What Causes a Yeast Infection?
Before you can treat a yeast infection, it is important to understand what causes it, and what foods you can eat to prevent a yeast infection. Yeast infections are caused by a fungi which is known as "candida." While candida is commonly found in the intestine, stomach, mouth, and even vaginal canal, an overgrowth of the fungus leads to the diagnosis of a yeast infection. While yeast infections can cause irritation symptoms including burning, itching, and general tenderness, yeast infections can be treated and even prevented through the use of proper nutrition.
Eating yogurt on a regular basis is one of the best ways to effectively treat a yeast infection. Yogurt contains Lactobacillus acidophilus, which can treat and prevent yeast infections. While L.acidophilus has been naturally found in yogurt for centuries, some companies are now beginning to sell L. acidophilus dietary supplements. These yogurt "shots" contain probiotics that reestablish the integrity of the digestive system, of which the vagina is a part. Finally, several pharmaceutical companies now sell L. acidophilus in capsule form. It is important to be aware that consuming L acidophilus in this form rather than in its natural state may not provide the same degree of relief.
Like yogurt, cranberry juice has been used for years as a natural home remedy–but traditionally, cranberry juice is used to treat urinary tract infections, not yeast infections. While cranberry juice does not actually kill the bacteria found in the urinary canal, it is mostly used as a means to restore the balance of "good" bacteria in the urethra. Therefore, drinking cranberry juice can also act as a probiotic in the vagina, and reestablish the growth of healthy bacteria. As with L. acidophilus, pharmaceutical companies have begun selling cranberry in the pill form. While these capsules may be a good option for indivuals who do not like or are unable to tolerate cranberry juice, it is important to be aware that effectiveness may vary.
Chaste berry, raspberry leaf, and ginger teas are all effective in the treatment of yeast infections. While these herbs are most effective when used in the natural state (such as in a tea), they can also be found in pill form. If you are taking any other medications, be sure to consult with your doctor or another medical professional before taking these supplements, as they may interefere with some medications.
Water is crucial in the treatment of a yeast infection. While water, in and of itself doesn’t have any nutritional benefit, it is known to remove toxins and help in the promotion of a health digestive system. Consider replacing large amounts of coffee and soda with water or fruit juice, as they have dehydrating properties. For optimal results, drink between 48 and 64 ounces of water per day. Learning these dietary suggestions helps one know what foods to eat to prevent yeast infections