Candida, a yeast-like fungus, lives in every person’s body and normally does not cause any issues. Sometimes it can grow unchecked and excess can build up in areas like the vagina, intestines and mouth. Some health care practitioners believe excess yeast contributes to a wide range of health problems including body odor. This remains a matter of debate in the medical community, but if you believe excess candida might be contributing to body odor, certain dietary changes can reduce yeast growth.
Link Between Yeast and Body Odor
Edward F. Group, chiropractor, herbalist and certified clinical nutritionist, explains that systemic yeast infections cause yeast to convert sugar into alcohols that can contribute to body odor. Additionally, yeast typically overgrows when the intestine does not contain enough of the friendly bacteria that prevent yeast and other substances from growing out of control. According to Group, testing has shown people who suffer from body odor tend to have lower levels of these beneficial bacteria.
Cutting Back on Refined Sugars
According to chiropractor and integrative medicine specialist Rodger Murphree, candida feeds on sugar. He recommends cutting out all forms of added sugars as best you can for three months to eradicate excess intestinal yeast. This means avoiding any processed food that lists sugar as an ingredient. Many ingredients indicate the presence of sugar including maltose, dextrose, maltodextrin, cane juice, cane syrup and high fructose corn syrup. He also suggests avoiding milk products, which contain the milk sugar lactose, fruit juice and dried fruit. Yogurt is one exception because it contains the friendly bacteria necessary to combat yeast. Once the three months has passed, you should do your best to limit your intake of sugar.
Other Carbohydrate Considerations
Cynthia Perkins, a nutritional counselor, also cautions against eating foods high in carbohydrates in large amounts. Examples include grains like rice and wheat, beans, corn, sweet potatoes, yams, potatoes and squash. She recommends eating the grains quinoa, amaranth and kamut. Fruits contain sugar as well in the form of fructose, and Perkins recommends sticking to lower-fruit sugars such as pears and berries of all kinds.
When eating to reduce candida growth, you should focus on lean proteins and low-carbohydrate vegetables. Acceptable proteins include meats and fish of all kinds but avoid processed versions like cold cuts. Low-carbohydrate vegetables include broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, spinach, peppers, onions, garlic, lettuce, cucumbers, zucchini, avocados and tomatoes. Murphree says you can eat nuts and seeds, but only in small amounts
Probiotic supplements can help replenish your supply of good bacteria. Group recommends supplementing with products that contain the strains lactobacillus acidolphilus or bifidobacterium.