Tips to Reduce Your Chance of Getting a Yeast Infection

Yeast infections can be stubborn, recurring even after successful treatment with medicines and antifungal creams. For that reason, prevention is the best option, and you can start with that yogurt in the refrigerator.

Eating foods that strengthen the immune system is also smart because they may help fortify your body against many types of infection, so you might avoid the antibiotics that make you vulnerable to yeast infections.

Nutrition Connection

Follow these tips to reduce your chance of getting a yeast infection:

-Enjoy yogurt. Yogurt is cultured with lactobacillus, a “friendly” bacteria that inhibits the growth of Candida albicans and also makes it harder for it to adhere to the vaginal walls. Make sure you choose yogurt with live, active cultures, particularly L. acidophilus. Avoid sweetened yogurts, because sugar can worsen a yeast infection.

-Get some garlic. Garlic is a powerful bacteria fighter. But only recently have scientists discovered that garlic’s little bulbs are packed with antioxidants, so eating plenty of garlic should also help keep your immune system running at full steam. Garlic is most effective when eaten raw, so chop some and add it to salads, salsa, and pasta dishes.

-Try some fermented foods. Foods like sauerkraut, tempeh (a fermented soy product), kefir (a yogurtlike drink), and miso contain probiotics that in theory could work against the candida fungus in the same way as lactobacillus does.

-Ditch the sweet stuff. Yeasts love sugars—in fact, they thrive on them. To starve the troublemakers, make a conscious effort to cut back. That means avoiding fruit juices, sweetened breakfast cereals, ice cream, and desserts as well as anything made with high-fructose corn syrup, like soft drinks and packaged cookies or candy. Try to satisfy your sweet tooth with fruits like cherries, grapes, and fresh apricots or, better yet, have some sweet, crunchy carrots.

Beyond the Diet

-Rinse out thrush. Gargling with a warm salt-water rinse: ½ tsp (2.5 mL) of salt to 1 cup (237 mL) of warm water can speed healing and help kill the yeast.

-Keep dry and airy down below. Dry yourself off after bathing, don’t wear tight panties, and change out of a wet swimsuit as soon as you can. Candida thrive in warm, moist environments.

-Stick with cotton. Undies made of synthetic fabrics increase sweating in the genital area.

-Avoid soap and fragranced cleansers. These can irritate sensitive skin as can feminine hygiene products.
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