Kefir & Candida

What powerful effects a yeast overgrowth in the body has!!

I realised recently that I’d had a condition for many, many years called, Candida. When I came across all of the symptoms, it explained so many bad habits and strange allergies to foods that I portrayed for some time – even though I thought I’d always been very good to myself – “Yeah right”, the now me says rolling her eyes.

I have to admit too, that over the past couple of years I was a compulsive emotional eater, which fed my Candida as I would daily crave very sugary raw desserts, eat whole packets of dried fruits, and too many medjool dates and raw chocolates to mention!

Candida

Candida Albicans is an overgrowth of yeast in the body. While some yeast is necessary for aiding in nutrient absorption and digestion in the gut, an overgrowth can have some pretty nasty and inconvenient effects on the body. In healthy people it’s kept in check by probiotics and ‘good bacteria’, but with prolonged use of antibiotics, cortisone or anti-inflammatory medications, birth control pills, drinking chlorinated water, poor diet (a diet high in refined carbohydrates and sugar – white flour, potatoes and white rice included), and daily stress without adequate rest periods, pretty well means you’ll get an overgrowth. What this means is that the yeast will move from its home in the gut and attached itself to other organs in the body causing some unpleasant symptoms and health problems.

Typical symptoms of Candida include (but is not limited to):

Chronic fatigue syndrome, yeast infections, brain fog, headaches, anxiety and depression, digestive problems and bloating, acne, skin rashes, weight retention, bowel disorders, ear and sinus irritation or infections, intense itching, canker sores and ringworm.

Whilst you may get some of these symptoms from time to time, if you’re enduring them for long periods of time or frequently then it might be time to look at tweaking what you consume so you don’t feed Candida. Like any fungus, it feeds on sugars and alcohol above all other things. Surprisingly Coconut Oil inhibits it’s growth, so start taking it by the spoonful – up to 3.5 tbsp per day. Adding in more coconut based foods and young coconuts into your diet will help, whilst limiting/avoiding any kind of sugar. This included sugary fruits, and any natural sweeteners. Even heavy meals and starchy root vegies are out as they are most often turned into sugars during digestion which can feed it too. It’s no wonder people that live in tropical areas where coconut grow, never get a Candida overgrowth as Coconut is such a large part of their diets. Switch to eating only wholefoods, nothing processed, fresh fruits and vegies, and lots of fresh vegetable juices, and leafy greens, along with a very good probiotic (which I’m getting to).

Properly ridding your body of Candida and restoring it to a healthy balance can be no easy task. It’s important to remember that the human body is a largely intelligent self-healing mechanism. To treat the cause of any ailment is the only way to properly rid your body and life of it for good – never to treat the symptoms. If you do think you might have Candida, and quite a bad spout of it, you can read more about the powerful die-off reaction they call Herxheimer reaction. This is the result of rapidly killing off microorganisms and absorption of large quantities of yeast toxins, cell particles, and antigens. You should know that symptoms may get worse before they improve and Coconut Oil alone can bring this on. I really recommend having a colon cleanse or a few to help properly rid your body of everything it doesn’t need to hang onto.

Read more about Candida Albicans here:

http://www.coconutdiet.com/candida.htm

http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-3166/Feeling-Sick-or-Tired-It-Could-Be-Candida.html

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So once I discovered all this Candida stuff, and did A LOT of reading on it, I began to tweak my diet once again, which started once massive cleanse.

Pimples and barnicles, bloating, daily BRAIN FOG, funky smelling yellow stones in my tonsils…. gross stuff!

I’d done this for a month eating super clean, having special teas, lots of Coconut everything etc etc, and I just love how when something is supposed to happen, it just happens, and the Universe will send you whatever it is that you need in order for it to take place.

