What is Candida? Is it bad? Why say 'Good Bye"?
Candida naturally occurs in the intestinal tract. In small, naturally occurring quantities it is quite harmless. However, when it grows rampantly out of control it takes over our digestive flora and inhibits the absorption of nutrients and proteins from our foods and makes it harder to digest fats. In some cases we can only absorb 50% of the nutrients from what is being put into our bodies.
This does two things.
1) It leads our bodies to feel we need to ingest more food, typically the things that bring on more candida, thus gaining weight and
2) leads to nutritional deficiencies.
It becomes a never ending cycle that we need to end.
Research has shown that more than 80% of the US population has a problem with candida.
How did we get here?
The over use of antibiotics in the US has increased the occurrence of candida. In taking antibiotics we inadvertantly also kill off the good bacteria in our bodies... the stuff that helps us ward off diseases and keeps us healthy. Yes, we kill off some of the candida as well, but unfortunately candida bounces back a lot faster and easier than its beneficial counterparts.
We also have an infatuation with white fluffy breads and sugar. According the the USDA the average American consumes 156 pounds of sugar each year... Just imagine 31 - five pound bags of sugar stacked up. Now, that isn't to say that we sit and eat all that as white sugar... we also consume it as high fructose corn syrup and other sugars. What it is saying is that we are eating far too much of it. And feeding it to the candida! Yes, whenever we eat breads, sugars, white rice, and otherwise processed foods we are 'feeding' candida and causing our bodies to have to work harder for the good stuff that might be in there. We need to break that cycle.
Do I have an overgrowth of candida?
Chances are you do... as stated earlier 80% of Americans do and don't know it.
I have seen on many websites that you can do a simple test at home to check for it. It is the (da da da daaaaaa.... drum roll>>>) "saliva test". Very high tech... put a glass of water next to your bed at night. When you awaken in the morning, before you take a drink of water, spit into the cup. If the saliva becomes stringy leading out 'tentacles' reaching for the bottom. Basically doing an impression of a jelly fish. Then you've got a bit of candida to deal with.
However, this "test" isn't 100%... if you have any of the symptoms below... working on candida issues isn't a bad idea.
Some outward signs of an overgrowth of candida might be:
- abdominal cramping (mild to severe - can be as painful, as some have put it, as labor pains - mine have doubled me over!)
- diarrhea (in some cases foamy/frothy looking)
- diaper/nappy rash
- sore nipples if nursing
- itching under arms and breasts etc
- vaginal yeast infections
- memory loss
- brain fog
- kidney and or urinary tract infections (or incontinence)
- hay fever
- hoarse voice
- skin rashes
- adult acne... you may find it particularly present off the corners of your mouth
- jock itch
- dry, itchy, flaky skin
- recurring irritability or mood swings
- heartburn or indigestion/acid reflux/GERD
- food and environmental allergies
- joint soreness/pain
- chest pain
- migraines and headaches
- PMS or other menstrual problems
- can't lose weight no matter what you try
- Athlete's foot
- Fungus on the toe and/or fingernails
- Chronic sinus problems
- Muscle weakness and flu-like aches
- Constant pain under the left rib cage
- lower immune system (catch colds easily)
- crave sweets and simple carbs
- Vertigo or balance problems
- Bad breath In spite of good oral hygiene
- Cravings for Chocolate, peanuts, pistachios or alcohol
- Adrenal or thyroid problems
- Hemorrhoids, fissure or rectal bleeding
- Puffy, dry or burning eyes
- Blood sugar imbalances
- Chemical sensitivity (especially colognes or fabric dye)
Do your body a favor... Say Goodbye to Candida!
How do we break the cycle of candida?
The first thing we need to do is to reserve antibiotics for only the most serious of life threatening infections. No more antibiotics for ear infections, a minor or moderate cut, or any other non-life threatening incidences. There are a lot of other things we can do for those situations that don't involve killing off important disease fighting bacterias and beneficial micro flora that we need to enhance not eliminate during times of stress (physical and mental).
The next thing we need to do is examine what we eat. We need to ask a few of questions: What are we eating that feeds candida? What can we eat that will kill candida? and What can we eat to enhance and encourage the beneficial bacteria to multiply?
