Originally, this was just going to be an article on “Foods you can eat to help prevent yeast infections”, but then I came across the very hyped “Candida Diet” – and it seemed intense.
It also seemed familiar.
Then I realized my doctor had put me on it YEARS ago.
So, what we will look at today is a bit different – quick and dirty yeast infection info, the Candia Diet breakdown, my own accidental experiences, a more relaxed list of things you can eat, and natural remedies you can put up your hoohaw etc.
1. QUICK AND DIRTY RECAP
Any woman who’s had a yeast infection (aka. candidiasis) will shudder at the name. They’re itchy, uncomfortable, or downright painful. They completely kill any sex drive, make sex impossible, and can be contagious even to a partner (but they’re not classified as an STI because you can get it other ways).
How you get them…
- Poor genital hygiene
- Humid climates (yeast LOVES moisture)
- Weak immune system
- Hormone imbalance
- Birth control
- Lack of sleep
- Wearing your underwear more than a day
- Anatomy (having your vagina close to the anus
- Genital contact with sugar (getting kinky with chocolate sauce, candy undies, flavored massage oils, etc.)
Why you get them…
The come about from an imbalance of natural bacteria and yeast in the vagina (which occur naturally). When the yeast gets out of control, things swell up, get red and itchy, it also starts to BURN. Add all of that with a yucky yellow discharge that looks like cottage cheese.
The extra-special problem with it all, the vagina is filled with nerve endings, so any pain is AMPLIFIED! Even peeing can break someone down into tears.
PREVENTING A YEAST INFECTION
- Avoid douching, frequent hot baths, frequent hot tube soaking, wearing tight clothing, and wearing scented pads or tampons.
- Try to wear natural fibers that allow air flow
- Don’t wear your undies for more than one day
- Wash your undies in hot water
- Change your pad and tampon often
… and eat a well-balanced diet.
THE FOOD ASPECT OF YEAST INFECTIONS
The other suggestions are easy to follow and not really debatable, but the food is such a large topic, it’s no wonder there’s an overwhelming amount of people with their own two cents to throw in.
The general consensus is eating a well-balanced diet is good enough.
This is also good advice for healthy living in general.
What if you have them OFTEN? What if they’re stubborn and you can’t function?
Well, there’s going to the doctor (duh) and the pharmacy. But when you’re suffering, it’s natural to want to do anything you can to stop the pain.
This is where the more restrictive “diet plans” come into play…
3 LEVELS OF FOOD RESTRICTIONS
Go as natural and as healthy as possible.
- A well-balanced diet with limited processed foods and reduced sugars.
- Lots of water as well.
- Cutting out all unnatural sugars – sodas, candies, sugars in your coffee, alcohol etc. EVERYTHING except natural honey and sugars from fruits (non-canned etc.). Also, forget processed food.
- Eating unsweetened yogurts(putting natural fruits in is okay), whole grains, lots of fruit and veg, nuts and healthy oils etc.
- On top of water, consider adding a probiotic.
Here is where the “Candida Diet” pops into play. It’s been described as a “more restrictive Paleo diet”. (I’m not going to get into the ENTIRE list of foods, because you can find them on many other sites in incredible detail – this is just an overview to give you an idea of what you would be dealing with).
- Good quality meats, egg, and fish
- Non-starchy veggies
- Low-sugar fruits
- Herbs, spices, and salts for flavor
- Low mold nuts and seeds
- Healthy oils
- Anti-fungal targeting foods like ginger, garlic, coconut oil, cinnamon, oregano, etc.
- Non-sugar drinks (herbal tea, water, non-sugared almond milk)
- No dairy
- ALL grains, even gluten-free
- No legumes
FOR EXAMPLE – Blueberries are fine but bananas are not (one is higher in sugar). Spinach is great but yams are not (one is very starchy and therefore has lots of sugar).
HOW DID I DO THIS WITHOUT KNOWING?
I used to suffer from terrible chronic yeast infections. I would go to the doctor and he/she would give me the same talk about “what to do and what not to do”, give me a prescription and send me on my way.
I’m not coming down on the doctors. They did what they could. However, it just wasn’t KEEPING the yeast infections away for good. This is where a friend’s nutritionist came into my life. She took one look at my situation and handed me a strict diet. Looking back on it now, it was a select list of foods from what is now known as the Candida Diet.
The purpose was to starve my system from as much sugar as possible – giving the yeast as little to “eat” as possible. And I can tell you one thing…
IT WAS HARD AS HELL!
The first week I probably should have been put on homicide watch. Mood swings, headaches, dizziness, nausea etc. were staples of the day. The second week wasn’t much better.
However, by the third week, things started to turn around. And the forth was back to normal (even on the restricted food list).
IS IT WORTH IT? WILL IT WORK?
I guess that’s up to you, your discipline levels, and your own unique health situation.
I’m not endorsing the Candida Diet as a persistent lifestyle choice, not at all. BUT I do see the value in giving it a go for a month or two. You’re getting all your nutritional needs, and cutting out sugar/process foods is never a bad thing.
I can also tell you…
When you start integrating other fruits after you’re done … that first banana will be the sweetest thing you’ve ever tried. It makes you realize how desensitized we are to sugars and how sweet natural fruit really is. It’s also a great detox to help get you back on track for better eating.
If, you’re not quite ready for that level of commitment, there is still value in reducing bad or triggering foods as much as you’re comfortable with.
FOR EXAMPLE – my turn around wasn’t ONLY because of my foods. Also, when I lived in China, the climate was so humid that no matter what I did, I would still find myself with frequent infections.
If you’re suffering from that wonderful itchy-burn we all know and hate, there’s plenty more you can do on top of whatever meds you need to take. Your food options are also as flexible as you need them to be, because making a few changes (like stopping all fizzy drinks) is better than no changes at all.
We all know that what we eat affects us in SOOOO MANY WAYS, so food will certainly affect your infections – but I can also see it being unique to each person.
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Have any of you tried any of these eating plans? Share in the comments!