Is Hummus Candida Diet Friendly?
Let’s dive into the often very confusing world of the “Candida diet.” I firmly believe in the power of natural foods to promote optimal health and vitality. So, grab a cozy spot, relax, and let’s embark on a journey of wellness together. So the question from our community today is, “Can I eat hummus on the candida diet?” and is hummus candida diet friendly?
Understanding Candida Overgrowth
Before we dig into the specifics of hummus and its role in the Candida diet, let’s take a moment to understand the underlying issue – Candida overgrowth. Candida is a genus of yeasts that includes various species, some of which can cause infections in humans. The most common species associated with human infections is Candida albicans, although other species like Candida glabrata, Candida tropicalis, and Candida krusei can also cause infections.
Today we are zeroing in on Candida albicans, a type of yeast that naturally resides in our bodies. In smaller amounts it actually plays a beneficial role in our digestive system; it eats the excess sugar in our diet while some of the beneficial bacteria in our gut eat it for food. However, a yeast infection occurs due to an imbalance in our gut flora, a poor diet, a weakened immune system, overuse of antibiotics and certain medications, like birth control and pain killers. This yeast overgrows leading to a host of uncomfortable symptoms like fatigue, digestive issues, and even skin problems. Candida becomes a serious threat when it mutates from its yeast form into its fungal form. More on this below.
Candida Yeast Or Fungal Candida
Candida yeast cells are single-celled organisms that reproduce by budding, where a smaller daughter cell grows on the surface of the parent cell and eventually separates. Yeast overgrowth is typically easier to handle, the symptoms are more manageable and the remedy can be found in simple dietary changes.
When a candida yeast infection grows out of hand, the candida switches forms into a fungus.
Fungal candida refers to the filamentous or hyphal form of Candida. The ability of Candida to switch between yeast and fungal forms is called dimorphism and is an important factor in the pathogenicity of Candida infections. Under certain conditions, such as when Candida yeast cells encounter specific environmental cues or when the immune system is weakened, they can transition into a fungal form.
In its fungal form, candida grows an exoskeleton made of chitin. This serves as a bulletproof armour that is impenetrable by the human immune system. Plus, it grows hyphae. These are long, branching, thread-like structures that extend and invade the surrounding tissues. These hyphae can penetrate your gut lining to cause leaky gut. This switch allows it to continue growing its colony and invading the body, spreading throughout tissues and organs. Fungal candida is typically associated with more invasive and severe infections compared to Candida yeast.
When putting together a treatment plan, it’s important to know what you’re working with, fungal or yeast.
Enter the Candida Diet
The Candida diet is designed to rebalance the gut microbiome and starve the candida yeast. It emphasizes nutrient-dense, anti-inflammatory foods while avoiding sugar, refined carbohydrates, and processed foods. It also focuses on rebalancing the gut microbiome by including probiotics and fermented foods. By following this diet, you create an environment in your body that discourages candida yeast overgrowth and encourages the growth of beneficial bacteria.
However, when left unchecked, a candida yeast infection can grow into a full blown fungal infection. This is where diet alone won’t do the trick, serious intervention is needed. This is when we recommend our 45 Day CCWS Candida Cell Wall Suppressor Protocol.
Hummus & The Candida Diet
Now, let’s talk about hummus! Hummus is a Middle Eastern delight made primarily from chickpeas (garbanzo beans), tahini (ground sesame seeds), olive oil, lemon juice, and garlic. The controversy with hummus is in the chickpeas. Even though they are rich in fibre, they are a legume/bean. They breakdown into starch and can feed a fungal infection. Plus, if the hyphae from the fungal infection is causing leaky gut, the legumes may add even more irritation and bloating to the digestive distress.
Lectins: The Double-Edged Sword
Lectins are naturally occurring proteins found in various plant foods, and they serve a pivotal role in the defense mechanisms of plants against pests. In the digestive system, lectins can be both beneficial and detrimental. On one hand, they may support gut health by promoting the growth of beneficial gut bacteria, aiding in immune responses, and possibly assisting in controlling blood sugar levels. On the other hand, certain lectins can interfere with nutrient absorption and cause digestive discomfort, leading to conditions like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or gut inflammation while feeding the candida and making symptoms worse.
Anti-nutrients: Balancing the Equation
Antinutrients are compounds naturally present in various plant foods that can interfere with the absorption of nutrients in the digestive tract. These compounds, including phytates, oxalates, and tannins, are often the plant’s defense mechanisms against being eaten by animals. While antinutrients might impede the absorption of minerals like iron, calcium, and zinc, they also offer potential health benefits. Phytates, for example, might have antioxidant properties and could play a role in cancer prevention. Soaking, fermenting, and cooking foods can help reduce antinutrient levels and improve nutrient availability.
Unfortunately, the answer to this question isn’t so black and white. There is no “one size fits all diet.” The true answer doesn’t live on the internet, the answer will come from your body.
If you have a mild candida yeast infection and digestion isn’t an issue, then hummus might work for you. If you have a severe fungal candida infection, digestive issues, and leaky gut, then hummus might make this worse.
In our community we encourage people to listen to the wisdom and messages of their own body, because we are all different.
An eliminate diet is a great place to start to learn what your body needs. We recommend a dietary protocol based on the GAPS Diet, created by Dr. Natasha Campbell Mc-Bride as a natural treatment to heal leaky gut and gut dysbiosis.
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