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What Helps Yeast Infections: Foods To Eat And Avoid

What Helps Yeast Infections: Foods To Eat And Avoid

Preventing yeast infections often requires several different changes. Maintaining strong immunity through exercise and a healthy diet is always important. But you can also give your body a helping hand by avoiding specific foods.

Your diet plays a major role in the development of yeast infections. Most infections are caused by a yeast named Candida albicans.[1] Like any organism, Candida albicans relies on food for survival – and Candida thrives upon specific foods. These are mainly simple carbohydrates and sugars. Unfortunately, much of your everyday foods contain large amounts of these!

With this in mind, you may be wondering what helps yeast infections? Well, there are plenty of foods that can help. Let’s take a look!

Candida’s Favorite Foods

As you know, carbohydrates are an important source of fuel for the human body. When you eat foods containing carbs, your body quickly converts the carbs into glucose, which is then taken up by your cells as energy.

However, those carbohydrates are also a source of fuel for Candida yeast. It uses this fuel not only for energy to help it grow and proliferate, but also to build the biofilms that protect it from your immune system.

Candida also uses sugar to change from its normal, harmless form to its more virulent, fungal form. This fungal form uses branching filaments, known as hyphae, to spread throughout the body. Yeast infections are often seen at the same time as Candida overgrowth in the intestines and elsewhere.[2]

It has been found that high amounts of glucose in the bloodstream can effectively ‘switch on’ the specific genes in Candida yeast that promote biofilm formation. A biofilm is a matrix that pathogens like Candida albicans build to protect themselves from your immune system.[3]

In the case of Candida yeast, the biofilm acts like a shield that prevents your body’s immune cells from killing it. These biofilms make Candida albicans extremely resistant to anti-fungal treatment, and even more of a challenge for your immune system.

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5 Foods To Avoid When Treating Candida

One of the best ways to prevent yeast infections is to prevent your blood sugar from going too high. This means avoiding sugary, carb-rich foods that will elevate or spike your blood glucose.

You may think that you don’t eat a lot of sugars – but many of them aren’t always obvious. It’s important to know which foods to avoid.

1. Simple Carbohydrates

White flour, white bread and white rice are some of the most common sources of simple carbs. These foods are broken down very quickly in the digestive system, which causes a sudden rise in blood sugar.

Higher blood sugar is a good source of fuel for Candida, which can allow it to continue spreading throughout your digestive system.

Try to replace white starches with complex carbohydrates such as quinoa or buckwheat. These contain high amounts of fiber so your body takes longer to process them, keeping your blood sugar stable. Even better, reduce your carbohydrates and eat more fats and protein.

2. Alcoholic Drinks

Alcohol is on this list because of the way in which it weakens your immune system and destabilizes your blood sugar.

Some types of alcohol can cause your blood sugar to rise in the short term, this is usually followed by a precipitous drop. Diabetics need to be very careful with alcohol due to the way it reduces blood sugar so quickly.

Low blood sugar might sound like a good thing for avoiding yeast infections, but this drop is often followed by a blood sugar surge as we over-compensate by gorging on carbohydrates. Hunger cravings, due to hypoglycemia, usually lead to poor food choices.

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There is also evidence that alcohol undermines your immune system. A study at the University of Maryland measured the effects of vodka on the immune system. After drinking the vodka, participants were tested for levels of three different types of white blood cells — leukocytes, monocytes and natural killer cells. At the 2 hour and 5 hour stage, the levels of white blood cells were significantly lower, signaling a weaker immune system.[4]

3. Fruit Juices and Dried Fruits

While we often think of fruit as healthy, this is mostly the case in its fresh or frozen form. Processed fruit juices and dried fruits are highly concentrated, which means you’re getting large amounts of sugar in a single serving. Yes, even fruit can have too much sugar!

Fruit juices may also contain added sugars which only increase your chances of Candida overgrowth.

To prevent yeast infections, eat fresh or frozen fruits and avoid fruit juices and dried fruits.

4. Sugary Condiments

Condiments are sometimes difficult to avoid because we don’t think of them as a food. However, ketchup and mayonnaise can add large amounts of sugar to an otherwise healthy meal with just a couple of teaspoons!

