? Share in the comments below!