Most women know the signs of a yeast infection and also understand that the overgrowth of yeast, in particular Candida Albicans, can be the result of several things. It is often the result of the use of oral contraceptives and antibiotics, as well as diets that are high-sugar, high-fat, and low-fiber. Expert dietitians, suggest that the body is suffering from an imbalance, rather than a disease and by “eating the right foods and doing the right things to make the body healthier, yeast infections can be avoided.”
One of the food dietitians suggest? Onions. What is it about onions that helps to rid the body of Candida Albicans? Onions contain a nutrient called allicin, which slows down the growth of candida and kills off bad bacteria found in the body. There are numerous studies that explore the benefits of allicin. In 1999, a review by Ankri and Mirelman cited evidence of anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-parasite, and anti-viral activity in the nutrient.
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Although they noted several health benefits, the anti-fungal properties are what impact those suffering from yeast infections. The study showed that allicin helped to fight fungal infections, specifically those associated with Candida. It is obvious that a food rich in allicin, like onions, would benefit someone attempting to fight off an overgrowth of yeast.
As if the anti-fungal properties were not enough, onions also offer overall health benefits. They assist the body by flushing out excess fluids. Since many Candida sufferers experience severe water retention, this is an additional bonus. Onions are rich in Vitamin C and other phyto-chemicals that support the immune system and its function. It also assists in improving circulatory health. Due to pungency of onions, it increases the circulation of blood and causes people to sweat. This increase in circulation has been linked to the prevention of both heart attacks and strokes. Several studies note that onions specifically contain a nutrient called quercetin, which breaks up the mucus in both the chest and head while continuing to boost the immune system. In fact, consuming raw onions (chewing on just 2 to 3 small pieces) within a few hours of the first symptoms of a cold or respiratory flu has been known to lessen the effects of the symptoms.
There are several different forms in which onions can be ingested with the most common being in liquid form as onion juice. The easiest way to create onion juice is by using a blender or juicer. In both cases, the onion would first need to be prepped. This is done by taking a large knife and cutting off one end about ½ inch from the root of the onion. Then, repeat this process at the opposite end of the onion. Remove the top layer of skin and then rinse the onion under cold tap water.
For the blender, cut the onion up into small to medium-sized pieces. Put the onions into the blender and blend on medium-high to high speed for one minute, turning the onion into a puree. Continuing doing so until complete blended. Then, take a strainer and position it over a bowl. Next, take cheesecloth and put it in the strainer before pouring the mixture in. The cheesecloth will be even finer and will force the juice through while trapping the left over onion. Use a spatula to push the juice through. With a juicer, the same task can be completed in less steps. Take the onion and prepare it by cutting both ends, peeling the skin and rinsing it. Then, cut the onion into quarters. One quarter at a time, push the onion through the juicer. No additional straining should be necessary if the juicer works correctly. The recommended dosage is 1 teaspoon of the juice is to be taken daily.
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In lieu of creating the juice at home, nutritional author, Paul Pitchford, recommends an Allium Complex. Pitchford notes in a summary of his book, Healing With Whole Foods, that the critical ingredients of the supplement are the multiple cloves of garlic, leeks and onion concentrates. Since the garlic, leeks and onions are in a capsule form, it is not released until it is in the intestinal tract, and some of the side effects can be avoided. The antibacterial and antifungal properties of garlic and onions assist in keeping the Candida at bay and therefore, prevent future occurrences.
Here is a great video by Eric Bakker explaining the numerous benefits of garlic for candida:
There are some side-effects that are a bit more negative than the benefits listed above. One common side effect is intestinal gas. The stomach struggles to digest sugars and in order to digest them, the body must pass these sugars on into the intestines. Once there, the sugars are broken down in a process that produces gas. Since onions naturally contain sugars, this consumption can produce more gas than usual. Gas production often leads to abdominal bloating, discomfort, increased flatulence and even bad breath. Bad breath has long been associated with onions and there are several common remedies. Some of the remedies align to the type of yeast-free diet that a person suffering from overproduction of Candida. One of those remedies is to have a cup of green tea. It is rich in antioxidants that can destroy the sulfurous compounds found in onions. Another remedy is citric acid. The citric flavor of lemons or limes can neutralize the odor.
Another negative side-effect of a diet high in onions could be heartburn.Heartburn is when the acids from the stomach flow in the opposite direction of digestion; in other words, these acids flow upward towards the esophagus. A study presented in 1990 and published in the “American Journal of Gastroenterology” found that those that do not normally experience heartburn would likely not develop symptoms of it even when eating raw onions. However, those that are already prone to heartburn and its symptoms, could actually experience worsened conditions after consuming raw onions.