By now, we’ve all heard about how we are a nation addicted to sugar; our high sugar consumption is a well-established fact. But what about the consequences of eating sugar so frequently (often on a daily basis, even as part of virtually everything we put in our mouths), as opposed to our ancestors, who might have consumed added sugars only once a month or less?
What happens is that our bodies rebel. One of the worst consequences of too much sugar, one that’s becoming more common, is an overgrowth of yeast in the body. Why? Yeast already exists in all of us, most commonly in the form of candida albicans, a fungus. In a normal body, the yeast and other microorganisms co-exist in balance, so there’s no problem. But when the yeast get out of control, they can wreak havoc with your system, and a host of uncomfortable symptoms ensue.
If you’re overly fond of sugar, there are natural tactics to help prevent or diminish the overgrowth of yeast in the body. If you approach the problem early, before any of the nasty symptoms surface, you might even be able to prevent health issues later on.
Here are some naturally anti-fungal foods that you might like to incorporate more into your diet:
Coconut. Two of the fats in coconut, lauric acid and caprylic acid, are natural anti-fungals that have been shown to help kill yeast (apparently, in countries where coconut is a regular part of the diet, candida is a rare problem). You can consume coconut meat, of course, but to gain the full benefits, add coconut oil (concentrated lauric and caprylic acid) to your meals. Using virgin, organic coconut oil for stir-fries, in baking, or even in smoothies is a great way to acquire the benefits.
Garlic and Onions. Both these foods contain natural anti-fungals. In fact, garlic is one of the only anti-fungals that doesn’t simultaneously attack the “good” bacteria in your gut, so you can consume it liberally without worrying about taking extra probiotics at the same time. And both garlic and onions taste great! Add them to salad dressings, dips, spreads, stews, soups or anything else you fancy.
Pumpkin Seeds. In addition to having anti-inflammatory, healthy oils and many minerals (including zin09-20-13c, a potent immune booster), pumpkin seeds are also anti-microbial and anti-parasitic. Many people on a high-sugar diet may suffer from parasites as well as candida; pumpkin seeds can help to remedy the situation. They can be used as a snack, sprinkled on salads, or tossed raw into smoothies.
Oregano. The natural oils in wild oregano are a potent anti-fungal that can be used to help combat candida. While the oil is often sold on its own, if you season your food with oregano, you may still acquire some of the benefits as well. A great addition to sauces and stews.
Cloves. Cloves have long been used for anti-microbial properties in dentistry, and their anti-fungal use can benefit you if you’re prone to candida as well. Spice up your stews, pasta or salad dressing with cloves.
Cinnamon. Cinnamon is another spice with naturally anti-microbial properties that can help keep yeast at bay. Sprinkle on cereal, add to smoothies, or consume with baked sweet potato.
Naturally fermented vegetables (i.e., “lacto-fermented” foods). Naturally fermented sauerkraut or kimchee (the types that need to be refrigerated) contain natural probiotics that can heal the gut and crowd out candida.
Many naturally anti-fungal foods are delicious in their own right, and easy to incorporate into daily meals. If eating yummy food can simultaneously keep your digestive system healthy and yeast-free, why not go ahead and dig in?