If you struggle with frequent yeast infections or experience chronic fatigue, an overgrowth of Candida yeast may be to blame. (5)(10) Although the exact cause of Candida overgrowth remains unknown, diets high in sugar and processed foods appear to be a significant contributor. (28) Keep reading to learn more about Candida overgrowth and how diet and supplements may help alleviate Candida symptoms.
The Candida diet promotes the consumption of non-starchy vegetables, lean protein, healthy fats, and gluten-free grains.
What is Candida?Candida is a genus of yeast that occurs naturally on the skin and in body cavities, including the oral cavity, digestive tract, and genitourinary tracts. The most common Candida yeast is the species Candida albicans. (7) Although it’s normal for Candida to exist on the skin and in the body in small amounts, certain factors such as stress, infection, or antibiotic use may disrupt the healthy balance of your intestinal flora, leading to yeast overgrowth. Candida overgrowth is also commonly referred to as candidiasis. (20)
Symptoms of Candida overgrowth include:
By taking a blood sample or swab from an infected area of the body and sending it to a lab, your integrative healthcare provider can determine whether a Candida infection is the source of your symptoms. (8)
Contributing factorsIt’s believed that a diet high in sugar and refined carbohydrates, such as white bread and sugar-sweetened beverages, is one of the primary contributors to candida overgrowth. Carbohydrates are the preferred energy source for yeast, and as a result, eating a diet rich in sugar and refined carbohydrates can provide the perfect environment for Candida overgrowth. (26)
Specific populations also have an increased risk of developing candidiasis, including individuals with a weakened immune system, type 2 diabetics, and patients using antibiotics. (6)
Did you know? There are over 100 types of Candida that can be found in the body; however, only a few can lead to infection if an overgrowth occurs. (9)
What is the Candida diet?Some integrative healthcare practitioners recommend following a Candida diet to address the symptoms and reverse yeast overgrowth. Although research linking the effects of dietary modification and improvements in Candida is limited, preliminary research suggests that eliminating certain foods, such as milk, sugar-containing foods, and processed and fatty meats, may be beneficial. (1)(23) Results of a 2018 study demonstrated that individuals who adhered to recommended dietary modifications during and after treatment with antifungals experienced better outcomes than those who didn’t modify their diet. (23)
The Candida diet involves eliminating certain foods believed to contribute to increased inflammation in the gut that can lead to Candida overgrowth. The diet promotes the intake of lean protein, healthy fats, and non-starchy vegetables. Proponents of the diet suggest eliminating certain foods can reduce inflammation and restore balance in the gut microbiome. (27)
If you’re struggling with Candida or a condition associated with Candida yeast overgrowth, your practitioner may advise you to adhere to the Candida diet guidelines. It’s important to note that further research is needed to definitively declare whether following a specific diet can help treat Candida overgrowth.
Foods to eat on the Candida dietThe Candida diet encourages the intake of low-sugar, gluten-free, and anti-inflammatory foods, commonly found in the paleo and Mediterranean diets, including:
Healthy fats, such as avocados and olive oil, are encouraged on the Candida diet.
Foods to avoid on the Candida dietThe Candida diet recommends that the following foods be avoided:
Probiotics may be useful in the battle against Candida by interfering with the growth of the yeast in your gut.
