Mold’s friends and foes
If you’ve just finished reading Foods to Avoid When You Have Mold or Yeast in Your Body, then you’re probably a little freaked out. It is a rather extensive list on the foods or drinks you need to be avoiding while experiencing a mold or yeast infection. Just what can you eat if everything at the store or in your cupboard is fungi’s favorite snack? Well, the truth is, you’re going to have to get creative. Although, some recognizable and favorite meals will still be safe, there are other options that may not excite your taste buds at first. Whatever the food or ingredient is, give it a chance so that you can starve the fungus right out of your body.
Meals You Can Still Eat (Sort of…)
The good news is you can still enjoy Italian food, the bad news? You have to enjoy it without pasta, bread, or cheese. That begs the question: “Then what about it is Italian?!” Well, not much but you can – and you should! – have garlic, oregano, cilantro, rosemary, basil, and tomatoes! Why? Facts are facts and while you can’t eat Italian Italian food, you can still enjoy some of its finer ingredients because they are naturally anti-fungal foods and spices.
How about Mexican food?! Sounds good, right? Yes, of course you can have it… without flour or corn tortillas, taco shells, cheese, sour cream, pickled jalapenos, canned enchilada sauces, or packaged salsa! “It’s not the same,” you might say. Sure it is! You’re still left with beans, tomatoes, fresh jalapenos, home-made salsa, and avocados! What’s not to love?!
La cuisine Française! Vous avez un excellent goût! (Did I say that right?) French food, yes, yes, oui, oui, you can still have your Boeuf Bourguignon and eat it too… as long as you leave out the red wine and mushrooms. “Then it’s just beef with onions and garlic!” you say. Ah, well, c’est la vie! There’s also French onion soup, sans the cheese, croutons, and caramelized onions.
Alright, so I’m not exactly making you feel any better. The truth is, fighting mold with whole, natural foods is the best chance you have at sending that fungus packing. Yes, your diet is limited from the more rich foods, but you are still allowed many tasty alternatives and there’s a reason these safer foods are suggested.
Root Vegetables & Tubers
Ginger: Like many tubers, ginger is a detoxifier. She increases circulation, detoxifies the liver, and stimulates the immune system. She also soothes inflammation of the intestinal tract (a common issue with fungus victims). What’s not to love about this little lady? Let’s give her a hand… or better yet, chop her up and eat her!
Radish: Not many are aware that radishes are considered some of the top mold and yeast annihilators. In fact, the radish is more like the Godzilla of the anti-fungal world. In just the past 10 years, scientists have discovered a plant defensin in radishes they named RsAFP2 (catchy, isn’t it?) that destroys mold and yeast on the cellular level. So far, no fungus they’ve tested has fought RsAFP2 and lived to tell the tale. This little anti-fungal protein aims its microscopic weapons at fungi cell walls, completely obliterating it. Moral of this story? Eat more radishes!
Garlic: Nothing says “die fungus, die!” like swallowing a mouthful of garlic. Not only is this solution gentle on your pocket book – as opposed to synthesized pharmaceutical treatments that are both expensive and have delayed results – it can usually bring about changes within just a few hours. Garlic naturally inhibits the growth of molds and yeasts. In fact, it contains allyl alcohol, which utterly destroys yeast… like a beast. Trust me, you need to eat garlic. Right now. Go.
Onions: Like garlic, onions have a detoxifying effect on the body and are highly anti-fungal, anti-bacterial and anti-parasitic. Another great thing about onions is that they flush excess fluids from the body. This is great because a lot of mold and yeast victims suffer from water retention. Go for the stronger-tasting and most intense-smelling onions – they pack a mightier punch against fungus.
Cilantro: Eat this. It might help you keep your friends after you’ve eaten the garlic and onions. Not only will cilantro – also commonly known as Coriander – give you fresher breath, it will protect you from mold and yeast, and reduce the symptoms you experience from infection. Cilantro is anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory, and it’s especially important to note that for those who have become infected due to an already existing disease (such as diabetes) or illness (low or damaged immune system), this unique little herb has proven to cause insulin-like activity, as well as improve and strengthen the immune system.
Basil: This sweet-tasting, anti-fungal herb can go in just about any dish. (It’s an excellent side-kick to garlic, by the way.) Its potency against mold and yeast increases exponentially when made into an essential oil, but eating it fresh is much more appealing.
Oregano: Yet another tasty herb whose most common medicinal use today is fighting fungus! Experts say that oregano (especially as an essential oil) – because of its carvacrol content – is 100 times more potent and effective than the caprylic acid that is usually a regular ingredient for most modern anti-fungal solutions. And hey, it tastes great too!
Rosemary: This little goodie doesn’t pack too much of an anti-fungal punch but she will take care of the symptoms associated with mold and yeast infections. It couldn’t hurt to throw her into the pot as well!
Thyme: Pronounced as “time” not “thime” (sorry, major pet-peeve for me) this is your buddy against mold infections that affect the lungs. Best as an essential oil, but yummy and effective as a seasoning, thyme – like oregano – has large amounts of anti-fungal properties, such as carvacrol, and is one of your greatest allies in the fight against mold or yeast infections.
Black Walnut: It’s not the walnut itself but the the bark and husk that is ground down and used for natural healing. The active ingredient in black walnut is juglone and it has been known to act as swiftly and as strongly as most over-the-counter anti-fungal remedies, if not better. Juglone is not only anti-fungal but anti-biotic as well. The other fungus fighting ingredients are called tannins and they are fungus murderers. Black walnut is so potent, in fact, that it doesn’t play nicely with other plants.
