Yeast occurs naturally in the body and in numerous foods. A yeast-free diet aims to inhibit yeast production in the body. Limiting yeast intake may reduce symptoms of candidiasis, known as a yeast infection, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. Though yeast is present in many popular foods, including most breads, beer, pretzels, wine and cakes, a wide variety of foods are yeast-free. The UMMC recommends doctor's guidance before adopting a yeast-free dietary lifestyle.
Vegetables are naturally yeast-free and provide an array of potent vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, which help combat and prevent infections and disease. While a variety of vegetables can supply broadest nutritional benefits, cookbook author Pat Connolly suggests organically grown, fresh vegetables from five vegetable categories: root vegetables such as carrots, beets and turnips; yellow or white vegetables such as cauliflower, avocado and cucumbers; stalky green vegetables such as asparagus, broccoli and celery; red, orange or purple vegetables like pumpkin, red cabbage and tomatoes; and leafy green vegetables such as spinach, kale and romaine. Washing vegetables thoroughly can prevent mold and yeast production.
Probiotics are healthy bacteria known to improve immune function and digestive health. According to the UMMC, consuming probiotics can help restore healthy balance of bacteria in the body and prevent candida overgrowth triggered by antibiotics. Valuable sources of probiotics include yogurt with live, active cultures; the yogurt-like beverage called kefir, fermented soy products, buttermilk, fermented cabbage, miso, brewer's yeast, sauerkraut and numerous fortified foods and beverages.
Grains are a valuable source of vitamins, minerals, dietary fiber and glucose--the body's primary energy source. Whole grains, such as oats, spelt, quinoa, bulgur wh eat, rice and popcorn, provide greater nutrition than refined grains. Valuable yeast-free foods made from grains include brown and wild rice, popcorn, oatmeal, rice bread, corn tortillas and tabbouleh, which is a cracked-wheat salad. Checking nutrition labels on prepared foods to ensure that yeast is not included, or for labels that specifically read "yeast-free," can ensure wellness and safety. Connolly suggests that people with candidiasis should consume grains regularly, but limit portion sizes to no more than one-quarter cup of any whole grain per meal for best results.
Protein provides amino acids, which are the building blocks of protein. Protein-rich foods also support a feeling of fullness and blood sugar balance. Most naturally protein-rich foods are devoid of yeast. Connolly recommends a variety of lean protein foods, such as lean meat, skinless poultry, fish and legumes for optimum wellness. Low-fat dairy and soy-based products also provide valuable amounts of protein, as well as vital nutrients, such as calcium, magnesium and vitamin D. Sauces, marinades and preservatives should be avoided, unless guaranteed yeast-free.
Nuts, Seeds and Plant-Based Oils
Nuts, seeds and plant-based oils provide healthy, unsaturated fat the body requires for wellness. Healthy fats are naturally yeast-free, though they may be contained within yeast-rich foods. For this reason, Connolly suggests eating whole food, natural sources most often. Sunflower oil, safflower oil, canola oil and olive oil are examples of healthy plant-based oils. Nut butters, such as peanut and almond butter, also provide healthy fats.
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Candidiasis Facts and Suggestions
- "The Candida Albicans Yeast-Free Cookbook: How Good Nutrition Can Help Fight the Epidemic of Yeast-Related Diseases"; Pat Connolly; 2000
- chicken cutlet with vegetables for lunch image by Maria Brzostowska from Fotolia.com
This article reflects the views of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Jillian Michaels or JillianMichaels.com.