best anti-intestinal candidiasis diet Intestinal candidiasis is an infection caused by a yeast called candida . In Western countries, most people have candida yeast in their intestinal microbiota and they do very well with it. However, in certain cases, the system goes awry and fungal infections (mycoses, candidiasis, etc.) take hold. The symptoms of intestinal candidiasis cover a very broad spectrum, which often makes it difficult to identify the problem. Thanks to this article, you will learn to recognize the signs of intestinal candidiasis to treat the problem in time. One of the most effective solutions is to adopt an anti-candidiasis diet to eliminate pathogenic yeasts. I will give you all the details to carry it out successfully.
In the last twenty years, there has been an abnormal increase in fungal infections, particularly in Western countries. This proliferation concerns the intestines (intestinal candidiasis), the urinary and vaginal system or the respiratory system. The most worrying thing is that this increase concerns not only people with a weakened immune system due to diseases (cancer, diabetes, Crohn’s disease, etc.) but also healthy individuals. It is therefore important to question the fragility of our immune system which allows a saprophytic host to multiply and become pathogenic.
The cause of intestinal candidiasis: candida albican s
Candida albicans responsible for intestinal candidiasis is a form of yeast present naturally in our body. In the large family of candida yeasts , candida albicans is responsible for 50 to 90% of cases of candidiasis. This yeast is part of the normal flora of the digestive tract and the vaginal mucosa. In this article, I focus on intestinal candidiasis because the pathways of action are differentiated.
Candida is a natural host of the mucous membranes in 20 to 40% of healthy subjects. It is estimated that 80% of women harbor it without symptoms in the duodenum (between the stomach and intestine) and 10% in the vagina. This figure rises to 30% in the event of pregnancy.
When our body is in a situation of homeostasis, that is to say in balance, bacteria, pathogenic and saprophytic yeasts live in total harmony. Candida then coexists with other micro-organisms within the microbiota and is even beneficial to the human body by protecting it from certain pathogenic bacteria .
Candida albicans grows in an environment with a pH (measure of acidity) between 4 and 10. It feeds on amino acids and carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are what we more commonly call carbohydrates. It is particularly useful to remember this information because the anti-candidiasis diet is based on eliminating sugars in order to “starve” the candida.
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How does intestinal candidiasis start?
Candidiasis occurs when our immune system becomes faulty, for example after a stay in hospital or taking antibiotics. Indeed, when our immune system is weakened, our microbiota is unbalanced and it becomes more favorable to the development of yeast. The latter is then in optimal conditions and it multiplies abnormally.
When present in large quantities, candida becomes pathogenic. It forms filaments, invades the tissues and encircles them, which complicates the exchanges and functioning of the tissues.
Once multiplied, candida secretes toxic enzymes which degrade its environment. Among these toxins, we can cite in particular tartaric acid. This acid secreted by yeast interferes with another acid present in our body: malic acid which is involved in the production of our energy. This is why great physical and mental fatigue sets in from the start of intestinal candidiasis without us understanding the cause.
At the same time, candida produces acetaldehyde, which disrupts dopamine, a hormone essential to our well-being. Indeed, dopamine is the hormone of alertness, energy and pleasure. A person with candidiasis therefore tends to have depressive episodes , attention and memory problems and intestinal pain .
When candidiasis takes hold, the individual enters a vicious circle. Diseases, fragility and reduced immune defenses favor the development of candida , which worsens these symptoms.
What factors favor the development of intestinal candidiasis?
We must imagine that our body is a whole and that an imbalance in one place can unbalance the entire body. We will therefore be vigilant at several particularly sensitive points.
Oral hygiene is very important: dental prostheses, damage to the mucous membranes, poor teeth, lack of saliva, dry mouth or prolonged use of mouthwashes can modify the oral flora and promote the development of an candida .
Also, the repeated use of perfumes and soaps with an acidic pH (particularly for intimate cleansing) can disrupt our precious balance. More generally, various global factors also have an influence on the development of candidiasis.
An unbalanced diet affects the intestinal microbiota. Excessive sugar consumption and vitamin A and iron deficiencies are particularly harmful.
Certain pathologies such as diabetes, hypothyroidism or Cushing’s (too much production of glucocorticoids by the adrenal glands) lead to states of permanent stress. They then affect the immune system and make the person more vulnerable.
