The Candida Diet. Part Two: Sticking to the rules in the real world
- By Michael Biamonte
In last month’s Natural Awakenings, I gave an overview of the Candida Diet, which is designed to eliminate candida yeast from the body. The diet is low in carbohydrates; sugar (even in healthy foods, like fruit); and fermented foods like vinegar and alcohol. All these foods feed candida and make it harder for medicines to kill it.
Unfortunately, since candida roots in the blood vessels in our intestines, it can tap into them for nourishment and get enough sugar to stay alive. Over the years I have heard hundreds of individuals say that their symptoms are controlled as long as they are on the diet but return in a few weeks once they’re off. That’s why a comprehensive program is needed to manage candida.
A complicating factor is that life itself makes the Candida Diet hard to follow for many people. Social obligations like weddings, birthdays, and holidays; food cravings due to PMS or allergies; cravings or hunger triggered by stress, exercise, medications, and even Candida itself—the list of hurdles is long.
So here are some workarounds.
While the Candida Diet allows for gluten-free grains only—which excludes wheat, barley, and rye—some people are not allergic to the gluten protein in the rye. This allows for the possibility of using yeast-free rye bread on the diet. Other grain options are millet, white or brown rice, corn, spelt, triticale, and Kamut.
Depending on the cook’s skills, the Candida Diet can be either boring or a feast. There is ample variety in the diet to allow for many culinary delights if one knows the art of cooking. Try buying some new cookbooks for ideas and inspiration. They don’t have to be written specifically for the Candida Diet—just look for books that promote a “low-carb” lifestyle.
Go-To Cooking Styles
Meat and vegetable stir-fries are perfect for the Candida diet (just leave off the rice). So are Italian dishes featuring meats, poultry, or fish in light-red sauces or butter- or olive-oil-based sauces; these can be paired with endless combinations of herbs, spices, and vegetables to produce restaurant-quality meals. Other good options are Indian curries of meats, poultry or fish served with green leafy vegetables. Want traditional American? Go for meat, creamed spinach, and mushrooms served with a salad, or seafood with a vegetable medley.
Several physical conditions can cause hunger and food cravings. They include hypoglycemia; food allergies (often caused by candida) or food sensitivities; adrenal exhaustion (triggered by stress, insomnia or sleep deprivation, and exacerbated by poor diet); and PMS (a real medical condition, not just an excuse to eat chocolate or act cranky).
The good news is that each of these causes has a solution. The key is to identify the cause and then address it with diet modification and nutritional supplements.
Hemp Hearts—raw, shelled hemp seeds—are one of nature’s superfoods. They curb sugar cravings and provide a broad spectrum of health benefits.
For PMS, adding magnesium through foods and supplements can ease fluid retention and decrease chocolate cravings. Vitamin B6 appears to increase magnesium absorption. Many alternative doctors have found that evening primrose oil can prevent PMS symptoms. Several supplement companies make PMS-specific formulas.
To restore adrenal function, add pantothenic acid, vitamins C and B6, sea salt, and licorice root; get eight to ten hours of sleep nightly, and eat five or six small meals per day to stabilize blood sugar. Testing can determine the best adrenal support formula.
While candida is best managed with testing and supervision through a comprehensive program, adopting the Candida Diet is the first step anyone can take now.