Things to eliminate (the feeders):
- all refined carbs: wheat/gluten ~ simply said all breads and breading, white rice, etc.
- sugars including hfcs
- items containing yeast
- margarine or other hydrogenated oils
- Pasteurized Dairy (milk, cheese, hidden dairy in boxed foods, casein, etc)
Ask these questions:
- Are all the ingredients listed things that my Great Grandparents would have recognized as food?
- Are there four or fewer ingredients?
- Can I read the ingredients and understand what they are without a special degree in bio-tec science or the like?
Little Changes (additional changes that go a long way to helping your body heal)
- Do not use iodonized or bleached salts. These are the snow white salts you find at the grocery store. They have been bleached and contain dioxins and no longer contain naturally occurring life giving nutrients. Instead utilize Redmonds Real Salt, Celtic Sea Salt, or Himalayan Salt.
- Eliminate or diminish your intake of caffeine (coffee and tea - herbal teas are wonderful. Find organic sources of tea if you must have some. And organic fair trade sources of coffee... regular not de-caf... just wean yourself down to 1 cup or less a day)
- Eliminate tobacco completely as well as alcohol (during the candida elimination process completely avoid alcoholic beverages... afterward nursing on a glass of wine - once a week most likely won't harm your digestive system.)
- Where does your meat come from? If you haven't spoken directly to the grower chances are that antibiotics have been used in raising it... you are what you eat. Please avoid factory farmed beef. Talk to your grower directly.
Things to add (the helpers):
- Extra Virgin Coconut Oil ~ you really can not over eat coconut oil. Extra Virgin Coconut Oil Kills Candida! Eating coconut oil in therapeutic amounts (4 or more TBL per day) or even maintenance amounts (1-2 TBL per day) helps to keep candida in check.
- Any coconut product: coconut meat, oil, flour, butter, sugar, nectar, etc can help with candida.
- Whole grains, nuts and seeds (brown rice, quinoa, amaranth, raw sunflower seeds, fresh ground flax, raw walnuts, raw cashews, chia & raw pumpkin seeds etc), beans, and veggies (esp green leafy veggies and raw) help add fiber which helps with elimination of candida.
- Taking 1000 mg of vitamin C and getting 20-30 mins of sun each day are also important.
- Raw Dairy (milk, yogurt, kefir, cheese, whey, etc) and pastured meats (chicken and beef). Find a farmer near you that you can get these things from. Your palate with thank you not to mention your entire body.
- Probiotics such as Yogurt and Kefir as well as Kombucha tea add beneficial bacteria to the environment which aids as well. Kefir water is a good option as well.
- We have used Garden Of Life's probiotic blend ~ Primal Defense. As well as their Omega-zyme with wonderful results.
- Unpasteurized apple cider vinegar such as by Braggs. Just mix a TBL with water and some honey or xylitol to taste.
- Xylitol ~ a natural sugar substitute - looks and tastes like sugar - you use the same measurements in baking etc. Xylitol helps to kill off excessive candida! You can find it at health food stores.
- Stevia is an herb that gives you the flavor of sugar. To use to sweeten your beverage you just get the tip of your spoon damp and dip it into the stevia powder... you hardly need a bit of it to 'sweeten' your food and drink.
- Flax oil such as Barleans for your Omega's. The High Lignan Flax oil adds fiber to help with elimination of the candida.
A very important supplement to take is a B-12 complex in Methyl form. A B12 complex supplement is important because the candida has inhibited its absorption and when low the candida tend to flourish. When the proper balance of B12 is restored, the Candida can then be kept in check. Now that you know Candida and Vitamin B12 are related, this knowledge should encourage you to eat a more balanced diet to avoid the further complications associated with a B12 deficiency. (B12 methyl in a spray)
Vitamin B12 is essential for good health in many different ways. It aids in helping the developing nervous system and function properly. It also aids in blood cell production (many that are anemic are B12 deficient). The best sources are in free range meats, organ meats, raw diary products, and in free range eggs. Though B12 deficiency can happen to anyone, strict vegetarians are often at risk as they don't eat any of those mentioned things.
There are many things that occur with a B-12 deficiency. These include, but are not limited to cancer, autoimmune diseases, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, stroke, Parkinson's, and Alzheimer's.