Swap your condiments for sea salt or herbs and spices. There are also condiments available that are sweetened with low carbohydrate sweeteners like stevia or monk fruit extract.[5]

5. Sweeteners (Such as Sugar and Maple Syrup)

Adding sugar to your coffee may be a habit, but it’s one you should try to break. That extra teaspoon or two of sugar is a food source for Candida albicans and may feed a yeast infection. to those Candida cells!

Alternatives such as agave and honey are a little better, as they are mostly fructose and don’t have the same effect on your blood sugar. However, in the long run, your health will be better served by adjusting to a diet of unsweetened foods.

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3 Food Groups That Can Prevent Yeast Infections

Yes, there ARE foods that will help your body to fight the Candida infection. These are the best ones to include in your daily diet.

Probiotic Foods

Probiotics are a type of ‘friendly’ bacteria that live throughout your digestive system. These bacteria are essential for helping your body to break down food and deliver nutrients to your body. They also help your immune cells to fight off pathogenic yeasts such as Candida albicans.

You can boost the level of probiotic bacteria in your body by taking probiotic supplements and/or eating fermented foods. Sauerkraut, kimchi, kefir, miso and yogurt all contain the live probiotic bacteria that help to promote other healthy bacteria in your gut, allowing them to overcome the ‘bad’ bacteria.

Low-Carb Sweeteners

When you need a sweet fix, don’t go for candy or other treats. Natural, low-carb sweeteners such as monk fruit extract, stevia and xylitol are free from the harmful sugars that feed Candida – and yet they’re still sweet enough to satisfy your cravings.

An added bonus is that erythritol and xylitol are both able to inhibit Streptococcus mutans. Like Candida, this bacteria relies on sugar for survival.

Fats and Proteins

If you’re experiencing constant sugar cravings, it’s likely that your body really needs more fats and protein. Every one of your body’s cells requires healthy fats and lean protein in order to function properly. Around 20% to 35% of your daily calorie intake should come from good quality protein sources including lean meat, dairy, beans, or eggs.

Fat is an important fuel that is needed for the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K. Look for healthy, omega-3-rich foods such as fish, walnuts, and vegetable-based oils. Fats and protein help to stabilize your blood sugar and keep you satisfied.

3 Medicinal Foods That Can Prevent Yeast Infections

In addition to the foods mentioned above, you can give your immune system a helping hand with specific anti-fungal foods. These are medicinal foods that have powerful anti-Candida properties.

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Garlic

Numerous studies have shown garlic to be an effective treatment for yeast and fungal infections, particularly Candida overgrowth. The active ingredient in garlic, allicin, has been shown to inhibit the growth of Candida albicans by disrupting the cells walls of the Candida yeast cells, preventing them from functioning properly.

Garlic is a powerful immune-booster and even helps to keep blood sugar levels in balance.[6]

Onion

Onions not only have anti-fungal and antibacterial properties, they also improve your detoxification mechanisms. Onions are a fantastic prebiotic too, which is a type of ‘food’ for the beneficial bacteria in your gut.

Virgin Coconut Oil

This incredibly versatile oil is one of nature’s best anti-fungal medicines. Coconut oil contains both lauric acid and caprylic acid, which have been found to help inhibit Candida overgrowth. At the same time, coconut oil lends a hand to your immune system in fighting off other pathogenic microorganisms.

Coconut oil is great to use in frying or cooking, but you can also give yourself a dose straight off the spoon!

The Bottom Line

As you can see, you may not need a prescription from you doctor to prevent a Candida yeast infection. What helps yeast infections may be in your kitchen cupboard!

Simply take a close look at your diet and remove any foods that may be feeding the Candida yeast. Then, strengthen your immune system further by adding plenty of anti-fungal and probiotic foods to your diet.

You’ll find that nourishing your body from within not only makes you feel better, but will diminish your sugar cravings and – best of all – put an end to those yeast infections!

Featured photo credit: Shawn Fields via unsplash.com

Reference

More by this author

Lisa Richards

Nutritionist, Creator of The Candida Diet, Owner of TheCandidaDiet.com

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Last Updated on January 11, 2021

11 Hidden Benefits of Using Oil Diffusers

11 Hidden Benefits of Using Oil Diffusers

Affordable, relaxing, and healthy, oil diffusers are gaining popularity with people everywhere due to their extensive benefits. Oil diffusers work through the simple process of oil diffusion, which uses heat to turn oil into a vapor that is then spread around a living space. Diffused oil can have several relaxation and health-related benefits, including safe scent-dispersion, mosquito and mold defense, stress relief, and more!

