How to Treat Candida Naturally
Do you experience frequent digestive issues, food sensitivities, severe seasonal allergies, and recurrent fungal infections? Then you may be suffering from candida overgrowth. Candida is a yeast that can be found in the mouth, intestines and on the skin. In small amounts, candida helps the body digest food and absorb nutrients. However, when an overgrowth of candida occurs, it can break down the walls of the intestines and release toxic byproducts into your body (a condition known as “leaky gut“). The gut is a vital component in your overall health, so it’s important to know how to treat candida naturally to restore balance to your digestive system.
What Causes Candida Overgrowth?
Candida levels are normally kept in check by your gut’s healthy bacteria. If this healthy bacteria becomes depleted (typically through antibiotic use) or your immune system is compromised, the candida can multiply unchecked, quickly reaching unhealthy levels. Other causes of candida overgrowth include eating a diet high in sugar and refined carbs, high stress levels, high alcohol consumption and taking oral contraceptives. The most common symptoms of candida overgrowth include:
- Autoimmune disorders
- Brain fog
- Chronic fatigue syndrome
- Depression, anxiety, irritability, mood swings
- Digestive issues (bloating, constipation, diarrhea, painful and persistent gas)
- Food sensitivities
- Itchy ears or severe seasonal allergies
- Recurrent fungal or yeast infections
- Skin issues (eczema, acne, psoriasis, hives and rashes)
- Weight gain
How to Treat Candida Naturally
Treating candida overgrowth is a two-fold process: you must starve the yeast and repopulate your healthy gut bacteria. Yeast feeds on sugar, so the first step is to cut out sugar from your diet in all its forms: raw and processed sugar, fruit (fructose is a form of sugar), milk (lactose is a form of sugar), corn syrup, etc. You should also avoid processed and refined foods, foods that are high in gluten, and any foods that contain yeast (baked goods and alcohol).
While candida feeds on sugar, it also requires an acidic environment to survive. Therefore vinegar and foods that contain vinegar should be avoided.
Your doctor should also screen you for any food sensitivities. These can contribute to intestinal damage and worsen your candida symptoms. Avoiding these foods will help repair and restore your gut.
Things you should eat to treat candida naturally include garlic, cloves, turmeric and coconut oil, which have antifungal properties. Ginger and lemon juice have mild antifungal properties, but offer significant liver support to help your body detoxify from candida overgrowth. Olive oil is rich in antioxidants and wild salmon (not farm raised) is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids which help fight fungal infections. Apple cider vinegar is the only type of vinegar recommended during candida overgrowth and appears to have enzymes that help break down candida. Cruciferous vegetables (such as broccoli, cabbage, arugula, radishes, and Brussels sprouts) all contain isothiocyanates: sulphur- and nitrogen-containing compounds that attack candida. And lastly, cinnamon has antifungal properties which appear to damage yeast cells, causing them to denature and die off. However, cinnamon should not be used while pregnant or in the presence of stomach or intestinal ulcers.
To repopulate your gut’s healthy bacteria, you should reduce stress, eat fermented foods (yogurt, kombucha, kimchi, sauerkraut, kefir), eat a wide variety of fruits and vegetables (this exposes your gut to a wider array of healthy bacteria), and consume both prebiotics and probiotics. Probiotics are bacteria similar to those in your microbiome while prebiotics are foods that the good bacteria feed on to grow and flourish. Probiotics are found in fermented foods and are also available as supplements. Prebiotics are mainly found in fiber-rich plants, such as artichokes, asparagus, garlic, legumes, onions, and whole wheat products.
Learn More About How to Treat Candida Naturally at Anchor Wellness Center
As a Board Certified physician in Family Medicine as well as Board Certified with the American Board of Anti-Aging and Regenerative Medicine, Dr. Malhotra knows how important a healthy gut is to your overall health. Dr. Minni Malhotra, MD, FAARM, ABAARM and her staff can help you recover from candida overgrowth and find relief from a wide range of digestive issues. Call us today at (832) 246-8437 to schedule an appointment.