ProbioticsProbiotics are beneficial live microorganisms (e.g., bacteria, yeasts) that promote a balance between the good and bad bacteria that live in the gut. Probiotics are found in several foods, including yogurt and fermented foods (e.g., kimchi, sauerkraut, kombucha), and are also widely available in supplement form. (19)
Probiotics have been shown to be an effective alternative to prescription antifungals that are commonly used to address Candida infection. Several studies have indicated that probiotics, particularly Lactobacilli strains, may suppress Candida growth. (18) One 12-week study in older adults demonstrated that subjects who took lozenges containing two strains of the probiotic Lactobacillus reuteri had a significant reduction in the number of Candida yeasts in their mouths compared to placebo. (14)
Furthermore, probiotics may be useful in alleviating signs and symptoms and reducing the incidence of Candida infection in critically ill patients. (18)
Caprylic acidCaprylic acid is a medium-chain fatty acid naturally found in coconut oil and mammalian breast milk. It’s theorized that caprylic acid, which possesses antifungal properties, helps breakdown Candida by penetrating its cell membranes. (25)
A 2011 review of research studies found that caprylic acid was associated with reduced symptoms of Candida. In fact, it was found to be a superior and more cost-effective therapy than some prescription antifungals. (22)
Another in vitro study determined that coconut oil might be helpful for Candida infections, particularly for drug-resistant species of Candida. These effects are believed to be attributed to the caprylic acid found in coconut oil. (21)
Oregano oilAs a potent antifungal, oregano oil (Origanum vulgare) may be used to address Candida infections. (11) The antifungal effects of oregano oil are attributed to three phenolic derivatives—carvacrol, thymol, and eugenol. (17)(24) Terpenoid phenols, like those found in oregano oil, have been shown to be effective in inhibiting the growth of several strains of Candida, including C. albicans, C. glabrata, and C. parapsilosis. (24)
In in vitro studies, oregano oil has been shown to inhibit the growth of Candida yeast cells completely. (17) According to one study comparing the effects of oregano oil versus antifungal drugs in 30 strains of C. albicans isolated from a vaginal swab, oregano oil was shown to be more effective than clotrimazole, an antifungal medication, at damaging the cell wall and membranes of the Candida yeast. (3)
Grapefruit seed extractResearch is limited; however, grapefruit seed extract, the aqueous extract of dried grapefruit seed, has been shown to possess antifungal activity, which can be used to target Candida overgrowth. (15) Grapefruit seed extract attacks fungal cells by inducing apoptosis, causing cells to die off. (4)
The bottom lineMore research is needed to better understand the link between diet and Candida; however, preliminary studies and some experts recommend restricting certain foods, particularly high-carbohydrate and processed foods, to alleviate symptoms associated with yeast overgrowth. Furthermore, certain supplements, including probiotics, caprylic acid, oregano oil, and grapefruit seed extract, may be used to target Candida overgrowth. If you are experiencing symptoms of candida overgrowth, ask your integrative healthcare practitioner if following the Candida diet or using supplements may be right for you. Here is a link to the protocol we often utilize: Candida Elimination
The information in this article is designed for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for informed medical advice or care. This information should not be used to diagnose or treat any health problems or illnesses without consulting a doctor. Consult with a health care practitioner before relying on any information in this article or on this website.
Top Foods for: Hormone Health
Did you know your hormones affect your urinary tract and vaginal health?*
Before menopause, your hormones rise and fall with your menstrual cycle, causing you to be more likely to develop an imbalance in your vaginal microbiome in the two weeks following the beginning of your period.1 Additionally, the hormonal shifts that come with perimenopause and menopause also affect urinary tract comfort.2
As well, disruption to your hormone levels may also cause a range of symptoms like PMS;3 heavy or light periods;3 tender or swollen breasts;4 weight gain around the butt, hips, waist, and back of arms;5-7 low mood; anxiousness; fatigue;7 and reduced libido.7
Here are some foods to eat and others to avoid to help keep your hormones in harmony:
Another way to ensure you’re getting the nutrients you need to support your health is to add supplements like Wellness Essentials® Women or Wellness Essentials Women’s Prime to your daily regimen.
For additional urinary tract and vaginal health, consider taking a probiotic specific to urinary tract and vaginal health.*
This entry was posted in Women's Health, General Wellness and tagged Women's Health on March 24, 2023 by Metagenics.
Every BODY and every age have unique nutritional needs. However, with every stage of life, there are common nutritional inadequacies that women are most likely to experience. Learn what supplements are best for YOU!
20sYou may find yourself strapped for time and cash during these exciting transitional years, which could result in an unbalanced diet. What supplements should you consider taking?
Intentional breathing is a powerful action that has been practiced for centuries in different forms and cultures, around the world in an attempt at creating balanced health.
Practicing deep, conscious, breathing exercises, has been known to help improve physical, mental, and emotional well-being. We now have a formal term for intentional, guided breathing and that is Breathwork.
Breathwork can be used to reduce stress and anxiety, increase energy levels, improve sleep quality, and even heal emotional wounds.
We’ve seen breathing support the pain response, digestion, emotions, and the lymph system.In this article, we will explore the life-changing benefits of breathwork and how you can incorporate it into your daily life.
Want to experience a LIVE breathwork session? Sign-up for one of our sound therapy sessions.
