Tag Archives: Probiotics

DIY Candida Cleanse

“Marinated Kale Salad-2” by Jules is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Hippocrates once said, “All disease begins in the gut.” 

Many people have a problem with Candida due to poor diet and lifestyle. You could argue that the majority of Americans have a problem with candida, and it’s important to understand the relevant health issues as well as how to properly address it.

Candida is yeast and bacteria that live in our gut. It is what we consider the “bad bacteria.” We also have “good bacteria” in our gut, which promotes a good immune system and healthy digestion. When we have higher amounts of candida than we have good bacteria – a candida overgrowth – it can cause serious health issues.

Some common health problems associated with candida overgrowth are:

  • Autoimmune disease
  • Asthma and allergies
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Brain fog
  • Depression and Anxiety
  • Skin rashes and acne
  • Digestive disorders (Crohn’s, IBS, etc)
  • Yeast infections
  • Hormonal imbalances

These are just to name a few…

 

How does someone develop candida overgrowth?

Candida feeds off of sugar and yeast. Eating foods high in refined sugars, high in carbs, and processed foods all contribute to candida overgrowth. Not eating enough foods that contain good bacteria also contributes to the problem. Taking antibiotics, birth control pills, and steroids all create an imbalance of bacteria in the gut.

 

How can I tell if I have a candida problem?

If you’ve eaten a conventional American diet throughout your life, you likely have a problem with candida. However, there are a couple of other clear indicators. If you have a white film on your tongue in the morning, this is often an indicator of candida overgrowth. Nail fungus can also be a sign of candida. You can conduct a “spit test.” Fill half of a glass with room temperature water. First thing in the morning, spit a dime-size amount of saliva into the glass. It should float at the top. Check it several minutes later. If the spit sinks, starts to form strings hanging from it, or you see a cloudy residue at the bottom, it indicates candida.

 

How do I get rid of candida overgrowth?

Doing a candida cleanse can help kill off the bad bacteria and help rebuild healthy bacteria in your gut.

 

There are two steps to a candida cleanse:

  1. Kill off the candida
  2. Add good bacteria

 

Killing off the candida:

  • Eliminate foods that feed the candida: 
    • Eliminate anything with sugar. No artificial sweeteners either. 
    • Avoid natural sweeteners (maple syrup, honey, coconut sugar, agave). Stevia is ok.
    • Eliminate foods with yeast (bread, crackers, pasta, etc).
    • Avoid fruit (berries other than strawberries and apples are ok in small amounts).
    • Avoid starchy vegetables (potatoes, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, other root vegetables, etc).
    • No alcohol.
    • Avoid dairy.
    • No processed food.
    • Take supplements that kill bacteria, yeast, and fungus at breakfast and lunch (garlic, oregano oil, grapefruit seed extract, olive leaf extract). Candida can become immune to a supplement, so it is best to take one for 4-5 days and then switch to a different one. You can rotate with a couple different supplements.

 

Adding healthy bacteria:

  • Eat plenty of fermented, cultured foods that contain natural probiotics (kefir, sauerkraut, kombucha, fermented vegetables).
  • Drink apple cider vinegar (I drink it as a “shot” – a tablespoon of vinegar in a shot glass then diluted with water).
  • Add unrefined coconut oil to tea or smoothies (it has anti-fungal properties).
  • Gluten-free grains in small amounts may be alright (brown rice, quinoa, oats). Listen to your body.
  • Eat lots of cooked vegetables (especially dark green veggies). Cooked veggies are easier to digest.
  • Eat lots of protein (chicken, turkey, fish, grass-fed beef, eggs, etc). Make sure they are free of antibiotics and hormones.
  • Take a probiotic with your dinner (raw, refrigerated is best). 
  • Take an L-Glutamine supplement to help heal the lining of your intestines. 
  • Get plenty of fiber to help clean out your colon. Eat ground flaxseed, ground chia seeds, or make chia pudding.

 

Follow this diet and supplement routine for at least two weeks. You may need to go longer if your candida overgrowth is particularly bad. You can slowly start to introduce starchy vegetables and fruits into your diet, and gradually cut back on the antibacterial/anti-fungal supplements. Keep sugar, high-carb, and processed foods out of your diet altogether to prevent candida regrowth. Make eating probiotic foods and drinks a part of your regular diet as well.

 

Die-off:

It is common to experience “die-off” symptoms while doing a cleanse, because of all the toxins flushing from your body. You may feel tired, have a skin breakout, headache, or need to use the bathroom more frequently. However, if you are someone who has not been eating very healthy, I recommend changing your diet to more whole foods 2-4 weeks prior to starting the cleanse. The good news is that the die-off symptom are temporary and usually last 3-5 days. You will then start to feel much better as your body regains balance.