Pau d’Arco: Another tree bark derivative, pau d’arco helps loosen the bowels (not uh-oh, whoops! – more like ah, that’s better) which is very beneficial to victims of fungus. It also is intensely anti-fungal. It contains lapachol, which has been shown to inhibit (stop or slow) the growth of mold and yeast. Get some Pau d’Arco tea and drink up!
Cinnamon: It should really be called cinnassin because it is a mold and yeast assassin! Cinnamon contains cinnamaldehyde, an extremely potent antifungal, antibacterial, and antioxidant agent. Cinnamaldehyde – I’m seriously not making that title up – has been proven to attack and obliterate mold and yeast infections. That’s right, folks. Sprinkle as much of this little hero as you want!
Cloves: Like Rosemary, cloves may not be your anti-fungal hero, per se, but they will do some hefty damage to the side-effect symptoms you’re experiencing. Cloves are antioxidant and antiseptic. Just be sure not to give any to your pets or place it on thier skin because it can be very toxic to them.
Cayenne Pepper: Naturally supporting the digestive and immune system, cayenne pepper aids in food digestion, reduces constipation by cleansing the bowels of mold, yeast, and other toxins, and it increases metabolism and circulation which is definitely a plus since most victims constantly feel fatigued. Repeat after me: “Cayenne Pepper is my friend!”
Turmeric, Allspice, or Sage: Although more research needs to be done, many claim that these three spices are an excellent source for natural anti-fungal battling, especially if used topically or infused into teas. (I know, I know… let’s move on to the more vicious, fungus-killing foods!)
Coconut Oil: This baby is the crème de la crème of anti-fungal oils. Its lauric and caprylic acids that kill off most molds and yeasts and also boost the immune system. Coconut oil is also one of the most versatile oils and anti-fungal solutions out there. Not only can you rub it on affected areas of the skin or just use it as a daily lotion, you can cook and bake with it (it’s a very stable oil for most temperatures), use it in your hair as a conditioner, eat it plain, or use it for oil-pulling (a trending method these days that involves swishing a spoonful of coconut oil in your mouth for 20 minutes before spitting it out, which helps removes toxins and bacteria from the body).
Olive Oil: Within this gem of antiquity and modern-day cooking and healing is contained a plant chemical named Oleuropein (all-your-pee-in… sounds nice, doesn’t?). This chemical has powerful anti-fungal properties and has proven to stimulate the immune system specifically in response to mold or yeast issues. Another important note: Olive oil helps stabilize blood sugars, which is incredibly important in stopping mold and yeast growths because they thrive in high-sugar conditions.
Greens & Legumes
Green Leafy Vegetables (of all kinds): Lettuce be frank with you, you’re not always going to be excited for a salad but the truth is, incorporating lettuce and other greens such as spinach and cabbage are going to help you not only expel toxins through the intestines, but also cleanse the rest of your body and help the other anti-fungal foods you eat, work their magic. Like all plants, greens are naturally anti-fungal and while they may not be as intense at it like radishes or garlic, they most-certainly make a difference.
Dried or Frozen Legumes: Beans, beans, the musical fruit! The more you eat the more you… fight off that fungal brute? Actually, even though beans are anti-fungal, you will need to eat them in moderation (at least until your infection is cleared up). Don’t overdo it , for your sake – healthfully and… uh, socially. Chickpeas (garbanzo beans), red lentils, organic soybeans, split peas, and black-eyed peas – these are just a few of the legumes you can safely consume right now. High fiber, high protein is what you’re aiming for but remember, not daily and not over-portioned.
Nuts & Seeds
Safe nuts and seeds to consume: Brazillian nuts, hazelnut (no, not Nutella spread!), almonds, cashews, Macadamia nuts, flax seed, coconut meat, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, pecans, poppy seeds, pine nuts, and pumpkin seeds. While all vegetation contain some form and degree of anti-fungal properties, not all are associated directly with the destruction of fungus. These nuts and seeds are more or less on neutral ground and are safe to consume while on a strict mold-fighting diet.
Safe Breads & “Cereals”: (ONLY GLUTEN-FREE VERSIONS) of millet, oat bran, buckwheat, and quinoa (and most of their products like crackers and flour) are high fiber and help move and pull toxins out of your body. Go ahead, indulge a little.
Vegetables in General
As stated earlier, all plants are anti-fungal to some degree, so it is imperative that – for the time-being, until you have healed – you eat a mostly-vegetarian diet. The best vegetables for mold and yeast victims are (alphabetically listed for you A-types out there):
- Brussels sprouts
- Garlic (raw)
These vegetables are non-starch, which means that they do not turn into the sugary goodness that mold and yeast thrive off of when digested by your stomach. Essentially, by eating mostly these vegetables, you will be starving the fungus right out of your body. Don’t feel bad, mold would do the same thing to you.
Keep meat-eating to a minimum. Fungus eats heavily on rotting flesh, so try not to make a cemetary out of your stomach. If you must devour things that once had families, mothers, and faces, then steer clear of anything processed or non-organic. No lunch meat, spam, bacon, smoked meats, or meats contained in vacuum-sealed containers (these all contain dextrose, nitrates, sulfates and sugars which happily feed fungus). Stick to organic chicken, turkey, beef, lamb, and only certain kinds of fish like salmon (but be sure to buy the fish fresh).
All of these foods listed are just a small glimpse of the overall safe and fungus-fighting edible options you have. There are plenty more. The key is to starve out the fungus – give it nothing to metabolize and aid in its growth. If you’re curious about which foods to avoid, please check out Foods to Avoid When You Have Mold or Yeast in Your Body.
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TheWife is the mother and personal chef of two boys, the domestic technician of a three-bedroom desert home, and occasionally, a freelance writer and editor. Feel free to follow her on Twitter @TheWifesLife