Significant hormonal changes such as pregnancy promote the proliferation of candidiasis. We know in particular that intestinal candidiasis is more marked during the last trimester. Indeed, pregnancy causes a variation in progesterone, estradiols (female hormone forming part of estrogens) and glycogen associated with an increase in vaginal pH.
The menopause period also represents a period of life when the body is weakened by an enormous hormonal change and therefore more vulnerable. Also, in older people, all metabolic functions decrease. Immune defenses slow down and can invite candida albicans to multiply.
Finally, polypharmacy or certain treatments such as antibiotics unbalance the microbiota and therefore the immune system. Before being forced to implement an anti-candidiasis diet, it is recognized that supplementing with probiotics after antibiotic therapy reduces the risk of contamination.
The symbols of candidiasis
In naturopathy, we consider that each illness comes from an emotion. You are free to adhere to these symbols or not. In any case, a moment of introspection can help you understand the conditions that allowed candidiasis to develop.
Candida needs sugar to grow . However, sugar has a known symbolism linked to a comforting refuge. Thus, sugar represents emotional dependence or the refusal to become independent. We can then consider that candidiasis develops when a feeling of abandonment takes hold of us, when we feel emotional frustration, a lack of love, support or disappointment in our expectations.
Depending on the location of the candida, the emotions associated with candidiasis are interpreted differently. The examples below allow us to think about our feelings, shortcomings or emotional problems that we have difficulty managing.
- The foot is the distance from a loved one.
- The mouth is the lack of closeness, the lack of kisses, lack of tenderness. We will particularly think of babies and the elderly who develop these pathologies.
- The nails represent the lack of the person who supported us, a lack of defense.
- The genitals represent a frustration in the couple’s exchanges, a problem in the expectations of sexuality, a lack of respect or giving oneself without pleasure.
- The bend of the knee is interpreted as a hold, feeling under the authority of a person and not being able to free yourself from it.
- Intestinal candidiasis represents a page that we have difficulty turning, a situation that we cannot digest. We then harbor resentment, frustration and anger.
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If you suspect intestinal candidiasis, there is a very simple test to perform. It has no proven scientific value but it gives good results. There are also a certain number of scientific tests to be carried out in the laboratory but they do not give more conclusive results than that of the glass of water. The glass of water test should be performed in the morning on an empty stomach. Just spit into a glass of water. If saliva runs to the bottom of the glass forming filaments, you certainly have candidiasis. If saliva remains on the surface of the glass, the test is negative.
The anti-candidiasis diet
We will now focus on food. I will first tell you the foods to eradicate and avoid in the event of candidiasis. I then suggest which ones to favor. Don’t let the list of prohibited foods demoralize you. The anti-candidiasis diet is a temporary constraint which will then allow you to return to a more balanced life.
This dietary modification must be continued for 2 to 3 months to avoid a relapse. This will of course be assessed on a case-by-case basis. Foods will then be reintroduced gradually depending on the person and the stage of development of the candida . The sooner the problem is treated, the quicker the eradication.
Foods prohibited in the anti-candidiasis diet
Certain foods must be eliminated for a certain period of time in order to limit the proliferation of candida albicans .
- ALL SUGARS must be removed: fruit juices, syrups, pastries, honey, jams, sweets, dried fruits (apricots, prunes, dates, figs, etc.) .
Indeed, as I indicated to you in the introduction, carbohydrates are the basis of the nutrition of this yeast. It is therefore imperative to delete them for a while in order to “starve” it and make it disappear.
- Foods rich in slow carbohydrates and in particular refined cereals (white rice, white pasta, etc.) must be eliminated. Limit gluten as much as possible . For potatoes, I advise you to rinse them in order to limit the intake of starch rich in carbohydrates.
- Beer and alcohol are fermented products in which sugar ( fructose in this case) is fermented to produce alcohol. In addition, these products contain yeasts that promote the proliferation of candida albicans .
- Fermented products such as yogurts, blue cheeses, vinegar, miso, lacto-fermented vegetables contain yeasts. Brewer’s yeast and baker’s yeast should also be eliminated.
- Milk and dairy products contain lactose which is a sugar. If they are not from organic farming, they also contain traces of antibiotics. However, antibiotics affect the animal’s microbiota and indirectly impact the individual’s microbiota.
