Since the article, Candida: Which Foods To Avoid, featured last week I’ve heard from so many of our readers. My heart goes out to all of you suffering from this agonising cycle of eating, bloating, discomfort, pain and cramps and then it starts all over again. Or worse: It never goes away!
Last week I advised that the first step to healing Candida is to get diagnosed, but we all know that is much easier said than done and a diagnosis does not bring a fast solution either. After all, we all must eat and if it’s food that makes you ill, where do you begin without starving yourself.
Well I’ve spoken to a friend who’s been suffering with Candida ever since she gave birth to her first child and she admits it’s been a long battle. Here is what she said:
â€˜At first I thought I ate something slightly out of date, but when the discomfort and bloating and diarrhoea persisted I knew something was wrong. Needless to say my doctor simply brushed it off as my body adjusting and changing after the birth of my first child. But I was not having it, so I started paying attention to my eating habits and soon realised that there are certain foods that aggravate the symptoms. For instance, I always had a banana in the mornings with my coffee but quickly realised that this made me feel lethargic and caused blinding cramps in my lower abdomen. So out with bananas and the coffee and I soon felt a difference and realised more changes will have to be made. It’s been a long process but certainly one that’s worthwhile.
My friend’s story made me realise that finding a cure for Candida is as personal to each individual as the music we choose to listen to and essentially the food we eat. I also realised there is no quick fix and that Candida will force you to change your eating habits and consequently your life.
Nature heals what nature harms
So what’s left after you take cheese, fruit, caffeine, bread, pasta, sugar, alcohol, chocolate and various other foods from your diet? And how do you go about tackling Candida.
The first step to remember is that you need to starve the Candida yeast. But before you do this with a food elimination diet, you need to do a detox. Cut out all coffee, tea and juices for at least a month. Drink plenty of water to help your body detoxify and start your day with a cup of hot water and lemon juice (there is no need to eliminate lemon juice even though it is a fruit).
Start with your food elimination diet by incorporating the following food groups in your diet.
Vegetables: Some vegetables like raw garlic, onions, cabbage, broccoli, turnip and kale will actually inhibit the growth of Candida. Buy your vegetables fresh and steam them. Add a little garlic for flavour (garlic is also helpful with Candida). Eat plenty of salads with raw salad vegetables such as celery and peppers to help detox and to help energy. Not only do vegetables starve the Candida of its sugar and mould diet, they also absorb fungal poisons and carry them out of your body.
Keep starchy vegetables like potatoes and yams to a minimum.
Proteins: As part of your plan to starve the Candida yeast, feel free to eat plenty of high-protein meals. Foods like beef, chicken, fish and eggs are all good for you anyway and are almost completely free of sugars and mould. They will fill you up while restricting the Candida’s appetite and growth. Other supplements can also help, whey protein being a good example.
Live yogurt cultures: Live yogurt cultures (or probiotics) are a class of supplement that help your gut to repopulate itself with good bacteria. They are especially useful or when suffering from Candida. The live bacteria in yogurt will crowd out the Candida yeast and restore balance to your system.
Good bacteria will also produce antifungal enzymes that can help you fight Candida.
Nuts and seeds: Another protein option that starves Candida and restricts its growth. Avoid peanuts, peanut butter, and pistachios as they tend to have a higher mould content. Also consider soaking other nuts in water to remove any mould on the outside (spraying with a diluted grapefruit seed extract solution is even better).
Non-glutinous grains: Wheat and rye are off the menu but there are other grains that you can eat. If you like toast in the morning, try millet bread instead of your usual brand. Rice can be eaten for a Candida diet, but get brown rice or preferably wild rice. For cereal at breakfast, try a low-sugar variety with oat bran.
In my previous alert I recommended that fruit needs to be eliminated from you diet if you suffer with Candida. However, this is not all fruit. Your diet can still accommodate some papaya, pineapple, grapefruit and all types of berries.
Any Candida diet should strive to reduce or eliminate processed refined sugars and bleached flour. Eliminate meats treated with synthetic hormones or chemicals. Eliminate hydrogenated fats (peanut butter, baked goods and margarine, etc.). Reduce processed and refined foods as much as possible. Instead eat nutrient-rich, organic, non- processed whole foods and plenty of fresh raw vegetables. Prepare most of your food yourself.
This diet is recommended as a guideline for someone who has never carried out an elimination diet before. Those with mild Candida symptoms may want to try it for 3 months to evaluate if it helps, those with severe symptoms should seek the help of a nutritionist or natural health practitioner with a case history of success with long term Candida sufferers.
In next week’s follow-up alert, I will look at natural remedies that can help relieve the symptoms of Candida in addition to applying a food elimination diet.
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Foods to Eat on the Candida Diet, published online, thecandidadiet.com
Candida Diet recommendations, published online, greatestherbsonearth.com
Anti Candida Diet, published online, synergy-health.co.uk
Candida Diet, published online, pureliquidgold.com