Suffering from a Candida yeast infection is no fun, but there are some truly unique and wonderful foods to fight off Candida yeast in the body that work really well. In case you aren’t familiar with Candida yeast, this bacterial yeast is a harmful fungus that lives in all of our digestive tracts, just like beneficial bacteria does. Normally, it stays in balance with our good gut bacteria, and we are able to fight off the harmful effects that Candida can cause. When too much sugar, processed foods and refined carbohydrates are eaten however, Candida can get out of control. Stress, lack of sleep and not eating enough whole foods can also cause an infection to occur. Signs of Candida yeast overload include vaginal yeast infections, intense ongoing sugar cravings, skin allergies, food sensitivities, chronic hypoglycemia, problems absorbing nutrients, and IBS symptoms such as bloating, constipation or diarrhea. Luckily, we have a few powerful “superfoods” that we can eat in our everyday diets to boost our immune system, aid our gut health, and help fight off Candida yeast overload in our systems. A few of these may be new to you, but because of the benefits they offer, I highly recommend adding as many as you can to your daily diet, along with eating clean foods and taking a daily probiotic supplement to fight off Candida yeast.
Chlorella is one of the best possible foods you can eat to fight off Candida yeast. Chlorella is a deep sea algae that is one of the richest sources of chlorophyll on the planet. Chlorophyll is the green pigment that gives plants their green hue, and is the most alkaline source of nutrients you can eat. When our bodies are alkaline, our pH is balanced and we feel balanced from the inside out. When our pH levels are acidic, we will suffer fatigue, digestive upset, acid stomach, gout, joint pain, constant fatigue, headaches and intense food cravings. Taking a supplement of chlorella or using a powder that contains this sea veggie is a great way to implement it into your diet where you won’t get the ocean-like taste of this powerful food. I like vegan protein powders such as Garden of Life Raw Meal and Vega One All in One Nutrition Shake for tasty sources of chlorella, as well as taking a supplement such as Now Foods brand. Chlorella is completely safe and very effective. You should notice a dramatic difference in cravings and overall sense of well being within just a couple of days of taking it.
Spirulina is a very popular sea algae, which is also called blue green algae. Spirulina is much like chlorella, but higher in protein and Vitamin B12. It is the richest source of protein per tablespoon of all plant and animal based foods and higher in iron and B12 than any other food per tablespoon as well. I always put 1 tbsp. in my green smoothies and they come out this beautiful glowing green color, plus I never taste it! You can buy spirulina in many different forms, whether in a tablet or a powder. I like Nutrex and Now brands of powders and tablets.
3. Cordyceps Mushrooms
Most Candida healing specialists will tell you to avoid all fungal foods, which includes mushrooms. Mushrooms are actually a fungus themselves, not a vegetable like most people think. Though mushrooms are healthy, typical sources can affect those with Candida negatively since they feed extra fungus into the body. A special type of mushroom known as Cordyceps mushrooms, are a different story. These mushrooms are used in many superfood powders and are extremely beneficial to the immune system and gut health. They actually boost the immune system and have even been linked to helping eradicate Candida from the gut walls. These mushrooms are very neutral in taste and since they are sold in powder form, they are easy to add to most anything.
One of the oldest, most simple foods to make is one of the best for getting rid of Candida in the body. Sauerkraut, made traditionally, is nothing more than cabbage, salt and water that is left to ferment for a few days. This fermentation helps develop beneficial bacteria for the gut and aids in removing yeasts from the body. Sauerkraut was created in the early 1900s as a way for soldiers in wars to fight off illness, especially gut-related illness. It was also used in times when food preservation was needed more than ever. Now, you can buy sauerkraut at the store, but most brands have additives and lack the raw element that makes real sauerkraut so beneficial. Be sure to buy an organic brand like Eden’s Foods. Whatever brand you purchase should include only cabbage, salt and water. You can also make your own too if you wish! Kimchi is a Korean form of sauerkraut, except it contains a variety of veggies and peppers for added spice.
