I get hundreds of emails about the subject of Candida, and a lot of them are asking me why so many health care practitioners don’t recommend the consumption of fermented foods if you have Candida. Most physicians and well-meaning practitioners only know of fermented foods made with vinegars rather than the cultured or fermented foods that I teach people to make. The ones made with vinegars should not be eaten when you have Candida. They are a completely different food than the ones I recommend because these foods don’t have probiotics in them. Probiotic foods are the key to finally bringing Candida into balance; but as they do, it can often seem that you are getting worse instead of better.
“Every patient carries her or his own doctor inside.”Albert Schweitzer
We need small amounts of the yeast candidiasis
Candida is a yeast/fungal organism that lives naturally within the human body.We need small amounts of the yeast Candidiasis since it can digest things like heavy metals that our regular digestive system cannot handle. It is normally found in the body in low levels but an overproduction of this yeast can cause many problems, including the fungal infection known as Candidiasis. Candida can spread as a fungus does throughout the intestines and sinuses. Candida penetrates the bloodstream, releasing toxic byproducts into your body, which can cause a myriad of problems.
Looking for balance, not complete extinction
Candida is something that everyone is talking about and seems to be afraid of. This same thing happened many years ago with bacteria when everybody and their brother came out with antibacterial soaps and disinfectants. It was the new buzz and this caused so many problems. I believe this was the wrong approach to keeping pathogens at bay. Most thought if we could just stamp out the bad bacteria (and now Candida) all our problems would go away, but this is not the case. If we will build up the good yeasts and bacteria, they will solve the problem for us and also create a balance that otherwise wouldn’t exist within our bodies. Killing bacteria kills both the good and the bad, and the same with Candida – you want a small amount to remain but you really are looking for balance, not complete extinction. It’s the same story again and again, good versus evil. If you focus on the good instead of only destroying the bad, the good will be in control, will dominate, and will bring things into balance. The struggle will cease.
Women and yeast infections
In women, bacteria normally colonize the vagina and keep Candida and yeast infections under control. There are five known vaginal bacteria, and many of them (such as Lactobacillus) produce lactic acid, which lowers the pH, creating a hostile environment for pathogens. When these bacteria are killed by things such as antibiotics, there becomes a big void of empty space. Candida suddenly has room to spread out and grow. An overgrowth of yeast may result, leading to a yeast infection.
Don’t avoid cultured foods
A lot of people avoid cultured foods—especially kombucha—when they have an overgrowth of candida, believing that these foods actually make the condition worse. However, this isn’t what I’ve found to be true. In fact, it’s just the opposite: cultured foods can aid in the treatment of Candida overgrowth as long as they are made properly in order to remove the sugars and allow the probiotics to grow and become strong.
There are now some studies supporting my life experiences. One study included 155 hospitalized children (106 boys, 44 girls) between the ages of 3 months and 12 years who had been on broad-spectrum antibiotics for at least 48 hours. They were divided into one trial group and one placebo group. For seven days, the subjects in the trial group received a sachet of probiotics twice a day; the other group received placebo packets. Each probiotic sachet contained Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus rhamnosum, Bifidobacterium longum, Bifidobacterium bifidum, Saccharomyces boulardii (the good yeast in kombucha), and Saccharomyces thermophilus—all of which are common in cultured foods—and fructo-oligosaccharides, which are a type of prebiotic.
The presence of Candida was the same in both groups on the first day, but on the last day that probiotics were administered, 27.9 percent of the patients in the trial group were colonized with Candida infection, compared to the 42.6 percent of the patients in the placebo group. Candida infections continued to increase in number from day 7 to 14 in the placebo group but not in the one that took the probiotic sachets. This showed that supplementing with probiotics could help reduce candida colonization in critically ill children receiving broad-spectrum antibiotics.
Other studies show that when you add probiotics from the Lactobacillus family you downregulate Candida, stopping yeast infections and keeping them from recurring. I can think of no better way to do this than through cultured foods, which are loaded with many probiotics, especially those from the Lactobacillus family.
So what is the solution?
Having lots of good bacteria keeps Candida in check. It keeps it from spreading out and growing into places it does not belong.
Building up the good bacteria in your body with a lot of cultured foods can become a very powerful weapon that can clean house and bring you back into balance. You can start adding them to your meals and increase them as you adjust to the huge influx of good microbes that begin to conquer and dominate your microflora. Caution: it can cause a Herxheimer Reaction as the bad bacteria and bad yeasts leave the body. They give off toxins as they die off and you can experience a healing crisis. Please check out this article. The Healing Crisis
For years I took yeast killers. Although these were effective in the short term, they also killed good bacteria and left me struggling. They never really returned me to the balance I was seeking until I started eating a lot of cultured foods.
Coconut oil for candida
One thing I do recommend is ingesting coconut oil. The caprylic acid found in coconut oil is a powerful Candida killer that works well with cultured foods; but it, too, can make you feel worse before you feel better, so go slowly.
Cultured foods right before bed
If you take probiotic cultured foods right before bed they work significantly better. They have time to grow and multiply while you are resting, which is when the body can repair itself best. Remember, even if you are only adding small amounts of cultured foods, such as a spoonful of cultured veggies or kefir, you can still have symptoms of a die off. Bacteria work in numbers and they sense you the host, determine how big you are, and then determine how many bacteria are needed to do the job. When your body has enough of these bacteria they will do their job.
Your body contains many different strains of bacteria which is why I recommend eating the Trilogy: kefir, kombucha, and cultured vegetables. These three types of food contain the different strains of bacteria and good yeasts which can bring you back into balance.
I hope this helps you find your balance. We are 99% good (harmless) bacteria and yeasts. When things get out of balance, just feed the good bacteria with more probiotic foods and talk about the bad less. Then watch and see what happens. Love is stronger than hate; all is well when the good yeasts and good bacteria outnumber the bad, and cultured foods are loaded with both.
“Look for the good in every person and every situation. You’ll almost always find it.”~ Brian Tracy