- Cold meats and industrial products contain hidden sugars, yeasts and saturated fats that are harmful to our microbiota.
You will tell me: there is nothing left! But if. Here are the foods to favor. Remember that this is not permanent and that you will return to a more comfortable diet in some time.
“Normal” foods to use in the anti-candidiasis diet
During your anti-candidiasis diet, you can still consume a large number of raw foods and concoct gourmet recipes:
- oilseeds : almonds, walnuts, cashews, Brazil nuts (rich in selenium), hazelnuts
- legumes (soaked the day before then rinsed): lentils , dried beans, peas, broad beans
- fresh fruits and preferably red fruits : cranberries, raspberries, pomegranates, blackcurrants
- vegetables and especially vegetables rich in proline : cabbage, eggplant, beets, carrots, pumpkins, turnips, mushrooms, asparagus. Consuming fiber is essential because it is the food for the probiotics of our microbiota
- foods rich in omega 3: rapeseed oil, camelina oil, linseed oil and small fish: sardines, mackerel, anchovies
- eggs , chicken
- onions , garlic , spirulina for their anti-oxidant benefits . In addition, they will support liver functions
- a glass of organic red wine per week
To give you ideas, here are two days of meals following an anti-candidiasis diet.
Essential nutrients to support the anti-candidiasis diet
As you have now understood, the role of our immune system and our microbiota are prevalent both in terms of prevention but also when candidiasis has taken hold. It is therefore important to promote an anti-inflammatory diet as we mentioned above, but also to limit the stress factors which impact our intestinal flora.
If you have candidiasis, and especially if it returns chronically, minerals and vitamins are often in deficit even though they are essential. Supplementation can be interesting, but as always, don’t take everything and anything. The advice of a professional is essential to guide you according to your situation and your personal needs.
First of all, we find iron. Indeed, recent studies 1 have demonstrated the importance of iron as an essential micronutrient. Iron plays an important role in colonization by microorganisms like candida and other yeasts. Zinc , fatty acids, selenium and magnesium are often deficient as well.
At the same time, you will need to be vigilant about the quantity of vitamins B6 and B9 as well as vitamin A. As a reminder, vitamin A is found in two forms in our food. Retinol is present in foods of animal origin (eggs, calf’s liver, cod liver oil, shark oil, etc.) Beta-carotene is found in red/orange-colored plants: carrots, beets, apricots …
As always, the liver deserves special attention. Think about chlorella (algae), wild garlic and plants containing silymarins (milk thistle for example).
I of course advise you to ensure the good balance of your microbiota and not to hesitate to take probiotics for a while.
Natural tips to get rid of intestinal candidiasis
Along with these nutritional tips, it is necessary to eradicate candida with natural solutions. The latter having a tendency to mutate and adapt very easily, it is imperative to be smarter than him and to propose solutions in three phases. Here is what I generally recommend
- Grapefruit seed oil for 1 week
- Synergy of essential oil (cinnamon, savory, clove, etc.) the 2nd week
- Walnut husk during the 3rd week
- In week 4 we resume week 1 and so on
Please note: These tips cannot be applied by everyone. Essential oils and grapefruit have strong contraindications. Always seek the advice of a professional, a naturopath for example or a pharmacist.
This protocol must be accompanied by taking appropriate probiotics in order to reseed the microbial flora. It is often necessary to add L.Glutamine which restructures the walls of the enterocytes.
This complete protocol may seem tedious and indeed it is, I am aware of it. But it is only with rigor and perseverance that we can overcome this proliferation. Do not hesitate to seek support and request personalized follow-up in order to adopt the solutions that suit you.
I hope this article will help you better understand how a saprophytic host can transform into a pathogenic host and what measures are available to eradicate it.
Remember that prevention is the best treatment. I therefore encourage you to take care of your diet , the quality of your sleep , to practice regular physical activity , to breathe and to live as much as possible in laughter, pleasure, joy, sharing, desire, passion…
- Martins, N., Ferreira, I.C.F.R., Barros, L. et al. Candidiasis: Predisposing Factors, Prevention, Diagnosis and Alternative Treatment. Mycopathologia 177, 223–240 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11046-014-9749-1