Two weeks ago I shared with you seven strategies to help you stop craving sugar. If you have tried some or all of them for a while and if you feel you still crave sugar as badly as before the reason might be that your gut is hosting yeast overgrowth (Candida Albicans) and yeast love to feed on sugar.
Candida Albicans, an opportunistic fungus, is present in all of us and it serves to help us digest food and stay fit and well. However, it starts to cause problems when there is a trigger that depresses our immune system and therefore allows the Candida yeast to proliferate . This trigger could be anything from a course of antibiotic, a diet rich in refined carbohydrates and sugar (including alcohol), or even something like lengthy periods of stress caused by work, traffic jams, family issues or whatever it may be. Modern life predisposes Candida to overgrow.
Some of the symptoms caused by yeast overgrowth:
- cravings (or addictions) for sugar, bread, pasta, alcohol and other high carbohydrate foods,
- intolerances or allergies,
- digestive problems (e.g. bloating, flatulence, nausea, indigestion, cramps, and more),
- bad body odour,
- dermatitis, hives, acne, cysts, eczema,
- Athletes’ foot and fungal infections on nails and skin,
- inability to focus; brain fog; poor memory; irritability,
- and more.
The way to fight the yeast overgrowth is to basically “starve” it. Again, it is easier said than done. So, here are some dietary tips to fight the Candida yeast overgrowth naturally.
1) Decrease consumption of sugar, sugary foods and processed carbohydrates, such as sweets, desserts (puddings), alcohol and refined flours. Increase intake of vegetables with lowest carbohydrates index, such as green beans, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, spinach, kale, asparagus, celery, peppers, Chinese cabbage.
2) Coconut oil, is known to have anti-fungal properties, thanks to the 3 different fatty acids it contains (Caprylic acid, Capric acid, and Lauric acid). Caprylic acid in particular is found effective, as it literally penetrates the yeast cell wall, causing it to die.
3) Raw apple cider vinegar, also helps to control the yeast overgrowth by creating an unfriendly environment and killing the yeast. Starting the day with a tablespoon of raw unfiltered apple cider vinegar mixed with water and drinking it, before eating your breakfast or even before eating all main meals, may help to keep Candida in check.
4) Garlic has powerful anti-fungal properties thanks to the many sulphur compounds it contains. Adding fresh, raw, crushed garlic into foods is easy and cheap and may not only serve to prevent Candida overgrowth but also to boost immune system, improve circulation, lower high blood pressure and serve as natural antibiotic and antioxidant.
5) Rutabaga (also known as swede), and turnip to lesser extend, have also potent anti-fungal properties and should be taken in very small amounts first. They are versatile vegetables and can be added to soups or to mash.
6) Sugar free natural probiotic yoghurt and kefir may help restore population of beneficial bacteria and studies suggest they may be useful in prevention of complementary treatments of Candida overgrowth.
7) Ginger helps in detoxifying our bodies through increased blood circulation, and stimulating our immune system for the better. It also acts as an aid for the proper functioning of our digestive system. One of the biggest benefits of ginger intake though is that it has a soothing effect on any intestinal inflammation that may be caused by Candida overgrowth.
8) Olive oil and olive leaf extract contain a powerful natural anti-fungal called Oleuropein. This plant chemical has also been found to help control blood sugar levels which is another important reason why it is effective in curbing the growth of Candida in our bodies.
These tips are all natural and easily doable. Please note that the above dietary suggestions are not part of a medical procedure or treatment. If you suspect to have specific problems which may require the assistance of a medical professional, then please seek the advise of your GP or other registered medical professional.