Arugula, chard, collards, dandelion, kale, lettuce, mustard greens, spinach, Swiss chard and watercress are some of the leafy greens that are associated with numerous health benefits like lowering blood pressure, preventing heart disease and keeping cancer at bay.
The variety of health benefits of leafy greens on the Candida Diet make a solid case for incorporating these foods into your daily meal planning.
These green vegetables are packed with nutrients like vitamins A, C, K and minerals like iron, calcium and potassium. They also contain phytonutrients which make them vital for the Candida diet because of the following reasons:
Leafy greens reduce inflammation
A study found that vitamin D reduces the inflammation caused by Candida (1). This finding makes leafy green foods which contain vitamin D (2) important for treating Candida overgrowth since it is associated with chronic inflammation.
Spinach also contains omega 3 fatty acids which further reduces inflammation in the body.
In addition, spinach, kale and almost all the other dark green leafy vegetables are excellent sources of potent antioxidants like vitamins A and C which reduce the harmful effects of inflammatory processes.
Leafy greens boost the immune system
The vitamin C obtained from these leafy green vegetables also boosts the immune system. This helps the body manage infections by Candida and other microorganisms better.
Leafy greens reduce constipation
Leafy green vegetables are good sources of fiber which aids bowel regularity and reduces the constipation associated with Candida overgrowth.
Leafy greens support good gut bacteria
Leafy green vegetables contain ample amounts of chlorophyll and this enables them to enhance the growth of acidophilus which are the good bacteria that control the population of Candida.
Leafy greens alkalize the body
The human body functions best when it has a slightly alkaline pH. However various processes and Candida overgrowth tip the balance towards an acidic pH.
Consuming leafy green vegetables like spinach, kale, turnip greens and Swiss chard is one of the healthiest and simplest way of neutralizing the acidic environment and optimizing vitality by alkalizing the body. These greens provide the body with the calcium and potassium it needs to maintains itself at a pH of 7.365.
Additional benefits of leafy greens on the Candida Diet include:
Leafy greens aid detoxification
Leafy green vegetables are good sources of magnesium which helps the body detoxify naturally. Their cholorophyll content also helps cleanse the body. By aiding detoxification, they keep the body in a state in which it is best able to prevent Candida colonization.
Leafy greens boost energy
Leafy green vegetables contain the B complex vitamins which are used by the body to produce energy. They are also great sources of iron whose deficiency is associated with lethargy. They can therefore help counter the fatigue that is associated with Candida overgrowth.
Leafy greens are low sugar foods
Leafy green vegetables are low sugar foods and thus they do not feed the Candida. In addition, their low sugar content ensures that they do not cause sugar cravings.
Reaping the benefits of leafy greens
To reap these Candida healing benefits, buy organic leafy greens and swish them in clean water several times before consuming them.
Ensure that you consume them each day so that you can reach the US Department of Agriculture recommendations of eating three cups each week.
Leafy greens can be used to prepare Candida approved salads by mixing them with cucumbers, tomatoes, and a little olive oil or another yeast free salad dressing.
They can also be blended with avocados, almonds, ice and almond milk to make anti-Candida green smoothies. Those with wide leaves like collards can be used as wrappers instead of tortillas.
Blending leafy greens is a great option for those who are quite ill since it makes them easier to digest as the plant fibers are broken down into a pulp. Juicing is even better since it removes the indigestible fiber from the plants and leaves the nutrients from the leaves readily available for assimilation.
In addition to eating them raw, leafy greens can also be cooked in numerous ways. For example they can grilled, steamed or stir fried in coconut oil and flavored with spices with antifungal properties like ginger, cumin and sage. The can also be mixed with water, onions and garlic and used to make Candida cleanse broths.
Persons who cannot tolerate consuming fresh leafy greens, can purchase their powdered forms. These powders can be consumed after adding them to water or smoothies.