Candida – learn to eliminate it the natural way

Despite the fact that thousands of us Brits suffer from it on a regular basis, there’s very little in the way of accurate Candida statistics in the UK. There are two compelling reasons for this – first of all, some medical professionals deny that the condition even exists and secondly, many of us prefer not to talk about what we consider to be an ‘embarrassing’ problem. Unfortunately this means that far too many of us suffer in silence and rather than learning how to eliminate Candida, choose to live with it instead. The good news is that you can successfully beat Candida by making a few minor adjustments to your diet, such as incorporating superfoods that encourage both a healthy digestive system and a robust immune response…natural methods that will leave you pleasingly Candida free for good.

Superfoods that treat Candida

But, before we delve into to combatting Candida, let’s take a closer look at the condition and what causes it.

What is Candida?

Candida is a common fungal infection precipitated by Candida albicans – a yeast that’s naturally present in each and every one of us. Indeed, this yeast actually performs a vital role in seeking out and destroying harmful bacteria and usually lives in harmony with our ‘friendly’ bacteria. Sometimes, however, it grows out of control, when our immune system is at a low ebb or our body is out of sorts, for example. In fact, many of us only notice our first instance of Candida directly after a course of antibiotics.

Who gets Candida?

Although reliable data is scarce, we do know that Candida affects more women than men, and some 60 percent of all UK Candida patients are female. The most common type of Candida infection is vaginal and most women will suffer from a vaginal Candida infection at some point in their life (Edwards, 2004). And, for approximately 75 per cent of these, it will be during their childbearing years (Mitchell, 2004).

What are the symptoms of Candida?

Candida usually affects the reproductive organs, skin (especially in places where skin rubs together or is most moist, such as the skin folds under the breasts or of the genital organs), mouth, throat and intestines. Once in the gut, Candida can lead to other complications, including colitis, leaky gut and irritable bowel syndrome.

Key Candida symptoms include:

  • A thick, white vaginal discharge that coincides with redness, itching and irritation, and can result in painful sex or urination
  • White or yellow spots in and around the mouth area
  • Skin rashes, often in the skin folds
  • Indigestion, heartburn, abdominal pain, flatulence and bloating
  • Food allergies
  • Cystitis
  • Vaginitis
  • Migraine
  • Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)
  • Fibromyalgia (a long-term condition that causes pain all over the body)
  • Sugar cravings
  • Depression / anxiety
  • Memory loss
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Reduced libido

What causes Candida?

In order to tackle Candida effectively, it’s important to understand what triggers the condition in the first place. Candida occurs when our ratio of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ bacteria is thrown out of balance and the Candida albicans yeast is able to grow unchecked.

This tends to happen when:

  • We consume excessive amounts of sugar and carbohydrates – the Candida yeast feeds on sugar.
  • We are taking medication – in particular antibiotics (which don’t only kill our ‘bad’ bacteria, but also our much-needed ‘friendly’ bacteria), as well as the contraceptive pill and corticosteroids (both of which encourage fungal growth).
  • Our immune system is weakened – e.g. due to stress, illness, or exposure to toxins (including heavy metals and pesticides)
  • We are undergoing hormonal change – such as during pregnancy, the perimenopause and / or menopause.

Why it’s so important to get Candida under control

Candida is not merely an annoying and unpleasant condition that affects our quality of life – left unchecked it can also lead to a much more serious and systemic infection known as Candidiasis, which manifests in fever, rash, low blood pressure, rapid heartbeat, shortness of breath and, in rare cases, multiple organ failure. Some experts have even observed a worrying correlation to cancer. According to a study by Dr. Tullio Simoncini, oncologist and author of “Cancer is Fungus”, between 79 and 97 percent of all cancer patients suffer from Candida.

Eliminating Candida the natural way

Most Candida remedies, such as antifungal creams, shampoos and mouthwash treatments, provide only temporary respite from the condition, as rather than tackling the root cause of the infection, they only address the symptoms. And fungi have an amazing ability to adapt and transform, meaning that no antifungal medication is ever totally effective.

To banish Candida for good, we must therefore begin with the basics, by promoting a healthy, balanced digestive system and a vigorous immune response. In other words – taking the natural approach, which doesn’t involve prescription drugs or medication.

