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How to Treat Candida Overgrowth Naturally in Six Steps

by Amanda Demsky
sugar mold

Your body is home to many types of fungi, including the genus of yeasts known as Candida. This type of fungi typically thrives unproblematically in small amounts in your mouth, intestines, and on your skin. When there is an imbalance of microbes, however, fungi such as Candida will grow uncontrollably and cause not only infection (candidiasis), but chronic and even life-threatening disease. In fact, candidiasis is one of the most common fungal infections in humans, which is why it’s important to know how to treat Candida overgrowth naturally.

What Causes Candida Overgrowth?

The proficiency of every component of your immune system is what determines whether or not Candida or other fungal infections will take hold in your body. Therefore, what permits Candida overgrowth will be factors that affect the immune system—and diet plays a major role.


While diet is the most vital corrective and preventative element of the immune system, there are several other immune-suppressing factors that often escape responsibility for weakening your body’s defenses:


alcohol intake [1]

antibiotics [2]

chronic or high stress [3]

oral contraceptives [4]

mercury fillings [5][6]

chemical exposure [7][8]

genetic predisposition to fungal sensitivity


(For more information regarding these foundational issues to candidiasis, visit The Candida Diet.)

How to Treat Candida Overgrowth Naturally in Six Steps

Step One
Limit your sugar intake.

This is not always as simple as avoiding candy or granulated table sugar. Sugar comes in many forms, but the most health-threatening are simple carbohydrates (or “simple sugars”) that have been processed, refined, and combined.

Simple carbohydrates are made up of monosaccharide and disaccharide sugars. Monosaccharides are the least likely to facilitate fungal overgrowth. Disaccharides are the most likely to facilitate fungal overgrowth. Therefore, it is in your best interest to keep an eye out for the following terms on labels to be sure you’re not ingesting hidden simple sugars in high amounts.

Monosaccharide Sugars (least health-threatening)

Glucose

  • fruits (high to low), dried fruits (extremely high), vegetables (low to medium with slow release), honey (high), nuts (low), seeds (low), legumes (low).

Fructose

  • fruits (high to low), dried fruits (extremely high), vegetables (low to medium with slow release), honey (high), nuts (low), seeds (low), legumes (low).

Disaccharide Sugars (most health-threatening)
Sucrose

  • table sugars (glucose combined with fructose; extracted from fruits/vegetables)

Lactose

  • dairy

Maltose

  • grains and alcohol


While fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and legumes are the safest sources of carbohydrates, it is best to follow a Candida overgrowth diet—which will include foods that kill Candida—if you are already suffering the symptoms of fungal overgrowth.

Barbara O’Neill, a qualified naturopath, nutritionist, and international speaker, suggests that avoiding even naturally-derived sugars (maple syrup, honey, fruit, etc.) is how to cure Candida permanently. (You can find more articles with Barbara O’Neill’s advice on how to treat Candida overgrowth naturally on MoldBlogger.)

Step Two
Modify your grain intake.

As I’m sure you know, grains are a major controversy these days. Some issues with grains—when it comes to what causes Candida—is that many modern grains are nearly completely devoid of nutrients and linked to inflammation and lowered functionality of the immune system. This is because the grains and the mechanisms by which they are grown (think: pesticides) impairs white blood cell function. White blood cells are a major component of your immune system.

Modern grains also break down too easily into sugar, which causes the body to store the excess blood glucose as fat. Individuals carrying excessive fat stores are the primary sufferers of Candida infections.

In addition, there is the controversy over gluten. Some experts claim gluten causes leaky gut, inflammation, insulin resistance, leptin resistance, and impedes thyroid function—all of which encourages Candida overgrowth.[9]

Lastly, many of the issues caused by modern grains are unheard of in Europe and other regions of the world. This is because agricultural chemical pesticides, such as Round Up, have been banned in those regions, but ever since the introduction of advanced pesticidal treatments on grains in the United States, there has been a staggering rise in wheat and gluten intolerance, as well as every associated health condition, including Candida.[10][11][12]

Not all grains are created equal, however. Modern grains are to be avoided, but ancient grains are acceptable in moderation if you suspect you suffer from a fungal infection or you simply want to avoid one by improving your overall health and immune function. To start, watch for labels with words like “enriched” or anything not labeled as “organic”—those products you want to avoid.

Learn to be better acquainted with organic grain options and ancient grain options. Some of the safer, ancient grains are emmer, spelt, and einkorn.

Step Three
Support your spleen.

