Your gut contains billions of microorganisms that aid in digestive and immune system health. A disruption in the balance of these organisms, from antibiotic use, stress and a poor diet that is high in sugar, can lead to yeast overgrowth, or Candida albicans. Symptoms of candida include sugar cravings, fatigue, mouth sores, bloating, nausea and constipation as well as frequent flus and colds. You can help prevent and fight candida by changing your lifestyle and diet to include low-sugar, candida-killing foods.
Fats and Oils
Include healthy fats and oils in your diet to kill off candida overgrowth. Healthy fats are essential for nutrient absorption and hormone regulation while also serving as a source of energy for physical and mental activities. Consume monounsaturated fats found in olive oil to stimulate the immune system and lower high blood sugar levels, which lead to yeast overgrowth. In general, saturated fats should be reduced in the diet as they increase risks of heart disease. But coconut oil, a saturated fat, can help prevent and overcome candida due to its anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-viral properties. Consume 1 to 2 tablespoons of oils per day straight from a spoon or use the oil to cook vegetables or as a salad dressing
Low-sugar, nonstarchy vegetables can help kill off candida overgrowth. Lisa Richards, author of "The Candida Diet," recommends eating rutabaga and onions, both potent fungal fighters. Try eating a small amount of rutabaga initially to see if it helps ease symptoms, since it can increase candida symptoms in some individuals. Onions help flush excess fluid from the body, so they have the added benefit of relieving bloat caused by candida. Cruciferous veggies including broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage have compounds containing sulfur and nitrogen. These compounds, known as isothiocyanates, kill candida.
Herbs and Spices
Attack candida with herbs and spices including ginger, cinnamon, cayenne pepper, garlic and cloves. Dr. Amy Myers, owner of UltraHealth clinic in Austin, Texas, writes that raw garlic is one of the best anti-fungal foods, and cinnamon, an anti-inflammatory spice, denatures and damages yeast to aid in the dying-off process. Anti-inflammatory compounds gingerols and shogaols make ginger a moderate fungal killer while also assisting the liver during the candida detoxing process.
Seaweed is another nutritionally rich food that can help the body fight off candida overgrowth. Seaweed helps to eliminate heavy metals and toxins from the body through the digestive tract. It is also a source of iodine, which aids in balancing thyroid levels, particularly helpful for candida sufferers who commonly experience hypothyroidism or symptoms of fatigue, weight gain, skin problems and mental fog.
- The Candida Diet: 10 Foods That Will Fight Your Candida
- Food Matters: How to Overcome Candida Naturally
- Amy Myers, MD: 10 Foods to Fight Candida
- Eating Alive: Prevention Thru Good Digestion; Dr. Jonn Matsen, ND
- The Candida Diet: Candida Symptoms
- The Candida Diet: Candida: Is This Often Misdiagnosed Condition Making You Ill?