Breakdown of the anti-candida diet cure for beginners:
- What is Candida?
- Symptoms of Candida overgrowth
- Risk factors of Candida overgrowth
- Candida cleanse/ detox
- Foods to eat
- Foods to avoid
- Candida Complex
- Probiotic Supplement: Jarrow Formulas, Women’s Fem Dophilus Veggie caps(recommended)
What is Candida?
With more than 150 known Candida species capable of living in different parts of your body, only 15 of these species can cause an infection if they overgrow.
Yet, Candida is one of the most common fungi that many of us have experienced in different forms and parts of our bodies. Even though Candida can grow nearly everywhere, most commonly, it is present in the mouth, skin, digestive tract, toenails, rectum, and vagina. (1)
We all have Candida, and it’s OK!
Candida is an ordinary member of the human gut flora, along with the trillions microscopic yeasts and bacteria responsible for everything to be functioning well for us.
However, if certain microbes become over-dominant and start to grow in vast amounts, a microbial imbalance develops, and this gives us unwanted symptoms.
Symptoms of Candida overgrowth
Possible symptoms of an infection include:
- Bloating, constipation or diarrhea
- Chronic fatigue
- Skin issues such as eczema, rashes and even psoriasis
- Recurrent urinary tract infection (story of my life that finally ended!)
- Mood swings and irritability
- Anxiety and depression
- Joint pain
The most common culprit of these symptoms is Candida albicans. Candida albicans is a species of yeast and an opportunistic pathogen found naturally in our bodies.
Its job is to aid with digestion and nutrient absorption; however, when the bacteria overproduce, they break down the wall of the intestine and penetrates the bloodstream.
This releases toxic byproducts into your body developing into commonly known leaky gut. When in excess, these poisonous byproducts can lead to all kinds of health problems ranging from digestive issues to depression.
What are the risk factors of candida overgrowth?
Several possible factors can develop candida overgrowth infection.
Some of these are:
- Chronic stress
- High alcohol consumption
- Diet high in sugar and refined carbs
- Long-term use of birth control or antibiotics (My story!)
- A weak immune system
- Imbalance in your microbiota
- A diabetes mellitus diagnosis
- Candida overgrowth treatment
The anti-fungal diet claims to treat these symptoms and reduce candida overgrowth. However, the diet lacks further scientific support at the moment.
The diet suggests complete exclusion of sugar, gluten, alcohol, most dairy products, processed foods, and harmful preservatives and additives from your diet. It also encourages low-sugar fruit consumption, non-starchy vegetables, and gluten-free foods.
On top of this, alcohol and caffeine are both recommended to avoid to support a healthy lifestyle.
This diet aims to reduce inflammation and stay away from foods that may feed and promote yeast growth.
The Anti-candida diet plan
There are three important things you need to incorporate to succeed against candida overgrowth. Each step is essential and has to be followed strictly to the end, to ensure candida overgrowth won’t return.
1. Candida cleanse
Before you begin with the candida diet, it’s highly recommended to start with a cleanse.
This is a short-term cleanse that will give a break for your digestive tract that works 24/7, always digesting, absorbing, and eliminating food waste for us.
There are two common ways you can do this by:
|Liquid Fasting||Vegetable Fasting|
|If it is lemon water fast or a bone broth fast, it will highly benefit and promote a healthy gut functioning. I always advise my clients to go on a bone broth fast. Bone broth is slightly less drastic compared to water fast as it is more nutritious and healing for the gut.||Eating mainly vegetables that are easy to digest along with small amounts of protein. The vegetables need to be cooked or steamed to promote easy digestion.|
2. Foods to eat to kill Candida overgrowth
It is essential to incorporate foods that help healthy gut functioning and support your good bacteria while leaving your Candida to starve.
Some of these foods include:
Non-starchy vegetables: Broccoli, kale, onions, cucumber, eggplant, zucchini, tomatoes, rutabaga, asparagus, Brussel sprouts, celery.
Low-sugar fruits: Lemon, limes, and berries are not only high in antioxidants; they are very low on sugar, which can feed your yeast and promote its growth.
Gluten-free grains: Gluten is an allergen and, therefore, avoiding gluten during the candida diet is a must. Grains such as millet, quinoa, oat bran, and buckwheat are an excellent choice to add to your diet.
Healthy fats: Avocados, olives, coconut oil, chia seed oil, and other oils high in the omega-3 fight the inflammation in your gut caused by the Candida.
Herbs and spices: Since I moved to Vietnam, I began to incorporate an endless number of herbs and spices that have an anti-inflammatory effect on the gut. Some of these are turmeric, black pepper, cinnamon, dill, garlic, ginger, thyme, basil, and rosemary.
Nuts and seeds low in the mold: these include almonds, sunflower seeds, flaxseeds, chia seeds, sesame seeds.
High-quality protein: When it comes to protein, quality always wins over quantity. Buying organic chicken, eggs, salmon, turkey, and sardines will ensure good quality protein consumption while avoiding chemicals and preservatives harmful for the gut.
Probiotics and fermented foods: Providing gut with good bacteria support a healthy microbial balance. A good and effective probiotic supplement is crucial to include along with fermented foods such as organic sauerkraut.
3. Foods to avoid to kill Candida overgrowth
A healthy microbiome is key to a healthy gut.
