Saturday, March 19, 2011
Candida and The Diet
Candida is a condition that is much more prevalent than we think. I have several friends who suffer from it, and by changing their diets they have found immense if not total relief. Candida occurs when there is too much yeast in the system. We naturally have some quantities of yeast in our bodies, but when there is an overload, the immune system rebels and unleashes a host of symptoms such as bladder and kidney infection, diarrhea, constipation, vaginitis, jock itch, athlete’s foot, conjunctivitis, sore throat, muscle and joint pain, and more. It is essential for those of you suffering from Candida to stay away from yeast in order to avoid these debilitating symptoms. As you fortify your body with healing foods, you allow your system to detoxify and eventually become restored to its natural healthy balance.
Fish, Fowl, and Red Meat
Of the three, the best protein here is from fish, but only those that are free range and non-farm raised. Fowl is okay too, but here again, only if it is free-range and brought up on organic feed. Red meat can be difficult to digest, which is taxing for the body when it is already trying to deal with the exigencies of Candida. It is best when you are just beginning your Candida diet to avoid heavy protein such as meats and opt for a lighter food such as fish and legumes.
If you prefer to get your protein from vegetable sources, there are many delicious legumes that go well on a Candida diet. Lentils, garbanzos, split and black-eyed peas are great choices, as well as soybeans and the foods made from them, such as tofu.
As we all know, vegetables contain an abundance of essential vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Eaten either raw or steamed, it is important that you buy organic veggies to ensure that there are no pesticides or other toxins that can further irritate your internal system. Candida sufferers should eat plenty of asparagus, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, celery, chard, cucumbers, ginger, kale, radishes, spinach, turnips, and watercress, along with lots of garlic and onions, which contain anti-fungal properties. Wheatgrass is another excellent choice, along with freshly blended juice combinations like carrot, beat, celery and garlic.
A Candida diet does not support many fruits because of their fructose and high acidic content, however there are a few that are safe to eat. Grapefruit, papaya, and pineapple are good, a well as any type of berry. You can also eat small amounts of fresh lemon, which can be added to juice drinks or as a salad dressing.
Seeds and Nuts
Sesame, sunflower, pumpkin, and poppy seeds are all completely acceptable if you suffer from Candida. Sprinkling any of these on a salad is a delicious way to get extra vitamin and mineral content. Almonds, Brazil nuts, cashews, hazel nuts, macadamia nuts, pecans, and pine nuts make delicious snacks for nibbling on throughout the day and can help stave off a craving for sweets.
Grains are an excellent way to get those complex carbohydrates into your body, and taken in moderation can be fine for Candida sufferers. Some choices are amaranth, whole barley, buckwheat, air popped popcorn, millet, oat bran, quinoa, wild, brown, or basmati rice, cream of rye cereal, spelt, teff, wheat berries, bulgur, and soba, buckwheat, or udon noodles.
It is extremely important to maintain well-balanced intestinal flora to help with proper digestion, which means an addition of acidophilus, bifidobacteria, and lactobacilli. Plain yogurt without sweeteners, an acidophilus drink, or capsules containing the above are ways to ensure you get your daily probiotic dose. Spirulina and chlorella or other green algae also provide the necessary good bacteria that create the enzymes that combat Candida. Any probiotic in pill form should be taken with meals.
There are several condiments that can be added to flavor foods without promoting the growth of yeast. These include fresh herbs, sea salt, pepper, unfermented soy sauce (tamari), and raw organic apple cider vinegar.
I cannot stress enough the importance of drinking water, water, and more water throughout the day to flush away toxins produced by Candida. One drink that is especially helpful in eliminating waste is a cup of hot water with the juice of half a lemon.
With just a little bit of discipline it is easy to convert to a balanced Candida diet that will make you feel refreshed and help you become yeast-free. Love your body and treat yourself like the precious being you are.