You have yeast. “What?” You ask. You have fungus. “What?” You scream. Well we all have yeast and fungus. It’s just they’re supposed to live in harmony with other bacteria in our bodies. But many of us are a little to a lot out of whack. According to Prescriptions for Nutritional Healing, “Candida Albicans is a type of parasitic yeast like fungus that inhabits the intestines, genital tract, mouth, esophagus and throat.” Candida Albicans is the most common species of yeast related to Candidiasis.
This yeast like fungus can multiply out of control and voyage from the gut through the blood wreaking havoc on our immune systems causing all sorts of complaints and discomforts. The list of ailments related to Candidiasis seem endless; fatigue, IBS, dizziness, bad breath, insomnia, yeast infections, vaginitus, ear infections, constipation, depression, lethargy, moodiness, loss of memory, rectal itching, joint and muscle pain, bloated, blurred vision, severe sugar cravings, arthritis, chronic heartburn, itchiness, cankers, sinusitis, thrush, athletes foot, the list goes on.
Once it takes root, this persistent bugger won’t give way without a valiant effort on our part. Candida can spread and thrive for years until we’re finally sick enough to complain about it. There are many ways to throw our intestinal bacteria balance out of kilter; prolonged or repeated use of antibiotics, large amounts of sugar or alcohol ingested over time, oral contraceptives, HRT, corticosteroids, and chemotherapy.
Since many of us are already cleansing, I thought I’d talk about the anti-Candida diet and what it entails. It’s not easy! It’s much harder to follow than The Community Cleanse, but it works. I did my time on the Candida Cleanse when I was sick. It requires that we stick to it pretty much 100% for it to be truly effective.
Foods to Avoid:
- Sugar (all sugar including cane sugar, glucose, fructose, corn syrup, honey, maple syrup)
- Grains containing gluten – no wheat (no white flour of whole wheat, including pastas made with durum semolina), oats, barley, or rye
- Corn (read labels because, like sugar and wheat, corn is in LOTS of foods)
- Processed and refined foods (luncheon meats, hydrogenated, color, preservatives, food additives, MSG, nitrites, nitrates, all fast food chains)
- Dairy (plain yogurt with nothing else added is okay)
- Caffeine (including coffee, black teas, chocolate, cacao)
- White rice (eat brown rice)
- Red meat
- Peanuts, pistachios
- Vinegar (apple cider vinegar is okay)
- No table salt (use sea salt)
- Limit fruit (only 1-2 pieces of non-sweet fruit per day). Many proponents of the Candida diet omit fruit all together. However, I’ve seen more people succeed by allowing 1-2 pieces.
- No fruit juice
- No dried fruit
- No active yeast, or Brewer’s yeast (inactive) – e.g. no yeast in any breads
- Artificial sweeteners (including Splenda, aspartame and so on)
Foods to Include:
- LOTS of vegetables
- Fiber – like oat bran, flax meal, and chia seeds
- Non-sweet fruit limited to 1-2 pieces per day – green apples, grapefruit, berries, (this is seriously limited)
- Grains and flours made from quinoa, millet, buckwheat, spelt, amaranth, and brown rice
- Quality protein – free-range, wild, organic meats like chicken, turkey, fish, and eggs
- Drink herbal teas; dandelion, milk thistle, astragulus, and green tea is okay
- Put apple cider vinegar or lemon in your water at least twice per day. You can also mix lemon, cayenne and ginger in water.
- Use organic, first pressed extra virgin olive oil or extra virgin coconut oil for cooking
- Eat fresh, raw nuts and seeds like almonds, pumpkin seeds, Brazil nuts, pecans, sesame seeds, pine nuts. Make sure they’re fresh, rancid nuts carry mold.
- Stevia can be used to sweeten food.
- Use sea salt
Supplements are also used to kill Candida and reintroduce the good bacteria. You can purchase a Candida cleanse supplement kit or take caprylic acid, grapefruit seed extract, a multi-vitamin, essential fatty acids, acidophilus / probiotics, digestive enzymes, B-vitamins (at least 100mg), quercetin and vitamin C. Low levels of calcium, magnesium and vitamin D are also found in those with Candidiasis.
Since I’ve already had the pleasure of experiencing the Candida Cleanse (many times over), I’ve decided to stick with The Community Cleanse for now. However, I no longer show signs of systemic Candidiasis. If you’re interested in a more challenging cleanse or have a barrage of the complaints listed above, you might want to step it up a notch.
Prescriptions for Nutritional Healing; Balch M.D., James, Balch C.N.C., Phyllis; Avery Publishing Group; New York; 1993.
Eating Alive – Prevention Thru Good Digestion; Dr. Matsen N.D., Jonn; Crompton Books, Ltd.; Vancouver, B.C.; 1987.