Preventing yeast infections often requires several different changes. Maintaining strong immunity through exercise and a healthy diet is always important. But you can also give your body a helping hand by avoiding specific foods.
Your diet plays a major role in the development of yeast infections. Most infections are caused by a yeast named Candida albicans. Like any organism, Candida albicans relies on food for survival – and Candida thrives upon specific foods. These are mainly simple carbohydrates and sugars. Unfortunately, much of your everyday foods contain large amounts of these!
With this in mind, you may be wondering what helps yeast infections? Well, there are plenty of foods that can help. Let’s take a look!
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Candida’s Favorite Foods
As you know, carbohydrates are an important source of fuel for the human body. When you eat foods containing carbs, your body quickly converts the carbs into glucose, which is then taken up by your cells as energy.
However, those carbohydrates are also a source of fuel for Candida yeast. It uses this fuel not only for energy to help it grow and proliferate, but also to build the biofilms that protect it from your immune system.
Candida also uses sugar to change from its normal, harmless form to its more virulent, fungal form. This fungal form uses branching filaments, known as hyphae, to spread throughout the body. Yeast infections are often seen at the same time as Candida overgrowth in the intestines and elsewhere.
It has been found that high amounts of glucose in the bloodstream can effectively ‘switch on’ the specific genes in Candida yeast that promote biofilm formation. A biofilm is a matrix that pathogens like Candida albicans build to protect themselves from your immune system.
In the case of Candida yeast, the biofilm acts like a shield that prevents your body’s immune cells from killing it. These biofilms make Candida albicans extremely resistant to anti-fungal treatment, and even more of a challenge for your immune system.
5 Foods To Avoid When Treating Candida
One of the best ways to prevent yeast infections is to prevent your blood sugar from going too high. This means avoiding sugary, carb-rich foods that will elevate or spike your blood glucose.
You may think that you don’t eat a lot of sugars – but many of them aren’t always obvious. It’s important to know which foods to avoid.
1. Simple Carbohydrates
White flour, white bread and white rice are some of the most common sources of simple carbs. These foods are broken down very quickly in the digestive system, which causes a sudden rise in blood sugar.
Higher blood sugar is a good source of fuel for Candida, which can allow it to continue spreading throughout your digestive system.
Try to replace white starches with complex carbohydrates such as quinoa or buckwheat. These contain high amounts of fiber so your body takes longer to process them, keeping your blood sugar stable. Even better, reduce your carbohydrates and eat more fats and protein.
2. Alcoholic Drinks
Alcohol is on this list because of the way in which it weakens your immune system and destabilizes your blood sugar.
Some types of alcohol can cause your blood sugar to rise in the short term, this is usually followed by a precipitous drop. Diabetics need to be very careful with alcohol due to the way it reduces blood sugar so quickly.
Low blood sugar might sound like a good thing for avoiding yeast infections, but this drop is often followed by a blood sugar surge as we over-compensate by gorging on carbohydrates. Hunger cravings, due to hypoglycemia, usually lead to poor food choices.