Healthy Living

Candida Diet Approved Sweeteners

When starting a Candida diet or even when a person wants to eat a healthier diet, I always get questions concerning which sweeteners are a good choice:

*Can I have honey?

*Okay, I’m giving up sugar but is there something else that I can use as a substitute?

*Will an artificial sweetener make Candida yeast grow?

The good news is there are some good options but first I will share the sweeteners you’ll want to avoid.  Even if you aren’t on a Candida/Yeast clearing program this information is beneficial for everyone. Sugar in excess in anyone’s diet is a hazard to your health.  

The No No’s

High fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is at the top of that ‘NO’ list as far as I’m concerned. This means no commercial sodas — which all contain HFCS.

There has been a flurry of interest in a cactus-based sweetener called agave nectar, because of its low glycemic index (which means it does not cause a spike in your blood sugar levels like honey or sugar might.)

Unfortunately, agave is a processed food, and it has a higher fructose level than HFCS (57% to 90%). It does have a low glycemic number, but its use can actually create insulin resistance, which can lead to Type II diabetes over time.

Artificial sweeteners are also on my “NO” list. Beware of the phrases “Sugar-Free” or “No Sugar Added” (commonly seen in baked goods, like pies). This is code that the product is sweetened artificially with products like Sweet ‘n Low (saccharin), Splenda (sucralose), aspartame, etc.).

Though you will hear much controversy regarding these products the studies on the ‘positive’ side most likely will be funded by the industry that manufactures the artificial sweetener. 

Several interesting studies have shown that artificial sweeteners are counter-productive for weight loss because they actually trigger the desire for sweets — without satisfying it.  That’s the last thing you need!

Makeup of Sugar

The newest studies on regular sugar show that it’s fructose that is the biggest problem. Table sugar (sucrose) is made up of 2 sugars called glucose and fructose in roughly equal parts.

Honey is 70% fructose and though it has some healthful properties it should be avoided when on a Candida diet and used in moderation for most people.

If you get most of your sugar from natural sources like fruits and vegetables you are going to be okay, especially if you take a quality probiotic supplement because the sugar from these foods won’t interfere with the action of the probiotic.

If you want sweetener in your coffee, tea or lemonade then there are some much healthier choices than those on the ‘no’ list above.

Acceptable Sweeteners on the Candida Diet

Sugar Alcohols

Xylitol and Erythritol are from an interesting family of sweeteners called ‘sugar alcohols’. The body processes them in a completely different way than it does sugar. The body doesn’t really see them as sugars and mostly won’t digest them.

In large quantities, they can cause diarrhea and/or gas but in small quantities, they can make a nice sugar substitute, with the side benefit that they don’t promote tooth decay. In fact, Xylitol is antibacterial and anti-fungal.

There are many different sugar alcohols but Erythritol and Xylitol are my first choice. The others you see (all ending in -itol) are cheaper to make: forms like sorbitol, mannitol, etc.

Erythritol and Xylitol (choose sources made from birch instead of corn) can be found in your health food store or online and is close to being as sweet as sugar.

Recommended brands that are made from 100% Pure Birch Xylitol:  XylaSmartSweet, Morning Pep, and Zveet.

Stevia Plant

*Important note: Sugar alcohols are NOT safe for animals.

One last and probably the best natural sweetener to use is Stevia. This plant-based sweetener is available at your health food store or online. This is a very good sweetener but it does have a bit of an aftertaste that some don’t like.

It will depend on the brand you buy just how much or little of an aftertaste there is. The purer the processing of the plant (using just the leaves and not stems for instance) the better it will taste. I use SweetLeaf Stevia either in liquid (which is my favorite) or powder form because to me it has no bitter aftertaste. 

The food industries are starting to patent various forms of Stevia which are reduced to just the sweetest compound chemicals of the Stevia plant. Truvia is one you might see; another is PureVia.
 

Although these manufactured sweeteners start with the Stevia plant, they add additional ingredients and processes so they can patent their products. I recommend you avoid these and stick with the natural forms of Stevia.  You can also try an all-natural stevia that is not processed at all but has mixed reviews.

Here’s a handy chart to use for Stevia to Sugar conversions in your recipes:

Stevia Conversion Chart | Candida Diet | Natural Health Answers

Looking for a sweet treat that’s Candida Diet approved?

Check out my delicious Coconut Cupcakes recipe which uses only a candida diet-approved sweeteners.

If you have insulin issues, you should avoid sweeteners altogether, including Stevia, as they all can decrease your sensitivity to insulin (insulin resistance).

I hope this has helped you have at least a fairly sweet life despite having to fight off Candida overgrowth.

