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The Candida Diet by Lisa Richards - 3w ago

Buffalo seasoning isn’t just for wings! Believe it or not, it’s delicious on veggies too, like here on these Buffalo Cauliflower Florets. Our seasoning mix uses smoked paprika for a subtle, smoky flavor and perfect color. A pinch of red pepper flakes adds a touch of heat too.

Apple cider vinegar adds that twang you’ve come to know from bottled buffalo sauces, but it’s healthier here without the preservatives and additives. These Buffalo Cauliflower Florets are a tasty, veggie version of the classic pregame (or any time!) snack.

This is a great example of taking a food that’s not particularly healthy (e.g. buffalo wings) and adding in nutritious substitutions. Enjoy!

Buffalo Cauliflower Florets

Cauliflower Florets
  • 3 Tbsp. oil, such as olive or coconut, melted
  • 1 lb. cauliflower florets
  • 1 tsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tsp. paprika, smoked variety recommended
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 stalk celery, thinly sliced
  • 1 scallion, thinly sliced
  • 1 Tbsp. finely minced parsley
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)
Ranch Dressing
  • 1/4 cup plain kefir
  • 1/4 cup plain yogurt
  • 2 tsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tsp. finely minced chives
  • 2 tsp. finely minced parsley
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Directions For Cauliflower Florets
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (205 degrees C). Drizzle a rimmed baking sheet with 1 tablespoon oil, set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, add 2 tablespoons oil, apple cider vinegar, paprika, salt, onion powder and garlic powder. Whisk to combine. Add cauliflower florets to bowl and toss to coat thoroughly, about 1 to 2 minutes. 

  3. Place well seasoned florets on oiled baking sheet and bake, turning once midway, until florets are tender and nicely browned on edges, about 25 minutes. 

  4. Remove from oven and transfer florets to a serving platter. Garnish with thinly sliced celery and scallions, minced parsley and a pinch of red pepper flakes (if using). Drizzle with Ranch Dressing (below), and serve.

Directions For Ranch Dressing
  1. Combine all ingredients in a small bowl, whisk to combine, serve. Store unused dressing in a covered container in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 days.

The post Buffalo Cauliflower Florets appeared first on The Candida Diet.

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Just when you thought you’d tried all the sugar-free natural sweeteners around, along comes a brand-new one: monk fruit! And this may be the best yet.

Although fairly new to the Western market, monk fruit extract has been used as both a sweetener and medicine for centuries. Also known as luo han guo, monk fruit is named for the monks who grew it in southern Chinese mountains hundreds of centuries ago. It’s part of the gourd family and grows on a vine, but doesn’t usually grow wild.

Monk fruit extract contains some incredible compounds that are 300-400 times sweeter than cane sugar. But, and here’s the real kicker, it’s virtually calorie-free. That means it won’t affect blood sugar levels, and it won’t rot your teeth.

Because monk fruit has a rather short shelf life after being harvested – and an unpleasant rotten taste – it’s rarely eaten fresh. Monk fruit sweetener, on the other hand, is very pleasant and lacks the aftertaste that some other natural sweeteners have.

Why Monk Fruit Is Suitable For The Candida Diet

Monk fruit’s sweet taste is not actually from its sugars but from its antioxidant content! These antioxidants – known as mogrosides – aren’t metabolized by the body in the same way as natural sugar, so they’re not used for energy. The trace amounts of natural sugars in monk fruit – fructose, glucose and other components – are insignificant as a calorie source. This basically means you get the benefits of a sweet taste but in a form that the body doesn’t recognize as calories.

More importantly, the lack of sugars in monk fruit means there’s nothing to feed a Candida overgrowth or indeed any other form of gut dysbiosis. This makes monk fruit a fantastic sugar-free option for satisfying those sugar cravings.

There’s yet another reason for using monk fruit as your anti-Candida sweetener – it’s a proven antimicrobial. Similarly to xylitol, monk fruit has been shown to harbor special properties that inhibit the growth of bacteria in the mouth. These are the type of bacteria that can cause tooth decay and periodontal disease. There is also some evidence that monk fruit may be effective in treating some forms of candida overgrowth such as oral thrush.

Benefits of Monk Fruit

Monk fruit isn’t just a tasty sugar-free sweetener. Here are some other benefits that you should be aware of.

  • It’s An Antioxidant
    Monk fruit harbors an array of health properties that can boost your body’s free-radical fighting powers. In fact, some cultures refer to it as the ‘longevity fruit’, due to its efficacy as an antioxidant. Studies have shown that mogrosides can significantly block harmful reactive oxygen species and prevent DNA oxidative damage. Being both a calorie-free sweetener AND an antioxidant makes monk fruit something of a superfood!
  • It Relieves Heat-Aggravated Conditions
    Monk fruit’s anti-inflammatory properties make it a popular remedy in traditional medicine to relieve the body of heat-related conditions. Chinese herbalists will make tea from boiled monk fruit to help cool the body from ailments such as fever or sunburn.
  • It Can Help Manage Diabetes
    As an antihyperglycemic, monk fruit has been shown to help reduce blood glucose levels in the body. It’s also believed that its antioxidant compounds can help pancreatic cells function more efficiently, improving insulin secretion. Better insulin secretion is a major part of improving diabetic patients’ health, and monk fruit has even shown results in reducing kidney damage and other diabetes-related issues.
  • It Can Clear The Respiratory Tract
    Monk fruit’s expectorant properties make it useful for respiratory ills such as coughs and colds. It’s used to clear away the inflammation to relieve sore throat, and break up phlegm in the throat and lungs. In Chinese medicine, monk fruit’s indications are referred to as “phlegm-fire cough”, sore throat, tonsillitis, acute gastritis, and constipation.
How Does Monk Fruit Compare To Xylitol, Stevia and Erythritol?

When it comes to natural sweeteners, we’re spoiled for choice these days. Xylitol, stevia, and erythritol all have their benefits and uses.

These are all great options for your Candida diet, or in fact any low-sugar eating plan. However, unlike some sugar alcohols, monk fruit doesn’t cause gastrointestinal issues such as bloating and diarrhea. It also doesn’t have the intensely sweet after-taste that some people dislike about stevia.

If you’ve tried these other sweeteners and found that they’re not for you, monk fruit may be the answer.

What To Look For When Buying Monk Fruit Extract

Monk fruit extract or sweetener can be purchased online or in health food stores. Note that the sweetness depends on the concentration of the extract and the number of mogrosides it contains. These mogrosides are ranked from 1-5 in terms of their sweetness. Number 5 is the sweetest, and conveys the most health benefits.

Of course, certain manufacturers may modify the sweetness of a product by adding other ingredients.  When purchasing monk fruit sweeteners, check the ingredients listing for additives. Some commercial products may blend monk fruit with dextrose, molasses and/or sugar alcohols to balance the sweetness. Check the label and be aware of what you’re purchasing.

How To Use Monk Fruit

As an extract, monk fruit can be added to beverages, baking and desserts. Only a very small amount is required, as the sweetness is so powerful!

