Candida infections are one of the most common fungal infections in the United States, but most people don’t realize how severe they can become if left untreated.
If you don’t take the proper steps to clear up an infection, you won’t just be incredibly uncomfortable and have to live with the trademark uncomfortable burning and itching.
You also allow the yeast infection to potentially develop into something much worse – something that will make much longer to treat and may even lead to scarring and fertility issues down the line.
So, what’s the solution?
For many, especially those who suffer from frequent candida infections, it’s to give the candida diet a try.
But what exactly is an antifungal diet, and how does it help to kick candida to the curb?
Keep reading to learn more.
What Makes the Candida Diet Effective?
Though about 75% of women will experience at least one candida infection in their lifetime, for 5-8% of the female population, these infections occur more than four times a year.
But what causes these infections?
It’s important to know that candida is actually a fungus that exists in everyone’s body. It lives in your gut microbiome and helps to keep your immune system in good working order.
However, infections occur when there’s a sudden overgrowth of that candida. Here are eight signs that you have a candida infection.
If you’re pregnant, have diabetes, have a weaker immune system, use certain vaginal cleansers, if you’re on antibiotics, or even if you just are genetically predisposed to yeast infections, you’re much more likely to develop a candida infection.
The same goes if, in addition to or in lieu of any of these issues, you also have a poor diet.
The candida diet helps to “restore order” in your gut, ensures that candida growth is kept to normal levels, and to create a safe bacterial balance in the gut.
The Candida Cleanse
The first step within the diet is what’s known as the “candida detox” phase.
The good news is that you only have to stick with the most restrictive part of the diet for about 48 hours.
The goal here is to eat only vegetables and one small portion of plain protein (like chicken or salmon) a day. If you really want to go all out on the candida detox phase, you can drink only organic bone broth and water with lemon.
Because you’re going to be seriously restricting your calories for two days, you should speak with a medical professional before you begin the cleanse phase.
What Not to Eat
The candida overgrowth diet is actually somewhat similar to the paleo diet – which means that, once the 48-hour cleanse portion is over, the diet likely isn’t as restrictive as you may have feared.
Of course, there are rules.
First of all, you’ll need to cut out any added sugars. This is because candida actually uses these sugars to boost its cellular growth, meaning that it can spread much faster than normal. Sugar also allows candida to sneak into your immune system undetected.
This means you’ll need to cut out all processed foods, most fruits sports drinks/soda, teas, yeast bread, and even honey.
You should also go gluten-free, meaning that rye, barley, and wheat are all no-gos (luckily, there are still lots of gluten-free pasta options available). Avoid deli meats and farmed fish, nuts and seeds, dressings/condiments, and caffeine and alcohol.
The good news is that you only have to give up these things on for about two weeks. However, you’ll be amazed by just how sweet and how much more flavorful natural foods will taste after going without sugar.
What You Can Eat
Yes, you’ll certainly have to make some tough sacrifices when you’re on the candida diet.
But there are still plenty of delicious things you can eat while you’re cutting yeast out of your diet – and these foods have plenty of other wonderful health benefits, too.
Fruits that are low in sugar, like lemons and limes, are perfect seasoning options. You’re also clear to season your food with coconut oil, olive oil, ginger, oregano, salt, rosemary, and turmeric.
You can also enjoy proteins like chicken, eggs, sardines, turkey, and herring (go organic only).
The bulk of your diet, however, should be made up of non-starchy vegetables like broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, eggplant, spinach, kale, cucumber, onions, and asparagus.
Oat bran and quinoa are also ok to eat, as is butter, ghee, plain yogurt (unsweetened, of course) and kefir.
We also suggest that you take a once-daily probiotic supplement to keep your bacteria levels in check. Try to exercise at a mild to moderate level, and get as close to 7-8 hours of sleep a night as you can.
This will help to keep your immune system in great shape over the course of the diet.
Ready to Give the Candida Diet a Try?
Whether you’re tired of dealing with recurrent candida infections, or if you just feel like your gut health isn’t where you want it to be, there are a plethora of reasons why it’s worth giving the candida diet a try.
In addition to ending the candida overgrowth in your system, cutting out processed and unhealthy foods even for just a short time will make you feel more energized, happier, and may even help you to lose weight.
Need a few more diet and exercise tips? Want advice on how to lose weight the healthy way – and how to keep it off?
We’re here to help.
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