Phytochemical “Superfoods” and Candida Biofilms
What are Phytochemicals?
Phytochemicals are compounds found in plants. If you have seen a label at the store that says “superfood,” a high concentration of phytochemicals is what this label indicates!
Recent research in the development of new pharmaceuticals that can treat drug resistant fungal infections has shown that certain phytochemicals found in plant extracts and essential oils have the ability to inhibit the growth of candida bioflims. Biofilms are the fortresses that candida colonies build around themselves for protection. Preventing the growth and breakdown of these biofilms is a good news for anyone struggling to balance candida levels in their microbiome.
What foods contain phytochemicals?
Most vitamins and supplements contain few to no phytochemicals, so your best way to access the benefits they have to offer is through whole foods. There is a wide variety of foods rich in phytochemicals and a diet that includes a variety of fruits and vegetables will allow you to benefit fully from what they have to offer. The following is a list of fruits and veggies that are candida friendly and pack a powerful phytochemical punch!
|Garlic, onions and leeks||Lemons|
|Legumes ||Green apples|
|Chili peppers and eggplant||Strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries|
|Brocolli, cabbage and kale||Cucumbers and tomatoes|
How can I consume more phytochemicals?
Vegatables and fruits are king when it comes to phytochemicals. To include more of them in your diet, all it takes is a little creativity. The following is a list of tips for how you can work them in across all of your meals.
Always include a veggies in your main and side dishes
Do you love rice? After the rice is cooked, fluff and stir in some precooked veggies. You can also buy bags of pre-cut vegetables like broccoli or cauliflower at the supermarket to reduce prep time even more. Stir frying vegetables to include with your meat is also a great strategy. Even better, try to include one to two vegetarian meals in your planning each week where the veggies are the main event.
Get creative with your salads
There are endless possibilities when it comes to combining veggies and fruit into different salad combinations. Try taking a look at what seasonal options are available in your area. Also, don’t forget about herbs! Adding herbs can really take your salads to the next level. Try adding some fresh chopped basil directly to your mixed greens or put it in your salad dressing and prepare to be amazed at how delicious it is!
Meal prep veggies for snacks
Have cut fresh veggies ready and on hand for when hunger strikes. Cutting up carrot sticks, cucumbers, and celery is only the beginning. Challenge yourself to eat beyond those staples and consistently try new things. Have you ever had radish chips? They go great with homemade guacamole and can be your fresh go to replacement for tortilla chips!
As we mentioned before, herbs are a great addition to salads, but don’t stop there! Experiment with different flavor combinations to elevate good meals to great ones. Try adding onions, garlic and ginger to your next dish or experiment with herbs like rosemary, basil, thyme, parsley and chives.