Why You Should Ditch Fermented Foods if You Have Candida
Many people addressing Candida or yeast overgrowth add fermented foods into their diet as part of their treatment protocol. Their aim is to rebuild their population of probiotics that keep bad bacteria and yeast in check. However, I strongly advocate avoiding fermented foods if you have Candida. Here’s why:
A Recap on Candida
Candida is a yeast—a simple fungus—that is naturally present in your digestive tract. It helps you digest what you eat, and assists in drawing nutrients from those foods. Your body only needs a very small amount of Candida to perform these essential functions, and the “good” bacteria in your gut generally keep Candida levels from getting out of control.1 However, there are several common circumstances that can easily lead to Candida overwhelming your “good” bacteria. These include:
- A high carb and high sugar diet, which can fuel the growth of Candida
- Excessive alcohol consumption, which weakens your immune system
- Antibiotics that kill your body’s good bacteria along with the bad
- Chronic stress, which impairs your immune system and negatively impacts your digestive system
- Immunosuppressant drugs used to treat autoimmune diseases that reduce your body’s infection-fighting abilities
Once Candida’s reproduction is no longer balanced by “good” bacteria, Candida can break down the walls of the intestine and enter your bloodstream. This Candida overgrowth can cause leaky gut which leads to an array of health problems from irritable bowel syndrome and skin issues, to fatigue and mood swings that can appear in every part of the body.
How Fermentation Works
All yeasts, including Candida and edible yeast such as the one used to make bread, need sugar to thrive. Yeasts, with the help of certain bacteria, break down sugars for their fuel through the process of fermentation. There are two main types of fermentation: alcohol fermentation and lacto-fermentation, in which the lactobacillus species of bacteria is part of the process.2 Various strains of lactobacillus bacteria are present in plants, and are also naturally found among the “good” bacteria in your gut. In fact, strains of Lactobacillus are often found in probiotic supplements because of their gut health benefits.
During the fermentation process, the lactobacillus multiplies quickly, because in addition to producing enzymes and nutrients the fermentation process produces prebiotics. Prebiotics help probiotics grow, so fermented foods are very high in probiotics3, as well as prebiotics, which feed your gut’s natural probiotics when you eat them. They’re also high in lactic acid, which helps retard the growth of “bad” bacteria. This is why fermented foods don’t spoil quickly.
Why Fermented Foods Cause Problems
That sounds like you should be eating fermented foods if you have Candida overgrowth, doesn’t it? However, it’s a bit more complicated than that. All of the prebiotics produced during the fermentation process feed not only the “good” bacteria, they also feed “bad” bacteria and yeast. This means that fermented foods themselves may be high in bad bacteria and yeast.
Additionally, the high concentration of prebiotics found in fermented foods makes their way to your gut, where they feed probiotics, bad bacteria, and yeast alike. So if you are dealing with Candida overgrowth, and already have an overpopulation of bad bacteria or yeast, eating fermented foods is the equivalent of adding fuel to the fire.
So fermented foods do have potential health benefits, yet they may lead to more harm than good by perpetuating gut infections. Here are the main culprits you should avoid, at least until you are sure your Candida is back in balance with the rest of your gut microbiome, and maybe longer:
- Beer: Technically a byproduct of the fermentation of barley, it also contains gluten.
- Champagne: The signature bubbles are created by a second fermentation of white wine with added sugar and yeast.
- Kefir: Milk that has been fermented with the addition of live kefir grains.
- Kimchi: Shredded cabbage and radishes fermented with garlic, salt, and spices.
- Kombucha: Tea fermented with a symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast (SCOBY).
- Sauerkraut: Shredded cabbage fermented with salt.
- Vinegar: Wine with added bacteria that changes the alcohol to an acid.
- Wine: The result of fermented fruit, usually red or green grapes.
- Yogurt: Milk fermented with yogurt cultures to produce lactic acid.
Treating Candida Overgrowth
Although adding fermented foods to your diet will not help resolve Candida overgrowth, there are steps you can take to get Candida in check. You’ll need to restore the “good” bacteria and repair your gut so that Candida cannot enter your bloodstream. You can accomplish this with the simple and proven three-action approach in my 30-day Candida Breakthrough® Challenge. With my support and an online community of people just like you who are fighting Candida, here’s what you’ll do:
- Step 1. Starve the Candida by removing the foods that feed it from your diet. This means eliminating all sugar and alcohol, and restricting carbohydrates such as fruit, starchy vegetables, grains, and legumes. It also means ditching all fermented foods.
- Step 2. Attack the Candida by taking supplements that destroy Candida’s cell walls. I like to use Candifense® as well as Caprylic Acid, both of which are excellent at breaking down the walls of Candida cells to destroy them.
- Step 3. Repopulate your gut with good bacteria by taking a high-potency probiotic that keeps Candida under control. While battling Candida, I recommend a probiotic supplement containing 100 billion colony-forming units (CFUs) to restore your gut’s healthy microbial balance.
Beat Candida Overgrowth Now
If you’re ready to banish your Candida symptoms and restore your health for the happy, vibrant life you should be living, sign up now to for the free training that will kick off the challenge. Join participants from all over the world during this reservation-only, one-hour event, to discover:
- How Candida can affect all parts of your body, from your brain to your skin.
- The main ways Candida gets out of control.
- The danger of not clearing Candida, and how it can lead to chronic health conditions, including autoimmunity.
- The 3 easy steps to beating Candida once and for all.
- And most importantly, how YOU can eliminate your symptoms and live a life filled with energy and vitality.
Spots are limited and they are filling up fast, so don’t wait. Sign up for this training (It’s absolutely FREE) so that you, too, can beat Candida for good!