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Candidiasis is believed to be a medical condition caused by overproliferation of Candida albicans yeast. Although this yeast occurs naturally in the gut, a dramatic increase in population can cause fatigue, joint pain and gastrointestinal distress. Proponents of the candida diet claim it reduces these symptoms in addition to promoting weight loss 1.
The candida cleanse diet consists of three phases, according to The Candida Diet website 1. In the first phase, which lasts two to three weeks, dieters adopt a strict detoxifying diet. Eliminate all sugars, alcohol, processed foods, nuts, caffeine and cheeses. The website recommends flushing the colon to cleanse it, although this step is optional. The second phase, lasting four weeks, allows dieters to add beans, starchy vegetables and berries back into their diets. The Candida Diet recommends a course of antifungal treatment to eliminate remaining yeast in the gut 13. The final phase involves repopulating the gut by eating probiotic products such as yogurts containing live and active cultures. Many dieters stay in phase three long term and continue to avoid excessive sugar, aged cheeses and processed foods.
Following a candida diet requires eliminating most sources of sugar from your meals. Avoid fresh, dried or canned fruits as well as fruit juices, as these are high in sugar. To receive important vitamins and nutrients, eat leafy greens, carrots, tomatoes, peppers, squash and other non-starchy vegetables. Nuts, lean meats and fish make excellent sources of protein and healthy fats. Rather than eating glutinous products such as white bread and pasta, choose whole grain substitutes such as quinoa, oatmeal or whole grain pasta.
The website Yeast Infection Advisor reports that many people following a candida diet lose weight 13. Changing to an anti-candida diet will likely cause you to lose several pounds over the first few weeks 1. Weight loss is caused by reduced caloric intake and elimination of processed foods. To maximize weight loss effects, exercise at least 30 minutes per day most days of the week. Cardiovascular exercise in conjunction with a healthy anti-candida diet promotes weight loss.
In addition to losing weight, following a candida diet eliminates many symptoms of candidiasis, according to The Candida Diet website 1. After several weeks on the diet, people report getting fewer headaches, feeling more energetic, requiring less sleep and experiencing a reduction in gastrointestinal distress. Repopulating your gut flora with beneficial bacteria increases immune functioning. If you feel better and more energetic you are more likely to maintain an exercise plan, which will help you reach your weight loss goals.
While proponents of a candida diet claim that it eliminates symptoms of candidiasis, some medical professionals remain skeptical of the diet's benefits 1. According to the MayoClinic.com website, little scientific evidence supports the medical syndrome of candidiasis 2. Any weight loss and symptom relief are simply due to adopting a healthier diet, rather than to the killing off of harmful populations of yeast. The candida diet is an effective weight loss technique because of its incorporation of vegetables, whole grains and healthy fats into the diet in place of processed foods 1.
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