Wednesday, 2 March 2016

Struggling with Candida: the "diet" that worked for me

A bit of a personal post & general thoughts on foods:

In spring 2012, I found out that yeast overgrowth in my digestive tract was causing my acne, which I had been fighting since early teen years. (Candida, or yeast, is quite normal to have in your gut, but an imbalance can lead to 'dis-ease'.) It's been a bumpy road to health, but I think I'm finally closing in on it for good. My body feels strong & healthy. My acne is under control & my face is healing. I have found more confidence.

Those who have been by my side through my journey know that my diet has been the biggest part of my health journey. At the very beginning, my diet was strict, but as I became healthier I was able to enjoy more and more foods. However, some things have stayed constant:

Healing Foods (to consume daily):
  • whole milk (not 2% or lower!)
  • cocoa
  • ground ginger (spice, not fresh)
  • cinnamon
  • eggs
  • 1 TB unheated oils: corn, sunflower, safflower
  • something green & something orange (eg. spinach and yam)
  • black beans (weekly)

Foods I avoid:
  • pork & pork products  (sigh...the guilt of cheating on bacon is real)
  • wheat  (but not necessarily gluten)
  • yogurt  (sugar + probiotics that could throw off my own gut bacteria)
  • dried fruit  (HIGH sugar)
  • fruit juices  (high sugar & no fiber to slow down the digestion)
  • added sugars  (sweeten with coconut sugar and stevia instead)
  • yeast  (theory that yeast nurtures yeast)
  • alcohol  (especially beer and sweet liquors)

Anyone familiar with candida & the typical candida diets (which emphasize eating no sugars to starve out the yeast) will be questioning why I drink milk. Lactose is a sugar after all.

However, it seems that yeast is unable to use lactose. In addition, lactose (and milk in general) is incredibly important to build up the good bacteria in the gut.
While I find it difficult to find literature of yeast & lactose in English, the idea that yeast is unable to metabolize milk sugars is very popular in German.

My diet is much more in depth, but I've posted this list because I believe that almost everyone would benefit from following it - at the very least, focusing on having the "healing foods" on a regular basis.

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