There are certain foods, which are called Prebiotics that feed your friendly bacteria and help them proliferate on their own. They are employed to promote both beneficial bacteria which are already established in the gut. It’s like pouring on fertilizer so they can grow! How’s this done? Well, they travel to the gut intact and are fermented by the friendly bacteria that reside there, giving them the ability to grow and flourish. However, in terms of taking prebiotics on the Candida diet, they should be AVOIDED until after you’ve got rid of the infection, as most likely they will just feed Candida.
Prebiotics are critical to restoring the health of your microbiome, and therefore the health of your body, as the microbes they feed. One of the main differences of Prebiotic fiber is that it’s not as fragile as probiotic bacteria because it’s not affected by heat, stomach acid, or time!
As your bacteria in the colon digest prebiotic fiber, they produce what’s called short chain fatty acids (SCFAs), which produce a myriad of benefits such as:
1. Reducing Inflammation
These short chain fatty acids that are produced are associated with decreased inflammation throughout the body.
2. Preventing Leaky Gut
SCFAs help strengthen the permeability of the gut, playing a key role in preventing leaky gut which Candida most likely contributed to in the first place. They do this by preventing the gut from becoming leaky again and by stopping toxins being reabsorbed, this will go a long way to preventing reinfection.
3. Balancing Gut pH
SCFAs reduce the pH of the intestinal lining, which makes the gut more acidic (we want an acidic gut) and less hospitable to Candida reappearing.
4. Boosting Vitamin & Nutrient Absorption
With a better working gut, you can absorb more of the nutrients you digest from your food. The more nutrients you absorb, the stronger your immune system becomes and the better you can fight Candida or other pathogenic organisms.
5. Increasing Insulin Sensitivity
Prebiotics improve insulin sensitivity, contributing to reduced sugar cravings and keeping your appetite under control.
Variation is Key
Just like probiotics, one of the key points here is that you need to focus on a diversity of prebiotics in either food or supplement form. So go for lots of variations with a plant-heavy diet that includes plenty of pre- and probiotic foods. These would include:
Fruits: Unripe green bananas, kiwis, apples, wild blueberries, tomatoes.
Roots: dandelion, chicory, burdock.
Vegetables + herbs: spinach, asparagus, Jerusalem artichoke, garlic, leeks, onions.
Whole, unrefined grains: millet, quinoa, barley, buckwheat, oats.
Fermented Foods: sauerkraut, miso, kefir.
Nuts and Seeds: flax, chia, pistachios.
Prebiotics: How Much Do You Need?
You should be looking to consume 5 grams (5000mgs) of prebiotics foods daily. In order to achieve the optimal amount to regrow your microbiome after a Candida infection, you should be looking at consuming both supplement and whole food form.
Here are some helpful tips to increasing your prebiotics foods into your diet:
Soak your oats overnight and add in organic blueberries and flax seeds.
Sprinkle chia seeds in your smoothies.
Stir fry garlic, onions and Jerusalem artichokes as a side dish.
Enjoy an apple and a handful of pistachios for a tasty, simple snack.
Make a salad of dandelion greens, tomatoes and quinoa.