Does Eating Yeast Cause Yeast Infections?
If you suffer from frequent vaginal yeast infections, you may be wondering why it happens. Is it caused by your sexual practices? Maybe by intimate hygiene products you use? Or perhaps the things you eat? While there are many factors that can trigger a vaginal yeast infection, in this article I’ll focus on whether eating yeast can cause yeast infections.
You may have heard your health practitioner advising you to cut down on your yeast intake to avoid yeast infections. I think it comes from a presumption that all yeast are the same and if you ingest yeast, you enable the yeast that colonizes your body to thrive and breed. Turns out it’s not true at all, eating yeast doesn’t cause yeast infections, here’s why:
- Yeast infections are called by Candida strains, such as Candida albicans or Candida galbrata. The yeast strain used in brewing beer and baking is usually Saccharomyces cerevisiae and they’ve got no effect on Candida whatsoever. So eating yeasty foods, such as bread or beer, cannot trigger Candida infections.
- What’s more, yeast in baked foods, such as bread or cakes, is already dead and therefore inactive. Yeast cells die at the temperature of 130° F–140° F (55° C–60° C) while bread is usually baked when the internal temperature reaches 200 F or 100 C.
- However, if you want to avoid a yeast infection, you should still avoid drinking beer. It’s not because of the yeast in contains, but because of alcohol. Alcohol can upset friendly bacteria balance in your body, making you more vulnerable to yeast infections.
Nutritional Yeast Offers Many Health Benefits
Another reason why you shouldn’t try to ditch nutritional yeast from you diet are the health benefits it offers:
- 2 tablespoons of nutritional yeast provide 52% of the recommended daily amount of protein.
- It’s packed with nutrients, high in fiber, B vitamins and folic acid.
- Beta-glucans found in nutritional yeast stimulate the body’s immune system. They are also shown to lower LDL cholesterol levels.
- Studies show that beta-glucans can prevent tumor formation and the development of cancer.
What substances should you avoid to lower the risk of a yeast infection?
If you want to prevent a vaginal yeast infection, make sure you steer clear from:
- Caffeine: Foods that contain caffeine (such as coffee or chocolate) can heighten your cortisol levels. If cortisol levels stay high for a prolonged period of time, it can weaken your immune system making you more prone to infection.
- Alcohol: Alcohol disrupts your bacterial flora causing friendly bacteria to die making you more susceptible to infection. In the absence of friendly bacteria (probiotics) Candida has perfect conditions to thrive. You can counteract the damaging effect of alcohol on your bacterial flora by taking probiotic supplements or using vaginal probiotic suppositories.
- Sugar: Studies show that eating sugar can cause heightened levels of sugar in the vaginas of women suffering from impaired glucose tolerance. Sugar provides nutrition to Candida making it easier for the yeast to thrive and spread. If you suffer from recurring yeast infections, it’s worth checking your glucose tolerance.
- Antibiotics: While killing harmful bacteria, they also cause friendly bacteria to die, creating perfect conditions for Candida to colonize your vagina and transform into a full-blown yeast infection in no time. To counteract the effect of antibiotics on your vaginal flora, take antifungal medication during your treatment as a preventative measure and use probiotic supplements during and at least a week after your antibiotic treatment is finished.
There is a lot you can do to prevent a vaginal yeast infection, but cutting down on yeast is not one of them. By boosting your immune system and providing nutrients it can actually protect you against yeast infections and all other kinds of infections you may experience when your defenses are low. So keep enjoying yeast-rich foods and stay healthy.
If you’ve got any questions or comments, please don’t hesitate to share them in the comment section below.