Guest Post from Paula of Whole Intentions
I feel like a piece of chocolate.
Oh, doesn't that movie popcorn smell heavenly!
I'll eat that last cupcake. . .we don't want it to go to waste now, do we.
What do you crave? Krispy Creme Donuts? A thick slice of bread and butter? What foods trigger the munchies? Peanuts? Chewy candy? The crunch of potato chips? We joke about the cravings of pregnant women, but are you the average Joe – or Josephine – with food cravings all the time?
What are your cravings telling you?
They may tell you that you have a bad habit of late night snacking, or that your body needs more minerals. But sometimes it's deeper than that.
Food cravings are a key symptom of candida. What's candida? Imagine two armies at war in your gut. One side is the good guys – bacteria like lactobacillus found in yogurts and fermented foods, and the other side is the bad guys – candida, the yeast-like fungus that wants to take over and create chaos on planet YOU.
What kind of chaos? You had to ask. . .
Symptoms of Candida
Symptoms of candida:
- athletes’ foot
- brain fog
- cold hands or feet
- cradle cap
- cravings for sweets
- diaper rash
- food sensitivities or reactions
- hay fever
- heart burn
- heart palpitations
- hypoglycemia (low blood sugar)
- joint pain
- lack of appetite
- mood swings
- muscle aches and pain
- panic attacks
- poor memory and concentration
- pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS)
- rashes and dry red or white patches
- respiratory problems
- sinus congestion
- thrush (white coating in mouth or vagina)
Like any army, candida needs supplies to do its dirty work – it craves them.
The common foods candida craves are the same ones that feed it and help it grow:
- moldy cheeses (brie, camembert, etc.)
- sweet sauces
- sweet fruits (oranges, bananas, grapes, and dried fruits like raisins)
- starchy vegetables (pumpkin, potato, etc.)
and most importantly. . . sugar.
Oh, yeah, candida LOVES sugar. It hugs and kisses it. It dreams about it, plans exotic vacations with it, and is just a tad bit obsessed. Are the foods you're craving supplying ammo to the enemy? Because, you know. . .if you feed them . . .they will come. 😉
Most people have a sweet tooth. I won’t lie – I do too! (do NOT ask me how much I love chocolate and peanut butter). Now, I know what you’re thinking. You’re asking yourself, “But if candida loves sugar, breads, cheeses and fruit – what in the world do I live off? Bread and water?
Scratch that – NO bread. Just water. Whaaaaaaa!
No wait. . .really. . .there is a happy ending to this story. . .
Often times when you crave something sweet you can diminish it by eating small amounts of protein throughout the day (eggs, tuna, chicken, etc.). The ebook Candida Crusher suggests taking chromium picolinate two to three times daily with meals (about 500 mcg per dose). But the best way to fight cravings is with this simple rule: if you crave it. . .don't eat it. You'll find that the more you avoid the foods that call your name, the better you feel – and soon those cravings fade into non-existance.
But what about the times those cravings start to get the better of you? What if you need to make dinner and dessert for company? What do you do when everyone is eating brownies and you know you can't have them?
You can still enjoy delicious foods safe for a candida diet, and yes, candida-diet approved desserts because the naturally sweet herb stevia and xylitol are the only two forms of sweetener that DON'T feed candida.
While it's not true that everyone who craves sugar has candida, it is true that most everyone with candida will crave sugar.
The Sweeter Side of Candida