Candida is more common than people realize and often at times, someone may have candida without even knowing it. Candida occurs when there is an overgrowth of yeast in the body and without knowing what signs and symptoms to look for, it’s hard to recognize candida or take actions to reverse its effects. So, do you have a yeast overgrowth? Is candida affecting your life? Let’s find out!
Below are some symptoms that appear when someone has candida. If you have 3 or more of the below symptoms, then you are currently dealing with a candida overgrowth. But don’t worry, after the symptoms, we’ll tell you exactly why you might have candida and how to deal with it.
Symptoms Of Candida Overgrowth
- Other digestive complaints
- Skin / nail infections
- Feeling tired and worn out
- Trouble with memory or concentration
- Intense carbohydrate cravings
- Low mood
- Sadness or depression
Did you make 3 or more mental check marks beside symptoms? If you do, you are likely dealing with a yeast overgrowth and the information below will help you. But also note that while the signs and symptoms above are a great way to tell if you have candida, the only way to know one hundred percent is to have your stool tested to see if you have a yeast overgrowth. A Naturopathic clinic with a lab attached to it will be able to perform this test for you.
What causes candida to form? Why would you have yeast overgrowth?
Causes For Candida Growth
Antibiotics: Any and all sorts of antibiotics can kill off friendly bacteria in the gut, lessening the body’s defenses against Candida
Stress: A very high stress lifestyle gives yeast the upper hand
Wrong fermented foods: Foods like alcohol, beer, wine, live yeast, sugar and pickles can all be problematic for the digestive tract and allow yeast to grow.
Medications: Taking certain medications, especially hormone therapy, will throw off your gut flora. Any woman taking contraceptives like the birth control pill or hormone replacement therapy is especially prone to disturbing the vaginal flora, which can allow yeast to grow more readily.
Sugar and Carbs: Eating high amounts of sugars or carbohydrates creates an environment in your gut in which candida flourishes
Do you see yourself in any of those reasons? Unfortunately, it’s easy for most of us to fall into more than one category, which creates an environment that candida thrives in.
So, now you understand the “why” and the symptoms behind candida, but how do you get rid of it? How should you prevent it?
One main way to tackle candida is through diet. Since candida is naturally occurring yeast in the gut and it can overgrow when given the wrong foods, we need to get rid of the foods that fuel yeast growth. Here are some simple tools and tips you can do to change your diet into a candida-fighting one!
Food Tips To Fight Candida
Increase fiber intake: Healthy bacteria, which will fight candida, lives on fiber. They love fermenting fibers like vegetables. Increasing fiber intake will feed the right bacteria in the gut.
Say goodbye to simple carbs: Yeast loves simple carbohydrates, so cut them out. This includes starches like potatoes or grains, because these break down into sugars right in our mouth.
Embrace healthy fat acids: Healthy fats really help to actively give the immune system an upper hand and acrylic acid actually pokes holes in the yeast cell walls causing them to die, making fats an amazing anti-fungal remedy.
Proteins: Just like fibers, good bacteria love proteins—and yeast cannot grow on fats or protein: it only grows on carbohydrates. High protein/fiber diets are perfect for people recovering from candida.
No more sugar: Get rid of all sugar from your diet, including anything that ends in “–ose” (fructose, glucose, sucrose, etc.)
Low sugar fruit: If you find yourself craving something sweet because you’ve kicked the carbs and sugar to the curb, go for some low sugar fruit like berries. Be sure to consume no more than 1 cup of fruit each day.
Anti-fungal herbs: Using olive leaf extract or oregano oil can help kill yeast, but these remedies also kill good bacteria, so be careful if you choose this route.
Probiotics: One of the most important things to do is to have up to 100 billion healthy bacteria per day. Investing in a high quality probiotic that gives you this amount of bacteria cells per day will strike your candida down fast!
Focusing on your diet can give you a huge upper hand when it comes to candida. Focus on foods that help good bacteria grow (proteins, fibers, fats) and get rid of the foods that help yeast grow (sugars, simple carbs, starches). Try aiming for a diet that consists of 70% plant foods with good amounts of proteins and essential fats, and you’ll be well. This can help you naturally balance your gut flora, eliminating candida. Adding in a good quality probiotic will usher you towards the finish line and completely heal the gut lining. And remember, a Naturopathic Doctor can help confirm if you have candida, and what else you might be to able to do to treat it.
Reprinted with permission by Julie Daniluk RHN, author of Meals That Heal Inflammation & Slimming Meals that Heal (Random House Canada / Hay House USA, UK & AUZ).