What is Breathwork and how does it work?
Breathwork is deep breathing that is guided in a session environment, that involves conscious, controlled breathing techniques to improve physical, mental, and emotional well-being. It is based on the principle that the breath is the source of life and that by changing our breathing patterns, we can change our thoughts, emotions, and physical sensations. This practice involves various techniques, including deep breathing, circular breathing, and breath retention.
It really refers to many different breathing techniques, and is a form of guiding deep breathing.
You can do short sessions, that are very effective, though some of the greatest benefits have been known to happen in an hour session. Yes, we do all breathe, however, the majority of people hold their breath 80% of the time. Our bodies were designed to take nice deep breaths. As stress mounts in life, we tend to become very shallow breathers. People with anxiety tend to shallow breathe.
As a result, we are robbing our bodies of that much needed oxygen!
The Benefits of Breathwork
Breathwork has numerous benefits for the mind, body, and soul. One of the most significant benefits is stress reduction and creating balanced health. When we are stressed, our breathing becomes shallow and rapid, which can lead to physical tension and emotional distress. By practicing an intentional, slower way of breathing, we can calm our nervous system, reduce stress levels and promote relaxation.
Breathwork can also improve physical health by increasing oxygen levels in the body, improving circulation, and boosting the immune system. It may help reduce chronic pain, lower blood pressure, and improve sleep quality. Additionally, breathwork can support the release emotional blockages and trauma, allowing us to heal and move forward.
If you regularly attend yoga classes, you are probably familiar with the word Pranayama. Prana means “vital life force” and yama means “to gain control”. With this type of breathing, you are directing your own life force, your vital energy.
Experiencing tough emotions is thought to be blocked energy channels within your life force. Breathing can unblock these energy channels.
The Science Behind Breathwork
The science behind breathwork is based on the principle that the breath is directly connected to the autonomic nervous system, which regulates our body’s involuntary functions. When we breathe deeply and consciously, we activate the parasympathetic nervous system, which promotes relaxation and reduces stress levels. If we are breathing with intention, oxygen levels in the body increase, which can improve physical and mental performance.
Deep and slow breathing techniques (DSB), which are part of many relaxation practices, have been studied in relation to pain and pain thresholds. It seems that the type of breathing that promotes relaxation is responsible for the perception of pain (1).
Research has shown that breathwork can also have a positive impact on our brain chemistry. When we breathe deeply, we stimulate the release of endorphins, which are natural painkillers and mood enhancers. Exercise, can build endorphins as well, and the commonality here, is an increase in breathing. Fatigue can be reduced with exercise, and that can be related to endogenous opioids (2).
Deep breathing can also increase the production of serotonin, which is a neurotransmitter that regulates mood, appetite, and sleep. Serotonin is made by the amino acid tryptophan. You may se either of these imbalanced on your Balancing Scan, or Full Scan report. You can boost serotonin through foods, movement and breathing.
The Wim Hof Method of breathing is said to increase your endorphins. You can read about Wim Hof here.
Different Types of Breathwork Techniques
There are many different types of breathwork techniques, each with its unique benefits and purposes. Some of the most common types of breathwork include:
Mindfulness Meditation includes intentional breathwork.
Breathwork falls into the category of Contemplative practices, according to this article (1). Practices with a specific respiration style work on toning the Vagus nerve. The Vagus nerve is considered part of the PNS or the parasympathetic nervous system. This system is also called the “rest and digest” system. As the name implies, this system is important to your digestion.
When the body is stressed, digestion can be impacted.
How to Practice Breathwork
To practice breathwork, find a quiet and comfortable place where you can sit or lie down comfortably. Begin by taking a few deep breaths, inhaling through your nose and exhaling through your mouth. Then, start to focus on your breath, paying attention to the sensation of the air moving in and out of your body.
You can then begin to practice various breathwork techniques, such as deep breathing, box breathing, 4-7-8 breathing or breath retention. It is important to start slowly and gradually increase the intensity of your breathing as you become more comfortable with the technique.
Box breathing is a great way for beginners to get started in simple breathing techniques. This technique is also known as 4-4-4-4 breathing. You can try this today.
