If you often feel draggy — and have joint stiffness, headaches, or abdominal discomfort — you could have too much yeast in your digestive tract. While it’s normal to have a little yeast there, too much can cause a buildup in toxins that the yeast releases, in turn depleting your energy stores, slowing your metabolism, and increasing allover inflammation and achiness. It could also lead to a yeast infection. Here’s how to keep your yeast level in check.
Consuming 1/2 tsp. of Ceylon cinnamon daily — for instance, on toast, in your coffee or mixed into yogurt — helps stall the growth of troublesome yeast within two weeks, reveals a study in the journal Mycopathologia. Ceylon (aka “true”) cinnamon’s essential oils stop yeast cells from reproducing, explains study coauthor Tony Costa, Ph.D.
Eat more broccoli.
Another benefit to eating this superfood: Three cups weekly is shown to force intestinal yeast cells to expire 50 percent faster than normal. When the sulfur compounds in broccoli are absorbed by yeast cells, they reportedly switch on the genes that speed the aging of those cells.
Take a probiotic.
A daily capsule of a mixed probiotic supplement can reduce the amount of
yeast in your digestive tract as much as 37 percent, reports the journal Critical Care Medicine. These healthy bacteria produce acids that kill invading yeast on contact, says study author Suresh Kumar, M.D.
One option: Renew Life Women’s Probiotic ($16.89, Amazon).
Cook with coconut oil.
This healthy oil is rich in two natural antifungals called lauric and caprylic acids, which destroy up to 45 percent of yeast cells by splitting open their protective outer wall, Stanford University studies show. The study-proven
dose: two tablespoons unrefined coconut oil daily in place of other fats.
Cut back on sweets.
Yeast cells love sugar, so this is a simple way to stall their growth. Find that
difficult because you have a sweet tooth? Taking 1,500 mg. of the amino
acid L-glutamine (like this one from NOW Foods: $7.68, Amazon) daily for four weeks can dampen cravings, helping up to 75 percent of us adjust to a lower-sugar diet, say University of Missouri researchers.
This story originally appeared in our print magazine.