If you suffer from unexplained tiredness, early morning stiffness, skin infection, rash, abdominal pain, oral thrush (white coating on your tongue), vaginal infections, cognitive difficulties, inability to lose weight in spite of best efforts, gas, indigestion… you’re probably suffering from candidiasis.
Candidiasis is a condition caused by a group of yeast-like fungi called candida. Candida is a yeast inside us — in the digestive tract, mouth, vagina etc. Candida albicans is the most common. Like other microorganisms, these fungi too seek a safe haven in our intestines. These are usually toxic in nature, but are kept in check by the beneficial bacteria. This balance of beneficial and harmful bacteria in the body neutralises the effect that could be exercised by any pathogenic bacteria.
The problem arises when the number of the candida outgrows the beneficial bacteria in the intestinal tract. This occurs when immunity is low. A diet deficient in probiotic bacteria, reduced immune status and increased use of antibiotics are some of the causes of candidiasis. The diet plays a big role in dealing with candidiasis. The candida fungi feed on sugar, so it’s best to avoid sugar in all forms.
A proper diet should contain 60 per cent fresh veggies, 20 per cent protein (eggs, chicken, fish, soya bean, pulses), 10 per cent complex carbohydrate (oats, whole wheat, jowar, bajri) and 10 per cent fresh fruits (papaya, pineapple). Some fruits and dry fruits should be avoided for their high fructose content. Along with it, probiotic supplements and adequate hygiene and sanitation are essential to recover from candidiasis.
Dr Anjali Mukerjee is a nutritionist and founder of Health Total, a nutrition counselling centre fight fungi
Avoid acidic foods or those with low pH as the fungi thrives on it. Add probiotics, curd, yoghurt to your diet.
Avoid citric acid and caffeine.
Maida and its byproducts (bread, noodles, pasta), corn, sweetened cereals and processed food and confectionaries should also be left out.
Add fresh vegetables like broccoli, cabbage, celery, cucumber, capsicum, lettuce, ladyfinger, onion, radish, tomato to your diet. Avoid vegetables like beetroot, potato, yam, suran.
Yeast and mold containing food like mushroom, beer, peanuts, pistachios should be avoided.
Consume wholegrain and legumes. Also garlic, black pepper, cinnamon, cloves, cumin seeds, curry leaves, ginger, nutmeg, turmeric are benefial.