Don’t be discouraged: the good news is that as you get the Candida under control, your craving for sweets will become much less. Hang in there, steady and focused wins the race.

Keep taking your preventative supplements and eating the recommended foods and stay ahead of the yeast’s attempts to come back. 

Candida Diet Approved Sweeteners

Reader Feedback:  Have you tried Xylitol, Erythritol or Stevia yet?   If so, how did you like them?

Dairy-free Ranch Dressing Recipe | Candida Diet Recipes | Natural Health Answers

Dairy-Free Ranch Dressing

This dairy-free ranch dressing is the bomb dot com!

Dairy-free Ranch Dressing Recipe | Candida Diet Recipes | Natural Health Answers

I recently found this recipe from Ashley over at Blissful Basil and wanted to try it ASAP.  I didn’t have the fresh ingredients that she had listed for the recipe but my creamy ranch craving took over and I dove in any way.  

I raided my herb cabinet and scanned for the closest ingredients to the original recipe. Boom. Nailed it.   

Of course, if you have all the fresh ingredients please create your masterpiece from Ashley’s original recipe. You can mix and match and make this recipe your own with tweaks to your taste buds liking.

Even my hubby offered the “this is really good” and “what did you say was in this?”  comments while inhaling the tangy creaminess on a blue corn chip.  He’s not a fan of coconut and is a dairy fan so I thought this was a bit of a coup for my kitchen skills.

I made this again today and forgot the nutritional yeast that I had added on my first batch and I noticed that I liked it a bit better with the nutritional yeast added.  Nutritional yeast is a seasoning that does not contain yeast and does not contribute to Candida overgrowth.  If you haven’t tried it yet, it has a “cheese-like” flavor although I really don’t think it tastes that “cheesy” to me.  

Although nutritional yeast does not contribute to Candida overgrowth it’s important to be aware that some will be sensitive to it while dealing with a Candida imbalance. When trying a new food on the Candida diet it’s best to start with a small amount to see if you react in any way to the food.   

Some of the things to watch out for are fatigue, racing heart, brain fog, headaches, stomach upset, diarrhea, gas, etc. after eating a new food which will alert you to a sensitivity.  Also, you may not feel the effects of the food for up to three days later!  So only introduce one new food at a time so you will know exactly which food is causing the symptoms.  It’s best to leave out any foods that cause any problems until further along in your healing.

If you’re not into making your own because you’re pressed for time, don’t want to buy all the ingredients or just want to make life easier I found this dairy-free ranch dressing that I was ecstatic about because it doesn’t have any sugar, hydrogenated oils and tastes good. Oh, and it’s healthy for you!

So with all of that being said, I hope you enjoy this recipe, with or without the nutritional yeast!  

 
Reader Feedback: Are you a ranch dressing fan?  Have you been missing the creaminess of dairy on the Candida diet?  Let me know if this gives you hope! 😉

Useful kitchen tools to help you make healthy meals including this recipe:

Dairy-Free Ranch Dressing
Makes 2 cups
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Prep Time
10 min
Total Time
10 min
Prep Time
10 min
Total Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 can full-fat coconut milk, refrigerated overnight (do not use light coconut milk)
  2. 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  3. 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  4. 2 teaspoons onion powder
  5. 2 teaspoons dried parsley
  6. 2 teaspoons dried basil
  7. 1-1/2 teaspoons dried dill
  8. 1 teaspoons nutritional yeast (optional)
  9. 1 teaspoon sea salt
  10. black pepper, to taste
Instructions
  1. Open the can of coconut milk and scoop out the coconut cream of the top of the can and add to a large bowl or a magic bullet or nutribullet cup. Leave the coconut water in the can.
  2. Add 4 tablespoons of the coconut water into the coconut cream in your bowl or cup (whisk until smooth if using a bowl). Keep the leftover coconut water in case you need an extra tablespoon or two after refrigerating your dressing depending on how thick you like it.
  3. Add in the rest of the ingredients. Stir or blend to combine.
  4. Refrigerate dressing for at least 30 minutes to let the flavors meld together.
Notes
  1. Enjoy the dressing over your favorite salad, use as a dip for your favorite veggies or use it in a wrap or on a sandwich (with grain-free bread of course!).
Adapted from Blissful Basil
Adapted from Blissful Basil
Natural Health Answers https://www.naturalhealthanswers.com/

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Dairy-free Ranch Dressing Recipe | Candida Diet Recipes | Natural Health Answers

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Understanding Healing Crisis

 

 What is a healing crisis?