Dried monk fruit may also be available at Asian supermarkets, and be used in soups and teas. Make a monk fruit tea by simmering around 9-15g of dried monk fruit in boiling water.

Making monk fruit extract involves harvesting the fresh fruit and infusing it with the juice in a hot water infusion. It is then filtered and dried, and the extract is ground to a powder.

Does Monk Fruit Sweetener Make Sense For Your Diet?

Natural sweeteners such as monk fruit provide the sweet taste that we all crave, yet they have virtually no effect on your blood sugar. It’s no secret that most of us consume far too much sugar – and that this is contributing to a huge increase in gut disorders like Candida overgrowth, obesity, and diabetes.

Monk fruit is a healthy, natural alternative to sugar and artificial sweeteners. Some people may find it even better than sugar alcohols, which can cause occasional digestive problems. The only tricky part is finding it: monk fruit extract is not yet as readily available as other sweeteners such as stevia, xylitol and erythritol.

If you’re not sure how to eat on the Candida diet, don’t worry! Dr Eric Wood and I have put together a comprehensive guide to the dietary and lifestyle changes that you need to make to restore your gut health and energy levels. Check it out here.

The post Monk Fruit: A Healthier Alternative To Sugar appeared first on The Candida Diet.

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As most of us know, probiotics are a great way to improve gut health. Many scientific studies have shown that taking probiotic supplements or eating fermented foods can lead to better digestion, healthy elimination, and a stronger immune system. These benefits are crucial to the daily maintenance of the body and its many functions.

Your immune system is one of the most important factors in your health and wellbeing, and one that depends on the health of your gut. After all, around 70 percent of your immune system cells live in the lymphatic tissue of the gut! Probiotics are one of the best ways to keep these precious cells in optimal condition.

But here’s something even more incredible: probiotics may soon be the new vaccines!

In ground-breaking research, scientists have found that some probiotic strains can positively affect the immune response of patients who receive vaccines. Even more exciting: in the near future it may be possible to genetically modify probiotics so they completely replace regular vaccines.

What Are Probiotics?

Probiotics are bacteria – but they’re the ‘good’ or ‘friendly’ kind that we need to survive. Specifically, probiotics are live microorganisms provide us with numerous health benefits. They can be taken as a supplement or consumed in certain foods such as sauerkraut or yogurt.

You need probiotics to keep your gut in balance. Your gut contains something like 100 trillion microorganisms, including bacteria, yeasts like Candida albicans, single-cell eukaryotes, viruses, and even parasites. The location of these microorganisms in the gastrointestinal tract depends on their number, type and function. When the gut is “in balance”, the majority of bacteria are the good, health-promoting kind, and the body is able to function efficiently as a result.

Gut bacteria begin to accumulate in the gut when you’re born, and their composition goes through many changes as you age. The quantity and quality of our gut bacteria depends largely on your diet, but also external factors such as your lifestyle, genetics, environment, health conditions and even emotions. In turn, your bacteria contribute to your body’s ability to keep you well.

Some of the major functions of probiotic bacteria:

  • Digesting and fermenting food
  • Producing vital nutrients such as vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids
  • Protecting against harmful pathogens
  • Counteracting ‘bad’ microorganisms such as Candida
  • Maintaining integrity of the gut lining
  • Filtering out toxins
Probiotics And Adaptive Immunity

It’s now known that the intestinal microbiota play a major part in activating pathways in the immune system. These pathways are involved in controlling both the innate and adaptive immunity in the gut. In fact, it’s believed that improving the gut microbiota may be the key to building resistance to disease.

This hypothesis came to light following the poor performance of oral vaccines in developing countries, where children typically have a poor gut microbiota. After being treated with antiparasitic drugs (and therefore improving their gut health), children showed a better immune system response. This shows the importance of a healthy intestinal microbiome.

What Is A Vaccine?

There are a few differences between vaccines, vaccinations, and immunizations:

  • Vaccine: A substance that causes the body to produce immunity from a disease. A vaccine is usually delivered through injections or by mouth.
  • Vaccination: The injection of a killed or weakened organism that causes the body to produce immunity against that organism.
  • Immunization: The process by which a person or animal becomes protected from a disease. This can be due to a vaccine, but some diseases can also result in immunization after a person recovers from the disease.
Probiotics As Vaccines

A review published in 2017 examined 26 studies which looked into the use of probiotics alongside vaccines. These studies had tested the efficacy of some 40 different probiotic strains used along with 17 different vaccines. About half of these studies reported probiotics to improve the effectiveness of vaccines. The effect was strongest for oral vaccines and parenteral influenza vaccination. Efficacy varied widely depending on the strain of the probiotics, dosage, purity and the timing of supplementation.

The fantastic thing about probiotics as vaccines is that they are relatively cheap. More research is required to determine which strains are best for which diseases.

The future is even more exciting. In 2011, Chinese researchers attempted to modify a probiotic to use as a vaccine. They did this by adding pieces of Helicobacter pylori, the gastrointestinal pathogen, to the probiotic bacteria Lactobacillus acidophilus. They fed these altered bacteria to mice, and saw positive results.

The ‘vaccinated’ mice showed higher levels of antibodies against the specific strain of H. pylori bacteria, suggesting their bodies had developed a resistance to it. The researchers concluded that L. acidophilus is indeed a promising vaccine antigen – and a more cost-efficient one. Subsequent studies have looked at using probiotics for HIV and other conditions.

Which Strains Do What?

Altered bacteria, like those discussed above, are not yet available to consumers. However, the probiotic bacteria that you find in your health store supplement already offer you some protection from disease.

Lactobacillus  acidophilus

One of the most well-known strains of probiotics is Lactobacillus acidophilus. This powerful bacterium lives naturally in the human body, mainly in the gut. It works to protect us against pathogenic bacteria that can enter the body through food we eat or air we breathe. It’s usually present in fermented milk products such as yoghurt.

Studies have suggested that L. acidophilus is one of the most important bacteria involved in activating your immune system. It seems that L. acidophilus not only modulates the immune system response, but encourages a natural resistance against certain illnesses.

This was tested in a 2008 study, in which pigs were infected with a viral pathogen. Some of the pigs had been treated with L. acidophilus. Incredibly, the pigs given the L. acidophilus showed an enhanced immune response and were protected against the viral pathogen.

Another important study found that adults treated with seven different strains of probiotics were able to produce much more efficient immune responses. The adults were given either probiotics or a placebo, then an oral cholera vaccine. Those who received Bifidobacterium lactis and L. acidophilus showed a significant increase in IgG immune cells compared with the control group, heightening their body’s defense system against cholera. Their immune response was also faster. This showed that specific probiotic strains are able to potentiate the immune response.

Lactobacillus casei

Another promising strain is Lactobacillus casei, which appears to boost immunity against rotavirus. Infants aged between 2-5 months old were treated with either L. casei or a placebo after being given their routine rotavirus vaccination. Those who received the probiotic treatment showed a higher level of the type of white blood cells needed to fight rotavirus.

