Every person has approximately one pound (0.4kg) of bacteria in their system. At any one time there are billions of bacteria living inside your intestine, most of which are beneficial. Keeping this system in a healthy balance supports both digestion and your immune system. An overgrowth of Candida knocks this system out of balance.
Because Candida is such a fast growing yeast, it can rapidly reproduce after any negative shock from food, stress etc. For example, a course of antibiotics will kill most of your beneficial bacteria, leaving the Candida yeast an opportunity to rapidly grow and dominate your gut. Probiotics are effective because they reintroduce colonies of helpful bacteria to your gut. These bacteria create colonies of ”good bacteria” that help crowding out the Candida yeast. The more you can fill your intestine with healthy bacteria like Lactobacillus, Acidophilus and Bifidobacteria Bifidum, the less chance the Candida yeast will have of taking over your gut. Probiotics also boost your immune system by creating a more effective digestive tract. The efficiency comes from a better lining of the intestinal wall with "good bacteria" which easier excludes pathogens and increases the uptake of essential nutrients so deficiency diseases is avoided. In addition beneficial bacteria in probiotics contain small quantities of lactic acid and acetic acid. These help to maintain the correct levels of acidity in your stomach.
There are a variety of probiotic foods, such as yoghurt and kefir, that can be included in your diet if you tolerate them. In addition, you can also buy probiotics as supplements. Unfortunately, there are only very few probiotic supplements that are tolerated by Candida patients, because they contain sugar, starch or allergenic substances. The result may be a worsening of your Candida infection. So it is important that you choose a high quality probiotic supplement product. The product must also be shelf-stable, so when it arrives at your doorstep, you can confident that probiotic bacteria are alive and well. The shell also secures that the bacteria survive all the way down into your gut where they work. We have in our store some high-quality probiotic products, that meets all these requirements and without allergenic ingredients. You can take antifungals and probiotics at the same time. Antifungals will kill the fungi while the probiotics will help repopulating your intestine with ”good bacteria”. So it’s a perfect combination. But leave a gap of a week between starting with your probiotics and antifungals so your body can adapt to each of them. When you take both antifungals and probiotics at the same time, you should also try to take them at least 2 hours apart during the day, to get the most benefits from both supplements.
If you can’t afford probiotics on a regular basis or you want to try something else, there are several excellent probiotic foods that can help repopulate your intestine. These can be taken at the same time as probiotic supplements and are a great addition to any diet.
Most yogurts have probiotic qualities, but some are better than others. Yogurts that are promoted as specifically 'probiotic' are generally best. Lactobacillus, Acidophilus and Bifidobacteria Bifidum are particularly helpful. Remember that excess sugar can feed or restart a Candida overgrowth. Make sure to buy yogurt with a lower sugar content and certainly no added sugar. Plain yogurt is almost always the best - it tastes a little boring at first but after a while you will start to enjoy the flavor and find other yogurts too sugary. Many patients react allergenic to yoghurt or react negative to the natural sugar content (lactose) and it’s considered to be CAUTIOUS or FORBIDDEN food in the Candidadiet. Candidapatients in generally better tolerate goat and sheep yoghurt than yoghurt from a cow, so buy these if they are avaible where you live.
You can try making your ovn delicious probiotic yoghurt. This is as easy as buying a yogurt culture and some milk, then putting in a little effort to set things up. The bacteria actually do all the hard work for you. You can read more about making your own yoghurt and kefir on our recipesection.
Kefir is a fermented milk drink that you may find in your local supermarket. It is simply milk fermented with kefir grains, and is full of nutritious probiotics.
You can make your own kefir very easily. Just find some kefir grains and place them in a jar of milk. Within a couple of days you will have some delicious kefir. The best thing is that you can keep using those same kefir grains almost indefinitely, so this is a very economical way to produce your own probiotics. Kefir is CAUTIOUS food in the Candidadiet because some patients react allergenic to it. In our Candidapatient netshop we have alle the remedies you need to produce your ovn kefir. You can read more about making your own yoghurt and kefir on our recipesection.
Sauerkraut and kimchi are the most commonly used fermented foods. Both are types of fermented cabbage. The cabbage actually comes ‘pre-loaded’ with the bacteria need to ferment itself.
When you buy either sauerkraut or kimchi in the supermarket, make sure that you buy the ‘raw’ or ‘unpasteurized’ form. Modern packaging methods mean that much of the sauerkraut you see on the shelves has actually been stripped of all its probiotic goodness. The food is pasteurized before being canned or jarred, destroying all the billions of beneficial bacteria that it contains. If you can’t find a raw sauerkraut at your store, try local markets or health food stores instead, and look for locally produced fermented foods. You can also easy make your own sauerkraut. Cut the cabbage into thin strips, toss it with a little sea salt, then pack it down tightly into a bowl. Cover with a wooden lid, then let the fermentation process do all the hard work for you. After a couple of weeks, it should be ready. And of course your homemade sauerkraut is guaranteed to be full of healthy bacteria, unlike most of the stuff you can buy in the shops.
Although prebiotic foods don’t contain any bacteria, what they do contain is the food that your healthy bacteria need to survive and grow on. So adding some prebiotic foods to your diet will certainly not hurt, and it may just help rebalance your gut bacteria a little quicker. Chicory root is a great example. Chicory coffee is caffeine free, has a similarly bitter taste to normal coffee, and contains an excellent prebiotic named Inulin that will help the colonies of beneficial bacteria flourish in your gut. Inulin is also added to many probiotic supplements. You can find Chirory root in our webshop.