Candida and Beans

Your intestines are home to trillions of microorganisms that help you digest food, aid your immune system and perform important metabolic functions. Some holistic medicine proponents believe that overgrowth of one of these microorganisms, a type of yeast called Candida albicans, causes weight gain, fatigue, joint pain, depression and irritability. Eating a special candida diet may help to alleviate your symptoms. Beans are only allowed during later stages of the diet. Before beginning the plan, speak with a physician about its safety for you.

Close-up of a bowl of beans. (Image: George Doyle/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

Candida Growth

Alternative medicine practitioners believe that the presence of sugars in the intestines triggers candida overgrowth. They may recommend that people with candida syndrome correct their diet to improve their symptoms. The purpose of a candida diet is to restrict carbohydrate intake, starving candida yeast. Beans fall under this ban because of their high carbohydrate content.

Detoxification Phase

The candida diet begins with a detoxification phase. During this initial stage, dieters must eliminate all additives, preservatives and sugars from their meals. No fruits, starchy vegetables or processed foods are permitted during the detox phase. The ban on starchy vegetables extends to beans, which contain high levels of carbohydrates that can trigger candida growth. Dieters must avoid azuki beans, black beans, chickpeas, lima beans, kidney beans, pinto beans and split peas for the duration of the detox phase, which typically lasts three weeks. Green string beans contain fewer carbohydrates than other beans, so they are acceptable for the candida cleanse phase.

Reintroducing Foods

After three weeks of adhering to a strict cleansing plan, candida dieters may begin reintroducing foods into their meals. The Candida Diet website reports that beans have antifungal properties, making them an important part of the later stages of the candida diet. Beans also contain high amounts of fiber, helping your body to eliminate waste from your colon. Test your reaction to beans by eating a small portion and assessing your symptoms of candida syndrome.

Considerations

After the detoxification phase of the candida diet, beans are a permissible food. However, dieters should avoid eating too many beans, because they often cause gastrointestinal discomfort. The Candida Diet website recommends that dieters restrict their bean consumption to 1/2 cup no more than three times per week. This allows you to receive the valuable fiber and antifungal properties of beans without triggering candida growth. Consider soaking and cooking dried beans rather than eating canned beans to improve your body's ability to digest them.

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