The clinical significance of this study was that the L. casei had an immunostimulating effect on the rotavirus vaccine, essentially making it more powerful. The researchers suggested that probiotics have the potential to enhance vaccines, and should be studied further.

Bifidobacterium breve

The probiotic Bifidobacterium breve has also been found to improve children’s immunity against cholera. In a study conducted in Bangladesh, children were given dosages of B. breve every day for four weeks, as well as two doses of the oral cholera vaccine Dukoral. The children receiving the probiotic showed a higher count of white blood cells needed to fight cholera than those who received a placebo.

Looking Ahead: The Future Of Probiotics As Vaccines

Probiotics go a long way in improving our daily lives, from digestion and elimination to nutrient absorption and energy production. Their potential to protect us from serious disease is yet another example of their powerful health benefits.

At present, more research is needed to determine the efficacy of probiotics as vaccines – and also which strains can be adjusted to produce immunity against disease. Using probiotic bacteria as a means of boosting oral vaccines has already been demonstrated, and promises to be hugely beneficial in developing countries where diseases are widespread.

Scientists are now explore the ways in which different probiotic strains can provide immunization without the need for oral vaccines at all. Probiotics as vaccines could prove to be not only a more effective means of preventing disease, but also more cost-efficient and easier to administer.

Probiotics form a really important part of our Candida treatment plan. The goal of the plan is to improve your gut health, fight a Candida overgrowth, and increase energy levels. Probiotics, both from food and from supplements, are a vital piece of the program.

The post Probiotics Make Vaccines More Effective (And May Replace Them!) appeared first on The Candida Diet.

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Meals in a bowl have become quite popular, perhaps as a response to our busy lives. On days when you’re too tired to cook, you still need to eat! These bowls provide something simple and satisfying, hearty and filling – everything you need in just one bowl. They are easy to prepare in just a few steps, without skimping on important nutrition.

This Salmon Bowl with Arugula Dressing is loaded with Candida-fighting super foods – salmon and quinoa, greens, vegetables, berries (as an optional ‘maybe’ food) and seeds. A beautiful feast in a bowl which can easily be doubled or tripled for more than one serving.

Salmon Bowl with Arugula Dressing

Salmon Bowl
  • 1 4-ounce salmon fillet
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried sage
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon oil, olive or coconut, melted
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 ounces fresh green beans, stem end trimmed
  • 1/2 cup cooked tricolor quinoa
  • 1 cup arugula, packed
  • 2 ounces yellow pepper, thinly sliced lengthwise
  • Blueberries (optional ‘maybe’ food)
  • Pumpkin seeds
Arugula Dressing
  • 2 cups arugula, packed
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice or apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Salmon Bowl
  1. Heat oven to 400 degrees F (205 degrees C). Place salmon fillet, skin side down, on a rimmed baking sheet drizzled with oil. Season with dried sage, salt and pepper and roast until just cooked through, about 12 minutes. Remove salmon filet from oven, set aside.
  2. In a small saucepan, bring water and salt to a boil. Add green beans and blanch just until bright green and tender crisp, about 2 minutes. Drain green beans and rinse under cold water for 1 to 2 minutes, set aside.
  3. To assemble bowl, first add arugula and cooked tricolor quinoa, then top with roasted salmon filet. Next add green beans and sliced yellow pepper to the side, then drizzle with Arugula Dressing (see recipe below). Finally garnish bowl with a few blueberries (optional ‘maybe’ food) and pumpkin seeds.
Arugula Dressing
  1. In the bowl of a food processor, add arugula and minced garlic and pulse until finely chopped. Add lemon juice or apple cider vinegar and process until smooth. With the food processor running, drizzle in olive oil to make a smooth dressing. If necessary, thin with a bit of water to desired consistency.
  2. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate unused portion.

The post Tasty Salmon Bowl With Arugula Dressing appeared first on The Candida Diet.

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There are lots of healthy ways to tackle Candida overgrowth – changing your diet, taking supplements or reducing stress. But did you realize that your sleep has also has a huge impact on your recovery from Candida?

Getting enough sleep each night is becoming more and more problematic. Electronic devices, irregular working hour and daily stress are keeping sleep at bay.  Unfortunately, this is doing more than making us tired. It’s also ruining our health. Studies show that sleep deprivation is linked to weak immune function, causing your body to be more vulnerable to opportunistic yeasts and pathogens such as Candida.

Not only that, but poor sleep also causes – and is caused by – sluggish adrenal function. Our adrenal glands are also intrinsically linked to our immune system, effectively predisposing us to illness and disease when we’re tired and strung-out.

Poor adrenal function and an over-burdened immune system are a recipe for Candida overgrowth. It’s therefore more important than ever to focus on getting the rest you need each night for your body to be strong and healthy. Here’s a list of proven techniques for helping you get the sleep you need.

1. Manage Your Screen Time

Screens are your worst enemy when it comes to trying to get to sleep. Studies show that using screens before bedtime suppresses your body’s production of the sleep hormone, melatonin. Melatonin plays a crucial role in inducing sleep and maintaining your Circadian rhythm.

  • Keep your TV out of your bedroom.
  • Switch off your smartphone, tablet and laptop at least 30 minutes before bed. If possible, leave them out of your room altogether. Otherwise, activate the ‘Do Not Disturb’ mode on your phone.
  • Disconnect from your online life at night. This way, your brain will realize that electronic stimulus has finished once you’re in your bedroom, and it is time for rest.
2. Create a Sleep-Easy Environment

The brain is an incredibly sensitive organ. Sometimes, even the smallest amount of light or noise can prevent your brain from switching off.

  • Switch off appliances off at the mains rather than leaving them with standby lights on. Invest in heavier, darker curtains that will help to keep light out of your room. Wearing a sleeping mask can also help.
  • Consider the warmth and comfort of your bed linen.
  • Adjust the temperature of your room to suit you – in both summer and winter.
  • Reduce noise by switching off devices and closing windows to block out external noise. If necessary, invest in a good, comfortable pair of earplugs or a white noise generator.
3. Eat Well

These foods may help induce sleep before you hit the hay. Note that while on the Candida Diet you should be limiting your intake of fruits.

  • Cherries: Cherries are a natural source of melatonin, the chemical that regulates your body’s internal clock. A handful of cherries a couple of hours before bedtime may help to establish your sleeping pattern.
  • Kefir: The old wives’ tale about drinking a warm glass of milk before bed may have real merit. Kefir, just like milk, contains an amino acid called tryptophan, which is a precursor to the brain-produced chemical serotonin. Many experts believe that serotonin and tryptophan can induce sleep.
  • Bananas: The potassium and magnesium content in bananas can help improve relaxation and sleepiness.
  • Turkey: Like milk, turkey contains tryptophan. Try having a turkey dinner one evening to see if its effect takes hold.

And these are the foods that WON’T help!

