If you’re prone to recurring yeast infections, you might not realize that when it comes to yeast, you might actually be what you eat.
“One thing yeast tells you is that the body is too acidic,” says Dr. Iva Lloyd, a naturopathic doctor and owner of Naturopathic Foundations Health Clinic in Markham, Ont. “And when we look at the body being too acidic, there are five foods you should cut out because they cause dampness in the body.”
The good news is you don’t have to do an extreme elimination diet just to prevent yeast infections, Lloyd adds. The first and most important thing, she says, is to ensure you are being properly diagnosed and treat the underlying cause of the infection. (To learn more about diagnosing yeast infections, be sure to check out “Yeast infection 101” here on Primacy Life.)
Of course, a healthy diet with whole grains (like quinoa, oatmeal and bulgur), lean protein and lots of fresh veggies is the ideal way to help treat a yeast infection. At the same time, Lloyd recommends you cut out five foods that cause dampness at least until the infection clears. They are:
Sugar: When it comes to refined, processed sugars, you’ve heard it before – they’re terrible for your health. And, Lloyd adds, they can make yeast infections much worse. By cutting processed sugar out of your diet you’ll see many other health benefits, including an improvement in your yeast infection.
Dairy: While you may not be lactose intolerant or even sensitive to dairy, Lloyd recommends cutting it out of your diet if you’re prone to yeast infections. That means no probiotic yogurts, either. Instead, consider supplementing with a good quality probiotic recommended by a health professional.
Bananas: Yes, bananas are a healthy food, but as Lloyd says, there is a difference between a good food and a food that is good for you. If you’re dealing with a yeast infection, the sugar in bananas can make an infection worse. Try cutting them out of your diet and see if the yeast infection improves. You may be able to go back to eating them again, but track your banana consumption to be sure they’re not contributing to the problem.
Sugary fruit: Lloyd recommends cutting fruits that are high in sugar out of your diet, like mangoes and pineapple. You can probably still have apples, pears and most berries, but too much fruit causes too much acidity in the body, contributing to yeast overgrowth. Try to eat three to four times more veggies than fruit. So if you’re meant to have six servings of fruit and vegetables a day, make it four servings of veggies and two of fruit.
Wheat: No, you don’t have to do a strict, gluten-free diet, but try to avoid consuming excess wheat, particularly in the form of white bread, white pasta and other sources of wheat. Try switching your regular pasta for brown rice pasta, or skip the bread basket if you’re out for dinner. Consuming less wheat will help reduce acidity in the body and stop that yeast infection in its tracks.
A journalist with more than 10 years experience, Alison’s work has appeared in a number of top Canadian publications, including glow, Oxygen, Canadian Running and more. She is the former editor of a number of well-respected Canadian and American trade journals and recipient of a Kenneth R. Wilson Gold Award of Excellence in feature article writing. She is a part-time faculty member at Sheridan College’s journalism department, as well as an avid runner and fitness enthusiast.