Beginner’s Guide to Candida Diet: How it works?

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Candida Diet

Overgrowth of yeast may cause a number of problems ranging from mental to physical and cognitive according to experts. For this very reason, they recommend a candida diet that is a low sugar and carb diet to get rid of the excess yeast and bring back your gut’s balance. But the process does not come without depreciators. The most important point is that the benefits of this diet have no proof behind them but the candida improves your eating habits.

Estimated reading time: 11 minutes


Definition

Candida belongs to the family of yeast that mostly thrives on the skin or inside our bodies. There is a whole bunch of this yeast approximately a hundred in number but a number of these yeasts give you fungal infections if they multiply to a great extent and then it can’t be controlled or if they mix with the organs or your bloodstream. This is according to a report presented by CDC and the infection is named candidiasis.

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There are about 150 known species of candida thriving in different parts of the body. They help in nutrient absorption and digestion after having food.


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Symptoms of infection

  • Nausea 
  • Diarrhoea, constipation or bloating
  • Chronic Fatigue 
  • Skin problems like rashes and eczema
  • Frequent infections in the urinary tract
  • Mood swings and irritation
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Pain in the joints

Out of so many candida species that reside in our bodies only fifteen of them can give you an infection. The most common of them to give you infection is Candida Albicans as most of the cases to date claimed it to be the culprit.


Risks Leading to Infection

  • Diet high in sugar and refined carbs
  • High consumption of alcohol
  • High levels of stress
  • Microbiota imbalance
  • Not using catheters in the right manner
  • Antibiotics or pills used for controlling birth
  • Diagnosed with diabetes mellitus
  • Weakened immune system

In case you’ve got any of these symptoms that may be risky try changing them by bringing changes in your lifestyle or the types of diets you follow. Try incorporating stress management and meditation in your daily schedule.


Can you see the overgrowth of Candida?

Typically it resides deep in your mucosal membranes or gut and is not visible to the naked eye. But when it begins to overgrown it can be seen as a thick white layer on some parts of your body. For example, the thrush that forms on your tongue or as a vaginal yeast infection.

It can reach the sinus cavity sometimes that may cause itching, excess formation of mucus and congestion. 


How does the Candida diet work?

In spite of the fact that numerous studies have inspected the risk issues of the overgrowth of candida the treatments for it are not consistent and have not been researched well. Hence switching over to a candida diet is your best option. The diet does away with alcohol, some dairy products, gluten, harm causing additives and sugar and incorporates fruits containing low sugar, gluten-free food and vegetables with no starch. This is how it lowers the level of food substances that help the overgrowth of candida.


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What does the diet include and exclude?

The candida diet prohibits gluten as it is said that it can damage the inner lining of your intestine though there is no scientific evidence agreeing with this claim. Exceptionally high sugar consumption may lead to the worsening of the infection in individuals who do not have a strong immune system. A diet rich in carbs may increase the number of candida in your body. The risk of increased infection due to this is lacking.

The diet prohibits a few dairy products. This is because lactose, which is the sugar naturally found in milk, may invigorate the growth of candida by increasing the level of acids in the mouth but still has no scientific evidence. Food products that contain artificial ingredients, pesticides, preservatives and high mold are also not allowed. Though there is no link between preservatives, molds or pesticides with increasing the risk of infections caused by candida.

Caffeine and liquor are discouraged so as to support a healthier lifestyle and avoid cheating while following diets. In all the candida diet was made to decrease inflammation and include healthy food products that are beneficial for your gut and body and additionally reduce the overgrowth of candida gradually. But still, there is no solid evidence that can prove that the diet is actually effective.


Candida Cleansing

Before you start with your candida diet it is recommended to go on a candida cleanse. This diet lasts for only a short span of time that is believed to reduce any kind of stress your digestive tract is facing and helps release the toxins present in your body. This cleanse will prepare you for your upcoming candida diet. But still, there is no scientific evidence backing these claims.

There are two ways you can cleanse the candida. The first is by consuming only liquids for example lemon water and the second is by consuming only vegetables like steamed vegetables or salads with a small ratio of protein and nothing more excluding that.

A few individuals may encounter negative indications while going through a cleanse, such as weakness, migraines, temperament swings or changed sleep patterns. Remember that you should not continue cleaning for more than a week. After completing the cleansing phase you may go ahead with the diet but remember to follow the correct guidelines.

There’s no particular timetable when it comes to the candida diet. Some people may experience positive effects in a matter of weeks while some can take months. The best option is to consult a professional so that you do not have any negative effects.


Things to consider before starting the diet

Do not be hasty. Rather than excluding sugar, gluten and caffeine altogether from your diet, you should remove them one by one or it will be very difficult for you to adjust to a sudden change. Remember that this is not going to be your diet plan forever. You have to follow that particular diet so that your symptoms and conditions can be improved. Don’t consider it as a long term thing.


What food items to Consume?

Try adding the food products given below to your candida diet.