  • Alcohol: Alcohol can play havoc with your blood sugar, which can cause you to wake up several times during the night.
  • Caffeine: Caffeine stimulates the central nervous system and elevates your levels of stress hormones. Coffee can reduce the quality of your sleep even when taken six hours before bedtime. Dark chocolate is high in both caffeine and theobromine, two stimulants that can lead to sleeplessness.
  • Spicy Food: These can cause uncomfortable indigestion – which obviously won’t help you rest!
4. Establish A Routine

Setting a morning routine and sticking to it is vital for maintaining a regular sleeping pattern.

  • Set your alarm for 20-30 minutes before you actually have to get up. This allows you to ease in to the morning without too much stress.
  • Keeping a regular schedule from sunrise to sunset is the best way to regulate your Circadian rhythm and trains your brain to shut off at a specific time.
  • Create a pre-bedtime routine: take a hot bath, read, or carry out your nightly beauty regime. Your brain will come to recognize these actions as a prelude to sleep.
5. Set Sleep-Promoting Habits

These healthy habits will improve your ability to relax and switch off at night.

  • Walking, swimming, jogging or any light exercise is just enough to produce the endorphins that make you feel good and burn excess energy.
  • Avoid caffeine six hours before bed. The stimulant effect of caffeine will only delay sleep, and can also contribute to adrenal fatigue. Stick to water or herbal teas.
  • Stabilize your body’s ‘master clock’ by exposing yourself to bright light during the day, and total darkness in your bedroom at night.
  • Try not to nap. Although tempting, naps can sometimes be counter-productive.
6. Sleep-Inducing Techniques

Here are a few exercises to help you to fall asleep while in bed.

  • Deep breathing. Close your eyes and take deep, slow breaths, trying to make each breath even deeper than the last. Focus your mind on something other than falling asleep.
  • Progressive muscle relaxation. This is a low impact, full body exercise that can be done whilst lying in bed. Starting at the very tip of your toes, tense all of the muscles as tightly as you can and hold for up to ten seconds before completely relaxing again. This act of intense constriction followed by quick release causes the muscles to relax.
  • Visualization: Close your eyes and imagine an activity or place that is particularly peaceful and calm. Concentrating on this ‘happy place’ sends relaxing vibes from your brain to the rest of your body.

Sleep is essential to good health and overall wellbeing. It’s the chance for your body to repair and heal from the day’s activities. Improving your sleep patterns is the first step in empowering your immune system and adrenal glands to fight off Candida overgrowth.

Remember to check out our Ultimate Candida Diet plan for a comprehensive look at how lifestyle and dietary changes can help to improve your digestion and overall health!

The post Get Your Sleep To Beat Candida appeared first on The Candida Diet.

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You don’t have to look far these days to find sugar-free treats, beverages, and candy. Unfortunately, not all sugar-free products are good! In recent years there’s been an upsurge in products containing harmful synthetic sweeteners such as aspartame.

Luckily, there are lots of natural sweeteners out there that are just fine for including in your Candida diet. In fact, many even have some health benefits!

Xylitol and stevia are already well-known natural sweeteners, with new ones such as monk fruit also on the rise. Let’s take a look at another new kid on the sweetener block: erythritol.

What is Erythritol?

Erythritol is a sugar alcohol that occurs naturally in certain fruits and some fermented foods. It can also be produced by fermenting glucose with yeast.

Erythritol’s selling point is that it’s 60-70 percent as sweet as table sugar – and yet it’s almost calorie-free. Best of all, it has none of the negative effects of sugar: it doesn’t affect blood sugar levels, doesn’t cause tooth decay, and doesn’t contribute to weight gain.

The reason for this is that the body cannot break erythritol down in the gut. This means you can’t obtain any calories from the erythritol that you eat. Most of the erythritol is simply passed out of the body as waste.

Erythritol is only partially absorbed into the bloodstream in the small intestine, with most being flushed out as urine. Because 90 percent of erythritol is absorbed into the bloodstream before it reaches the large intestine, it doesn’t tend to cause a laxative effect like other sugar alcohols. This is sometimes the case with xylitol and maltitol.

Erythritol is often used to sweeten products such as chewing gum, beverages and some baked goods. It’s also naturally present in grapes, pears, soy sauce and some wines.

Why is Erythritol Suitable On The Candida Diet?

Unlike artificial sweeteners, sugar alcohols occur naturally in certain fruits and vegetables. Sugar alcohols contain neither sugar nor alcohol: they just have a similar chemical structure.

Sugar alcohols take much longer to be broken down into glucose than sugar, and don’t require a lot of insulin. This means they don’t cause a spike in blood sugar levels like sucrose. Even better, they provide a sweet taste without the sugar, which can be very helpful for those craving a ‘sweet treat’ while on the Candida Diet.

Benefits of Erythritol on the Candida Diet:
  • Its Sugar-Free
    Because erythritol is a natural sweetener but contains no sugar, it doesn’t feed the yeast that contribute to Candida overgrowth. And it doesn’t promote tooth decay like sugar.
  • It’s An Antioxidant
    Erythritol is also a proven antioxidant that can fight free radicals that cause cellular damage. It’s also been shown to protect blood vessels of diabetic rats against oxidative stress and prevent hardening of the arteries.
  • It’s Naturally Fermented
    Erythritol can be made by fermenting the natural sugar found in corn. Look for a erythritol that is made from non-GMO corn.
  • It’s Great For Baking
    Erythritol is heat stable up to 160 degrees C. This means those on the Candida Diet can still enjoy sweet baked goods!
  • It Has A Low-Glycemic Index
    Because erythritol doesn’t raise plasma sugar or insulin levels in the way that sugar does, it’s a good option for those with diabetes.
  • It’s Satiating
    Erythritol can slow down the passage of food from the stomach to the small intestine. This has been found to improve satiety. One study showed that adults of a healthy weight felt more satisfied after eating a meal containing erythritol than those who had a meal containing sucrose.
How Does Erythritol Compare To Other Sugar Alcohols?

The most well-known sugar alcohols include xylitol, sorbitol, mannitol and erythritol. Of these, erythritol is hailed as the easiest to digest. This is because most of erythritol is absorbed in the small intestine. The amount that does reach the large intestine isn’t enough to have any significant gastrointestinal effects. This makes it a suitable option for those with a sensitive digestive system, particularly those with Candida overgrowth or other digestive complaints..

Other sugar alcohols (such as xylitol) are not so well-absorbed, which means they pass through the digestive system in large amounts without being broken down. Once they reach the colon, they are occasionally known to cause bloating, diarrhea, and digestive upset.

Those who prefer a less intense sweetener may choose erythritol over other natural sweeteners like stevia, as erythritol is not very sweet on its own. Like monk fruit, erythritol has no aftertaste. However, this means erythritol is often added to other foods and beverages or combined with other sweeteners. Unfortunately, some commercial products may include a blend of erythritol and artificial sweeteners – so it pays to read the nutritional information first!