Achieving the ideal microbiome balance strictly depends on your diet, and therefore you need to adopt the right relationship between the foods you include and the foods you avoid.
You need to eliminate foods such as sugar, gluten, alcohol and certain dairy products that often help Candida to grow.
The list of foods you need to avoid:
High-sugar fruits: bananas, raisins, dates, grapes, and mangos.
Grains that contain gluten: ing tWheat, barley, rye, and spelt.
Processed meats: Deli meats and farm-raised fish are many times packed with nitrates, antibiotics, and preservatives harmful for the gut. This is why high-quality products are crucial.
Condiments: Ketchup, soy sauce, white vinegar, BBQ sauce, horseradish, and mayonnaise are highly processed and contain a lot of sugar.
Certain dairy products: including cheese, milk, and cream, should be avoided during the diet.
Sugar and artificial sweeteners: Aspartame, agave, cane sugar, maple syrup, molasses, and honey need to be also avoided.
Caffeine, alcohol, and sugary beverages: these include the following; coffee, caffeinated teas, energy drinks, fruit juices, beer, wine, or spirits.
Probiotic Supplements for candida overgrowth
Probiotics have been shown to prevent and treat Candida overgrowth.
The role of probiotics during the Candida cleanse is to suppress the yeast infection but not to kill the yeast too quickly. When this happens, you’ll have a large number of yeast toxins circulating in your bloodstream.
1. Type of strain/s
Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG
This specific probiotic strain has been found to prevent or minimize the growth, adhesion, and morphogenesis of Candida. (Allonsius et al., 2017)
Saccharomyces cerevisiae (boulardii)
I know it may sound weird, but this is a yeast. You may think consuming more yeast can promote the growth of Candida, but there is beneficial yeast that fights off the bad guys.
Similarly, to the good and bad bacteria, there is good and bad yeast ;).
And just like the good bacteria, this beneficial yeast is believed to reduce the risk of Candida translocating from the digestive tract to other areas. The growth of Candida is inhibited in the intestines by inducing caprylic acid, and anti-fungal substance. (Gabrielli, 2018)
Lactobacillus larhamnosus GR-1 and Lactobacillus rlyreuteri RC-14
These fascinating strains have evidence for use with both Candida albicans and Candida glabrata and are most effective when combined. (Martinez et al.,2009) (Kohler et al., 2012)
2. How powerful should my probiotic supplement be to treat candida overgrowth?
To answer this question accurately is a real challenge.
Because the severity varies from person to person, you may be a victim of candida overgrowth for years without even realizing, or you may have noticed after a couple of weeks or months (if you’re the lucky one!).
Currently, the focus in gastrointestinal research is towards antibiotics that have been FDA regulated and are able to survive the harsh stomach acids after ingestion.
A recent study found “Oral spore-based probiotic supplementation was associated with a reduced incidence of post-prandial dietary endotoxin, triglycerides, and disease risk biomarkers” and was published in the World Journal of Gastrointestinal Pathophysiology.
The study showed a reduction in dietary endotoxin, triglycerides and potential systemic inflammation making Just Thrive probiotic & antioxidant an excellent probiotic supplement for leaky gut and potentially candida overgrowth.
Suggested Read: Detailed Just Thrive Probiotic Review: By Gut Nutritionist.
3. How long should I take a probiotic supplement to treat candida overgrowth?
You may not see improvements within hours or even days, and that’s why it’s best to continue taking any probiotic supplement for at least 7-10 days to establish if they have any effect.
Many people first experience a die-off effect with flu-like symptoms, but these can be prevented if starting in small dosages and gradually increasing the strength of the probiotic.
If you notice any adverse side effects that make you feel uncomfortable such as, bloating, upset stomach or abdominal pain, half the dosage for a couple of days before symptoms ware off.
To achieve optimal health, and, depending on the severity of the overgrowth, you should take probiotic supplements between 1-3 months, at least.
What probiotic supplement is best for treatment of candida overgrowth
Probiotic supplements are a funny one when it comes to effectiveness. With a wide variety and competition, it’s hard to know what to trust.
And so, doing your research before spending a fortune will avoid getting burnt and ending to restart your healing.
The first thing you want to look at is the manufacturing process. Bacteria (a.k.a probiotics) are live creatures, and so, they are sensitive to things like heat and stomach acids.
And so, you want a probiotic that was manufactured by a unique process that protects the probiotic strains from stomach acids and enhances probiotic bacteria survival to the lower intestine where the microbiota is.
Secondly, you want to focus on a product that is specific to your problems.
One of my best recommendations is Jarrow Formulas, Women’s Fem Dophilus Veggie caps.
Be firm and fearless
The candida diet is a very strict diet. No questions asked!
But if you follow it firmly you will start to see its benefits in no time. For some, it can take days and for other weeks or even months.
The healing process all depends on how severe your candida overgrowth is.
I had clients who seen great results within days whereas for some it took a little bit longer. The bottom line is if they stick to the diet and followed it step-by-step they killed the candida overgrowth and reduced it to a healthy amount that benefited their body.
Even though there is no current strong evidence supporting the effectiveness of the candida diet, many find it transformational for their life.
Just imagine, waking up full of energy, symptom-free and happy as a clam at high tide!
If you tried the candida diet by yourself along with the recommended probiotic supplement but the candida keeps reoccurring you may want to consider hiring a nutritionist to give some further guidance to finally get to the root cause of your health problems.
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