Below is a list of symptoms to be aware of with a B12 Deficiency.
Neurological B Vitamin Deficiency Symptoms
- Mental confusion
- Impulse Control
- Pins and needles in the extremities
- Balance issues
- Loss of Appetite
- Weight Loss
- Shortness of breath that results from only very light exertion
- White spots on the skin (typically the forearm)
Yes, most likely you will have food cravings. Not for just 'good' food, but for things that will feed the candida. If you were one that enjoyed a daily candybar or two you will crave them. If you ate bread ~ you will crave it. Drank pasteurized milk and ate pasteurized cheese ~ you will crave them as well. You will even crave that factory farmed steak! The candida want you to eat and drink them to Feed them. What we have found is that the foods we love the most are the ones that feed the candida and that we most likely have a food sensitivity too.
Pineapple is the answer! Yes, you read right. Eat pineapple whenever you are having a craving for the candybar, bread, pasteurized milk, etc. It can be fresh, dried, non-concentrated juice, canned, etc.... just eat it.
Why Pineapple? Because pineapple is special! It has proxeronine**, a special element that helps curb cravings for things such as sugars and carbs ~ the bad things that feed the candida. It is also a rich source of Bromelain, an enzyme that helps digest food. Bromelain has been found to be an effective anti-inflammatory (therefor helping with arthritis as well as cancers and heart disease). So, eat your Pineapple!
** Noni Juice is also high in proxeronine. You have to be careful to choose a reliable source for noni juice ~ talk to your local health food store owner/manager to find out what product they recommend.
How long will this take?
It takes 3-4 weeks to clean your system of excessive amounts of candida. After which you will find it much easier to stick to a whole foods eating plan without a lot of cravings for the foods that increase candida.
Your body will thank you and you will have an abundance of energy that you haven't seen in a long while.
If you stray on occasion you will know it. Maybe not the first day or even the first few days, but your body will let you know. You will start feeling the symptoms and you will know. You might have a headache or feel sluggish or even have what my daughter has now coined, "gooie poo" - a kind of foamy diarrhea. You may even be truck driver belching ~ like you just drank a 2 lt bottle of Sprite even though you haven't touched Sprite in ages.
We all stray... birthday parties, holidays... these things happen. We just must be vigilant and not consume too much of the candida feeders so we can enjoy the party and the day/week after a lot better.
Candida is the single largest epidemic that Americans are facing. Just LOOK at the amount of people afflicted with Cancer, ADD/ADHD, Adrenal Fatigue, Diabetes & other Endocrine System problems, Obesity, Autoimmune and Fatigue. All it takes is ONE round of antibiotics and/or consuming a diet consisting of conventional meats and dairy products, which have antibiotics in them. Between antibiotics, birth control pills, and a diet high in simple carbs/sugars, pretty much everyone is at risk.
We have learned there are 3 steps to effectively killing off excessive candida:1. Kill/Starve the existing candida
2. Eat a healthy diet that doesn't feed new candida
3. Repopulate your gut with good bacteria.
Defeating candida may not be an easy task, but it can be done and is often the only route to good health and a strong immune system.
When the immune system is weak, candida will easily overrun the intestinal tract and indeed the entire body. It may burrow deeper into various organs. Wrapping around the spinal cord and the nerves and may even accumulate at the base of the brain. It can encompass the heart and liver and can affect the reproductive system even causing endometriosis.
Candida is not considered a disease in itself; it is a condition indicating an internal imbalance. Its symptoms may mask, overshadow or even accompany other diseases such as cancer and diabetes. Basically, if your immune system is busy dealing with candida, it does not have the strength to fight other critical illnesses.
Do your body a favor... Say Goodbye to Candida!
We don't often think of this and I left it out while writing this article. When you eat meat from thegrocery store... or other non-organic non- natural pastured source you are getting a hefty dose of antibiotics via the meat.
so... you personally do not need to be the taker of the antibiotics... the animals have and you get it via the meat. The meat industry uses a HUGE amount of antibiotics to keep these factory farmed animals alive to butcher.
Have you ever watched "The Meatrix"?
If not, here's an eye opening link. Be aware... You may never look at that beef in the meat department the same again...