How To Use Erythritol

Being a soluble sugar alcohol, erythritol melts in high heat and doesn’t caramelize. This means it’s not suitable for baked goods that require a chewy texture. In some recipes, it may be necessary to use erythritol alongside other ingredients such as butter to help to retain moisture.

Erythritol can also be used in place of powdered sugar (such as for cake frosting), by adding it to a blender or food processor and pulsing into a fine powder. To thicken the texture, simply add a starch (such as cornstarch or arrowroot starch) to one cup of powdered sweetener. Some recipes also suggest using a pinch of guar gum and blending together.

NOTE: Sugar alcohols such as erythritol and xylitol don’t react with yeast, so they won’t help bread rise.

Where To Find Erythritol

It’s best to buy erythritol from a reputable health food store. Be sure to check that the erythritol product you’re buying is 100 percent pure: many companies add fillers or other ingredients to erythritol products to make it more palatable or to improve the texture. Some commercial products may even add artificial sweeteners such as aspartame. Check the ingredients first!

For more information on how switching to a low-sugar diet can improve your gut health and restore your energy levels, check out the Ultimate Candida Diet program. I co-wrote it with Dr Eric Wood, and designed it as a simple 5-step plan to get back to perfect health.

The post Erythritol: A Healthy Alternative To Sugar appeared first on The Candida Diet.

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When we talk about the gut microbiome, we’re really talking about the levels of good and bad bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract. Those billions of bacteria in the gut help to support your immune system, facilitate digestion, provide your body with certain nutrients, and even have an impact on your mood.

The balance of good and bad bacteria in the gut is very sensitive to diet, stress, medications, and other lifestyle factors.

When the bacteria in the gut are out of balance, or in a state of dysbiosis such as Candida overgrowth, you may suffer all kinds of uncomfortable symptoms. These include bloating, gas, pain, indigestion, weakened immunity, fatigue, headaches, and low mood.

In recent years, research has shown that the many species of bacteria in your gut are responsible for much more than just digestion. Studies suggest that gut bacteria may also affect your ability to gain or lose weight. Among other things, your gut bacteria affect:

  • How your body stores fat
  • How your body balances the levels of glucose in the blood
  • How you respond to hormones that make you feel hungry or full
How Does Gut Health Affect Weight Loss? Your Gut Bacteria Are Important, Even From Birth

Scientists have long known that a baby’s gut is first colonized with bacteria when he or she passes through the mother’s birth canal. Bacteria is further developed when the baby is fed breast milk. However, this is not the case in cesarean births or for babies fed on formula.

There is now evidence to suggest that people born by cesarean section are predisposed to obesity and diabetes than those who are born vaginally. Formula-fed babies are also shown to be more susceptible to obesity later in life.

The Fewer Species You Have, The Fatter You Might Be

It appears that gut microbes have an influence on whether you grow up to be obese or slim. Studies comparing lean people with obese people found significant difference in levels of gut bacteria.

Lean people were found to have vast numbers of different species of bacteria, particularly the types that help to break down bulky plant fibers and starches. This provides the body with an extra source of energy. Obese people, however, had fewer species of bacteria, which could suggest that they keep eating in order to boost their energy.

Bad Bacteria Mess with Your Hormones

Certain types of bacteria have been shown to play a part in how hungry or full you are. These bacteria can modulate the levels of ‘hunger-stimulating’ hormones in the body – otherwise known as ghrelin.

Bad bacteria in your gut tend to produce more acetate, which in turns increases the production of insulin. Insulin is a hormone made by the pancreas that promotes the storage of calories. It also promotes the production of ghrelin. Studies in rats have shown that higher levels of acetate results in the rodents eating more and becoming obese. The rats also developed insulin resistance, which is the precursor to diabetes.

Bad Bacteria Makes You Hungrier

In a study involving mice that were fed a high-fat diet, researchers found that those mice who lacked a protein in the gut called TLR5 were prone to excessive weight gain. This was because the levels of ‘bad’ bacteria in their gut were out of balance and causing low-grade inflammation. This led them to eat more and more – in fact, ten percent more than their ‘healthy’ relatives. The mice then developed insulin resistance.

Upon further investigation, researchers found that the metabolism of the mice was damaged, reducing their ability to burn calories.

How Can You Improve Your Gut Health?
  • Eat More of the Good
    Whole, natural foods provide the nutrients needed for gut bacteria to proliferate. Foods rich in probiotics and fiber such as fresh fruits and vegetables are best for feeding the ‘good’ bacteria.
  • Eat Less of the Bad
    Foods that destroy beneficial bacteria and encourage the growth of ‘bad’ bacteria include those that are high in sugar and artificial ingredients. Foods to eliminate should include processed foods, junk foods, fizzy drinks, alcohol and other not-so-good treats.
  • Supplement with Probiotics
    Probiotics are a convenient way to deliver high numbers of beneficial bacteria to the gut, which can help to improve digestion and overall wellbeing. Probiotics can be sourced from health supplements or by eating fermented foods such as kefir, yogurt or kimchi.
  • Get Some Exercise
    Regular exercise has a positive effect on your gut bacteria by enhancing the number of beneficial species, improving diversity and the boosting the development of new bacteria. And of course, exercise helps to burn excess calories, which in turn supports weight loss!
Better Bacteria Means Better Weight Loss!

Supporting your gut with a good diet and probiotics can not only fast-track your weight loss, but improve your overall health and wellbeing. Get your bacteria in balance and you’ll enjoy better digestion and a faster metabolism!

For more tips on improving your gut health and digestion, boosting your immune system, and switching to a healthy diet, check out our Ultimate Candida diet program.

The post Can Poor Gut Health Stop You From Losing Weight? appeared first on The Candida Diet.

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Just when you thought Candida albicans was bad enough, along comes a much more serious yeast overgrowth. Candida auris is an invasive form of the Candida species, and is now thought to be one of the most severe fungal infections currently in existence. In fact, it’s been referred to as a ‘fungal superbug’.

In just seven years, Candida auris has spread throughout several developed countries, which has scientists referring to it as a ‘worrisome, globally-emerging pathogen’.

The main concern with Candida auris is that it is multi-drug resistant. This means it has evolved to a point where it cannot be controlled by drugs or other anti-fungal treatments. Worse, it can spread throughout healthcare facilities such as hospitals and clinics very quickly, infecting everything in its path.

Candida albicans remains the most frequently isolated Candida species in the clinical setting. But some countries have reported a marked shift towards species of Candida with increased resistance to antifungal drugs. These include antifungals that such as fluconazole (Diflucan), the standard antifungal drug of choice in many countries, and more recently introduced antifungals known as echinocandins.

Several other species of Candida, such as Candida tropicalis, Candida glabrata, and Candida parapsilosis, are well-recognized pathogens in different geographic locations. Candida auris is a new addition to this list.

Let’s look at the details of why Candida auris is causing worldwide concern.

What is Candida Auris?