 

The first time I did a candida cleanse was about seven years ago. It was a rough experience. Looking back, I did not approach the cleanse properly. I went from eating a high-processed, high-sugar diet to – wham! – complete candida cleanse. I think it was too much for my body to handle all at once. I broke out in acne all over my face and felt really sick. I had intense sugar cravings, and really struggled to stick to the diet. After having made some healthy lifestyle changes over the past several years, I have found the cleanse to be much more doable, and the die-off symptoms are more minor. It’s a good idea to do a cleanse once or twice per year, even if it is only for a week to keep candida at bay.

Three Must-Have Supplements for Clear Skin

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Looking to improve your complexion, eliminate acne, and feel your best? Inflammation, redness, acne, and uneven skin tone are results of deficiencies in your health and lack of nutrition. In order to improve your skin on the outside, you need to heal yourself on the inside. Topical skin products that promise relief may only temporarily alleviate some symptoms, but to truly make a long-lasting difference in your skin, you need to increase your nutrition. Even when trying to live a healthier lifestyle, it can be difficult to get all the nutrition you need on a daily basis. Adding these supplements to your routine can make a big difference:

Fermented Cod Liver Oil

Fermented cod liver oil is high in omega 3 fatty acids – the healthy fats! It is also especially high in vitamin D and A. It is packed with more nutrients compared to other types of fish oil. When the cod livers are fermented, the nutrients are extracted without being damaged like in other processing methods. The fermentation also allows the nutrients to be more easily digested. This supplement can be a little pricey – but well worth the money since you will get a lot of bang for your buck. Your hair, skin, and nails will GLOW! Green Pastures Cod Liver Oil is a reputable brand, and it comes in yummy flavors!

Probiotics

Probiotics are hugely important for keeping clear skin as well as overall health. “Good” bacteria is needed in your gut to digest food properly and maintain a strong immune system. Many health problems can be linked back to an influx of “bad” bacteria in the gut: yeast infections, acne, diarrhea, constipation – just to name a few. Having too much bad bacteria can result from taking antibiotics and eating too much sugar and breads. We get healthy bacteria naturally from eating fermented foods like sauerkraut, beet kvass, kefir milk, yogurt, and raw apple cider vinegar. However, it can be hard to eat the amount we need daily, so adding a probiotic supplement is a must! Try Garden of Life Raw Probiotics.

Milk Thistle

Milk thistle is one of the most well-known herbs to help support liver function. The liver is essential to flushing out toxins in the body. Having a healthy liver will heal your skin and keep acne away. Milk thistle contains silymarin, a property which supports the liver by increasing glutathione levels and cleaning toxins out of the blood. It also helps regenerate liver tissue and decrease inflammation. Show your liver some love, boost your body’s healing power, and try taking Pure Encapsulation Silymarin.

Have you tried any of these supplements? What supplements have helped to clear your skin? Please share!

Your Guide to Gorgeous, Clear Skin

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Having struggled with years of acne, I tried many products and prescriptions, and spent countless dollars trying to clear my skin. I finally got to the point where I needed to try a new strategy. There has been a wave of men and women on the internet discussing their success in healing their acne through the power of nutrition. Increasing my knowledge in how diet is connected with acne has empowered me to make lasting changes that brought real results.

Food is your medicine.

Acne is primarily a direct result of your digestion, balance in hormones, and level of stress. When we eat unhealthy foods, our digestive system becomes irritable, increasing inflammation and weakening the immune system. Our bodies becomes stressed, trying to function properly without the sufficient nutrients it needs. Certain foods can also affect hormonal balances. Depending on the person, our bodies may react differently when their is a lack of nutrition. Some people may gain weight, some may find themselves feeling sick frequently, and others may develop acne. There is a lot of advise out there – and it can be incredibly overwhelming! I have spent hours of research, and tried numerous approaches. The truth is that you need to heal from the inside out. There is no magical cleanser or prescription. You need to address the root of the problem: your health. Here is what has worked for me:

What foods to avoid:

  • Gluten
  • Sugar
  • Dairy
  • Soy
  • Heated oils
  • Legumes (beans, peanuts)
  • Processed foods

These foods, such as gluten and dairy, can increase inflammation – which can cause acne as well as other health problems such as fatigue, emotional stress, and immune deficiencies. Dairy also contains natural growth hormones (intended to help baby cows grow) which can disrupt our natural hormone balance.

Soy and legumes are common food sensitivities that contribute to irritating the digestive system. Soy acts like the hormone estrogen, which many people (including women) already have an overload of within their bodies due to various environmental reasons (such as drinking and eating out of plastic containers).  Therefore, soy can cause hormones to be out of balance. An imbalance of hormones can also lead to acne.