So my family are heavily getting into brewing Kefir. They introduced me to it on a 6 day holiday when I was on the Sunshine Coast. I drank a glass daily whilst there which got so much deeper into the die-off of my Candida, you have no idea…

On my 3rd day there of having a small glass of this incredible drink everyday, I started getting hayfever, severe brain fog, and a pretty bad mucous filled head cold. After 3 days of this, the head dried up, and a fever with profuse sweating set in with major aches and pains, sensitivity to light bringing a constant migrane, lack of appetite, low energy, shortness of breath etc. I’d then left my family and didn’t have access to Kefir after that. I was bed ridden for two days. I hadn’t been this ill in about 15 years, or if ever! After the sensitivity to light began to go with the headaches, energy came back and I could then break my fast and introduce eating simply again. BUT then I had awful sharp stomach pains, an upset stomach and gastro which wasn’t there before. I didn’t know what to eat that wasn’t going to give me pain! 2 days with just the stomach issue, and I finally got some Kefir grains and brewed a batch which after even 12hours of having the brewed drink cleared my stomach issue up and I was brand new! Seeing the world in a completely different light. Then… the next day I began my monthly cycle, and had to laugh about my body going about ONE GIGANTIC cleanse!

My relationship with food now is noticeably different, and better to what it used to be for so long. I no longer emotionally eat, or crave sugary anything. Gone are the days of binging on dates and whole packets of figs. I only eat what I need to now, and still super clean with whole and living foods, I really appreciate every mouthful now, and savour my food and drinks.

So what is this wonderful Kefir stuff you ask?

Water Kefir with Ginger, Cinnamon, Lemon and Lemon Myrtle

Water Kefir with Ginger, Cinnamon, Lemon and Lemon Myrtle

Kefir Water with Lemon and Apricot

Kefir Water with Lemon and Apricot

Kefir

Kefir is a natural probiotic drink with trillions more good bacteria than you can get taking any probiotic powders or eating yoghurt that only have a couple of billion. It can be made with water, coconut water, or milk, and is a two thousand-year-old drink traditional to Eastern Europe, Russia, and Turkey. It’s something that every family used to brew as their daily source of good bacteria for their gut, but like MANY other health and food related knowledge, has been lost over the generations – but it’s making a comeback and has crossed over into the mainstream!

It’s pretty powerful in it’s health benefits for the body. If you have Candida, you have to be warned it can cause some pretty major die-off symptoms that aren’t pleasant, but once you overcome being knocked about a bit (as I did), the grass is just SO MUCH greener, literally! The cleanse can be little or powerful, ranging from a few sniffles to a bed ridden virus or gastro, and many things in between. OR you may just experience fantastic bowel movements and regularity and nothing else.

Kefir grains feed on sugar, and eat about 80% of what you feed them, so what you drink is certainly not a sugar laden drink, in fact it does the opposite. Once you drink it, it feeds on the sugar already in your gut.

I make mine with filtered water, in a sterilised jar and use anything like coconut sugar, maple syrup, palm sugar, molasses with an unsulphured dried fruit of choice and slice of lemon, cinnamon stick or fresh ginger. The grains continue to grow, and it’s actually a rewarding process to see them grow and have this amazing drink everyday which aids in optimum health and nutrition. It might sound odd to you, but I call them “my little buddies” 🙂

Check out this video for making your own Kefir: ~I love this guy, I think his recipes and presenting style are really good~

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Affirmation for the self ~
Remember to always do what feels right for you, be good to yourself, be true to you, your body always knows, just listen…

Affirmation - To Thine Own Self Be True

Affirmation – To Thine Own Self Be True

 

<a href=”http://www.hypersmash.com”>www.Hypersmash.com</a&gt;

19 responses to “Kefir & Candida

  1. I instantly loved your post as soon as I read you could eat a whole packet of dates! I have done that recently! Candida just makes my cravings worse! I will try this kafir now…I’ve been buying the milk version but think water/coconut water will be better! Great blog by the way!

  2. Hi Hannah, thanks a lot for this so interesting article.
    Could you give your actual kefir recipe? I suffer from candida and I don t want to do it wrong by adding to many sugar for example…
    Thks! Violette

  3. Hi, thank you so much for this, I’m at the moment using regular sugar and I’m scared it will be counter-acting all the other work I’m putting in to get rid of candida. Do you think it’s better to stick to something like coconut sugar?