Candida auris is a deadly fungal infection causing severe disease in countries across the globe, including the US. Although related to the Candida family, it stands apart from Candida albicans for several reasons.

Candida auris is a species of ascomycetous fungus. It grows as a yeast, forming smooth, pale grey viscous colonies on its host. The first case was discovered because it appeared to continue growing even after the patient was treated with the fungicidal medication micafungin. Further examinations established the infection as a new strain of the Candida genus.

Candida auris causes invasive candidiasis (overgrowth of the candida yeast). However, unlike Candida albicans, this type of candidiasis can get into the bloodstream and become fungemia, which then spreads throughout the body, infecting the central nervous system and internal organs.

History of Candida Auris: How Did It Come About?

Candida auris was first identified in Tokyo in 2009, after it was found in the ear canal of a 70-year-old Japanese woman. In 2011, it was reported in patients in South Korea. Since then, cases have spread across Asia and Europe. The first case of Candida auris was discovered in the US in 2016.

The ease at which Candida auris spreads is be due to its ability to target patients who are already ill with another infection, or who have weakened immune systems. This is also why it tends to proliferate in hospital environments and nursing homes.

One of the reasons for the outbreak of Candida auris is increased resistance of the Candida species towards antifungal drugs. It’s believed this has happened due to widespread over-prescription of antifungal medicines.

Drugs such as fluconazole are the standard prescription antifungals used to treat fungal infections in most countries, along with newer drugs such as echinocandins. Unfortunately, when a certain medication is over-prescribed, the microbe being treated can “adapt” in a way that allows it to become resistant. These mutated strains are then referred to as ‘superbugs’ because they cannot be treated by the medication previously used.

All classes of microbes have the potential to develop resistance to a medication. For example: fungi can develop antifungal resistance; viruses can develop antiviral resistance; and bacteria can develop antibiotic resistance. Antibiotic resistance is another example of what can happen when medications are over-prescribed.

The speed at which Candida auris has spread across the world is due to its ability to be transmitted from person to person.

Why Is Candida Auris a Current Threat To People’s Health?

The ability for C. auris to wreak havoc on health environment has medical professionals around the world fearing for their patients’ lives.

Potentially Fatal

Candida auris infects the bloodstream, which can cause widespread damage to the internal organs and even death. This is particularly dangerous for those with compromised health, especially patients in hospitals or nursing homes. It’s been reported that around 30-50 percent of patients who contract Candida auris die. Of the 100+ cases of C. auris currently in the US, half are patients who were already taking antifungal medication, usually fluconazole.

Resistant To Multiple Medications

Many of the antifungal drugs used to treat infections of other Candida species are powerless against C. auris. Recent cases of C. auris have been found to be resistant to as many as three types of antifungal medicines. In fact, it can even survive harsh hospital-grade disinfectants such as chlorhexidine (Hibiclens) and bleach solutions. In some hospitals, outbreaks of C. auris have caused closures of ICUs.

On The Increase

Since its discovery in 2009, C. auris has already spread across several continents. It is currently thought to have infected people in more than a dozen countries. It has appeared mainly in healthcare facilities and clinics, and spreads through contact. This means that affected patients and contaminated surfaces or equipment pose a major risk. It’s also known that C. auris can live on surfaces for several weeks. A high standard of hygiene is crucial to preventing the spread.

Difficult To Identify

The time taken to identify C. auris plays a major part in its ability to spread. First examinations often result in the lab reporting the microbe as simply being part of a Candida species. Identification of a particular microbe as C. auris must be done in a specialized laboratory, and may take several days. During this time, the infection may be passed around the hospital environment by the unknowing patient.

In other cases, the C. auris is simply mistaken for other types of fungal infection Unfortunately, this can result in misdiagnosis and a delay in a patient receiving the necessary treatment.

What Is The Difference Between Candida Auris and Gut Imbalances Such As Candida Overgrowth?

Candida albicans is a common form of yeast that resides in the gut of most people without causing any harm. Overgrowth of Candida albicans can cause a variety of digestive problems, as well as skin conditions, hormonal disruption and vaginal thrush. Although these problems are uncomfortable and debilitating, they are not fatal.

Unlike Candida auris, Candida albicans can be treated with a variety of antifungal medications, including natural antifungals.

Also unlike Candida auris, Candida albicans cannot be transmitted from person to person. Candida auris, on the other hand, is believed to be passed between healthcare workers and their patients through contact with skin, instruments or surfaces.

Signs and Symptoms of Candida Auris

Symptoms of Candida auris infection are not always noticeable, as patients who are infected are usually already in hospital and ill with another condition, and/or already have several medical conditions.

Some typical symptoms of Candida auras infection may include:

  • Fever and/or chills
  • Blood poisoning (sepsis)
  • Lack of response or improvement following conventional antifungal treatment
  • Coma
  • Organ failure
Treatment for Candida Auris: Why The Candida Diet And Natural Antifungals Aren’t Suitable

While Candida albicans may be treated through diet and natural antifungal remedies, such measures are completely ineffective with Candida auris.

The fact that Candida auris invades the bloodstream and causes organ failure means that it must be treated as soon as it is identified. It has the potential to kill a patient, and therefore only fast-acting fungal medications are suitable.

Treating Candida auris currently requires an intensive class of pharmaceutical antifungals called echinocandins. These include caspofungin (Merck’s Cancidas), anidulafungin (Pfizer’s Eraxis), or micafungin (Astellas’ Mycamine). If these powerful drugs do not work, the patient may be escalated to treatment with a highly toxic antifungal called amphotericin B.

Candia Auris vs Candia Albicans: A Matter Of Resistance

As unpleasant as Candida albicans may be, its effects and symptoms are mild compared to the harm caused by Candida auris. However, the spread of Candida auris is a reminder of how important it is to treat fungal infections with natural solutions.

The outbreak of Candida auris and its ability to resist a multitude of antifungal drugs has come about due to over-prescription of certain fungal medications. This resistance is not only less common with natural antifungal treatments, but the range of options for natural treatments is far greater.  This means it’s possible to use a variety of treatments at the same time, thus reducing the chance of resistance.

If there’s one ‘good’ thing about Candida albicans, it’s that there are plenty of safe and natural antifungal remedies to fight it with! Dr Eric and I discuss these in detail in our Ultimate Candida Diet program. Be sure to check it out if you have any questions about Candida overgrowth or digestive complaints!

The post Candida Auris: The Rise Of A Fungal Superbug appeared first on The Candida Diet.

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Most of us have taken antibiotics at some stage in our lives. In fact, we’re usually quite comfortable with popping a few pills given to us by our doctor. After all, it’s one of the steps in getting well again – right?

Not always! Outbreaks of ‘superbugs’ are evidence that many people are too eager to take anything a doctor prescribes, especially antibiotics. We sometimes forget about the potential harm in taking these seemingly ‘helpful’ medicines – especially when they’re not necessary.

Antibiotics can undermine the natural balance of your gut bacteria, allowing opportunistic pathogens like Candida to thrive. They can weaken your immune system, and leave you susceptible to repeated infections.

