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It’s sugar free September and in keeping with this month’s theme I write about cravings. Now, you may have heard of things like SIBO (small intestinal bacteria overgrowth) and candida, nasty little yeast overgrowths, but could they be the ‘what’ that is in control of our sugar cravings rather than our actual desires?
Let me just explain something – Candida is a type of yeast and live in everyone’s gut without a problem. It becomes a problem when the inner ecology (bacteria, fungi, yeast and cells) of the gut is out of balance. In order to maintain a healthy gastrointestinal tract (GI), good bacteria compete with Candida, SIBO and other harmful yeasts and bacteria for space within the gut. This competitive environment keeps Candida overgrowth in check. If there are not enough good bacteria in the gut (for example, after antibiotic use), or even enough varieties then Candida and SIBO can quickly grow and overtake its environment. This in turn gives you some symptoms mentioned below.
To tell if your GI is out of balance you may experience some of all of the below:
- Smelly gas
- Achy joints, especially legs and back
- Cravings for sugar, bread and dairy
- Fungal infections
- Flaky scalp
- Low moods and energy
Did you know that Candida and SIBO overgrowth fuels sugar cravings, which actually makes sense because sugar is food for Candida and other harmful organisms in the gut? This type of yeast is very clever; it’s actually asking you to give it more food to grow.
Sugar damages the immune response system (70-80% of the immune system is located in the gut), so once thrown out of balance, Candida & SIBO is more likely to irritate the intestinal wall, destroy the inner ecosystem of the gut, and move into the bloodstream.
Once the gut is irritated and damaged we are unable to absorb important nutrients from foods, which now causes more issues like food intolerances, brain fog, IBS etc.
What you can do next to get rid of sugar cravings:
- Remove the foods that feed the candida and SIBO such as gluten, dairy, artificial sugars and sweeteners; this includes maple syrup and honey for now.
- Balance your gut with beneficial bacteria found in fermented foods like pickles, sauerkraut and kimchi. A good strain of bacteria to take as a probiotic supplement would be Saccharomyces boulardiias it was found to reduce levels of Candida. 
- Drink green tea as its known to help regulate blood sugar levels. 
- Eat more good fats and protein to help keep you satisfied.
- Satisfy your sweet tooth with natural sugar such as stevia and fruit like berries, melon, bananas (help boost energy levels) and pineapple (rich in bromelain, to help lower inflammationwhile helping digestion).
- Keep busy and distract yourself, as the first week removing sugars can be the hardest. Go for a walk outside in nature, meditate or socialise with friends.
- Heal the gut by reducing your stress levels and consuming bone broths on a daily basis.
If you think your gut is inflamed or damaged then it’s a good idea to seek advice to be taken through a proper gut health protocol, which will heal the damaged gut and get back a healthy balance in the GI.
Join #sugarfreeseptember HERE
 Ducluzeau, D. and Bensaada, M. Comparative Effect of a Single or Continuous Administration of Saccharomyces Boulardii on the Establishment of Various Strains of Candida in the Digestive Tract of Gnotobiotic Mice. ANN.MICROBIOL.1982; 1338: 491-501.