 

 

When Changing Your Diet or Doing A Cleanse You May Have What’s Called A Healing Crisis or Herx Reaction

When a person begins using herbs and begins to make healthier food choices they may have a healing crisis indicating they are starting the detoxification process. Most people stop using the herbs as they think the herbs were making things worse. It’s really the exact opposite and they would be wise to return to those herbs, usually starting at a lower dosage and then increasing back to the suggested amount, to ride out the cleansing and healing process.

Many people are caught off guard and fail to understand and interpret the symptoms and changes which follow a change to a healthier lifestyle. Many of these symptoms and changes are unpleasant but they are short in duration and are sporadic and are a necessary part of the healing process.

Here are 8 reasons why this may happen:

  1. The body and mind begin to show changes because the quality of nutrients coming into the body is of higher, quality than the tissue of which the body is made. The body begins to discard the lower grade materials to make room for the superior materials. The discarding of the material can come through the bowel causing diarrhea, through the kidney causing back ache, through the respiratory system causing a cold or through the skin causing boils, acne, rashes, psoriasis, etc.
  2. Indigestion, heartburn, flatulence, bloating and burping usually starts soon after you start herbs. This happens because your body is not used to digesting these nutrients which often indicates that you have been deficient of these nutrients for a long time. The body’s digestion usually improves in a week or two. Taking the herbs with meals or with papaya mints will often help.
  3. Suppressed body functions will be stimulated to detoxify the body, sometimes inducing colds, diarrhea, fevers, swelling, acne, boils and vomiting. This is temporary and is part of the healing process. The body will return to at least the same level of health as before if not superior health UNLESS you do something to suppress this progress.
  4. Nervousness, headaches, fatigue, irritability and depression often happen when you cut out any artificial stimulants such as sugar, chocolate, coffee, tea, soda, tobacco, caffeine or recreational drugs. You will not get the desired result if you substitute one artificial stimulant for another. It is important at this time to rest and sleep more. Once the artificial stimulants are eliminated the body is ready for the building process. The energy of a healthy, well-nourished body is superior to any artificial stimulant.
  5. Moderate weight fluctuations often occurs (either weight loss or weight gain). If you continue the healthier lifestyle the weight will stabilize.
  6. Skin eruptions, warts, boils or acne. The skin is the largest eliminating organ, so the concept of toxins coming out through the skin is easily understood, even if it is hard to face.
  7. Aches, pains and arthritis will often get stirred up, even if you haven’t been suffering with it for years. This happens because uric acid and toxins aggravate these conditions as they are cleansed from the body.
  8. Fevers are not uncommon when dormant bacteria and virus are being cleaned out.

This sounds discouraging, but the healing crisis doesn’t last very long and the benefits of cleaning the body of these toxins and disease elements are vitally important. These bacteria, virus or toxins are going to show up sooner or later. You can either have a healthy body handle them on your terms or it will come out when it overpowers your weakened body. It is better to go through small healing crises than a full blown health crisis.

Be sure and read my post,5 Tips To Support Your Lymphatic System & Ease Your Candida Cleanse for things you can do to improve the detoxification process.

If you are in doubt about whether what you are experiencing is a normal part of healing seek professional guidance.

 

Immunity Boosting “Better than Chicken Soup” Soup Recipe

"Better than Chicken Soup" Soup Recipe | Natural Health Answers

 

Following in the foot steps of my last post about Immune Boosting Foods I thought I would share an Immunity Boosting Soup recipe that is so yummy and good for you!  It’s full of ingredients that will help keep your immune system humming along this fall and winter season. 

If you are dealing with Candida and are in the initial stages of the cleanse then you’ll want to leave out the mushrooms.  You could substitute another one of your favorite veggies like cabbage or celery if you like. 

The reason to leave out the mushrooms may not be what you think.  Yes, mushrooms are a fungus but they don’t feed Candida, however, those who have  Candida overgrowth can be very sensitive to a lot of foods and mushrooms are one of them.  They can cause allergy type reactions in someone who is experiencing Candida. So I always err on the side of caution and leave them out when doing a Candida cleanse. 

Then after things have settled down and your gut is more balanced I would start with a small amount of mushrooms and see how you feel. If you have any type of reaction to them (headaches, fatigue, bloating, gas, rashes, etc.) that can happen up to 4 days after eating then it’s recommended to leave that food out of your diet.  You could wait a few months and try this again to see if you indeed do have an intolerance to this food. 

This immunity-boosting soup is made with a virtual garden of powerful ingredients that contain beneficial nutrients for your immune system:

  • Turmeric adds a subtle flavor and a beautiful yellow color. The active ingredient is curcumin, a powerful antioxidant.
  • Black pepper also has antioxidant properties.
  • Cayenne pepper can clear congestion due to the main active compound capsaicin, which has anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Shiitake mushrooms are rich in vitamins and minerals and contain unique phytonutrients that contribute to good health.

