Expert Advice

How do I know if I need a yeast cleanse, and what foods do I eat?

Eggs, nuts and seeds, and high-protein sprouted beans are good to eat during a yeast cleanse.

How do I know if I need a yeast cleanse, and what foods do I eat?
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Gas and bloating are two symptoms of an overgrowth of yeast, particularly the Candida species. If your body has too much, it may mount an immune response that can lead to a host of problems like acne, memory loss, and chronic fatigue. Recurring vaginal yeast infections may be caused by an overgrowth of yeast in the digestive tract that has seeded the vaginal area during sex. Your doctor can order a blood test to measure your immune reaction to Candida albicans and other yeast, and if you're highly sensitive, you may need a cleanse.

 

First, don't feed yeast what it loves: excessive carbohydrates and sugars, bread and baked goods, and alcohol. Most people can tolerate the natural sugar found in fruit, but the less of any sugar, the better. Second, take "good" bacteria, or probiotics, twice a day. Probiotics-yeastfighting live organisms like Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacteria bifidum-are found naturally in fermented foods such as yogurt and sauerkraut. You'll need to take capsules or powders to get the billions of organisms necessary to balance Candida. Third, kill the yeast with prescriptions like Nystatin powder, Diflucan, or doses of caprylic acid, berberine (an extract of goldenseal), and garlic two to three times a day. It may take several months to rebalance the yeast in your system. During that time, eat things like nuts and seeds, eggs, legumes (especially high-protein sprouted beans), green leafy vegetables, and fish and chicken, and cut back on starches like potatoes and carrots.

 

-Elson Haas, M.D., author of Staying Healthy with Nutrition (Celestial Arts, 2006). More on cleansing is available at his website, elsonhaas.com.

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