What is Candida?
Candida is a yeast infestation, or type of fungus. Most of us have a benign amount of candida in our body which helps maintain our immune system. In some circumstances however, the candida micro-organisms may proliferate to produce a symptomatic infection of the mouth, intestines, vaginal area, skin or (rarely) the entire body. The species most often involved is Candida albicans, and the infection is known as candidiasis.
Health Symptoms and Effects
Health symptoms and complications of candida may include: bladder infections, energy loss, puffy eyes, fatigue, food cravings, hay fever, heartburn, hyperactivity, inflammation, itching, insomnia, migraine, mouth infections, rashes, sore throat, thrush and thyroid problems.
Diet Treatment of Candida
As well as anti-fungal drugs, diet is an important part of most Candida treatment programs. The purpose of a candida reduction diet is to eliminate those foods that “feed” the yeast infestation, by rigid adherence to a “restricted foods list.” The duration of the diet is typically determined by the history and severity of the symptoms and overall health. Once on the anti-candida diet plan, many patients experience an improvement within 2-4 weeks. In any event, once laboratory tests give the all-clear certain foods from the restricted list can be incorporated back into daily eating.
General Dietary Advice
Sugar feeds Candida. It is therefore vital to minimize carbohydrate intake. For example, during the first 3 weeks of the program, it is typically recommended that carb consumption be restricted to 20-60 grams per day, according to age, activity level, and degree of grain sensitivity.
Reduce Yeasty Foods
Foods that contain yeast should be eliminated.
Reduce Dairy Products
Dairy foods should be reduced as Candida can reduce the body’s ability to digest fats.
Reduce Intake of Fungi and Mold
Moldy or mold-containing foods should also be eliminated.
Reduce Intake of Processed/Packaged Food
These foods and drinks often contain sugar, yeast or other Candida-feeding ingredients.