Most people are not aware that their gut is home to a number of friendly microorganisms, including a certain species of the fungus Candida, called Candida albicans. These microbes occur naturally in the body and aid digestion of food and general wellness.
Presence of candida in the digestive tract becomes problematic when its growth goes out of proportion, causing an imbalance in your natural gut flora. Common symptoms of candida overgrowth include acid reflux, bloating, nausea, constipation, joint pain, unexplained fatigue, food allergies, repeated yeast infections, sinus infections, and diminished mental clarity and mood problems.
If you suspect that you may have candida overgrowth or are experiencing frequent yeast infections, here are three common causes of excess candida that you can easily control with simple lifestyle changes.
Eating foods loaded with sugar is a well-known culprit behind repeated candida infections. Candida albicans thrive on the various types of sugar present in your diet and use it to grow and multiply. In addition, it uses sugar to build a protective wall that shields it from your immune system.
Remember that eating a lot of sugar creates a vicious cycle—it acts as fuel for candida overgrowth, which weakens your immune system, which further promotes candida. One of the best natural ways to break this cycle is to completely eliminate sugar from your diet, at least until you start to see results.
Not many people know this, but chronic stress is one of the key causes of candida excess candida in the gut. As you may know, when you’re stressed, your body releases the hormone cortisol to help you cope. Cortisol does its job by suppressing your immune system and increasing your blood glucose levels to give you more energy. The excess sugar in your blood is an excellent ground for yeast overgrowth.
Not only this, chronic stress impacts your physical health in myriad ways and alters the way your body systems function and interact. Make stress management a priority not just to fight candida but to safeguard your body and mind against several other serious health conditions.
The cell walls of candida are made of carbohydrates; therefore, when you eat a lot of starchy foods, you’re in fact enabling growth of yeast in your gut. This is because starchy foods are broken down into sugar by your body, which candida uses as fuel.
The solution to Candida infection lies in replacing starch-rich foods in your diet—such as cornmeal, white flour, whole wheat flour, dried beans, legumes, breads, pasta, instant noodles and potatoes— with leafy greens, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, cucumber, carrots, mushrooms, onion and garlic.
Aside from making diet changes, avoid taking antibiotics for minor problems. An antibiotic kills harmful bacteria in your body, but in the process it may also harm good bacteria, thus upsetting the natural balance in your digestive tract and weakening your immune system, leaving it prone to colonization by microbes present both inside and outside your body.