Anti Fungal Foods | Fight Candida Naturally
When it comes to battling the negative effects of candida, food truly is medicine. Explore some of my top recommendations for naturally fighting candida with anti fungal foods.
For many health conditions, one of the first go-to sources for natural treatment are supplements. Supplements of all kinds have the ability to deliver tremendous benefits1, such as decreased inflammation, disease prevention, improved digestive health, and enhanced cognitive abilities. However, in some cases, the consumption of specific foods should be your first move when looking to heal the body.
What is one example of this? Individuals who are showing symptoms of candida overgrowth will see the most significant effects from a shift to anti fungal foods. Although there are many effective supplements that can be used to eliminate harmful candida from the body2, switching to a diet of anti fungal foods should be your top priority.
Learn more about candida and its symptoms, which foods and beverages you should avoid if you have an overgrowth, and which anti fungal foods deliver the biggest benefits.
What is candida?
Candida is officially defined by Merriam-Webster as “any of a genus of parasitic fungi that resemble yeasts.”
Above and beyond its dictionary definition, candida has a reputation of being an opportunistic yeast in the body. When healthy gut bacteria isn’t present, overgrowth can quickly become a problem. The toxins produced by candida have been shown to contribute to a leaky gut syndrome, which causes challenges for the immune system. In short, it is important to keep the growth of this fungus under control at all times.
Do I have Candida overgrowth?
Symptoms of Candida overgrowth can be experienced throughout the entire body.
Although candida garners a significant amount of attention for its ability to cause infections3, it is actually responsible for a long list of symptoms. Because these symptoms can be experienced throughout the entire body, it isn’t always easy to identify candida overgrowth as the cause.
If you are experiencing any of the symptoms below, candida overgrowth could be the root cause:
- Poor digestion
- Fatigue and exhaustion (including chronic fatigue syndrome)
- Having a “sweet tooth”
- Problems with your mood (e.g. anxiety, depression)
- Candidiasis (defined by the CDC as a “fungal infection caused by yeasts that belong to the genus Candida.”)
- Having one or more autoimmune diseases (e.g. ulcerative colitis, psoriasis)
Why is it so important to get candida and yeast growth under control? A healthier body and gut depend on it! Because bacterial metabolites mediate communication between the commensal microbiota and the immune system, preventing overgrowth is needed when trying to decrease overall inflammation.
Foods to avoid when fighting candida
Sugars and carbohydrates cause candida to thrive within the body.
Shortly after developing a significant candida overgrowth, it is common to develop strong cravings for certain foods. Unfortunately, the foods that you tend to crave at this stage are the ones that cause yeast to thrive.
Whether you suspect or have been confirmed to have a candida overgrowth, it is essential to avoid the foods that cause the candida to grow. When starting an anti fungal diet, be sure to avoid the following:
- Simple carbohydrates and sugar
- Overconsumption of antibiotics
- Fruit juices
- Foods that contain yeast
Anti Fungal Foods That Can Kill Candida
No matter what types of cuisine you enjoy most, there are anti fungal foods that match all tastes and preferences. Explore some of the top choices to consider to help you defeat candida overgrowth.
Now that you’ve learned which foods promote candida growth, it is even more crucial to know which anti fungal foods will actively help you overcome the condition. For decades, researchers have examined the properties of all kinds of foods, spices, oils, and beverages. These studies have revealed the tremendous power that certain selections can have.
Because the body needs anti fungal foods to help eliminate overgrowth, it is important to know which options are best. Those suffering from a candida overgrowth should be sure to incorporate as many of the following foods in their diet as possible:
- Coconut oil: Studies have shown that coconut oil has powerful anti fungal properties.4
- Wild salmon: In addition to being rich in vitamins, minerals, omega-3 fatty acids, and protein, wild salmon has been shown to decrease inflammation (which is important in healing candida overgrowth).
- Olive oil: Did you know that olive oil has powerful antibacterial properties? In fact, studies have found that “extra virgin olive oil fights eight strains of this bacterium, three of which are resistant to antibiotics.”
