While diet cannot cure acid reflux or candida, also known as candidiasis, it can help manage the symptoms. Avoiding certain foods can help prevent exacerbation of acid reflux. Probiotics may help prevent the bacteria colonization that can lead to candidiasis. Overall, a balanced diet full of vegetables, fruit, healthy fats and lean protein can give the body the nutrition it needs to alleviate symptoms.
Dietary and Lifestyle Recommendations for Acid Reflux
Gastroesophageal reflux disease occurs when stomach contents enter your throat, a movement known as reflux. To prevent reflux, avoid bending, lying down or intense exercise after eating. Also, avoid eating heavy meals, especially ones that include trigger foods including alcohol, chocolate, fatty foods such as full-fat milk, spearmint and peppermint. Minimize your intake of acidic foods and drinks, caffeinated drinks and decaffeinated coffee to help manage the disease. Losing weight can also help alleviate reflux disease. Skipping bedtime snacks and raising the head of your bed 6 inches may help prevent reflux symptoms at night.
Nutrition for Reflux
The University of Maryland Medical Center recommends eating colorful foods high in antioxidants, including blueberries, cherries and bell peppers. You should also go for foods high in B vitamins and calcium, such as almonds, beans and spinach. Avoiding trans fats -- found in cookies, crackers, cakes and french fries -- and eating healthier fats, such as those found in oils, may help to reduce symptoms. Omega-3 fatty acids, found in fatty fish, flax and walnuts, may help lower inflammation. Drinking six to eight glasses of water daily may help reduce symptoms as well.
Diet Recommendations for Candida
Candidiasis is caused by a fungus known as Candida albicans. Proponents of the candida diet suggest eliminating simple sugars because candida lives on sugar. However, it is unclear if elimination of sugar does get rid of candida or if a healthy diet helps make people feel better. Supplementation with probiotics, also known as good bacteria, may be beneficial. In a small study published in Mycopathologia in 2013, researchers fed women probiotic yogurt during two 15-day consumption periods, collecting oral and vaginal swabs before and after the test period. Initially, a little more than half of the subjects had vaginal fungal colonization, but while consuming probiotic-containing yogurt, the percentage dropped to only 29 to 38 percent of the women. More research is needed to confirm these results.
Special Considerations for Reflux and Candida Disease
Before taking any supplements, consult your doctor. The University of Maryland Medical Center recommends a multivitamin that contain A, C, E and B vitamins to help reduce inflammation and keep the immune system strong. Taking omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids twice a day may help reduce inflammation but can also increase risk of bleeding, especially if you take prescription blood-thinning medications or aspirin. Probiotic supplements that contain live organisms of Lactobacillus acidophilus may help restore and maintain good bacteria in your gut. If you have a weak immune system or are taking drugs that suppress your immune system, however, proceed with caution.
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease
- Haelan Centre: Combating Candida Albicans
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Candidiasis
- Mycopathologia: Impact of Eating Probiotic Yogurt on Colonization by Candida Species of the Oral and Vaginal Mucosa in HIV-Infected and HIV-Uninfected Women