An expert on candida, she brings her personal experience and 18 years of private practice to help you heal and recapture your vitality. Her books include Healing Multiple Sclerosis, The Candida Cure, and The Candida Cure Cookbook.
Will you explain what candida is and why it’s becoming a popular topic of conversation in the wellness world?
Candida albicans is a harmless yeast, a type of fungus that lives naturally in everyone’s body: male, female, and child alike. In a healthy body, it lives symbiotically in a balanced environment in the gastrointestinal tract, on the mucous membranes, and on the skin. Unfortunately, this harmless yeast can overgrow and turn into an opportunistic rooted fungus causing a myriad of issues.
The major contributors of candida overgrowth are poor diet, heavy metals, alcohol, and stress, along with antibiotics, steroids, birth control pills, and hormone replacement therapy. All of the above directly or indirectly destroy good bacteria in our gastrointestinal tract, allowing yeast to take over.
Yeast thrives and multiplies in the presence of diets high in sugar, refined carbohydrates, dairy, processed foods, coffee, and alcohol. Cortisol, made by the adrenal glands, can also be a culprit in promoting yeast/fungal overgrowth when acute and chronic stress occurs. The body doesn’t care whether sugar levels are high from a poor diet or elevated cortisol—either way, it will be used as fuel to feed yeast and fungus.
Candida overgrowth and its by-products, mycotoxins, can access any organ or system in your body by way of a permeable gut. Your gut can become permeable from dysbiosis (imbalance of good to bad bacteria, namely yeast/fungus), gluten, and GMO’s. Once this occurs, undigested food particles, yeast, mycotoxins, etc. can enter the liver and bloodstream. Yeast and fungal overgrowth affect millions and are hidden causes for many who don’t feel their best each day. From fatigue, to occasional bloating, weight gain, and prostate problems, many of the ailments we have learned to live with can be traced back to one microscopic source: yeast.
Candida is becoming a popular topic because science has discovered the gastrointestinal microbiome. The microbiome is changing the paradigm of how Western medicine views and treats the body. Science now correlates gut microbes (bacteria, viruses, yeast, fungi) with overall health. My prediction is the next revolution in science will be the importance of the mycobiome, the fungal organisms of the human microbiome, not just bacteria and viruses.
You have helped many people regain their sense of wellness and vitality by balancing the yeast in their system. Diet is clearly a very important component in achieving that balance. Are there other lifestyle changes you suggest to your patients?
I feel detoxification is as necessary to get the body in balance as doing an anti-candida diet. People have to the shed the body of toxins and temporary inflammation from years of bad habits. I address common imbalances—such as blood sugar levels, taxed adrenals, and gall bladder and liver congestion—and work to cleanse the colon, blood, and lymphatic system.
Apart from diet and detoxification I make sure my clients have quality sleep, exercise regularly, hydrate properly, do breathing exercises and/or meditate, and spend more time doing what they are passionate about.
I’m guessing there may be two audiences for your new book: those who have put off going on a candida diet because they thought it would be too difficult to follow and those who are on a candida diet and find the joy is gone from eating. Is that true? And, if so, what response have you received from both of those distinct groups of people? Do you also recommend the book and the candida diet for someone simply looking to live a healthier, more balanced life?
Yes those mindsets do exist, but once you educate someone on the importance of an anti-candida program in connection with functioning at their best, and then supply them with meal ideas, product names, and delicious recipes, they feel supported and excited to do the program. In addition, as blood sugar levels balance and the yeast overgrowth is arrested, cravings for sugars and carbs dissipate, making it even easier to stick to an anti-candida diet. Most importantly, I help shift the perception away from diet and deprivation towards removing occasional inflammation and making a healthier lifestyle change. We all want to age with quality and that means making better choices and having personal accountability.
I feel the anti-candida is for everyone—those wanting to turn around a health condition, and for those wanting to live a healthier, more balanced life. Most people would love more energy, focus, and vitality, which my program helps them achieve.
What are some of the most important food guidelines that those with candida must adhere to in order to experience improvements?
