Did you know that candida is a genus of yeast that we all have, living in our guts. Candida is what is known as “Dimorphic”. In other words it can exist in 2 forms at the same time. One form (as yeast) is beneficial. It helps to ferment sugar and is 100% non-invasive.
The other form that Candida can take is a fungal form, in which it develops extended root type structures that are known as “Rhizoids”. These roots are able to penetrate our mucous membranes, and therefore become invasive.
80% of US Citizens may have Candida Overgrowth
In its yeast guise, Candida is a so called “friendly bacterium”, and its growth is normally held in check by a healthy immune system. But when our immune systems are compromised in some way, or the pH level in our intestines is adversely affected, Candida begins to change to its fungal state and multiply into what is termed as Candida overgrowth. What may surprise you is that it is thought that as much as 80% of the US population may be suffering from Candida overgrowth!
When Candida becomes Systematic
In its fungal states Candida, via the Rhizoids it develops, breaks out of our intestinal tracts and into our circulation, allowing partly digestive proteins to invade our bloodstreams and contaminate our immune systems. This is what is known as systematic Candida, or a Candida Albicans overgrowth, and it is very difficult to eradicate.
Symptoms of Candida Overgrowth
The symptoms of this overgrowth are many and varied, and are sometimes confused with other conditions. They include itchy irritated skin, anxiety, depression and irritability, flaky skin, (which may also be itchy), heartburn, indigestion, lethargy and joint soreness. In women it can also cause cystitis, vaginal infections, and premenstrual tension.
Causes of Candida
The exact cause of a Candida overgrowth is not known. There are however many things that could cause it and these include:
- A compromised immune system
- Extended use of antibiotics
- Regular use of steroids
- Regular use of oral contraceptives
- A high sugar diet
It is also thought that Candida feeds on stress, which further increases the overgrowth.
Those of us who follow a holistic health lifestyle, try to avoid many of the artificial causes of Candida as part of our natural way of life. We avoid taking steroids, we minimize the use of any medications, including antibiotics, and many of us do not take oral contraceptives. But besides all of these factors, a Candida overgrowth can still develop if we have too much sugar in our diets.
#1 Food that Fights Candida – Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is an excellent antifungal that has the ability to destroy Candida. The health benefits of coconut oil are well documented, but in terms of Candida, the Lauric and Caprylic acids that it contains assist with preventing the spread of the fungus, and also add strength to your immune system.
Coconut oil is extremely heat tolerant and is therefore great to use in cooking and frying. It is also relatively inexpensive and has a longer shelf life than many other vegetable oils.
#2 Food that Fights Candida – Garlic
Another food that has excellent antifungal properties is garlic. Garlic benefits us in two ways with particular regard to Candida, because not only can it destroy the fungus itself, but it can also help to promote the good bacteria in your digestive system. In addition, garlic boosts liver and colon function, thereby promoting a detox effect,
Cooking with garlic is great fun anyway because it adds such wonderful taste to so many various dishes. If however you are one of the people who dislikes the taste of garlic (poor you!), then you can take a garlic supplement in capsule form. Natural is however always best – 2 to 4 cloves per day will suffice.
#3 Food that Fights Candida – Apple Cider Vinegar
Although not much research is available with regard to Apple cider vinegar, it is believed by many, that the enzymes it contains can help to break down Candida overgrowth.
#4 Food that Fights Candida – Onions
Onions contain powerful antibacterial, antifungal, and anti parasitic substances. But they can also help Candida overgrowth sufferers in another way too. Many people who have a Candida overgrowth retain too much water in their bodies. Onions have the ability to assist the body to lose excess fluids. 1 little tip. Eating onion can be a little anti-social, so try taking a little parsley with it to neutralize onion breath.
#5 Food that Fights Candida – Ginger
Ginger is another of the natural spices that is beneficial to health in many ways. Not only can it promote a detoxing effect in the body by helping to increase circulation, assisting the liver to detox, but it also enhances digestive health and assists in minimizing intestinal gas. Ginger, can also have a calming effect on the inflammation that a Candida overgrowth can cause in the intestinal tract.
Ginger, can be added to many food dishes to impart flavor, or made into a tea or tincture.
#6 Foods that Fights Candida – Cruciferous Vegetables
Cruciferous vegetables include things such as broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, and radishes. These vegetables include substances known as isothiocyanates. These contain sulfur and nitrogen compounds that can attack and destroy Candida.
#7 Food that Fights Candida – Seaweed
Seaweed is power house of nutrients that nourish natural body function enabling the body to control and reduce Candida overgrowth. It is especially rich in Iodine, a mineral that helps to balance the Thyroid Gland, a gland which, in many people that suffer from Candida overgrowth, is the source of hypothyroidism. Eating seaweed can help to redress this condition.
Seaweed has the ability to flush heavy metals and other toxins from your body and helps to clean the intestinal tract.
#8 Food that Fights Candida – Fresh Lemon Juice
Lemon Juice contains mild antifungal properties that help to limit the growth of Candida. Drinking plenty of lemon tea is also an important aid in detoxifying your liver.
#9 Food that Fights Candida – Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Quality extra virgin olive oil contains a chemical known as Oleuropein. This chemical has powerful anti-fungal characteristics and can also stimulate the body’s immune system to help to regulate the balance of bacteria in the gut.
Olive oil is also able to stabilize blood sugar levels, which is important because yeast (Candida) feeds on sugar.
#10 Food that Fights Candida – Pumpkin Seeds
Another excellent food to help combat Candida is the humble pumpkin seed. Pumpkin seeds are high in omega-3 fatty acids. These essential oils have antifungal, anti-viral, and anti-parasitic capabilities. They also help to ward any inflammation of the digestive tract that is caused by Candida.
Pumpkin seeds can be easily added to cereals, salads and smoothies and are also great to carry round as handy, natural, snack.
The Benefits of Overcoming Candida Overgrowth
A Candida overgrowth is not life threatening, but it does have many adverse effects on your general health, as highlighted at the beginning of this article. Defeating a Candida overgrowth can therefore be a welcome boost to your holistic health and well-being, by helping you to get rid of many symptoms you may be suffering from, that so far, you have not been able to find a cause of.
Because it is not a serious condition or at least according to mainstream medical professionals, it is rarely spotted by conventional medical practitioners, and the symptoms are easily, and often, misdiagnosed. But take my word for it. If you do have a Candida overgrowth, and you bring it under control by eating the foods mentioned above, your overall holistic health will benefit big time.
Original source: Healthy Holistic Living