If you’re hearing more about the candida cleanse or the candida diet lately, that’s because it’s become the latest hot button health topic.
Both the diet and the cleanse are meant to address symptoms caused by a candida infection, but it must be noted that the effectiveness is anecdotal only, there is no scientific evidence to support these claims.
Candida is the most common fungus in the body, and it typically is harmless. The problem occurs when there is an overgrowth of this fungus, and an infection occurs.
What Is a Candida Infection?
Many people, especially women, have heard of yeast infections. A yeast infection is typically a fungal infection of the vagina and the vulva. It’s also called vaginal candidiasis. This is one of the most common forms of a candida infection, but they can occur anywhere in the body.
Another very common form of candida is called thrush. This is an infection of the oral cavity where the good bacteria in your body normally keeps the candida in line, but because of some disruption in the balance, the candida is allowed to flourish, and an infection occurs.
In any candidiasis situation, there is a disruption of the body’s normal defenses against the candida fungus, allowing for an overgrowth that leads to infection. The ultimate goal of the candida cleanse diet is to reduce the amount of candida in the body to either manage the symptoms of candidiasis or to prevent it in the first place.
What Are the Symptoms of Candidiasis?
There are more than 150 known candida species that live in your body, and as discussed above, candida infections can occur in different areas of the body, so symptoms can vary. That said, some common symptoms associated with candidiasis include the following:
♦ Constipation or diarrhea
♦ Chronic fatigue
♦ Skin rashes or eczema
♦ Recurrent urinary tract infections
♦ Irritability and mood swings
♦ Anxiety or depression
♦ Joint pain
Risk Factors of Candidiasis
It’s important to stress that having the candida fungus in the body is completely normal, but it’s when there is a candida overgrowth that problems can occur, and symptoms may arise. Some of the more common risk factors for candidiasis include:
♦ High sugar and refined carbohydrate diet
♦ High alcohol consumption
♦ Elevated stress
♦ Imbalance in your body’s bacteria
♦ Using a catheter
♦ Having diabetes mellitus
♦ A weakened immune system
♦ Some medications: birth control pills, antibiotics, corticosteroids
♦ Hormonal changes during pregnancy
What Is a Candida Cleanse and Diet?
A candida cleanse and candida diet are sometimes used interchangeably, but they are different. Proponents of this approach to candida overgrowth recommend doing a candida cleanse before the diet.
A candida cleanse is thought to prepare the body for the diet. This is a very short-term change in eating habits and should last only a couple of days.
For a candida cleanse, it’s recommended that you drink only fluids such as lemon water or bone broth or you eat mainly vegetables, like salads and steamed vegetables, with a very small amount of protein. It’s easy to see why this should only last a couple of days as you’re not getting the proper amount of nutrition.
Once the candida cleanse is over, you can shift to the candida diet. Because there have been no studies to support this diet, there is no real timeline for it. Some people have reported feeling a change very quickly, and others need to stick to the diet for a longer time period.
Foods to Eat on the Candida Diet
♦ Low-sugar fruits
♦ Non-starchy vegetables
♦ Gluten-free grains
♦ High-quality protein
♦ Healthy fats
♦ Some dairy products: butter, ghee, organic kefir, and plain yogurt
♦ Nuts and seeds low in mold
♦ Herbs and spices
♦ No-sugar sweeteners
♦ Non-caffeinated beverages
Foods to Avoid on the Candida Diet
♦ High-sugar fruits
♦ Deli meats
♦ Farm-raised fish
♦ Refined oil and fat
♦ Some condiments: ketchup, soy sauce, white vinegar, BBQ sauce, horseradish, mayonnaise
♦ Some dairy: Cheese, milk, and cream
♦ Sugar and artificial sweeteners
♦ Sugary drinks
♦ Nitrates and sulfates
The candida diet focuses on eliminating high sugar foods, additives, processed foods, some meats and dairy, oils and fats, as well as caffeinated beverages, and alcohol. The addition of a probiotic is often encouraged to supplement the good bacteria in the body and to re-establish a healthy microbiome.
If your focus is on restoring your body’s balance, then a high-quality supplement is exactly what you need. This clinically studied formula pairs probiotics with fiber-digesting enzymes and aloe vera to rebuild your intestinal wall and populate it with good bacteria.
This, in turn, improves digestion, enhances your immune system, and keeps candida in check. It’s a great way to detoxify the body with or without the candida diet.
Why the Candida Diet Works
Despite a lack of scientific evidence to support the efficacy of the candida diet, many people do report feeling better. It’s been suggested that the cause of this improvement is related to the removal of sugars, refined flour, processed foods, and alcohol from the diet. Then replacing those foods with fresh plant-based foods adds nutrients and fewer calories, which is a healthier approach to eating.
If you’re adding a probiotic supplement, you’re not only benefiting from a healthier diet with better food choices, but you’re supporting microbiome health. These elements together are key ingredients in creating and maintaining a body in balance.
The candida diet and cleanse are getting a lot of attention lately, even though there is very little scientific evidence to support their efficacy. What there are ample amounts of are anecdotal responses from people that have tried it and noticed results.
Whether the reported results are due to the diet’s ability to ward off candida overgrowth or the focus on healthier food choices, is undetermined at this point. It is known that making better food choices and consuming a probiotic can help the body maintain a healthy balance of good and bad bacteria.
The end goal of the candida cleanse diet is to keep the candida fungus at check and prevent an overgrowth that can lead to an infection. There are many great things about the candida diet, and it can help you feel better, but if you do suspect candidiasis, it’s best to seek professional medical advice.
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