There was a time in my life when I really struggled with gut dysbiosis (microbial imbalance). Back then I thought I was doing myself justice by eating a strictly plant-based diet. You’d think with all those fresh raw plant foods everyone touts as “super” I’d have been in tip-top shape.
Instead, my hair got so thin my ponytail was the size of a dime, my nails became extremely brittle, and I developed a nasty rash around my mouth. Add in the fact that I couldn’t seem to digest anything anymore, and that my anxiety and depression were the worst they had ever been, and I’m sure you’d agree that I was a big hot mess.
Many of my clients suffer from yeast overgrowth and are constantly cleansing with some relief of symptoms, but unfortunately, until the entire engine gets an overhaul (the root cause is uncovered) those nasty little microbes continue to invade and wreak havoc.
When dysbiosis is present, the body is not generating its master antioxidants glutathione and metallothionein, which protect the body from pathogenic attacks, heavy metal toxicity, and immune system dysfunction to name a few.
Whenever a client presents with yeast overgrowth, I always look at the role epigenetic disorders play in their symptoms, triggers, and experiences (both emotional and physical). One simply cannot go on an anti-candida diet and expect to have complete relief and remission without first looking at methylation imbalances, copper overload and other heavy metals, as well as zinc and other nutrient deficiencies. In other words, any healing protocol must take into account an individual’s unique biochemistry.
I know many of you will have a hard time with this statement, but the truth is that the safest foods come from the animal kingdom, especially in the prevention and elimination of yeast overgrowth.
Here’s a list of the most common triggers:
- Foods containing any kind of sugar – cane, high fructose corn syrup, agave, brown sugar, maple syrup, honey, brown rice syrup, fruits, fresh and dried
- Foods that contain mold or fungus or encourage it to grow – legumes, cashews, peanuts
- Foods that are fermented or might encourage fermentation – alcohol, most vinegars and condiments, kimchi and sauerkraut
- High starch foods, especially those that contain gluten
- Anything artificial, processed, containing chemicals or additives, imitation or artificial seasonings, and flavorings and colorings
As I mentioned, the entire person needs to be taken into consideration when embarking on a healing protocol. Many of my clients are also triggered by foods high in naturally occurring chemicals such as salicylate, oxalate, glutamate, and/or sulfur, so I always look at foods that contain them in abundance.
Keep in mind that anyone can react to anything at any time depending on a multitude of factors: emotional stress (abuse – self inflicted or from another person), physical stress (such as too much exercise or working too many hours), environmental stress (such as contaminated tap or well water, polluted air, and industrial cleaners).
When embarking on a healing journey, I find simple is best. This does not mean without taste. In fact, I have found the simplest of dishes to be the most flavorful and beneficial at the same time. A good one to try is my zucchini chicken soup.
Do you struggle with yeast overgrowth? If so, I’d love to know about your experience in the comments below. It is through sharing your story that we create community, eliminate guilt and shame, and bring about healing.