Candida albicans, a yeast, is a normal component of the human microbiome. It can survive on your skin and in your stomach without harming you. This commensal fungus helps your body perform a variety of essential tasks.
Although this fungus is typically harmless, an overpopulation of it can cause sickness. Overgrowth of this fungus, however, can disturb the healthy flora, resulting in a fungal infection. Candida albicans are, in fact, the most prevalent cause of fungal infections in humans (1).
It can induce severe candidiasis, such as oral thrush and vaginal yeast infections, or it can enter the bloodstream and spread to other organs in the body, including the kidneys, liver, and heart valves, causing illness and even death. Candida yeast infections are more common in those who have diabetes, have compromised immune systems, or are taking antibiotics. According to the evidence, infections typically begin with a fungal overgrowth in the patient’s stomach and spread to other places throughout the body (2).
The best strategy to control these yeast infections and prevent them from becoming deadly is to avoid them in the first place. Diet plays an essential part in controlling the yeast population in your mouth and gut, so let’s dive into some of the best foods you should add to your cart during your next grocery trip.
Green organic vegetables
Green organic veggies with little to no carbohydrates but high in other health-promoting elements will help you recover from a yeast infection faster. Broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, lettuce, and parsley are some of the most popular.
Yeast thrives in a Ph range of 2.5 to 8.0, and leafy greens like spinach, broccoli, and lettuce help promote good bacterial growth by making your body a more neutral Ph. They also have high levels of magnesium and chlorophyll, which aid in the removal of toxins from your system. Furthermore, their high iron content and vitamins C and B boost your vitality and immunity.
Avoid Sugar-Rich Food
Candida yeast proliferates when consuming sugar and processed carbohydrate foods. Yeast infections are often caused by processed sugar, such as white or brown sugar manufactured from cane and simple sweeteners (3).
Yeast cells use sugar or carbohydrates to proliferate quickly and cause an infection. Cutting off their food source makes it challenging for the fungus to thrive and flourish. For this reason, you should consume fewer starchy vegetables such as potatoes, cooked carrots, beets, and radishes. The goal is to incorporate these high-carb veggies into a healthy, well-balanced diet. You may use them in recipes, salads, or even juice occasionally.
The Candida diet also suggests taking probiotics or yogurt with live cultures of the well-known bacterium Lactobacillus acidophilus. This diet suggestion is highlighted as some bacteria naturally dwell in the digestive system, on the skin, and elsewhere on the body, where they aid in digestion and other essential activities. As a result, probiotics can help restore the body’s normal bacterial balance, preventing Candida yeast from overgrowing and infecting the body (4). So probiotics are a popular natural or home remedy for treating or preventing yeast infections (5).
Coconut and olive oils
Coconut oil and olive oil are two edible oils with antifungal characteristics that may aid in preventing candida infections due to their fatty acid makeup of these oils. Coconut oil contains around 50% lauric acid, making it one of the richest dietary sources of this chemical, which is uncommonly abundant in food. According to research, lauric acid is particularly powerful against Candida yeasts (6).
One plant food with antifungal effects is garlic. The antifungal properties are due to allicin; a chemical produced when fresh garlic is crushed or destroyed (7).
Garlic has anti-candida action, inhibiting fat formation inside yeast cells, and limiting their survival and proliferation. Allicin produces when raw garlic is chopped, but cooking entirely inactivates or destroys it. To get the most out of garlic’s therapeutic benefits, consume it raw. You can eat 2 to 3 raw garlic bulbs daily, add them to salads, or sprinkle them on other meals.
Garlic can also be taken medicinally as a powder or supplement, but visit your doctor first to confirm its safety and proper dosage.
Cranberry juice has anti-fungal properties that help prevent yeast’s proliferation in the mouth and gut.
Curcumin is one of the primary active ingredients in turmeric. Studies show that curcumin may inhibit yeasts’ capacity to connect to cells (8).
Curcumin has been shown to be more effective than the antifungal medication fluconazole. Curcumin’s antifungal action against Candida albicans was shown to be greater with increasing doses (9). The simplest approach to boost your turmeric consumption is to use it more in your cooking. The good news is that this versatile spice complements a wide range of meals.
These foods include live organisms that act to ‘ferment’ the product, such as milk-based yogurt or cheese or cabbage-based kimchi. When we eat these foods, we also benefit from the beneficial microorganisms in them because they help restore a healthy bacterial balance in the gut. Kimchi, Sauerkraut, and Pickled vegetables are some of the best probiotic foods for vegetarians and vegans (10).
Nuts and seeds
Nuts and seeds provide several health advantages. They significantly function in yeast infection prevention and metabolic regulation in the body. Flax seeds, Almond Flesh and milk, are some grocery store nuts and seeds that are healthy for your health and can help you stop Candida. Coconut, Chia seeds, walnuts, hazelnuts, Pumpkin, and sunflower seeds are also helpful in preventing yeast infection (11).
Candida overgrowth may be the underlying cause of many chronic health issues. It can accumulate over time, and symptoms may not be noticeable initially. A three-part supportive therapy to prevent yeast infection includes the
- Eliminate Candida-proliferating foods
- Replenish the intestine with healthy bacteria
- Maintain proper hygiene to eliminate yeast that is causing the infection.
Most individuals benefit from doing a Candida cleanse and eliminating sugar and yeast-promoting items from their diet for a period of time. Cleaning up one’s diet, adding high-quality probiotics, and cutting back on sugar can help individuals get back on track to good health and aid with yeast infection prevention.