Sugar has no nutritional value, and gives the body large amounts of calories, causing blood sugar to spike and the liver to work overtime. When the liver cannot flush sugar quick enough, the body will store sugar as fat or produce mucus to protect the body. Therefore, too much sugar will cause you to gain weight or lead to illness and allergies. Sugar also feeds the bad bacteria in the gut. We all have a little bit of bad bacteria, but when we have too much of the bad bacteria, the immune system suffers and we end up with too much yeast.

Most oils such as corn oil, peanut oil, vegetable oil, and even olive oil become rancid when heated. This is one of the main reasons why fried foods are so unhealthy. Rancid oils entering your body will cause your body to work hard to eliminate the toxins. I typically only cook with coconut oil since it is one of the rare oils that holds integrity when facing high temperatures.

Processed foods (from boxes, cans, and other packages) are typically stripped of natural nutrients. Many processed foods contain synthetic ingredients – you know, those ingredients you can’t even pronounce! They make your body work harder to filter out the toxins and keep your body feeling hungry since your body is not getting the nutrition it needs.

Avoiding all of these ingredients in your diet will not only help clear your acne, but will improve your overall health.

farmers market

Creative Commons Purple Cauliflowers at Hollywood Farmers Market” by Experience LA is licensed under CC BY 2.5

Foods that heal:

  • Whole foods
  • Dark, leafy greens (kale, spinach, romaine, collards)
  • Healthy fats (good quality meats, unrefined extra virgin coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil, nuts)
  • A variety of seasonal vegetables
  • Fermented foods (sauerkraut, kimchi, kefir, yogurt)
  • Plenty of water (filtered or spring)

Eating whole foods is the key to getting as much nutrition and healing power for your body. Our bodies are intended to eat a hunter/gatherer diet. Due to our history and evolution, our digestive system is best designed to consume animal protein and farmed fruits and vegetables. Foods that require processing (such as grains and processed food) can be taxing on our digestive system. Eating whole foods (foods in their natural state) will allow your body to best absorb nutrients. A good way to make sure you are eating a whole-food diet is to ask yourself, “Is the meat I am eating in an edible form as if it were hunted? Could I have picked these fruits and vegetables, gathered these nuts, etc?” Getting back to nature is key!

Dark, leafy greens is where you will get the most nutritional value for healing your acne. I typically eat a handful of greens blended with my morning smoothie for breakfast. Salads, stir-fries, and baked loafs (quiche, meatloaf, etc) are good methods of getting your greens as well.

Healthy sources of fat will give your body omegas, keeping your skin supple and glowing. Healthy fats keep you feeling full, and give you energy. I am a believer in eating good quality meats. This means that the quality of the animal’s diet as well as how they were treated impacts the quality of nutrition in the meat. When animals are not fed their natural diet, they become unhealthy. For example, when cows are fed corn, risk for ecoli is increased. When cows are fed grass, omegas are present in the meat. Contrary to popular beliefs, grass-fed beef can be more nutritious than poultry! Poorly treated animals produce stress hormones that stay present in the meat after they are processed. You end up ingesting all those stress hormones! I am a strong believer in buying meat from local farms that provide good quality of life for their animals. I suggest purchasing meat at a natural food market or the farmer’s market.

Vegetables that are in season, local, and organic will have the most nutrition. Produce that has traveled far before it reaches the grocery store will have depleted nutrients by the time it ends up on your dinner plate. Buy local and fresh whenever possible!

Fermented foods have natural probiotics in them. Probiotics are the key to increasing the good bacteria in your gut and strengthening your immune system. They also help reduce the effects of eating too much sugar. Super important!

Water, water, water! Keeping hydrated allows your body to cleanse itself. It keeps your skin elastic, helps decrease signs of aging, and keeps your pores naturally clean. If you are not staying hydrated, your pores are not able to easily flush toxins through your pores, thus clogging your pores. I try to drink at least 3/4 of a gallon per day. Drink natural spring water or filtered water.


For me, the trick to making changes to my diet came more easily when I focused on what I should be eating more of – versus worrying all the time about what not to eat. I tend to follow these guidelines 80% of the time, and the rest of the time I allow myself to “cheat” such as when I’m out to dinner, at the movies, or visiting friends who do not follow my choice of diet. Being too restrictive with your diet can cause stress – which will increase cortisol in your body and cause an imbalance in hormones – so don’t take yourself too seriously! Take small steps and give yourself the credit you deserve!

This is more than a change in diet – it is a change in lifestyle. Keep in mind that seeing results may take some time. Allow for at least a full month before seeing a decrease in acne. It took a long time for your skin to become the way it is, so it will take some time for it to heal. Stay strong!

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