You can start doing this today by making the following three simple changes to your diet:

1) Banish the foods that feed Candida

Sugar is a double-edged sword as far as Candida is concerned – the Candida fungus thrives on sugar and excessive sugar consumption simultaneously weakens your immune system’s response to Candida. Banishing sugar from your diet essentially starves the Candida fungus and is therefore an obvious first step in beating the condition. Unfortunately, this means cutting out sugar in all of its many guises, including granulated sugar, cane sugar, brown sugar, honey, syrup, molasses, maple syrup, corn syrup, fructose, glucose, sucrose, dextrose, sucrose, maltose and lactose. If you have a particularly sweet tooth, try switching to natural superfood sweeteners, such as organic stevia sweetener instead. If you enjoy fruit, opt for those fruits that are low in fruit sugars, such as rhubarb, raspberries, strawberries, blackberries
or cranberries.

And, don’t forget that sugar is often hidden in processed foods, so always check your labels and, ideally, avoid junk food altogether. Candida sufferers must refrain from consuming food that contains carbs too, as these are converted into sugar in your body. Alcohol is also a no-no, because it not only transforms into sugar; it also kills the good bacteria that help to keep your intestinal flora in good shape.

2) Incorporate superfoods that boost your immune system

Candida flourishes when your immune system is compromised; so enjoying a healthy diet coupled with regular exercise is therefore critical in strengthening your immune system and getting your Candida infection firmly under control. Consume plenty of healthy fats and protein, as these increase your body’s ability to absorb nutrients and provide the most efficient source of energy. An outstanding source of healthy saturated fat is organic coconut oil – organic coconut oil is loaded with lauric and capric acid, which possess antiviral, antimicrobial and antifungal properties. These actively target your bad bacteria without killing off the ‘friendly’ ones, and help to restore balance to your intestinal flora. Research by the Institute of Biology at the University of Iceland discovered that ‘capric acid, a 10-carbon saturated fatty acid, causes the fastest and most effective killing of all three strains of C. albicans tested’. For the ultimate protection from Candida, drink around three tablespoons of coconut oil per day and use it in place of your usual cooking oil.

3) Restore intestinal balance using probiotics

The final step in your battle against Candida, which will not only eradicate the infection, but also prevent new outbreaks, is to re-establish balance to your intestinal flora by promoting the correct ratio of good bacteria in your gut. And you can do this by choosing for foods and supplements that contain probiotics. Probiotics are ‘friendly’ micro-organisms that live in your body, such as lactobacillus and bifidobacterium. They help to stimulate your digestive juices and enzymes and keep your digestive organs functioning correctly. Stefano Guandalini, MD, professor of paediatrics and gastroenterology at the University of Chicago Medical Center, claims that ‘probiotics can improve intestinal function and maintain the integrity of the lining of the intestines’. In addition to probiotic supplements, there are a number of unique superfoods that contain live bacterium and are thus particularly effective in combatting Candida. Try micro-algae, such as organic chlorella powder and organic spirulina powder, or fermented kombucha – a drink made from friendly bacteria cultures that contains acetic acid, which kills bad bacteria and repopulates your digestive system with probiotic organisms – for fast results.

Lastly, remove all foods that contain yeast or fungi from your diet, such as cheese and mushrooms, as these promote an overgrowth of bad cultures. Instead, incorporate plenty of raw organic vegetables, which help to remove fungal toxins from your body. Choose leafy greens, such as cabbage, lettuce, kale and spinach, inflorescence vegetables, including artichokes, broccoli and cauliflower, stalk vegetables, such as chard, asparagus and celery, and sea algae and seaweed, such as sea vegetables, organic chlorella powder and organic spirulina powder. Bulb vegetables, such as chives, leeks and garlic, have proven especially successful in treating Candida and Huntington College of Health Sciences suggests that garlic in particular ‘has anticandidal activity, inhibiting both the growth and function of Candida Albicans’.

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2 Responses to “Candida – learn to eliminate it the natural way”

  1. Never had Candida, maybe because I enjoy eating super foods so much? Either way its always good to know how to eliminate something before it occurs. Thanks!

    November 25, 2014 at 10:49 am Reply

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