The Candida Diet
The Candida diet, not to be confused with a weight-loss regimen, has recently become a significant topic of interest on the web. “Candida” is an opportunistic fungal pathogen which is present on our skin and mucus membranes. Under healthy conditions, the presence of Candida is completely normal. However, when there is an overgrowth of this specific fungus within an immune-compromised individual, a problem may occur.
A more familiar form of Candida overgrowth is a condition called thrush. Thrush is specific to the mouth and throat and occurs most frequently in those with compromised immune systems, such as AIDS or cancer. Symptoms of thrush can range from painless white patches in the mouth to severe pain in the esophagus and difficulty swallowing.
Candida Overgrowth and Antibiotics
Another possible scenario for Candida overgrowth is the continued use or misuse of antibiotics. Antibiotics are feared to not only wipe out harmful bacteria in our systems, but also the naturally occurring “good” bacteria. A diet plan to help in the prevention and treatment of Candida overgrowth is rampant on homeopathic websites. The diet plan is outlined below; however, do not be surprised if it is difficult to find validation of this diet in respected medical journals.
There are a ton of Candida related supplements on the market. Consult with a trained medical professional to make sure you are using treatment that is right for your condition
When utilizing an Internet search engine to gain information on this diet, 1,640,000 results come up. The interesting thing is that most, or at least the several dozen reviewed for this article, said basically the same thing. The Anti-Candida diet recommends avoiding the following:
• Aged cheese
• Additives and preservatives
• Glutenous foods
The reasons to avoid these foods are unfortunately vague and unscientific. The foods you can eat on the diet are:
• Live yogurt cultures
• Nuts and seeds
• Non-glutenous grains
• Green algae.
Nutritional Pros and Cons
Although several of the foods to avoid would not be missed, dietitians do tend to get concerned when entire food groups are removed from a diet—in this case, fruit. There is definitely a place for restricted diets within certain disease states and illnesses, but sound scientific research should back them up.
The Bottom Line
If you do suffer from Candida overgrowth, be sure to consult with a licensed medical professional prior to making drastic changes to your diet, especially if you are immune-compromised.
1. The Centers for Disease Control. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov. Accessed October 1, 2007.
2. The Candida Diet. Available at: http://www.thecandidadiet.com. Accessed October 1, 2007.
3. U.S. National Library of Medicine. Available at: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/entrez/. Accessed October 1, 2007.