- Garlic: Those in search of the best anti fungal foods should be sure to add plenty of garlic to their diet. More specifically, research has found that “allicin, one of the active principles of freshly crushed garlic homogenates, has a variety of antimicrobial activities.5”
- Cinnamon: For years, cinnamon has been used not only for its pleasant aroma and taste, but also for its antibacterial properties. Cinnamon is versatile enough to be used in breakfast dishes, main entrees, and healthy desserts.
Foods To Support A Healthy Gut
- Bone broth: Among all listed foods, none can repair and restore the gut quite as well as bone broth. While working to eliminate candida overgrowth, and after, bone broth is integral in the healing process.
- Onions: In addition to their strong taste and aroma, onions pack tremendous benefits for your health. When looking at how they benefit someone suffering from a candida overgrowth, onions offer up anti fungal, anti parasitic, and antibacterial properties.
- Citrus fruits: In general, citrus fruits are an excellent choice for those on a candida-fighting diet. However, if you are looking for the best choice, be sure to select lemons and limes. Both are especially beneficial when looking to cleanse the body of harmful bacteria, as they stimulate the colon and alkalinize the body.
- Fibrous vegetables: Vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage, sprouts, arugula, and radishes are exceptional choices in this category. To ensure easy digestion, be sure to cook all fibrous vegetables before serving.
Foods To Detox Candida
- Turmeric: Turmeric is a spice that has been used for its medicinal purposes for 1000s of years. This bright yellow spice can be added to many dishes, and delivers a potent combination of health benefits. It is effective in fighting candida6 due to its anti-inflammatory and anti fungal properties.
- Celery juice: If you are looking to re-set your gut, celery juice is great for detoxing. In fact, drinking the juice for only 1-2 days can help candida die off! This is a wonderful choice for those who are looking for fast results and enjoy juicing. You can also add in other anti fungal foods from this list when creating your juice.
- Papaya seeds: One of the last anti fungal foods to consider adding to your diet is papaya (specifically, the seeds). Why are papaya seeds effective in eliminating excess candida? The extract of the seeds “has been shown to harbor strong anti parasitic action. Studies have found that this inhibitory activity is effective against Candida overgrowth.”
Favorite recipes for fighting candida
After reviewing the list of the best anti fungal foods for candida overgrowth, you might be wondering how to best incorporate them into your diet. While the internet is full of delicious and healthy recipes, it can be a challenge to know which ones are best. To get you moving in the right direction, I have included some of my favorite anti fungal food recipes below.
Papaya Seed Smoothie
1 small ripe organic papaya (use 1/2 with no skin and 2 tablespoons of the seeds)
½ cup coconut meat
1/2 green banana
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon cinnamon
8 oz canned coconut milk
1 teaspoon MCT oil
Blend all ingredients until combined & enjoy for breakfast, or for an afternoon snack.
Dr. Gorski’s Golden Milk Recipe
1 cup canned coconut milk
1 scoop collagen protein peptides – optional
3 teaspoons turmeric
2 teaspoons ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Place all ingredients into a blender and blend until combined. Heat the golden milk mixture on a stovetop until warm.
What is a low FODMAP diet?
For those who are looking to make major dietary changes to combat their candida overgrowth, consider eating a lower FODMAP diet. What is a low FODMAP diet? The letters that comprise the term are an acronym, which stand for “Fermentable Oligo-, Di-, Mono-saccharides and Polyols.”
This diet is most commonly used to treat digestive conditions. In specific, it has been found to be effective in treating irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) by alleviating symptoms such as diarrhea, gas, bloating, constipation, and cramping7.
How are low FODMAP foods beneficial for those fighting candida?
Since the goal of consuming low FODMAP foods is to balance
and restore the gut, this diet is also useful when fighting candida. In addition to calming the symptoms of IBS, leaky gut, and other digestive conditions, these foods are also effective in restoring gut health after suffering from candida overgrowth. Among the many low FODMAP foods are ones previously listed, including garlic, arugula, greens, and bone broth. Considering an antifungal diet may be a good place to start.
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