Candida is an opportunistic little creature that can proliferate and become invasive, and when that happens, it’s time to put your microbiota in order.
Some women are all too familiar with Candida, which causes recurring yeast infections. This bacteria doesn’t live only among the vaginal flora, but also on the skin, in the mouth and in the digestive tract. When the environment is just right, Candidamultiplies and propagates in an invasive and pathogenic filamentous form that adheres to the mucous membranes.
Candida cohabitates naturally with the other bacteria that make up the intestinal flora, but as soon as the friendly bacteria die off or their environment becomes less than ideal, Candida is quick to take over. The most common cause of infection is the use of large-spectrum antibiotics. The whole purpose of antibiotics is to destroy bacteria, but antibiotics can’t distinguish between good bacteria and bad ones, which provides an open door for Candida.
When you have a vaginal or skin infection, using an antifungal will resolve the issue fairly easily. However, if the conditions are right for the proliferation of bacteria, you have to expect the infections to return. When we speak about invasive candidiasis, the infection starts in the digestive tract and can affect the blood, heart, brain, eyes and more. Most of the time, this type of infection affects patients in hospital. People suffering from diabetes or an autoimmune disease are at particular risk of a persistent infection that can spread throughout the body, with serious consequences.
Symptoms of candidiasis
The symptoms of candidiasis are wide-ranging and often have no apparent connection to one another. Generally, they first present in the intestines in the form of bloating, diarrhea, flatulence or constipation. Other symptoms commonly observed include:
- Allergies or an increased sensitivity to allergens
- Recurring fungal skin and/or vaginal infections
- Sweet cravings
- Unexplained tiredness
Stay away from…
To discourage Candida from proliferating in the digestive tract, it’s important to maintain the health of your intestinal flora, also known today as intestinal microbiota. It’s important to know that this yeast feeds off sugar and that a healthy intestinal flora will not allow it to multiply. It’s therefore best to stay away from:
- Added sugar, whether in the form of white sugar, brown sugar, maple syrup, honey, fruit sugar, bread spread, dessert, breakfast cereals, granola bars, candy, juice, etc. Make sure to read the ingredients list on condiments and prepared foods, because they’re often packed with sugar!
- All products made with yeast: baked goods, alcohol, cheese, etc.
And make sure to get:
- Protein – Sources include poultry, eggs, legumes (pulses) and fish
- Whole grains like quinoa, buckwheat, millet and oat bran
- Two portions of fruit per day (ideally avocados, limes and lemons)
- Green vegetables
- Plenty of water – around 1.5 litres a day
- Probiotics, but be careful not to choose sweet yogurt as a source of probiotics
- Fermented foods like kefir, plain yogurt, whey and sauerkraut
So now you’re thinking that I’m understating things when I suggest avoiding only two foods. You got me there: it would be better to say two types of ingredients. So no, it isn’t so easy to eat that way, but keep in mind that by cutting out sugar and yeast, you will be forced to eat fewer prepared foods and, in so doing, you’ll improve your eating habits.