 

Immunity Boosting "Better than Chicken Soup"
Serves 4-6
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Ingredients
  1. 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  2. 1 small yellow onion, chopped
  3. 4 cloves garlic, sliced
  4. 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  5. 8 fresh shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and sliced
  6. 4 cups low-sodium mushroom, vegetable, or chicken broth
  7. 1 1/2 cups finely sliced kale
  8. 1 cup cubed butternut squash
  9. 2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
  10. 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
  11. 6 slices astragalus root (optional)
  12. 1 fresh lemon, Juice of
  13. 1 teaspoon miso
Instructions
  1. In a sauce pot over medium-high heat, add oil and cook onion and garlic, stirring frequently, for 3 minutes.
  2. Stir in turmeric and mushrooms, and cook 2 minutes more.
  3. Add broth, kale, squash, ginger, cayenne, and astragalus. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover, and simmer 15 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat and let cool slightly, add lemon juice and miso. Cover and let sit 5 minutes before serving.
Notes
  1. Nutrition Information per Serving: 90 calories (5 from fat), 0.5g total fat, 0g saturated fat, 0mg cholesterol, 160mg sodium, 19g carbohydrate (6g dietary fiber, 5g sugar), 2g protein
  2. Dairy-free, Sugar-free, High fiber, Vegetarian
Natural Health Answers https://www.naturalhealthanswers.com/
 Whole Foods Market Soup Recipe

 

Reader Feedback: What’s your favorite cold weather soup recipe?   Link us up!

 

My Favorite Immune Boosting Foods

 

Salmon, herbs, olive oil - Immunity boosting foods.
Salmon, herbs, olive oil – immunity boosting foods.

Eating Well for Super Immunity

 A healthy immune system is vital for helping your body deal with infections caused by viruses, bacteria, candida, and environmental toxins. As the winter months approach, it becomes even more important to support your immune system by consistently eating a balanced diet, exercising, and making healthy lifestyle choices. But the real fuel for a strong immune system is using food as medicine.

Super Soup

An immunity-boosting diet includes light, easily digestible meals throughout the day, especially soup. A myriad of health benefits and flavors are derived from the herbs, vegetables, and broth. Soups also can help curtail the onset or ease the symptoms of colds and flu. Look for soups that include immunity-enhancing ingredients such as ginger, onion, garlic, mushrooms, and a variety of veggies and herbs in a broth-base. As always, food made from scratch is best!

Super-Immunity Diet Guidelines

  • Include healthy fats such as extra virgin olive oil.
  • When it comes to seasoning your foods, incorporate a variety of herbs and spices for flavor.
  • For veggies, choose steamed broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, carrots, leafy greens, and sweet potatoes.
  • Fermented foods such as miso, sauerkraut, kim chi (click for recipe) and yogurt help promote healthy intestinal flora and combat harmful bacteria in the GI tract.
  • Limit red meat; instead, eat moderate amounts of fish and poultry.
  • It’s also smart to limit sugar in your diet. Studies have shown excessive sugar intake can interfere with optimal immune system function.
  • As far as beverages, the constituents in green tea have been shown to be both anti-inflammatory and immune enhancing.

More Immune Boosting Foods

  • Cabbage (Vitamin U), cooked or raw. (Use cooked if you have hypo-thyroid issues).
  • Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs), especially as found in cold water, deep ocean fish such as herring, salmon, mackerel, sardines. Other sources of EFAs include fish oils; organic, clarified butter (Ghee), extra-virgin olive oil and organic virgin coconut oil.
  • Garlic, raw or in supplement form.
  • Fiber from fresh, organically grown vegetables and fruits. As you increase fiber in your diet, you need to increase your daily intake of pure water.
  • Seaweeds such as kelp, Nori, Dulse, Kombu, Hijiki, etc.
  • Sprouts from seeds, beans, peas, and grasses
  • Freshly made Juices from organically grown vegetables, fruits, and grasses
  • Mushrooms (Shiitake, Maitake, Rei-Shi, Ling-Zhi, etc.

Be sure and check out my “Better than Chicken Soup” immunity boosting soup recipe.

 

Cheers to your good health this winter!

 

What’s your favorite immunity-boosting food or soup? Share in the comments below!

 

References

Image: klenova/bigstockphoto.com

 

Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. Natural Health Answers only joins affiliate programs for products that Paige believes in and sincerely endorses for quality and efficacy.

 

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