    • Nicola, I’m personally very conscious of wholefoods and adding in extra nutrition where possible. Other sugars than cane do tend to be higher in minerals. Kefir grains do particularly love coconut sugar, so it is my preference. In the past when I’ve been had no access to other sugars I have also used raw sugar for a brief time. The grains eat about 80% of the sugar you feed it anyhow, but if you’re worried, just leave it to nrew for longer – the joys of making your own!! X

  4. As a Candida sufferer since I was 10, and having been on a very strict anti-yeast diet for almost 4 years, I can attest to the powerful and wonderful effects of Kefir. Great article! Well written! 🙂

    • hi leslie,i am melanie and I would appreciate if you could email me on melaniefortune1@gmail.com and tell me more about your experience living with candida and the diet you followed to get it under control.thank you from the bottom of my heart.mel.

    • Hi Leslie,

      I have been suffering from Candida, coincidentally, since I was about ten as well. Any chance you’d be willing to chat with me via email about your experiences and how you reversed the overgrowth?

  5. Hannah, I have just starting to make kefir w/milk and I love it!! its been about 3wks and doing great- I have experienced the “die off” headaches, gas, and just recently my first ever yeast infection i believe> I have never had any female issues in the down south area- Is this normal?> i read where you stated its worse before better. I’m up for the challenge. I have had great bowel movements,

    • Hi Christina,
      Thanks for your comment. I’m by no means a candida expert and can only speak from my personal experience. It can differ from person to person so if I were you I’d be speaking with a Nutritionist or a Naturopath for proper guided assistance where you need it. Sounds like you’re journey to better absorption has begun!!! Mine definitely got worse before better. Bowel movements is a positive sign, and take notes of whatever strange symptoms you may experience. I would grab some food-grade Diatomaceous Clay Powder to assist in killing off the bad bugs and have it in a tea at night with coconut oil before bed. Make sure you drink plenty of water to compensate. This might help your infection.

  6. I too believe that everything always shows up when u need it, and this was exactly what I needed today. Thank you for sharing your experience and for inspiring me to start making my own Kefir 🙂

  7. hello there, my keffir grains dont grow, plus its really muddy at the bottom of the jar, also i have a white toungue now as i have been drinking acouple of glasses a day. Is it possible that i have candida from the keffir??? Dubs

    • Hi Dubs,

      I’m not a practising health professional so I can’t comment too much on your concerns about Candida. I wouldn’t think you don’t based on the white tongue alone and considering how much Kefir you’re drinking.. but Candida morphs and does all kinds of weird stuff.
      With regards to you kefir grains, I would strain the grains under running filtered water for 30 seconds or so, and then put them back in a clean sterilised jar and give them a water fast for a few days to one week. Then after that start feeding them again. With the growth factor, it’s hard to say but it can be down to what you’re feeding them and the temperature of your kitchen or brewing area. What sorts of sugars do you use to feed them, and how long does a batch take to fizz for you?
      Hannah

      • Hello Hannah,

        I too just started making cows milk kefir and started drinking 2 – 8 ounce cups a day am and pm…..total 8 ounces a day. I am also getting white tongue which seems like it may be thrush. Have you heard of this symptom as being related to die off. I Have been getting nauaea at 5am to 1pm since the begining of January 2015. Drag myself out of bed at 12:30 pm or 1 pm . At 12;45 pm to 1;00 pm or so I am hungry I am hungry and eat my low carb diet. My appetite is good until 5 am again the next day. I am trying the kefir because I read that my gut may be out of balance. I dont know whether to stop or keep up the kefir because it might be just die off. Thanks

        Joe .

  8. Thank you!!! I have been struggling with systemic candidiasis for a long time. Not sure how long but it’s been at least 3 years. I have finally found relief but I’m not finished. I am happy to discover that Kefir can be made without milk!!

  9. I love this article! I found that drinking kefir when I have sugar cravings is how I have been getting rid of the sugar cravings. I’m starting to see how that works now that I’ve read this article! I also found that I’ve been craving kale and spinach, or any type of green smoothie really since I’ve started drinking kefir on a daily basis.

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