Candida albicans is the most common cause of fungal infections worldwide. These fungi exist naturally on the skin and in the mucous membranes (of the mouth, gut, nasal cavities, vagina) and don’t cause much trouble if kept in proper balance with other microbes in these communities.
However, after one or more courses of antibiotics, chemotherapy or other immune suppressing drugs and / or after years of eating pesticide laden foods, these opportunistic fungi can begin to outnumber the good bacteria and start to cause trouble in the body.
Most people are familiar with how candida causes thrush and yeast infections, but if these troublesome microbes enter the bloodstream and internal organs, they can cause a whole host of disease symptoms.
This internal form of candida infection, or invasive candidiasis, is very common. In the US alone, approximately 46,000 cases of healthcare associated invasive candidiasis are diagnosed every year. Those most at risk of acquiring invasive candidiasis are:
- People who have taken broad-spectrum antibiotics
- People who have weakened immune systems
- Patients in hospitals who undergo any sort of invasive treatments or surgeries.
Antifungals are often prescribed to treat these infections, but they can contribute to the development of drug-resistant strains. That’s why it is so important to integrate natural means of prevention and treatment into one’s approach.
Just last week, researchers published a study in the American society for Microbiology’s journal mSphere in which they revealed one such natural source for warding off and battling candida: coconut oil.
In the study, the researchers fed rats diets that were rich in either coconut oil, beef tallow or soybean oil. They also administered a standard diet to a separate group of rats.
After the rats had eaten these diets for 14 days, the researchers inoculated them with C. albicans (candida). After the mice continued their diets for an additional 21 days, the scientists tested the microbial makeup of their stomachs, cecums and feces and discovered that the rats on the coconut oil diet had a 10 fold drop in the amount of candida present when compared to those on the beef tallow or soy bean diet.
The researchers then followed up their findings by seeing if switching from beef tallow to coconut oil would help reduce the degree of candida infection in the rats. They were amazed to find that after only 4 days on the coconut oil, the rats who were previously fed beef tallow had a reduced number of C. albicans in amounts nearly identical to those who had been fed coconut oil the entire time.
They explain that coconut oil is so effective in this regard because it can actually inhibit the growth of and kill C. albicans.
What a simple and delicious thing to add to your diet to help prevent and treat candida infections!
Here are other foods that support the body’s fight against candida overgrowth:
- Whole, organic vegetables
- Organic, non-GMO fed, humanely raised poultry, beef and wild fish
- Good quality fats such as organic virgin olive, coconut, avocado and red palm oil
- Fermented vegetables and a good quality oral probiotic.
Foods & beverages to avoid when trying to decrease fungal overgrowth:
- Sugars & sugar substitutes
- Processed carbohydrates
- Dried beans & legumes
- Most fresh & dried fruit and fruit juices
- Vinegar and foods that include vinegar, including pickles
- Condiments (since they are often loaded with sugar and vinegar)
- Soy products
- Peanuts & pistachios
These dietary changes help starve the infection. But candida is a stubborn microbe that also needs to be knocked back by therapies. If you would like to learn more about these therapies and other dietary strategies, my book has many helpful resources. Check it out here.
Clinically diagnosed with multiple sclerosis at the age of 28, Pam chose an alternative approach to recovery. Now decades later and still symptom free, she coaches others on how to treat the root cause of chronic disease, using a holistic approach. She can teach you how, too.
Pam is the author of Become a Wellness Champion and founder of Live Disease Free. She is a wellness expert, coach and speaker.
The Live Disease Free Academy has helped hundreds of Wellness Champions in over 15 countries take charge of their health and experience profound improvements in their life.