Do you suffer from skin problems, like acne?
Are you struggling to lose weight (and you feel like you are really healthy)?
Do you feel lethargic and tired all the time?
Do you crave sugar, breads, and starches? Do you feel highs and lows associated with “carbs”?
Do you feel bloated after eating fruit? Do you feel like you are in a fog after consuming clean foods like fruit?
The Immune System
Within the body, there exist little armies of antibodies, and white blood cells. These microscopic armies defend the body from enemy substances that are looking to harm, or weaken, the body’s immune system. When the immune system is strong, these tiny armies are able to recognize and eliminate these enemies, before they are capable of causing the body damage.
A strong immune system means a healthy body.
How does it work? These armies line the mucous membranes, which line the interior cavities and passageways, of the body. The mucous membranes are the equivalent are like our own Great Wall, keeping invaders from penetrating further into the body, and jumping into the blood stream.
Clean blood means a healthy immune system.
Directly below the delicate mucous membrane, exist mucus-secreting glands. In order to protect the fragile membranes, these glands secrete a coating of sticky mucus. When foreign substances, like bacteria, viruses, chemicals, and toxins try to break through the mucous membrane, the mucus acts as a repellent, entrapping the unwanted material in its sticky goo.
Mucus is actually a “shield” if you will. Too much mucus is a problem.
When toxins, yeasts, and other such enemies, known as antigens, attempt to invade the mucous membrane, the antibodies come to the body’s defense.
It is common that the mucous membranes house a variety of yeasts, as well as, good bacteria. Yeast thrives in warm, damp and dark places and therefore is commonly abundant in the digestive tract, and vaginal area. Amongst the yeast, and friendly bacteria, also exists: unfriendly bacteria, toxic yeasts, viruses, and other various enemy substances.
When the body’s immune system is functioning optimally, these unwanted substances are not able to surpass the Great Wall, and thus cannot penetrate deeper into the tissues, or blood stream.
It is kind of like having a garden. There will always be a few weeds, but as long as those weeds are kept under control, they will not pose a problem. The moment they get the opportunity though, those weeds will get out of control and overtake your beautiful garden. It’s like the ivy that swallowed your grandma’s house, or ahem, castle….
The overgrowth of ivy is similar to how yeast is capable of colonizing, and causing destruction in the intestinal tract. If there are ample amounts of healthy bacteria in the body (you, plucking the weeds), it can keep the Candida (ivy) to a manageable minimum. The problem with antibiotics is, they kill off the good bacteria in the body.
Antibiotics do not affect toxic yeast, otherwise known as Candida Albicans. In fact, antibiotics have been shown to prevent the body’s resistance to the invasion of Candida. With the help of antibiotics, yeast can multiply at a rapid pace. As the yeasts multiple, they release toxins. These toxins circulate throughout the body, and further depress the immune system.
Birth control pills, cortisone, and other drugs like prednisone, corticosteroids, acne medication, and antibiotics, stimulate yeast growth. These medications fight to kill off the toxins that are acting to weaken the immune system but they also deplete the body’s reservoir of friendly bacteria. Without the help of friendly bacteria, the body does not have the ability to resist the colonization of Candida albicans, and it becomes an endless battle for the body to rid itself of the unwanted toxins (Candida).
Other factors, such as, hormonal changes, pregnancy, as well as diets rich in sugars, and products containing yeast, also contribute to the colonization of Candida Albicans. When there is an overgrowth of yeast in the body, the immune system becomes weakened.
Nutritional deficiencies, emotional stress, environmental molds, and chemical toxins, also help to decrease the optimization of the immune function, which in turn, help to increase the production of Candida.
A weakened immune system can manifest itself in a number of unpleasant ways. Signs of a weakened immunity are, but not limited to:
- Feeling depressed, tired, or lethargic
- Having bad skin
- Having headaches, poor memory, feeling irritable or unable to concentrate
- Feeling inappropriately drowsy
- Feeling numb, or having tingling muscles, or muscle weakness
- Lacking coordination
- Reoccurring vaginal yeast infections, or urinary tract infections
- Having athletes food, jock itch, or other fungi infections of the skin
- Having persistent digestive problems like: indigestion, bloat, abdominal pain, gas, constipation, diarrhea
- Nasal congestion, recurrent sore throats, cough, fluid in your ears
- Pain or swelling in your joints
- Pain or tightness in the chest, spots in front of your eyes, blurred vision
- Overweight, or feeling the inability to lose weight
If these symptoms are more noticeable, or tend to flare on damp days, or when exposed to molds, or foods that promote yeast growth, it is quite probable that one of the factors contributing to the weakening of the immune system is Candida albicans.
That being said, people with Candida should not consume sugar (raw honey, Agave, fruit, and dried fruit included), nor should they consume foods with yeasts (breads, pretzels, etc.), or foods that are susceptible to molds (peanut butter, white mushrooms, cheese). Candida feasts on sugars, yeasts, and molds—this includes wine, and chocolate too (boo, I know- but this is the least of your worries).
If you are overweight, have skin problems, and/or have a history of antibiotics, hormone supplementation, and/or crave, or are affected by sugar—it is highly probable that an overgrowth of Candida is a culprit. No reason to panic though, Candida is VERY common. In fact, with all of the sugary, yeasty products we consume today, in addition to the high percentage of people that have a past, or present history of taking drugs (medicinal, and/or recreational), I predict that Candida is probably a top cause of most illnesses today… We just haven’t wanted to realize how important a healthy diet is.
For more on what to eat for superior health, check out My Philosophy. Additionally, take a probiotic (good bacteria) supplement regularly. It also may greatly help to invest in products such as Candex, or Candi-gone.
Last mention of contest!
**** Oh! and one more thing… just because you are going to try to start avoiding sugary foods, does not mean you can’t have your cake and eat it too! I have found Stevia to be an enormous help in weening anyone off of sugar. My favorite brand is NuNaturals NuStevia. Right now you can enter to win two awesome products– my favorite being the Vanilla Stevia, because I love adding it to my raw coconut ice cream, pudding, tea, latte, and hot cocoa and coffee. Contest ends tomorrow, Tuesday (08/17/2010) at midnight, and winners will be announced on Wednesday the 18th! (4) of my readers will win a package of Stevia (50) packets, in addition to my fav Vanilla NuStevia. Hurry! Spread the word, retweet, and then post a comment telling me you retweeted to increase your chances of winning! Click here to enter!****
Additionally, here are some more low-sugar treats to savor! I personally love dark chocolate.