Breathwork for Stress and Anxiety
Breathwork can be an effective tool for managing stress and anxiety. As we have discussed, deep breathing exercises, can calm our nervous system, reduce stress levels, promote relaxation, and work towards creating balanced health. This can be particularly effective before bedtime. Another effective technique for stress and anxiety is the 4-7-8 breathing technique. This involves inhaling for 4 seconds, holding your breath for 7 seconds, and exhaling slowly for 8 seconds.
Physically, there have been studies on lowered blood pressure and heart rate, all with the act of breathing in a deeper, slower manner.
Breathwork for Physical Health
Breathwork can also have numerous physical health benefits. By increasing oxygen levels in the body, we can improve circulation, boost the immune system, and reduce chronic pain. With the Wim Hof Method noted above, the rapid, rhythmic breathing, alternated with breath retention, increases oxygen levels in the body.
The movement of breath can also impact lymphatic flow. Diaphragmatic breathing moves lymph, and blood, toward the heart, improving flow of both fluids. In this study, the participants were taught guided breathing, with intentional hand placement on the abdomen, and on their heart. By placing attention on their hands, they could work on the act of belly breathing, and create a beneficial pressure variation between the thoracic spine, (upper middle back) and the abdomen (3).
Breathwork for Emotional Healing
Breathwork can also be a powerful tool for emotional healing. By releasing emotional blockages and trauma through deep, conscious breathing exercises, we can heal emotional wounds and move forward. One effective technique for emotional healing is rebirthing breathwork, which involves circular breathing to release emotional blockages and trauma.
While there can be many guided sessions free on YouTube, involving a trained professional, who is trauma informed, is in your best interest.
Want to uncover trapped emotions, but don’t know where to start? Consider our Awareness Scan, which will uncover 4 emotional blocks that may be increasing stress in your body.
Bring Breathwork into Your Daily Life
Incorporating breathwork into your daily life can be a simple and effective way to improve your overall well-being. Get started by setting aside a few minutes each day to practice deep, conscious breathing exercises.
Simply pausing and noticing how you feel, and taking a few deep breaths, is one way to bring simple breathwork into your life.
You will be reducing stress, incorporating more mindfulness in your day, and even change your stress patterns. This is key for supporting your hormones.
By practicing deep, conscious breathing exercises, you may improve physical health, heal emotional wounds, and work towards creating balanced health.
DISCLAIMER: Regional Health Center, Inc. and any parent, subsidiary, affiliated or related entities and companies do not provide medical advice or services. The bioenergetic products and services offered by Regional Health Center, Inc. including, but not limited to, bioenergetic tests, bioenergetic scans, bioenergetic reports and related products and services (collectively the “Bioenergetic Products and Services”) are designed for educational and informational purposes only and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease, condition, complaint, illness or medical condition and are not a substitute for professional services or medical advice. Seek the advice of a physician or other qualified healthcare professional with any questions you may have. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking treatment. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or any other government agencies or regulatory authorities. Regional Health Center, Inc. is not responsible for third-party interpretation, recommendation or advice or for any third-party interpreting or providing recommendations or advice related to Regional Health Center, Inc. Regional Health Center, Inc. does not recommend, endorse or make any representation about the efficacy, appropriateness or suitability of any specific tests, products, procedures, treatments, services, opinions, or health care providers.
Reproduced with permission: https://cbhenergetics.com/breathwork-the-answer-to-body-wide-stress/
You are a unique person with unique needs to optimize your health and wellness. A diet that someone else swears by may not work for you (or vice versa). But yet, you see so many “blanket” recommendations on what to eat or which supplements to take and you wonder how much that really applies directly to you. Unlike others, you may be able to enjoy coffee in the evening without any major sleep issues, but have a terrible reaction to gluten (a protein in wheat). Or perhaps, you may need more folate (vitamin B9) than others, but maybe sodium doesn’t affect your blood pressure as much.
Guess what? There are genes—and variations of these genes—that can explain why you are unique. And now with recent scientific and technological advances, there is a smarter way to know what nutrition and lifestyle strategies you need to thrive, rather than the old method of following recommendations for the “average person” and seeing how it goes for you as an individual. This opportunity for personalized (or “precision”) nutrition is based on the rapidly expanding field of research that specifically looks for some of your unique needs in your own DNA. Imagine what you could do with the insight to know which diet, food, or nutrients you should focus on and which won’t likely make any difference to you anyway.
