What to eat to control a yeast infection
Yeast gut infection is very common and often goes unknown as the symptoms are not typical of an infection. Yeast gut infection will often translate by non-specific digestive symptoms like bloating, discomfort, constipation or diarrhea. It can lead to leaky guts, but also have other symptoms like mood swings or brain fog. It is often associated with recurring genital infections, especially among women, but also mouth infections.
A frequent scenario is a woman who present recurrent genital infections that are treated locally, without treating the digestive source. A reinfection then can appear with candida coming from the digestive track invading the genital area.
The origin of overgrowing of candida can have many roots: antibiotherapy, especially on the long term, but also a diet rich in sugar and processed foods. Orals contraceptives, especially high in estrogen can also create an environment propitious for the candida.
Having a little bit of candida in the digestive track is very common. But when the population is becoming too important symptoms can appears, because of an imbalance in the digestive flora, with the good bacteria being outnumbered by candida. The best way to reestablish a balanced gut, and treat the candida infection is a 3-steps approach:
- Starve the yeast.
- Overpower the yeast.
- Replenish good bacteria.
1 / Starve the yeast: avoid simple sugar and fermented products.
- To starve the yeast, it is good to avoid all foods that contain sugar and ferments such as sugary and processed foods, alcohol, cheese, vinegar, and bread. This will need to last a few weeks until the yeast is processed. practically:
- - Change all white processed flours and give priority to whole grains. This can help in 2 ways: by decreasing the sugar intake from processed white flour and by increasing the fiber intake. Fiber allows better digestion and promotes colonization of good bacteria.
- - Limit sugar and all sugary products. This includes fruits that are high in sugar (unfortunately, yeast also eats the healthy sugar in fruits)
- - Prefer vegetables richer in fiber and lower in sugar such as spinach, broccoli, radishes, Brussels sprouts, cabbage. These vegetables also have a direct effect on yeast as they are rich in sulfur, nitrogen and caprylic acid.
- - Avoid vinegar and pickled vegetables which also feed the yeast.
- - Avoid fermented foods, unfortunately including good ones like mushrooms, sauerkraut, pickles, kimchi. (2)
- Coconut oil contains caprylic acid a natural candida fighter that can penetrate the cell membranes of yeast and cause them to die off
2/Superfood and supplements very useful to fight yeast.
Fresh garlic and garlic extract
- Grapeseed’s extracts
- Pau d’arco : a Brazilian herb which has shown to be very efficient to help treating yeast infection.
- Olive leaf extract (3)
- Caprylic acid which is a natural anti yeast agent.
- Oregano oil
- Goldenseal root. also called orangeroot or yellow puccoon. It has been used in traditional medicine to treat a variety of diseases, especially those involving infections or inflammation, and it contains berberine. (4)
- Berberine : found in oregano oil and Goldenseal, you can also take it as a supplement. (5)
3/ Help grow back good bacteria
The idea here is to bring back good bacteria which will “take the space” and avoid the yeast to grow back. The main one is Lactobacillus Bifidus. It is mainly found in yogurt and kefir or probiotics supplements. Taking prebiotics might be a concern, as it could also feed the candida.
Yeast infections are very difficult to treat, as the candida is often everywhere in our body. While good nutritional habits can help fight against the infection, an antifungal treatment can be needed at some point and will be prescribed by your doctor.