  • Fruits containing low levels of sugar such as lemon, berries and lime but consume in low amounts.
  • Vegetables that contain no starch such as Asparagus, cabbage, kale, cucumber, onion, zucchini, rutabaga, tomatoes, spinach, eggplant, celery, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts that should be consumed steamed or boiled.
  • Grains that do not contain gluten such as quinoa, buckwheat, oat bran, and millets.
  • Food products that are rich in protein such as chicken, salmon, sardines, turkey, and eggs. They should be organic, wild-caught or raised in pastures.
  • Healthy fats such as olives, flex oil, sesame oil, olive oil (extra virgin), coconut oil (unrefined), and avocado.
  • The only dairy products to be consumed are ghee, butter, plain yoghurt or organic kefir.
  • Seeds and nuts with low mold content such as sunflower seeds, flaxseeds, coconuts or almonds.
  • Spices and herbs such as salt, dill, ginger, rosemary, turmeric, thyme, paprika, oregano, garlic, cinnamon, and black pepper.
  • Condiments such as apple cider vinegar, sauerkraut and coconut aminos.
  • Sugar-free sweeteners such as erythritol, xylitol and stevia.
  • Beverages containing no caffeine such as herbal teas, filtered water, coconut milk (without additives), water blended with lime or lemon, almond milk made at home, and chicory coffee.

You can also take probiotic supplements that may help get rid of inflammation, decrease the infection symptoms and candida, and kill all harmful organisms that may pose some sort of risk.


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What not to consume during the diet?

The diet is quite a strict one that excludes all sugars, alcohol, a few dairy products and gluten. All the food products that are excluded from the diet are said to increase the growth of candida. Studies have shown that consuming an excessive amount of sugar can worsen the infection as well as the symptoms and leave you with a weak immune system. 

List of food items not to consume when on a candida diet:

  • Fruits containing high levels of sugar such as bananas, raisins, mango, grapes and dates.
  • Gluten-containing grains such as rye, spelt, barley and wheat.
  • Some types of meat such as fish raised on the farm and deli meats.
  • Fats and refined oils such as canola oil, sunflower oil, margarine or soybean oil.
  • Condiments such as ketchup, white vinegar, horseradish, mayonnaise, BBQ sauce, or soy sauce.
  • Some dairy products such as milk, cream and cheese.
  • Artificial sweeteners and sugars such as aspartame, cane sugar, honey, molasses, table sugar, maple syrup, corn syrup, and agave.
  • Seeds and nuts with high mold content such as cashews, pistachios, pecans and peanuts.
  • Beverages containing sugar, caffeine and liquors such as teas containing caffeine, energy drinks, fruit juice, wine, spirits, beer, soda and coffee,
  • Additives such as sulphates or nitrates.

Probable benefits 

Though there isn’t enough evidence about this type of diet it has a lot of benefits in store for you if you consume healthy food. The diet contains whole foods that benefit you in many ways like gut function, decreased inflammation, heart health and weight loss.

The main focus of the diet is getting rid of food that contains high levels of sugar that are the cause of diabetes, metabolic syndrome, heart diseases and obesity. The diet will benefit anyone, even those people who do not suffer from candida overgrowth.


Probable negative effects

One of the major downsides of the diet is that there is no strong scientific research agreeing with its positive effects. A small study said that foods rich in sugar have only a limited effect on the growth of candida while another said that it has a very big role in the growth of candida.

Another negative point is that the candida diet is very strict. It excludes most of the food that we consume daily hence it is difficult to adjust to. But the diet’s scope is limited. You have to follow it only when you experience the candida infection’s symptoms.


Can you add essential oils to the candida diet?

This diet is not only limited to changing your diet plan. Professionals suggest that you should add essential oils such as tea tree or oregano while taking a bath, or you could take an Epsom salt bath and go to the sauna with foam rolling and massages. The self-care exercises and essential oils boost the cleansing process in your body. By doing so you can even lessen the negative effects when you start the diet. But remember that more research is to be done on this matter.


Which types of products will help?

There are a number of things that can help you in the process. They are as follows:

Berberine

This is added so that you can detoxify your liver and also acts as an anti-bacterial and anti-fungal compound. In addition, it becomes more beneficial when it comes with herbs that have anti-inflammatory properties such as skullcap and Oregon grape roots. You can have them twice daily.

Caprylic Acid 

You find this acid in coconut oil which can support a healthy and sound microbiome. You can add it to your food while cooking.

Activated Charcoal

This comes in very handy in situations when you vomit or have diarrhoea because of a food bug. But do not take for more than 5-7 days or it may throw your electrolyte out of balance. 


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Conclusion

It is quite a controversial diet. While professionals believe that candida overgrowth is a common reason behind a lot of health symptoms. Some professionals do not recommend the diet as there is no scientific proof about its effectiveness. If you want to treat the symptoms of the infection you should consult with people experienced in this field. 

Professionals say that cutting down on sugar slows the growth of candida and these are some of the diets you need to follow. The diets focus is on organic, meats, low sugars, fats and good quality products. There may not be solid evidence but it is one of the healthy diets. If you’ve caught a candida infection the diet will surely be helpful for you.

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