8 Healthy Foods & Drinks That Will Cure Your Yeast Infection
I’m convinced that there is nothing more irritating and uncomfortable than a vaginal yeast infection that pops up out of nowhere. If you have a vagina then there is a 75% chance that you will have at least one yeast infection in your lifetime. A vaginal yeast infection is a fungal infection of the vagina and/or tissues at the opening of the vagina that is characterized by an intense itching, swelling and burning sensation within and around the vagina. A vaginal yeast infection occurs when the “good bacteria” called lactobacillus does not have the ability to keep the naturally occurring microorganisms in the vaginal area in check due to an imbalance in the body. This imbalance can be due to eating too many sugary foods, a hormonal imbalance due to your menstrual cycle or antibiotics from medication, meat and dairy products. Antibiotics tend to lower the amount of lactobacillus that is present in the body.
The good news is that it is possible to prevent future vaginal fungal infections and cure your current yeast infection naturally. Consuming foods and beverages that are rich in probiotics like lactobacillus will help you maintain an acidic environment in the body, which is what you will need in order to prevent and/or eliminate the growth of the harmful bacteria that is causing the fungal infection.
The list of foods and drinks below will provide you with the “good bacteria” that your body needs in order to stay healthy. Since probiotics are not naturally produced in the body, it’s important that you are consuming these foods and beverages on a regular basis.
Strains of healthy bacteria are naturally present in greek yogurt. Some brands also add these strains of bacteria to their regular yogurts, if you don’t really care for the bitter taste of greek yogurt. There are also non-dairy yogurts that are made from coconut milk that contain live and active cultures too.
2) Dark Chocolate
Dark chocolate is also a great source of probiotics. The dark chocolate must be made of at least 70% cacao or higher to get the benefits of the healthy bacteria without all the added sugar or fats. Just make sure it’s made of cacao and NOT cocoa. Cocoa is harvested cacao seeds that have been refined which means some of its nutritional value has been removed.
3) Kombucha Tea
Kombucha is black tea and natural sugar that has been fermented. The sugar disappears by the end of the fermentation process depending on how long it has been fermenting. After fermentation the kombucha becomes carbonated with vinegar, b-vitamins, enzymes and probiotics.
4) Sour Pickles
Pickles can also be a good source of probiotics. Look for pickles that have been brined in water and sea salt instead of vinegar. Fermenting pickles without the use of vinegar is known as lacto-fermentation. The salt reacts with the natural bacteria that is on the cucumbers which creates strains of healthy bacteria.
Sauerkraut is simply cabbage that has been fermented in salt water. It’s important to have the correct amount of salt in the water if you want to make your own homemade sauerkraut. This will assure that the live cultures of lactic acid bacteria and friendly yeast will thrive without allowing the harmful bacteria to multiply.
Olives that have been brined in salt water undergo a natural fermentation process, which produces two strains of live cultures from the lactic acid bacteria that is naturally present on the olives.
Kefir is a tangy and delicious beverage that taste like drinkable yogurt. Its made with kefir grains and fermented milk from a cow, goat or sheep. There are also kefir drinks that are made with coconut milk or coconut water for people who prefer not to drink milk from an animal.
Kimchi is traditionally a Korean dish that is becoming popular among many cultures. It’s normally a mixture of cabbage, hot pepper flakes, radish, carrots, garlic, ginger, onion, salt and fish sauce. It is set aside to ferment for a few days or a couple of weeks. Kimchi is often used as a condiment due to its pungent taste and spiciness.
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~Image courtesy of Istock
You should consult your physician to recieve a professional diagnosis and get more advice about whether it’s safe for you to incorporate any of these items into your diet.