What Are Antibiotics?

The term ‘antibiotic’ literally means “against” and “life”. They are a pharmaceutical medicine designed to stop infections caused by bacteria. They work by killing the specific bacteria and/or preventing the bacteria from reproducing.

When it comes to serious infections, antibiotics are literally life-saving. Since becoming available in the 1940s, antibiotics have increased life expectancy around the globe. People are now able to survive what may have once been a minor but deadly infection.

Why Antibiotics Often Aren’t Effective

Unfortunately, there’s now substantial evidence to suggest that antibiotics are being prescribed too often and too readily for people who don’t need them.

Worse, it’s been found that a huge proportion of the illnesses commonly prescribed antibiotics are caused by viruses, not bacteria – which means they cannot be treated with antibiotics. These include colds, sinus infections, ear infections, sore throats, and bronchitis. In fact, there are more than 200 known viruses that can cause the common cold, the most common being rhinovirus. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has even stated that antibiotics cannot treat these viruses and cannot make you well against if you have a cold.

However, doctors keep prescribing antibiotics. More shocking research shows that doctors prescribe antibiotics to 71 percent of patients with bronchitis.

The Problem With Antibiotics

The issue of ‘antibiotic resistance’ is now causing serious concern around the world.  While antibiotics are indeed necessary to treat certain bacterial infections, it’s now clear that this is one form of medication that has been overprescribed for some time. Many countries are now trying to deal with new strains of bacteria that have mutated to the point where they are much less vulnerable to antibiotics. These strains of ‘resistant’ bacteria are able to survive and multiply, causing serious disease.

It’s also now known that resistance has developed to nearly every type of antibiotic that has been developed. The World Health Organization has stated that antimicrobial resistance is one of the greatest threats to human health worldwide.

How Antibiotics Lead to Gut Dysbiosis Like Candida Overgrowth

Not only can the overuse of antibiotics lead to resistance, but they can disrupt your entire body ecology. When taken too often or for too long, antibiotics can do more harm than good. This is particularly the case with the gut microbiome. Substantial evidence shows that antibiotics substantially change the balance in the gut microbiome, which has a devastating effect on a variety of bodily functions.

Dysbiosis is an imbalance of gut flora caused by too few beneficial bacteria and an overgrowth of bad bacteria, yeast like Candida, and/or parasites. This happens when the colonies of beneficial bacteria have been reduced, allowing ‘bad’ bacteria to grow and develop.

The thing to remember is that antibiotics kill ALL bacteria – the good as well as the bad! Antibiotics can’t discriminate between friendly probiotic bacteria and pathogenic bacteria. Every time you take antibiotics, you’re potentially wiping out large numbers of the beneficial bacteria required to keep out the bad bacteria. If there are too few good bacteria, this can provide perfect conditions for yeasts such as Candida albicans to take hold and grow out of control.

Many studies have found that antibiotic use often results in substantial increases in Candida and pathogenic bacterial colonization. The destruction of the colonies of beneficial bacteria suppresses the immune system. This disruption allows Candida to increase its numbers rapidly and become a much more dominant member of the gut ecosystem.

Antibiotics Destroy Gut Bacteria

One recent study published in the medical journal mBio showed that taking just one course of antibiotics for a week can cause dysbiosis by seriously altering the gut microbiome. These effects that can last up to a year. The study found that antibiotics such as clindamycin and ciprofloxacin kill off much of your gut bacteria, including the bacteria whose job it is to produce butyrate. Butyrate is an important fatty acid required or lowering oxidative stress and inflammation in the intestines. Inflammation of the gut lining is often linked to dysbiosis, especially overgrowth of candida yeast. The number of these bacteria were still significantly lower 12 months after taking the antibiotic.

Other studies have found that antibiotics not only alter the composition of gut bacteria, but also their gene expression, protein activity and overall metabolic function. The rate at which these changes occur is much faster than the bacteria can be replaced after the course of antibiotics. Worse, the damage done can result in the bacteria becoming like those observed in people with serious diseases.

Two studies on mice have found that the reduced numbers of gut microbiota in the small and large intestine is linked to the establishment of a chronic infection with C. difficile. Clostridium difficile is a bacterial infection of colon often caused by dysbiosis, and is a common cause of antibiotic-induced diarrhea.

How To Recover From A Cold Naturally

The good news is that there are plenty of ways to treat the common cold right from your own kitchen. It all starts with boosting your immune system.

  • Probiotics
    Probiotics are the most efficient and effective means of maintaining the health of the gut, which is where 70 percent of our immune system resides. Taking probiotics is especially important after a course of (necessary) antibiotics, as they will help to restore the healthy bacteria that have been killed off.
  • Garlic
    Garlic is a powerful medicinal herb that’s been shown to boost immunity by speeding up the body’s ability to produce natural killer cells. Garlic is also a potent antifungal, helping to ward off opportunistic pathogens such as Candida yeast. Cook garlic for less than five minutes to retain its therapeutic properties and add to food. Alternatively, you can eat raw garlic cloves by crushing them and mixing them with water. It’s best to avoid raw garlic on an empty stomach, and you can also take it with a tablespoon of coconut oil to cut down on any stomach burn.
  • Echinacea
    This amazing herb has been used for centuries to stimulate the immune system and restore the body’s defenses. Can be taken as a tea, tincture or in capsule form.
  • Andrographis
    Known for its ability to both prevent AND treat the common cold, andrographis is a herb that should be kept in every medicine cabinet. Double-blind studies of andrographis have shown that it relieves symptoms of earache, sore throat and nasal problems faster than most common cold and flu medications.
  • Vitamin C
    Vitamin C is required for a vast array of bodily functions, especially keeping the immune system in good order. The trick to taking it is little and often – not in large single doses, as the excess will simply be flushed out.
Antibiotics Won’t Cure Your Cold – So Go Natural

When you feel a cold coming on, don’t reach for antibiotics. Remember, antibiotics kill bacteria – and a cold is a virus. This means that not only are antibiotics totally ineffective for treating your cold, they’re going to do more harm than good by killing off the GOOD bacteria you need to recover from the cold! This leaves your body vulnerable to pathogenic bacteria and yeasts such as Candida, allowing them to take advantage of your weakened immune system and flourish in the gut.

Instead, look to boost your immune system naturally with probiotics or immune-stimulating herbs. You’ll be supporting your gut bacteria and giving your body a helping hand in overcoming those nasty pathogens – which means fewer colds!

If your doctor does prescribe antibiotics, ask him or her to explain why – and whether they’re necessary or not.

The post Stop Taking Antibiotics For The Common Cold appeared first on The Candida Diet.

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We usually think of Candida and yeast infections as “women’s problems”. True, Candida albicans is a yeast and women are much more likely to suffer from yeast infections than men.

But guess what, men are not exempt! Candidiasis affects men, too.  It can cause a nasty, painful rash that is also referred to as thrush, Candida, candida balanitis, candidiasis, or moniliasis.