Read on for 11 hidden benefits of using oil diffusers.

1. Safe Scents That Make Sense

Unlike candles or air fresheners, oil diffusers release cleansing molecules into your air that work to purify it, not overload it with unhealthy chemicals. Electronic diffusers also do not pose the fire risk that candles do. Plus, they contain the added feature of interchangeability, which means you change oil types for different scents and health benefits.

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2. Stress Relief

Several lab studies have confirmed that diffusing essential oils like lavender have been shown to reduce stress and help relieve anxiety in medical patients. Preliminary studies have also shown that oil diffusers can help alleviate symptoms of depression.

3. Improved Sleep

Diffused oil has relaxing properties that can help people of all ages fall asleep quicker and sleep more soundly. Electronic diffusers not only have the option to mix and match different oil blends (Try a lavender, Bulgarian rose, and Roman chamomile blend to help with insomnia), they also run at a gentle hum that helps relax an agitated mind. Many also come with an auto shut-off feature to help conserve oils once you have fallen asleep.

4. Appetite Control

Much like gum, oil diffusers can help stimulate the senses in a way that works to curb appetite. New research has shown that diffused peppermint oil can help curb appetite by inducing a satiety response within the body. Diffused peppermint oil has also been shown to increase energy.

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5. Bacteria and Mold Killing

When essential oils are diffused in the air, they break down free radicals that contribute to the growth of harmful bacteria. Eucalyptus, thyme, and tea tree oils are especially good for this purpose. Diffused oil is also highly effective when it comes to combating fungal yeast threats, as the oil help makes the air inhospitable for yeasts such as mold. Pine and red thyme essential oils are best for combating mold.

6. Decongestion and Mucus Control

Ever tried Vick’s Vapo-Rub? Its decongesting powers come from active ingredients made from the eucalyptus tree. In principle, oil diffusers work the same way as Vapo-Rub, except they diffuse their decongesting vapor all around the room, not just on your chest or neck. Oil diffusers have been known to cure pneumonia in lab mice.

7. Mosquito Repellant

Nobody likes mosquitoes — but when the trade-off means using repellants full of DEET, a toxic chemical that can be especially harmful to children, mosquito control can often seem like a lose-lose. However, scientists have shown that oil diffusers can be used as a safe and highly effective mosquito repellant. Studies have shown that a diffused oil mixture containing clove essential oil and lemongrass essential oil repelled one type of Zika-carrying mosquito, the Aedes aegypti mosquito, at a rate of 100%.

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8. Pain Relief

While applying oils directly to areas of your body may be the most effective way to alleviate pain, diffusing essential oils can also be an effective means of pain relief. When we inhale healthy essential oils, they enter our blood stream and can help internally relieve persistent pain from headaches, overworked muscles, and sore joints.

9. The New Anti-Viral

Research into the anti-viral effects of oil diffusion is now just gaining steam. A recent study showed that star anise essential oil was proven in medical experiments to destroy the herpes simplex virus in contained areas at a rate of 99%. Another study showed the popular DoTerra oil blend OnGuard to have highly-effective influenza-combating powers.

10. Improved Cognitive Function

Diffusing essential oils has also been shown to improve cognitive function. Many essential oils have adaptogenic qualities, which can work twofold in soothing us when we’re stressed, and giving our bodies a pick-me-up when we’re feeling down or sluggish. By working to level out an imbalanced mood, diffused oils also help us to focus. There are also several essential oils which have been shown to help balance the body’s hormones. With prolonged use, these oils can work to repair the underlying causes responsible for hindering cognitive function.

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11. Money Saving

With ten clear benefits of oil diffusers already outlined, there is one more that should now be obvious: using an oil diffuser will help you to save money. As an anti-viral, bug repelling, and stress-relief solution rolled into one safe product, an oil diffuser used with the proper oils will save you money on products you might otherwise be buying to help cure those pesky headaches or get your kids to fall asleep on time. If you’re wondering just how affordable oil diffusers can be, check the buyer’s guide to the best oil diffusers — you’ll be sure to find one that fits your budget!

Featured photo credit: Jopeel Quimpo via unsplash.com

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