Have you ever heard of spaghetti squash? If you have ever followed a low carbohydrate diet chances are that you have heard of this amazing winter squash that when cooked falls apart into spaghetti-like strands. Spaghetti squash is a low carbohydrate dieters dream, containing only 5 grams of carbohydrates per ½ cup serving. It is for this reason that it is also an ideal choice for those following the candida diet.
The candida diet also known as the anti-candida diet or yeast free diet, is the cornerstone of treatment for a condition know as candidiasis. Candidiasis is characterized by an overgrowth of Candida albicans in the intestinal system. Candida albicans is a typically benign type of yeast that is innately present in the intestinal system. Ideally Candida albicans will work in accord with “friendly” types of bacteria to create a unique intestinal microflora that helps to keep the body healthy. Unfortunately, numerous external factors enable Candida albicans to overgrow and morph into an opportunistic organism. These external factors include overuse of antibiotics, steroids, oral contraceptives, stress and diets high in processed/sugary foods. When Candida albicans overgrows the body often experiences numerous seemingly unrelated symptoms such as, joint pain, chronic fatigue syndrome, premenstrual syndrome, irritable bowel syndrome, chronic sinus infections, chronic yeast infections, chronic bacterial vaginosis, anxiety and depression. Once the delicate balance of the intestinal microflora is disrupted it is very hard to restore. The candida diet seeks to restore this balance by cutting off the food supply to the Candida albicans thereby starving and killing them. Although prescription and/or non-prescription antifungals may be necessary to treat candidiasis adhering to the candida diet is the most important part of treatment.
The candida diet eliminates yeast feeding foods and ingredients such as sugar, vinegar, processed foods, glutinous grains, dairy and fruit. The diet also requires eating only moderate amounts of complex carbohydrates and high-starch vegetables. This leaves low-starch vegetables, meat, poultry and fish to be enjoyed freely. With all of these limitations you can see why the spaghetti squash can be such an important food for the candida diet. The Spaghetti squash is extremely versatile and can be eaten as a side dish with meat, poultry or fish or enjoyed as the main course replacing some of those complex carbohydrates. Spaghetti squash works great as a main course and can be used instead of pasta in your favorite recipes. Additionally, spaghetti squash is an excellent source of vitamins A, B and C, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and potassium. It is pretty readily available year round and will stay fresh for several weeks when stored at room temperature. Spaghetti squash is very easy to cook as you can bake, boil, steam or even microwave it.
For more information on living yeast free by following the candida diet visit Yeast Free Living.