Interestingly, Candidiasis was actually first discovered by a man. A university lecturer called Bernhard von Langenbeck identified Candida albicans overgrowth in 1839. Mr. Langenbeck found that although Candida albicans can live naturally on the skin without causing any problems, it had the potential to grow out of control, just like it can in the gut.

What is Candida Overgrowth?

Candida albicans is a natural yeast that lives in small amounts in the mouth and gut of both men and women. In women, Candida also lives in the vagina, which is why women are more prone to the problems it can cause. Candida albicans is the most common cause of female and male yeast infections.

Intestinal Candida overgrowth may happen if the balance of good and bad bacteria in the gut is disrupted, allowing for pathogens and fungal cells to develop more freely. This imbalance of gut microorganisms is usually referred to as dysbiosis. Dysbiosis can result after a course of antibiotics, which tend to kill off much of the good bacteria needed to keep the bad under control. Stress, medications, diet, pollution, and certain illnesses can also cause dysbiosis. Men are affected by these factors as much as women.

An intestinal Candida overgrowth is often seen at the same time as external yeast infections in men or women. By treating the intestinal overgrowth, and eliminating the factors that caused it in the first place, you can often get rid of both your gut problems and your external yeast infection.

Candida Symptoms In Both Men And Women

It must be remembered that yeasts love any kind of warm, moist body area – and both men and women have plenty of these! That’s why yeast tend to proliferate in external areas like the mouth, nails, vagina, armpits, between the toes, under the breasts, in the foreskin, and in folds of skin.

Obviously, yeast infection symptoms vary between men and women. However, systemic symptoms (those related to an intestinal Candida overgrowth) may be very similar. Both men and women may suffer from:

  • Digestive problems such as gas, bloating
  • Constipation or diarrhea
  • Poor sexual function
  • Irritability and low mood
  • Poor memory
  • Lack of energy
  • Athlete’s foot
  • Halitosis (bad breath)
  • Men and women may also be affected by candida in the mouth. This is referred to as oral candidiasis or oral thrush.
Candidiasis In Women

It’s true that Candida overgrowth is far more common in women. In fact, around 75 percent of women are thought to suffer from some sort of yeast infection at least once in their lifetime. At least half may suffer from more than one infection. As well as the above symptoms, women typically suffer from the following yeast infection symptoms:

  • Itching, swelling and irritation in the vagina
  • Thick, smelly discharge
  • Burning or pain when urinating
  • Pain in sexual intercourse.
Yeast Infections In Men: Signs And Symptoms

In men, yeast overgrowth generally affects the end of the penis, called the glans. It can also affect the foreskin. Either one or both of these areas can become inflamed, swollen and very painful.  Itchiness is also common, and there may be white patches around the head of the penis. Other symptoms of yeast infections in men include:

  • Thick, smelly discharge from the foreskin
  • Pain in pulling back the foreskin
  • Itchy rash around the genital area
  • Redness
  • Pain when urinating and during sex

Note: male candidiasis is not the same as ‘jock itch’, which is another type of fungal infection that causes irritation in the skin around the genitals. Jock itch is caused by a different type of fungi altogether (usually Trichophyton rubrum).

Causes Of Male Candidiasis

Fungal infections such as Candida overgrowth are more common in men who are not circumcised or have other medical problems, such as STDs. Surprisingly, it’s believed that up to a fifth of men who have yeast in their genitalia don’t suffer any signs or symptoms of Candidiasis. This is likely due to the fact that Candida albicans only causes problems when it is able to grow out of control.

Just like women, there are a number of factors that may increase a man’s chances of developing candidiasis. Contributing factors to yeast infections in men include:

  • Using chemicals such as perfumed soaps and shower gels in the groin area.
  • Vigorous washing or scrubbing of the genital area
  • Poor hygiene due to not bathing regularly
  • Wearing dirty underwear for too long
  • Sex with a woman who has vaginal thrush infection
  • Prolonged courses of antibiotics
  • Previous fungal infections such as jock itch or athlete’s foot
  • A weakened immune system
  • Medications (such as chemotherapy or corticosteroids) that suppress the body’s natural defenses
  • Diabetes
Treating Yeast Infections In Men

Most men suffer only mild yeast infections which do not require medical treatment. Topical antifungal creams are usually sufficient, and sometimes the infection clears up of its own accord. For more aggressive cases, an over-the-counter antifungal cream such as fluconazole may be necessary. To prevent it from coming back, lifestyle changes like a low sugar diet can help.

Hygiene plays a big part in treating a yeast infection. Because yeast is more likely to thrive in warm, moist conditions, it’s important to keep problem areas as clean and dry as possible. Men should take care to keep the penis clean by washing it in warm water, and to dry themselves thoroughly after showering. Wearing loose, cotton underwear also helps, as it reduces the build-up of sweat and allows good air-flow.

Taking probiotics is also recommended. Studies have shown that probiotics such as lactobacillus are effective in clearing Candida overgrowth in women. Although there is no evidence as yet to show this same effect in men, lactobacillus is a proven immune-booster that helps to restore the balance of healthy bacteria in the body.

Home Remedies For Male Yeast Infections

While a doctor may prescribe a course of antifungal drugs, there are plenty of simple home remedies that can also be effective in fighting Candida. (NOTE: these remedies are not intended to replace advice given by a doctor or other medical professional).

  • Garlic
    One of Mother Nature’s most potent antifungals, garlic is highly effective against most strains of yeast, including Candida. The trick is to cook it for less than five minutes in order to retain its powerful properties. Note that garlic can be an irritant on sensitive mucous membranes, so consume with plenty of healthy fat such as olive oil, avocado, or coconut oil.
  • Oregano oil
    Oregano oil is a powerful source of the antifungal compound Carvacrol. Studies on rats have shown Carvacrol to be effective in killing candida overgrowth, especially when used alongside eugenol.
  • Coconut oil
    Coconut oil is one of the most tolerable antifungal remedies to include in the diet, as it can be easily added to most foods. Coconut oil is an effective antifungal in both men and women, and can be used topically as well as internally. Look for organic, extra-virgin coconut oil where possible.
  • Tea tree oil
    Tea tree oil is a strong-smelling antifungal that kills a wide variety of bacteria, yeasts and fungi. While Australian tea tree oil is usually available online, New Zealand Manuka oil is 10x stronger! It can be diluted and used topically, or added to a bath.
Prevention Is Better Than A Cure

Although men and women are both susceptible to Candida overgrowth, there are lots of healthy ways to reduce its occurrence. Candida can only grow and develop when the environment allows it. Maintaining a healthy balance of good bacteria in the gut is key to preventing yeast overgrowth both internally and externally.

This is as simple as eating well, avoiding antibiotics, and supplementing your diet with probiotics and/fermented foods where possible. For more information on how to change your diet to prevent yeast infections, check out our Ultimate Candida Diet program.

The post Yeast Infections In Men: Causes, Symptoms & Treatment appeared first on The Candida Diet.

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