Candida (intestinal dysbiosis) is caused by an opportunistic microflora which over proliferates in the body when the conditions are right, such as an acidic, damp and sugary environment. If you are concerned about over proliferation of this flora then follow a strict anti-Candida diet and this will naturally kill off the candida. It is recommended by most Naturopaths to do a sloughing off diet for at least 2 months.
MUSHROOMS, FUNGUS’ AND CANDIDA.
Mushrooms have been used for centuries as a traditional food for health and longevity in many of the Asian countries. Different species of mushrooms, such as Reishi, Shitake, Maitake and Oyster mushrooms are known to contain health benefits to support the immune system, nervous system and circulation and also provide many nutrients such as amino acids, Selenium, Magnesium, Calcium, Zinc and B Vitamins and Folic acid in smaller amounts.
Regular mushrooms, such as the White Champignon or the field mushroom which are readily available from stores in Australia do not contain as many nutrients or therapeutic properties and are more widely used as a food rather than for medicinal reasons. Some suggest that these types of mushrooms may encourage the growth of candida yeast and there is a lot of debate as to whether this is true or not. Some experts recommend avoiding mushrooms (because mushrooms are closely related to yeasts) and whether you can eat mushrooms if you have candida or are prone to candida infection is a grey area. There have been two trains of thought over the past few years. One believes that since mushrooms are members of the fungi family, it is thought they may cross-react with the candida micro-organisms (because they are so similar in structure) and therefore trigger an inflammation reaction as the immune system tries to neutralise the perceived threat. Others suggest that another new fungus introduced into to the gut may compete with the candida for food.
Taking these points into consideration, you might want to avoid dietary mushrooms during the anti candida diet period but consider medicinal mushrooms to boost your immune system and fight infection.
DIET TIPS FOR FUNGAL INFECTIONS
- Increase water intake to flush the kidneys and bowels of wastes and acidity
- Introduce herbal teas to increase your water intake and cleanse the digestion. Teas such as Peppermint, Ginger, Echinacea, Lemongrass and Fennel are ideal
- Begin each day with a small glass of warm water with 1/2 lemon squeezed into it. Lemon cleanses the bowels, switches on the liver and also helps to alkalise the blood
- Increase the amount of garlic in your diet as garlic is an antimicrobial due to its sulphur content. Also include ginger and chilli in the diet as these are beneficial to encourage digestion and cleansing
- Have a vegetable juice each day such as carrot, celery, ginger and beetroot. See our tasty juice recipes page for other juice blend ideas
- Include more bitter foods in your diet such as lemon, rocket, endive and beetroot leaves
- Eliminate simple sugars from your diet such as sugar, honey, cakes, breads, chocolate, biscuits and bakery type foods
- Eliminate fermented foods from your diet such as vinegar, apple cider vinegar, alcohol, wine, bread and yeasts
LIFESTYLE FACTORS FOR FUNGAL INFECTIONS
- Support liver, digestion and detoxification processes by eliminating tea, coffee, alcohol, carbonated drinks and cordial
- Address underlying Candida infestation
- Many pharmaceutical medications may contribute to Candida/ fungal proliferation (antibiotics, oral contraceptive pill)
NATURAL REMEDIES FOR A FUNGAL INFECTION
- Some herbs which help to kill and expel the overgrowth of bacteria from the digestive tract are Pau D’arco, Wormwood, Dandelion, Rhubarb, Black Cumin, Oregon Grape, Bitter Orange, Cloves, Gentian, Neem, Golden Seal, Garlic, Thuja, Black Walnut, Olive leaf, Echinacea, Agrimony and Barberry
- Probiotics may help to rebalance the flora of the bowel as many conditions of Candida are directly contributed to the wrong bacteria being housed in the bowel. Probiotics help to correct this imbalance and reduce symptoms such as bloating, thrush and constipation
- Super greens such as Green Barley powder, Wheat grass, Chlorophyll or Spirulina are blood cleanser and help to alkalise the pH balance of the blood which will decrease the survival rate of the fungal infection