A Candida yeast infection (Candidiasis) is caused by an overload of the type of yeast normally found in low levels in the body and is resident in the intestinal tract, skin, rectum, mouth and vagina.
Vaginal yeast infections are common among women and are caused by Candida albicans – tiny organisms that live on the skin and inside the vagina. A healthy vagina is very acidic — the pH balance (pH is used to measure acidity or alkaline balance) of a vagina usually ranges between 3.8 and 4.5 (a measurement of 1 is extremely acidic and 14 is very low).
If the delicate PH balance of the vagina becomes less acidic, the vagina’s balance is disturbed and an excess of yeast may occur, causing a yeast infection. Many situations can disturb the vagina’s balance.
Among the most common reasons for a vagina becoming less acidic are pregnancy, menstrual periods, certain types of antibiotics, diabetes, birth control pills and steroids.
Since yeast infections thrive when the vagina has an altered pH balance, diet becomes a big part of the plan to rid your body of the condition. When a Candida overgrowth occurs, your body may have difficult absorbing minerals and vitamins and producing enough digestive proteins.
A Candida diet can appear restrictive if your regular diet is based on processed foods and simple carbohydrates. Depending on your adherence, it may take months for the diet to take effect.
Good dietary practice is the most natural and effective way to overcome a yeast overgrowth, as disrupted pH balance was very likely a major contributor to the problem. If, after the problem is resolved, you lapse into poor eating habits again, the problem is likely to recur.
Making healthy diet habits a lifestyle choice rather than a temporary cure is the best way to prevent future problems.
So, whether to fix the current problem or, better still, an ongoing habit, there are certain foods you’ll want to avoid such as:
- Foods Containing Yeast – Bread, pastries and packaged foods.
- Grains – Flake cereals and sprouted grain cereals, instant oatmeal, cornmeal and hominy grits.
- Some Legumes – Beans and peas that contain sweeteners, vegetable protein and tofu.
- Processed nuts and seeds.
- Most Dairy.
- Meats that may contain antibiotics and hormones. Also, smoked meats.
- Fruit – No dried fruit. Fresh fruit is allowed (especially grapefruit).
- Some Vegetables – Canned tomatoes, cucumber skins, mushrooms and carrots.
- Beverages – Alcohol, coffee, tea, fruit juices, soft drinks and diet drinks.
You can enjoy eating foods that include:
- Certain Legumes – Beans, brown rice, millet, amaranth and quinoa.
- Unprocessed nuts and seeds.
- Beverages – Almond milk, coffee substitute (no malt), carbonated or plain water.
- Vegetables – Spinach, tomatoes, kale, parsley, broccoli or cabbage.
- Unprocessed Protein from animals – Seafood, chicken, deer, goose, pork and turkey.
- Dairy – Plain yogurt with acidophilus culture.
- Fruit – Fruits containing vitamin C help the white blood cells work to combat the infection. Grapefruit is especially helpful for suppressing a yeast infection.
- Garlic – The healing power of garlic is good for most any type of infection and especially a yeast infection. It destroys yeast bacteria and helps prevent future infections.
The purpose of a Candida diet is formulated to provide no nourishment for the yeast organisms to live on.
Basically, you should try and eat a healthy diet, but limit your sugary and yeast-laden foods and be sure to drink lots of water.