5. Coconut Kefir
I’m sure most of you have heard of kefir by now, which is usually sold in dairy form. Kefir grains, which aren’t grains at all, but a collection of beneficial yeasts, are cultured in mediums such as dairy milk that contain natural sugars for the yeast to ferment with and feed on. This produces a large amount of probiotics, much more so than yogurt. Yogurt is great to eat for Candida if you buy it unsweetened and tolerate dairy, but kefir is a richer source of better gut-boosting probiotics. Dairy based kefir is basically like pourable yogurt that you can buy in bottles and I like adding it to smoothies or drinking it with some stevia and cinnamon. Though it is 99% lactose free, some people are still sensitive to dairy. This is why coconut water kefir is so beneficial. Kefir grains are fermented with coconut water that contains natural sugars, just like dairy milk does, for the yeast to feed on and proliferate good bacteria to heal the gut. Coconut water kefir is much more beneficial than dairy based kefir, because it is all raw, very alkaline to the body, has many vitamins and minerals that increase energy, and is a plant-based food. It tastes very much like coconut water if you’re a fan. Coconut water kefir is great in smoothies or by itself and you only need an ounce a day to notice dramatic effects.
One of the most common herbs in your spice cabinet is one of the best for your gut health, and richer in antioxidants than blueberries! Oregano has more antioxidants per tablespoon than 5 cups of blueberries! Plus, oregano is rich in natural oils that aid in gut health to help fight off yeast. It is a natural anti-fungal, and one of the most delicious in my opinion! Using fresh or dried oregano is a great idea, and you can even add it to a hot tea for an upset stomach. I love oregano in soups, steamed veggies, fish, and salads.
7. Chia Seeds
Chia seeds are awesome for booting Candida out of the body. Chia seeds’ high fiber content scrapes the walls of your digestive tract, helping to pull out toxins and remove wastes. This is very important, because as wastes and toxins sit in the digestive tract longer and longer, they begin to ferment and Candida starts to feed on them. Adding in fiber to your diet is so important, especially soluble fibers like chia seeds that soak up wastes to remove them from the body. Just one tablespoon of chia seeds has 5 grams of fiber, plus Omega 3 fatty acids, protein, and potassium to boost!
8. Coconut Flour
Coconut flour is amazing for you! First, it is low glycemic, low in calories per serving, and high in fiber. Coconut flour, along with all other raw coconut foods, are awesome for beating Candida. The anti-fungal properties that coconut offers help to combat infections, disease, and bacterial infections. Coconut is also a rich source of natural enzymes, healthy fats and potassium. Coconut flour is unique to shredded coconut, even though it is made from nothing but ground coconut meat, just like the shreds are. When ground into a flour form, it becomes like a sponge that absorbs a lot of water, much like chia seeds. Coconut flour has 6 grams of insoluble fiber per two tablespoons and only 1.5 grams of fat, plus 3 grams of protein. It is so tasty and a great tool to use in grain-free baking to replace other flours. I like to make homemade puddings by combining coconut flour, stevia and Greek yogurt, but you can use it to bake with, add to your smoothies, or to thicken any kind of recipe you wish. The insoluble fiber in coconut helps to quickly sweep wastes from the body and it is easy to digest. I never go without this staple in my pantry! I like Coconut Secrets brand, along with Edward and Son’s Let’s Do Organic brand.
9. Barley Grass
Most people avoid wheat, barley and rye on a Candida treatment program, which is smart since they are the top three sources of gluten in the diet. Barley grass, however, is not the same as typical barley grain and it is gluten-free. The difference occurs in the sprouting process where the grain is produced from the grass. Barley grass is harvested before the sprouting takes place of the actual grain, and no gluten occurs in natural barley grass, only the grain it ends up producing. The reason barley grass is so beneficial is due to its immune-boosting properties. It is also highly alkaline, and a rich deep green color, just like spirulina. It is comparable to wheat grass, which is also gluten-free for the same reasons, except barley grass has been found to be more beneficial for the gut and removing Candida from the body. You can find it in a powder form at Whole Foods, or anywhere online. It is also found in many superfood powders such as Amazing Grass and Garden of Life’s Raw Meal and Garden of Life’s Perfect Food Raw.
If you’ve ever had a Candida yeast infection, it can be such a nightmare to get rid of. Be careful of going on any crazy cleanses and start to incorporate more of these foods to fight Candida yeast instead. You should also eliminate refined sugar from your diet, processed foods and all refined grains. Though one food won’t make Candida disappear overnight, adding in a few or as many as you can will make a dramatic difference in your energy, gut health, and overall immune system. Have you ever heard of Candida?