Preventing Yeast Infections: Foods to Avoid and Foods to Eat
Yeast infections are common and can be quite uncomfortable. The majority of yeast infections are caused by a yeast called Candida albicans. Candida feeds on specific types of foods, mainly simple carbohydrates and sugars. Unfortunately, these types of foods are common in our modern diet, which means that many people are at risk of developing yeast infections.
Fortunately, there are some foods that help to prevent yeast infections. A diet that is high in probiotics, low-carb sweeteners, healthy fats, and protein can help to strengthen your immune system and prevent yeast infections. In this article, we will discuss the foods that you should avoid if you want to prevent yeast infections, as well as the foods that you should eat more of.
Foods to Avoid
1. Simple Carbohydrates: Simple carbohydrates, such as white flour, white bread, and white rice, are broken down very quickly in the digestive system. This causes a sudden spike in blood sugar, which is a good source of fuel for Candida. Candida uses this fuel to grow and proliferate, as well as to build the biofilms that protect it from your immune system. Replace these simple carbs with complex carbohydrates, such as quinoa and buckwheat.
2. Alcoholic Drinks: Alcohol can cause your blood sugar to rise in the short term, followed by a precipitous drop. It can also weaken your immune system, making it harder for your body to fight off infections.
3. Fruit Juices and Dried Fruits: These types of foods are highly concentrated, which means that you’re getting large amounts of sugar in a single serving. Eat fresh or frozen fruits instead of processed fruit juices and dried fruits.
4. Sugary Condiments: 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.
5. Sweeteners: Sugar, maple syrup, and other sweeteners are a food source for Candida cells. Try to avoid adding sugar to your coffee, tea, or other foods.
Foods to Eat
1. Probiotic Foods: Probiotics are a type of ‘friendly’ bacteria that live throughout your digestive system. These bacteria help your immune cells to fight off pathogenic yeasts such as Candida albicans. Foods that are high in probiotics include sauerkraut, kimchi, kefir, miso, and yogurt.
2. Low-Carb Sweeteners: Natural, low-carb sweeteners such as monk fruit extract, stevia, and xylitol are free from the harmful sugars that feed Candida. They’re still sweet enough to satisfy your cravings. An added bonus is that erythritol and xylitol are both able to inhibit Streptococcus mutans.
3. Fats and Proteins: 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. 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, there are some foods that have powerful anti-Candida properties. These are medicinal foods that can help to prevent yeast infections.
1. Garlic: Garlic is 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 cell walls of the yeast cells, preventing them from functioning properly.
2. Onion: Onions have anti-fungal and antibacterial properties. They also improve your detoxification mechanisms.
3. Coconut Oil: Coconut oil is a powerful anti-fungal. The medium-chain fatty acids in coconut oil have been shown to kill Candida yeast cells. You can consume coconut oil on its own, or use it in cooking. You can also use coconut oil topically to treat yeast infections.
Preventing yeast infections requires more than just avoiding sugary and carb-rich foods. Maintaining strong immunity through exercise and a healthy diet is always important. However, by avoiding specific foods, and eating more probiotic-rich foods, low-carb sweeteners, healthy fats, and protein, you can give your body a helping hand in preventing yeast infections. Additionally, consuming coconut oil, garlic, and onion can further help to prevent and combat yeast infections. With these dietary changes, you can promote good health and balance in your body.