Loading up on vegetables is a terrific dieting strategy. Vegetables are filled with essential vitamins and nutrients and are a great choice for any healthy diet but are all vegetables created equal? Believe it or not some vegetables may not be appropriate for certain types of diets. The candida diet is one of these diets in which you must pay particular attention to what type of and how much of certain vegetables you eat. To understand what types and why you must eliminate or reduce certain vegetables you must first understand what the goal of the candida diet is.
The candida diet is the cornerstone of treatment for a condition known as candidiasis. Candidiasis is a condition in which Candida albicans, a typically benign type of yeast become and opportunistic organism in the intestinal system. Candida albicans is an innate part of the microflora of the intestinal system which ideally will work in accord with “friendly” types of bacteria to keep the body healthy. Unfortunately, external factors such as overuse of antibiotics, steroids, oral contraceptives, stress and a diet high in processed foods/sugar foods often cause an overgrowth of Candida albicans. When this happens an abundance of toxins are released into the body and cause a variety of seemingly unrelated health problems. Symptoms of candidiasis include but are not limited to chronic yeast infections, chronic sinus infections, irritable bowel syndrome, anxiety, depression and fatigue. The candida diet seeks to cut off the food supply of the Candida albicans by eliminating food that encourages its growth. While the main culprits are sugar, vinegar, fermented foods, glutinous grains and quick acting carbohydrates there are other foods that candida diet guidelines suggest consuming in moderation. Complex grains and high starch vegetables fall under this category because all though they do not break down into sugar as quickly as the simple carbohydrates they do in fact break down into sugar and feed the candida. So which vegetables can we eat freely and which do we eat in moderation on the candida diet?
Vegetables to Eat Freely
Bulb vegetables such as chives, garlic, leeks, onions, scallions, shallots and water chestnuts are all great choices for the candida diet. This group of vegetables can be used to add flavor and texture to meals and onions and garlic in particular have antifungal properties which help combat Candida albicans. Inflorescent vegetables such as artichokes, broccoli, broccoli rabe and cauliflower make great side dishes. Use leaf vegetables such as arugula, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, chicory, collards, endive, lettuce, kale and spinach to complement main dishes and to create delightful salads.
Fruit vegetables, which include avocados, cucumbers, eggplant, okra, peppers and squash will help you to create delightful yeast free meals. Stalk vegetables such as asparagus, celery, chard, fennel and kohlrabi also have a wide variety of uses on the diet.
Vegetables to eat in Moderation
The two types of vegetables that you should eat cautiously on the candida diet are root vegetables and tuber vegetables. Beets, carrots, parsnips, radishes, rutabaga, cassava, potato, sweet potato and yams all belong to this group. You can still enjoy these vegetables on the candida diet but plan meals so that you are not overloading on these types of vegetables.
For more information on living yeast free by following the candida diet visit Yeast Free Living.