Jock Itch & Diet

Although no one likes to admit they have it, jock itch, a symptom of a fungus overgrowth, can result in a maddening itch in the genital region. Related to the same fungus that causes athlete's foot and ringworm, jock itch is the result of a fungal infestation in the groin area, so named because male athletes frequently develop the condition beneath their protective jock straps, where heat and moisture provide the perfect environment for the fungus to grow. Certain types of foods may increase your risk of developing jock itch.

Jock Itch Basics

Jock itch, or tinea cruris, is caused by tiny fungi called dermatohpytes, which is one of a number of fungi in the candida family. Theoretically, consuming a diet high in foods that do not promote the growth of fungi may be beneficial in reducing the risk of jock itch.

Beneficial Diet

Eat a diet low in refined carbohydrates and yeast products, suggests Beneficial diet items include meat and poultry, nuts and seeds, eggs, live yogurt culture, vegetables, especially garlic, which is an antifungal, and grains that are not glutenous, such as rice, oat bran and millet.

Detrimental Foods recommends avoiding some types of foods to decrease the risk of developing jock itch and other fungal infections. These include chocolates, sweets, mushrooms, aged cheese, wheat and other glutenous grains, dried fruits, vinegar and fermented foods, alcohol and baked goods that contain yeast.


While a diet that includes antifungal foods may reduce the severity of jock itch or help prevent a new flare-up, it may not be enough to get rid of an existing condition. See your doctor if symptoms of jock itch do not go away within a few days with diet alterations. There are conventional antifungal medications and ointments your doctor can prescribe to treat jock itch.

Additional Considerations

The tinea cruris fungus may spread from person to person, so do not share towels in the locker room or clothing items. In addition to eating a diet that is not conducive to fungal infections, shower with antifungal body wash if you must use a communal shower. Wear shower shoes and launder your workout clothing and towels after every use.

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