As a contributor to the lymphatic system, your spleen is involved in your body’s immune response, digestion, and in the recycling of old blood cells. When it detects harmful microbes, such as bacteria, viruses, and fungi in your blood, it produces white blood cells—lymphocytes—to combat infection and facilitate healing. This is why a weakened spleen is often one of the main gateways to fungal overgrowth.

In order to equip your spleen to detect and fight an imbalance of Candida, you’ll want to focus on an antifungal plant-based diet. Starchy vegetables, such as butternut squash, acorn squash, sweet potatoes, lentils, and mung beans are a spleen’s best friend. Unfortunately, a severe case of Candida will require that you cut out starchy vegetables until your gut flora regains a foothold over the yeast.

Please keep in mind that even if you cannot take a step forward in your progress, you can ensure you’re not taking two steps back. If it’s a craving and a choice between processed food and a helping of sweet potato, you can satisfy your craving on a single serving of starchy vegetable without compromising your health further. The fiber and relatively slow release of the carbohydrates will help you avoid inflaming the Candida the way a processed simple carbohydrate would.

Another point to consider, especially if you already maintain a diet conducive to healing from fungal infection, is the damaging effects of antibiotics and steroids on the spleen. Barley tea is very helpful in restoring the tissues of the spleen after being subjected to steroids and antibiotics.[13]

But, whether you’ve recently taken steroids/antibiotics or not, you may still want to consume barley tea. Barley is the most beneficial herb for your spleen because of its antioxidant and blood-“cooling” effects, which help fight inflammation, disease, and maintain the integrity of all the cells throughout your body, especially your spleen. You can find roasted barley tea as part of your Candida overgrowth diet on Amazon.

Helpful tip: Avoid consuming cold foods. Cold foods are hard on the spleen and weaken its defense of the body against molds and yeasts.

Step Four
Support your liver.

Your liver is your body’s largest internal organ. It weighs 3 lbs. and is as big as a football. Because your liver is so vital to every process of your body, 13% of your blood supply is reserved for its personal use as it performs 500 tasks throughout each day that maintain your health and overall function.

The liver is responsible for detoxifying the blood and filtering out toxins and waste. This is why supporting the liver is key to how to cure Candida permanently.

In order to support your liver, you will have to focus on sour, probiotic-rich foods and supplements. Cultured foods, such as 24- to 29-hour kefir, sauerkraut, and kimchi are the most beneficial, but you must consume them in moderation, especially kefir as it contains the highest sugar content out of the three. If you have a severe case of Candida, it is preferable that you avoid kefir altogether, as well as other options like kombucha; but, on occasion, sauerkraut, kimchi, and even apple cider vinegar can be used sparingly in conjunction with an antifungal diet. The best sugar-free option, however, is a probiotic supplement.

Step Five
Support your intestines.

The intestines are responsible for food absorption and waste elimination. The large intestine alone contains an estimated 100 trillion viable bacteria, which play useful roles in the body’s overall nutrition and prevention of disease. Intestinal flora produce essential nutrients, such as vitamins and organic acids, which are absorbed by the intestines and utilized by the gut epithelium and by other vital organs, such as the liver, to fortify the immune system. These organic acids aid in suppressing the growth of pathogens in the intestines, like harmful bacteria, viruses, and yeasts.

Both your small and large intestine depend on you to ingest foods that will starve the harmful microbes and feed the beneficial microbes. This will help solve the imbalance that allowed the fungal overgrowth to begin with.

Bitter foods that occur naturally, like kale and arugula, are the best choice for intestinal support. Cinnamon, ginger, turmeric, romaine lettuce, and bitter herbs are all supportive of the digestive tract. Eliminating sugars and grain, as mentioned before, will help burn up the excess blood glucose throughout your body and starve off the yeast.

The reason bitter foods are so important to the function of the intestines is because they cleanse the blood, kidneys, urine, and digestive system of contaminants. They also contain biochemicals—flavonoids, isothiocyanates, alkaloids, catechins, glucosinolates, tannins, terpenes, phenols, isoflavones, and saponins—that are antibacterial, antiviral, anticarcinogenic, antiparasitic, and antifungal. Bitter herbs are just some of the foods that kill Candida.


Step Six
Take natural antifungal supplements.


Antifungal supplements work in two ways:

1. By directly killing fungal cells—

– Some antifungal supplements target and damage structures or functions that are necessary in fungal cells. The two most commonly targeted structures are the fungal cell membrane and the fungal cell wall—both of which surround and protect the fungal cell. By compromising the integrity of these structures, the fungal cell will burst open and die.

