Candida, or yeast, overgrowth can cause health problems for sensitive individuals. Issues may range from minor complaints such as recurring yeast infections and digestive issues to major concerns including difficulty functioning due to fatigue and memory problems. Testing for candida imbalance is difficult because it can change drastically throughout the day depending on what you eat and what medications you take. However, dietary changes ranging from simple to complex can greatly reduce the symptoms of candida overgrowth.
Many times, if your symptoms are mild, you can correct the candida imbalance with simple dietary changes. Proper food choices can help you maintain intestinal balance over the long term. Instead of choosing refined foods, eat whole grains, brown rice, lentils and legumes. Fresh meats and vegetables are healthy alternatives to fermented or processed foods. Instead of bleu cheese, which contains mold, choose cream cheese. Opt for the least-aged cheddar available when you have that type of cheese. For bread, choose rye or a tortilla shell, which are yeast-free.
Reducing or eliminating all forms of sugar may help you restore the correct candida balance. You can also add extra healthy bacteria to your system by eating yogurt, which contains the probiotic microorganisms acidophilus and bifidus. These probiotics are essential organisms that help maintain the proper yeast balance. They are available in supplement form, but you must make sure they are formulated to reach your gut before they release the bacteria. If they release in your stomach, the stomach acid will kill the probiotics before they ever reach your intestinal tract.
In serious cases of candida overgrowth, you must take a more tactical and dedicated approach to balancing your system. The “Candida Diet” is a strict diet intended to eliminate fungal overgrowth. You must follow a “detox” program for at least four to six weeks in which you eliminate not only sugars but other foods containing yeast, white flour, gluten, pasta and all fruits, which are high in sugar. The process of fermentation creates fungus, and any added fungus allows candida to thrive. Fermented foods, such as cheese, vinegar, mayonnaise, salad dressing and alcohol, must also be avoided. Drinking plenty of water during the detox process will help your liver and kidneys remove the excess toxins.