We are talking about the science of nutrigenomics. It’s the combination of nutrition and genomics and helps you choose the foods and nutrients you need more of, based on your unique genetic blueprint.
How would you know? By having an accurate genetic test done to look for variations in all of those (and more) genes.
But, it doesn’t stop there. Your genes code for so many areas of health, like metabolism, inflammation, hormones, stress response, moods, detoxification, weight, fitness, cognition, and your ability to use essential nutrients from foods and supplements.
Imagine how you could tailor your food and lifestyle choices if you knew the areas that you as a unique individual should focus on, and which areas you need not worry too much about.
How can nutrigenomics help improve my health?
Let’s go through these examples so you can see what you can do when you learn your unique gene profile and take advantage of precision nutrition.
Susceptible to high levels of cholesterol
High levels of cholesterol can increase your risk for heart disease and stroke. This is partly the result of how your genes allow your body to process fats. If you knew you had genetic variants that made you prone to high levels of cholesterol, you could focus your foods on choosing more plant-based meals, heart-healthy fats, and higher-fiber foods.
Resistance to losing weight
Imagine knowing if your genes are influencing your ability to lose weight. If this were the case, you can be more forgiving in your weight-loss goals, and incorporate some cognitive behavioral therapy or mindfulness to help you.
Lower ability to use folate (vitamin B9)
Folate is found in green leafy vegetables and beans. Supplementation is often recommended for people who are or can become pregnant. If your genes code for a lower ability to use folate, then you may need to eat more folate-rich foods or take a supplement to ensure you get enough folate to compensate for your lower ability to use it so that you could maintain good health.
Not very sensitive to caffeine
Some people are able to metabolize (process and eliminate) caffeine faster than others. If you know that you are a “fast caffeine metabolizer,” you may be able to enjoy caffeine without having to worry too much about some of the common side effects that happen more often in people who are “slow caffeine metabolizers.”
Not very sensitive to high levels of sodium
Salt contains sodium, and too much sodium can increase blood pressure. However, some people are more sensitive to sodium than others.
Very unlikely to develop celiac disease
If you don’t experience gut symptoms and you are not likely to develop celiac disease, then you may not need to avoid eating gluten (a protein commonly found in wheat, rye, and barley).
And remember, these are just a few examples of how the variations in your genetic blueprint can impact your health and wellness, and how you can eat based on your genetics to reach your health goals.
3x4 Genetics. (n.d.). Sample report: The personal genetic story of Jean Poole. https://www.3x4genetics.com/patient-faq/#
The Nutrition Society. (2018, November 19). Nutrigenomics: The basics. https://www.nutritionsociety.org/blog/nutrigenomics-basics
Sommer, Connie. (2019, June 13). Food as medicine? Scientists are getting closer through nutrigenomics. University of Southern California News. https://news.usc.edu/157675/food-as-medicine-nutrigenomics/
This ginger pear smoothie is loaded with fiber, will hydrate you first thing in the morning, and is perfect for breaking your fast, thanks to the digestive aid of ginger and mint. Add UltraInflamX to rid your body of what it doesn't need, and CollaGEN to give it what it does!
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Fiber is crucial for pushing waste through the digestive tract and removing toxins from the body. It also acts as a prebiotic, meaning it is food for our good gut bacteria. Having thriving gut bacteria is essential for digestion, immunity, and mental health. Many believe gut health is the backbone of our overall health, and science supports that claim.
In addition to their high fiber content, pears are also rich in vitamin C, which helps our body produce collagen. Vitamin C consumption cues the body’s DNA to create and maintain its collagen, which is particularly important as we age. Collagen helps keep skin smooth and elastic, improves gut health, and is vital for joint function.
Both mint and ginger have been used medicinally for centuries, emphasizing their benefits to digestion. Mint helps relax the muscles of the digestive system, relieving bloat and constipation as a result. This relaxation can also help improve the pain and discomfort associated with IBS. Ginger soothes the digestive system thanks to its gingerol content. Gingerol is a compound that helps relieve nausea and may help fight the flu. Ginger has been shown to help speed up the emptying of the stomach, which may help fight indigestion related to sluggish digestion.
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Striving to share the wealth of health and wellness we can offer through as many outlets as possible. In our blog, you'll find tips, tricks, and links to good information on how to be holistically healthy.