Candida Diet and Program Update: Less Restrictions, More Options

If you are reading this blog, I gather you are familiar with the condition Candida hypersensitivity. You may be suffering with any of the assorted symptoms that Candida can cause: bloating, constipation, gastric reflux, skin rashes, vaginal yeast infections, brain fog and fatigue.

I get so many questions from well-educated patients about the Candida diet. The first thing you will read on most health web sites is that the Candida diet is what you need to cure your problem. However, while some patients are willing to try any diet to feel better it does seem unrealistic to stay on this very restrictive diet forever - and I’m here to tell you that you don’t have to. I’m not just writing this to give you the easy way out - I’m going by what a respected medical researcher and fellow Candida expert, Marjorie Crandell,Ph.D has discussed with me.

MYTH: CANDIDA CAN BE CURED BY DIET ALONE candida foods

You can’t cure Candida reactions with diet alone. True, following some of the dietary suggestions that will be made will strive to prevent further inflammation in the body, but it won’t reverse the immune reaction already occurring. If there is a yeast overgrowth in the body whether it is in the stomach, skin, genitals or brain it has to be reduced with antifungal medication. The newer antifungal medications are quite good at eradicating the yeast in body tissue, but in many cases the treatment is not given long enough to do its job. Many doctors and patients are concerned about the effects on the liver from these antifungal medicines; but, in truth most healthy patients can tolerate reasonable doses quite well without changes in liver function tests.

FACT: VITAMIN FORTIFICATION BUILDS IMMUNITY

We all know that a vitamin deficiency can make us vulnerable to infections and allergies. But we take for granted that bolstering up the immune system with vitamins can keep infections and inflammation in check. Oral vitamins would normally be fine, but in many patients with Candida hypersensitivity the gut is not functioning at an optimal level. We have found in our practice at Mitchell Medical Group that giving injectable vitamins gets the high tissue levels of key vitamins that keep the immune system strong and beat down Candida overgrowth.

MYTH: NO CARBS, LOW CARBS ONLY OPTION

I like Dr. Crandell’s quote: “ you cannot cure yeast infections by starving yourself!” I agree. And we both agree there are good carbohydrates and bad carbohydrates. The good ones come from nature: any vegetable you enjoy should be fine ( we only restrict corn, mushrooms and potatoes); we also recommend restricting fermented vegetables as they may contain yeast and inflame the body.

Grains can be kept in the diet, but we prefer that they have fiber; this is good for the colon to help make the good bacteria your lower intestine needs for vitamin production. Oatmeal, quinoa and even some rice is acceptable. Lentils and peas are also mainly carbohydrates, but they are a good source of fiber.

FACT: CLEANSE THE LIVER

I tell patients that before we plan to rebalance their immune system to eradicate the Candida with antifungal medication it is wise to cleanse the liver. This is accomplished by using injectable glutathione. Glutathione is one of our body’s most potent anti-oxidants and enables the liver to better detoxify the toxins released by Candida.

MYTH: NO DAIRY candida dairy

Dairy is made from milk products whether it’s from a cow or goat. All types contain lactose, which is a type of sugar; however, dairy products are made from bacteria, not yeast or mold. So, some Candida patients will tolerate dairy and others may not. You can try cheddar cheese, swiss and cottage cheese- and even yogurt. If you are prone to bloating or constipation you may want to avoid dairy.

FACT: YOU CAN ADD VINEGAR OR LEMON TO YOUR SALAD DRESSING SALAD

Distilled white vinegar is the safest as is freshly squeezed lemon juice- this is what I enjoy with some Virgin Olive oil on my salads. Be aware though of Apple Cider Vinegar; this is typically thought of as a very healthy vinegar for digestive health. However, you can be allergic to apple cider vinegar- and it doesn’t kill yeast as some think.

MYTH: NO ALCOHOL FOREVER

I do strongly request that patients avoid alcohol while going through the liver cleanse and on antifungals; it also makes sense to give the gut and liver a chance to heal. But with good success and a strong treatment plan it is possible to imbibe with distilled liquors such as bourbon, rum, vodka or gin within 4- 6 months.

BOTTOM LINE: EATING A HEALTHY DIET WILL MAKE YOU FEEL BETTER!

The truth of the matter is that when my patients stop eating the processed foods and start eating more “live foods” with nutrients and enzymes they begin to feel better.

Avoiding the “white devils”: sugar, wheat flour and white rice will stabilize your blood sugar and decrease inflammation in your body.

For great suggestions how to eat super healthy and enjoy the Candida diet please go to cara_and_candida on Instagram and see how enjoyable finding healthy foods can be.

- Dr. Dean Mitchell
Offices in Manhattan and Long Island

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