2. By preventing fungal cells from growing and thriving—

– Some antifungal supplements not only kill fungal cell walls, they also provide the gut flora with supportive ingredients, such as prebiotics, probiotics, and the same components found in natural, whole foods, such as bitter herbs—all of which combat Candida growth.

If taken alone—without adhering to a dietary protocol—antifungals will do very little. MoldBlogger has already reviewed one of the strongest Candida killer supplements on the market, but most are effective if coupled with a Candida overgrowth diet. Other natural antifungals come in the form of tinctures or essential oils, such as oil of oregano, grape seed extract, and garlic. These are generally safe to take for 10 to 14 days alongside probiotics and the same fungus-fighting nutrition plan.


Conclusion

The greatest key in how to treat Candida overgrowth naturally involves your willingness to follow through with a holistic method for 30 to 90 days. By doing this, you ensure you’re not just killing the yeast, but providing the body with the essential nutrients, minerals, and immune-fortifying elements to thwart potential Candida infections in the future.

For more information regarding mold, mold prevention, and mold solutions, please check out the rest of MoldBlogger.com.

Article by Amanda Demsky from the MoldBlogger team.


References

[1] T. Barr, C. Helms, K. Grant, and I. Messaoudi, “Opposing Effects of Alcohol on the Immune System,” Progress in Neuropsychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry 65 (February 4, 2016): 242¬-251: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pnpbp.2015.09.001.

[2] A. Langdon, N. Crook, and G. Dantas, “The Effects of Antibiotics on the Microbiome Throughout Development and Alternative Approaches for Therapeutic Modulation,” Genome Medicine 8, no. 39 (April 13, 2016): https://doi.org/10.1186/s13073-016-0294-z.

[3] F. Dhabhar, “Enhancing Versus Suppresive Effects of Stress on the Immune Function: Implications for Immunoprotection and Immunopathology,” Neuroimmunomodulation 16, no. 5 (June 2009): 300-17, doi: 10.1159/000216188.

[4] W. Williams, “Hormonal Contraception and the Development of Autoimmunity: A Review of the Literature,” Linacre Q 84, no. 3 (August 2017): doi: 10.1080/00243639.2017.1360065.

[5] P. Hultman, U. Johansson, S. J. Turley, U. Lindh, S. Enestrom, K. M. Pollard, “Adverse Immunological Effects and Autoimmunity Induced by Dental Amalgam and Alloy in Mice,” FASEB J. 8, no. 4 (1994): 1183-1190, doi: 10.1096/fasebj.8.14.7958626.

[6] S. Enestrom and P. Hultman, “Does Amalgam Affect the Immune System? A Controversial Issue,” International Archives of Allergy and Immunology 106, no. 3 (1995): 180-203, doi: 10.1159/000236843.

[7] S. Gangemi, E. Gofita, C. Costa, et al, “Occupational and Environmental Exposure to Pesticides and Cytokine Pathways in Chronic Diseases (Review),” International Journal of Molecular Medicine 38, no. 4 (October 2016): 1012-1020, doi: 10.3892/ijmm.2016.2728.

[8] E. Corsini, J. Liesivuori, T. Vergieva, H. V. Loveren, C. Colosio, “Effects of Pesticide Exposure on the Human Immune System,” Human & Experimental Toxicology 27, no. 9 (2008): 671-80, doi: 10.1177/0960327108094509.

[9] JJ Virgin, “7 Ways Eating Gluten Makes You Fat, Sick and Tired,” HuffPost, November 21, 2012, https://www.huffpost.com/entry/gluten_b_1834836.

[10] K. Wells, “The Real Problem with Grains,” Wellness Mama, October 7, 2019, https://wellnessmama.com/575/problem-with-grains/.

[11] M. Sisson, “The Problems with Modern Wheat,” Mark’s Daily Apple, https://www.marksdailyapple.com/the-problems-with-modern-wheat/.

[12] S. Pope, “The Real Reason Wheat is Toxic (It’s Not Gluten),” The Healthy Economist, https://www.thehealthyhomeeconomist.com/real-reason-for-toxic-wheat-its-not-gluten/.

[13] M. Shehata, H. Eldien, F. Meligy, S. Bahaidarh, “The Possible Protective Role of Barley Seeds on the Spleen after Administration of Glucocorticoids in Adult Albino Rats: A Histological and Immunohistochemical Study,” Journal of Microscopy and Ultrastructure 7, no. 4 (October-December 2019): 171-180, ;7(4):171-180, doi: 10.4103/JMAU.JMAU_47_18.

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