For a minimum of 90 days people need to avoid alcohol, gluten, dairy, corn, fermented foods, caffeine, and sugars of all kinds, including honey and agave.
How quickly do people typically get results when starting your recommended candida diet? What types of improvements do they experience?
Within the first 30 days people usually feel 60% better, and by 90 days they feel fantastic. Typical improvements are amazing energy, brain clarity and focus, quality sleep, glowing radiant skin, a sense of lightness within the whole body, and feeling emotionally and mentally more balanced.
One chapter of your book is titled, “The Importance of Buying Organic and Local.” Will you share with us a brief summary of this chapter and tell us why you feel it is so important to avoid inorganic foods when possible?
We are living in a seabed of chemicals within our food, air, and water supply. Because of sedentary lifestyles and lack of hydration, many people's bodies are like barrels full of toxins. Toxins that do not move out of the body efficiently will inflame it and eventually create larger issues. Eating organic food is one major way we can supplement what the body needs to have optimal energy, repair itself, and reduce the toxic load. When people complain about the higher price when buying organic I say, “You are worth it!”
Will you give us a brief peek at some of your favorite recipes and tips you share in your new book?
My favorite recipes are in the dips and sauces section since people think an anti-candida diet is boring and that all they are eating is plain chicken. In the breakfast section, I like the sun-dried tomato and asparagus quiche and the gluten-free coconut-raspberry pancakes. In the dips/sauces/dressings portion, I recommend the spinach-artichoke dip, Brazil nut parmesan “cheese,” and carrot-walnut pate. In the main dishes section, my favorites are the vegan grain-free lasagna, mexican-style turkey meatloaf, and vegan sunburgers. In the soups section, the Thai-spiced kabocha squash and herbed vegetable puree are delicious and in the salads section, I really like the tri-color quinoa ginger-mint salad and creamy zucchini-noodle salad. Under the breads/snacks, I recommend the garlic-rosemary bread and arame with carrots and onions. Last but not least, under desserts are delicious coconut muffins and paleo cacao chip cookies.
I would suggest making some of the dips/sauces and bread on a Sunday to get you through the week. A batch of Brazil nut parmesan “cheese” can be kept in the freezer and used as desired on salads and vegetables. If you prepare a few items on a Sunday then you won’t feel stranded at work looking for something to eat and reaching into the candy jar.
Eating out can be really difficult for those with candida. What suggestions do you recommend for your candida patients when dining out?
Actually, eating out is not as difficult as you think. I suggest that people be mindful about what they eat but not obsessive. If there is sauce on the fish, just don’t dip every bit into the sauce. A little bit of sauce will not make or break your program. The main thing when eating out is to skip the alcohol, bread basket, and dessert. Many restaurants serve wild rice or quinoa, and it is easy to find animal protein and vegetables.
What other tips can you give us to help maintain a healthy balance of yeast and feel our best on a daily basis?
I would suggest that after a 90 day anti-candida program, supplementation is a continued part of one’s daily routine. For quality aging I suggest a good quality multivitamin/mineral, extra vitamin C, E, and D3, fish oil, free-form amino acid blend, a superfood powder, and rotating between herbal antifungals and probiotics.
To maintain balance, get out in nature and feel your stress melt away, whether it is a walk through the park or lying on a blanket on the grass. Meditate 5-20 minutes a day, which doesn’t have to be in a formal sitting position. The key to finding balance in one’s life is making time to do what you love and be with those that you love. The body will not last forever, but by honoring it with healthy conscious choices it will age with quality.
We are grateful for Ann’s wisdom and insight and encourage you to visit her website annboroch.com where you can learn more about her wonderful new cookbook. You can also follow Ann at facebook.com/AnnBorochNaturopath.
Dana Rutscher is the Practitioner Relations Manager at Hyperbiotics and possesses a vast and ever-expanding wealth of microbial health knowledge. With a graduate degree from Baylor University and a passion for helping others, Dana incorporates her enthusiasm for health and scientific discoveries into her professional pursuits and parenting. For more ideas on how you can benefit from the power of probiotics and live healthier days, be sure to subscribe to our newsletter.