Candida: A Holistic Approach to Healing


What is candida?

Candida is an infection that van be caused by an imbalance of gut bacteria, also known as dysbiosis. Candidiasis is caused by Candida albicans, which is a common yeast-like fungus that is normally found in the blood, gastrointestinal tract, and vaginas, in addition, it can live in the fold, creases, and wrinkles of our skin. When we have a healthy balance of gut bacteria and a strong immune system, we can keep Candida in check, but when bacterial imbalances occur and the immune system is weakened, than Candida overgrowth can happen. Candida an occur in the mouth, vagina, skin, stomach, and the urinary tract. If left untreated, further overgrowth can go even deeper ad\nd affect the organs.


What causes Candida overgrowth?

There are several factors that cause Candida and these factors also create an imbalance of gut bacteria. Poor gut health and a compromised immune system can cause Candidiasis.

  1. Evaluated hormone levels: nourish hungry yeast cells and that can be from certain drugs like corticosteroids and other steroid hormones that also include birth control pills

  2. Pregnancy

  3. Chronic stress as it weakens immunity

  4. Diet: excess refined carbohydrates, sugar, and alcohol which can feed yeast

  5. Nutrient deficiencies: specifically biotin (which helps prevent conversion of yeast to fungus and zinc which is required for optimal immune function (having a zinc/copper balance is critical. Nutritional deficiencies can also hinder detoxification processes

  6. Antibiotics: disrupts gut microbes. Antibiotics can come from prescription drugs and conventional/commercial meat and dairy

  7. Poor digestive function: Low hydrochloric acid (HCI), this can occur naturally or HCI lowering medications, which can lead to altered pH levels in the entire system. Also too much alkalinity is common in Candida

  8. Environment: this includes living in a damp, foggy climate, mold and fungus in the home, and exposure to toxic metals such as mercury and lead

  9. Immune disorders: successive bacterial infections, HIV/AIDS, and food and inhalant allergies that can burden the immune system

Symptoms of Candida (yeast overgrowth)

  • Constant fatigue and a feeling of not feeling well all over

  • Brain fog - feeling overwhelmed easily by everyday tasks

  • Sugar cravings

  • Bloating and abdominal pain (can also include gas, constipation, diarrhea, heartburn, bad breath, indigestion, creamy white patches in the mouth or throat (thrush) or painful cracks on the corners of the mouth)

  • Yeast infections or vaginal and anal itching

  • Rashes (eczema or atopic dermatitis

  • Nail fungus of toes or fingers

In order to heal from Candida, healing the gut is essential and there are many ways we can heal the gut, therefore improving immune function and stopping the growth of yeast throughout the body. Below are some dos and don'ts when addressing Candida.


Foods to avoid:

  • Eliminate all refined sugar and carbohydrates from diet

  • Most leftover foods that easily collect mold

  • Vinegar - ACV may be tolerated for some, but eliminate all vinegar-based foods to include: mayonnaise, pickles, pickled foods, mustard, and relish

  • Malt products and foods containing malt (read ingredients carefully)

  • Mushrooms and truffles (all types)

  • Processed and smoked meats: hot dogs, luncheon meats, sausages, smoked fish, bacon, corned beef, pastrami, and ham. Opt for organic meats only if tolerated (read ingredients)

  • Fruit juices and all fruits (except lemons and limes as a whole food)

  • Dry foods such as seaweed

  • Aged cheeses

There are many ways to heal Candida naturally without the use of harmful medications. The following diet, lifestyle and supplemental interventions can help get to the root cause and prevent future occurrences of Candida


Improve Digestion

In order to improve digestion (which also improves nutrient absorption), the following initial steps are recommended:

  1. Avoid raw vegetables until digestion has improved, you may include fermented raw veggies and blended veggies like smoothies

  2. Use spices liberally when cooking. Rosemary, oregano, and thyme are good options

  3. Chew foods thoroughly to stimulate digestive enzymes in the mouth. The smaller the food particles, the better for digestion

  4. Be sure to get a good balance of healthy fats (avocados, nuts, seeds, coconut), complex (and gluten-free) carbohydrates (vegetables, brown rice, millet, quinoa), and proteins (beans, legumes, organic meats and poultry)

  5. Eat at least 2 Tbs of raw sauerkraut or kimchi with each meal (for probiotics) and be sure the ingredients only contain water and sea salt - do not heat

  6. Water kefir provides good bacterial strains to help balance gut flora

  7. Decrease omega-6 fatty acids and increase omega-3 fatty acids

  8. Supplement with high-quality probiotics, enzymes and anti-microbial blend to aid in digestive health. I recommend the Candida Support Bundle by Global healing

Foods that aid digestion

  • Protein

  • Good fats - cold-water fish, nuts and seeds, organic virgin coconut oil, organic extra virgin olive oil, and avocados are especially good

  • Ocean sea salt (completely unrefined (try Celtic sea salt - it should not be white)

  • Lemon juice (fresh only)

  • Mineral-rich bone broths (preferably chicken)

  • Raw fermented foods and drinks (cabbage juice, sauerkraut, kimchi)

  • Spices, teas and herbs such as chamomile, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg...)

  • Red Clover (herbal tea)

Foods that kill or inhibit the growth of Candida

  • Arugula

  • Cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, Brussel's sprouts, cauliflower, bok choy...)

  • Leafy greens (collards, kale, swiss chard, mustard greens...)

  • Hot peppers

  • Onions

  • Radishes

  • Rutabaga

  • Shallots

  • Turnips (and their greens)

  • Watercress

Herbs and spices that inhibit Candida growth

  • Garlic

  • Horseradish (w/o vinegar)

  • Oregano

  • Rosemary

  • Pau D'arco (herbal tea)

  • Rosemary

  • Thyme

  • Turmeric

Supplements

  • Vitamins C, E, and B vitamins

  • Selenium

  • Zinc

  • Essential fatty acids: anti-inflammatory, mix of evening primrose (Omega-6) and flaxseed or fish oil (Omega-3)

  • Your Super (Gut Feeling Superfood blend - 1 tsp with water per day)

  • Biotin

  • Calcium

  • Magnesium

  • Lactobacillus acidophilus (2-5 million organisms 3x per day min)

Other helpful practices to inhibit and prevent Candida

  • Take only hypoallergenic supplements

  • Replace your toothbrush every 30 days

  • Wear white cotton underwear (or at least a cotton panty-liner)

  • Do not use corticosteroids or oral contraceptives until condition improves

  • Exercise regularly

References:

GreenMedInfo.com

Bauman College, 2016

Prescription for Nutritional Healing, Phyllis A. Balch, 2010






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