Candida is a type of yeast which has many varieties. And out of them, about 20 are known to cause health issues in humans. Though some of them are naturally found on your skin and in your mucus membranes like your mouth, intestines, and vagina, the main problem arises when there is an overgrowth, which can convert it into a fungus that causes a serious infection called candidiasis. Such an infection can occur in certain regions of your body such as your mouth, throat, or vagina, or it can be systemic, be present throughout your body. Since Candida has an important role to play in the digestion of food and absorption of nutrients, you can suffer from a variety of digestive issues when there is an overgrowth in your intestinal tract. The yeast will end up breaking down your intestinal walls to release toxic by-products into your system, which can lead to a condition called leaky gut syndrome. Since this disrupts the balance of your gut microbiome, you will experience symptoms such as brain fog, fatigue, depression, and digestive issues. Because these are often symptoms of many other conditions, systemic Candida infections are often hard to diagnose.
The best way to prevent or heal Candida infections is to avoid consuming certain foods like cookies, pastries, candy, and sugary drinks. But surprisingly, some of the foods that are considered healthy can also lead to Candida overgrowth. While consuming these foods will not always lead to a problem, you need to keep them off the menu if you want to heal your gut and want to discourage Candida colonization. Here’s a list of such foods.
1. Artificial Sweeteners
You may be aware that sugar is bad for you, but artificial sweeteners can be just as bad. They disturb your gut environment and wreak havoc on your digestive system. You will be doing yourself a big favor by skipping artificial sweeteners, such as xylitol, agave, sorbitol, aspartame, sucralose, and stevia, altogether.
2. Too Much Fruit
Fruits are generally healthy for you. They contain plenty of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber. But the same time, they also contain a lot of sugar. So if your gut is in the process of recovery, you should avoid fruits like dates, grapes, banana, mango, and dried fruit. Instead, you can opt for low-sugar fruits like berries. If you are worried about missing out on the nutrition, you can have plenty of non-starchy veggies instead. They have all the goodness of fruits minus the excessive sugar.
Grains contain a lot of essential vitamins and minerals, but they are made up of carbohydrates, which break down into sugar in your body and feed the Candida. The gluten present in grains like barley, wheat, and rye can also trigger inflammation and hamper your gut health. You can try zucchini noodles or cauliflower rice instead of these grains.
When you are trying to bring down the level of Candida in your gut, alcohol is off limits, and that includes wine too. The sugar content of wine will feed the Candida and help them thrive in your gut. Plus alcohol is extremely tough on the gastrointestinal system and can affect your immune system too, making it hard for your body to fight off a Candida infection.
Smoothies may be an easy and quick way to get your daily dose of nutrition, but they are made with a lot of fruits. So even if they sound so healthy, they are not too good for your gut. So if you want to have a smoothie, try making green ones without the fruit and add ginger and lemon to them for an anti-inflammatory boost.
Though probiotic drinks provide your body with a lot of healthy bacteria, it’s better you limit their consumption. This is because too much of even a good thing can be bad for you. You should especially avoid kombucha because it does contain a small amount of alcohol. You can try citrus- or cucumber-infused water instead.