You might have heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day and I’m here to tell you that it most definitely is! Eating breakfast helps set the tone for the rest of the day from a metabolic standpoint. Breaking the overnight fast is a pivotal time to nourish the body with nutrient dense foods to set yourself up for success for the rest of the day. Eating the right types of foods at breakfast such as protein, healthy fats and fibre helps to stabilize blood sugar levels which provides a ton of metabolic benefits. Some of these benefits include sustained energy (reduces the instance of experiencing an afternoon energy crash), concentration, improvement in sleep, hormone balance, and more.
When struggling with Candida overgrowth, one of the most imperative things to do while cleansing is to get blood sugar under control. One of the best ways to do that is to first look at diet and how we can improve our current eating practices to make them support healthy blood sugar levels daily. As we know, Candida loves carbohydrates and sugar so it’s best to ditch the sweet breakfasts and turn to more nutrient dense breakfast foods that help eliminate Candida from the gut.
The main reason why balancing blood sugar is so important when it comes to candida cleansing is because of its effect on the adrenal glands. If we don’t eat breakfast or if we don’t eat a well balanced breakfast, this can lead to a drop in blood sugar. When blood sugar drops too low, it triggers the adrenal glands to secrete cortisol (our stress hormone) in an attempt to raise blood sugar levels, which can become really taxing on the adrenals overtime. This is especially a problem if the adrenal glands are already in a stressed or burnt out state as the chronic release of cortisol creates an inflammatory environment and this is ultimately where candida can thrive. Cravings are also a side effect of blood sugar dropping too low and this is when we crave quick energy food sources which are usually carbs and sugar. By now we know that candida also craves and feeds off these sorts of foods, so it’s one of the top priorities to get blood sugar stable to avoid a situation that favours candida overgrowth.
The importance of eating breakfast while on the candida cleanse is such an overlooked aspect due to so much conflicting nutrition information that’s out there. Fasting in particular is one that comes to mind. If candida overgrowth, adrenal fatigue, stress, and blood sugar management are current concerns for you then fasting may unfortunately work against you. For the reason being, Candida is a pleomorphic organism, meaning it will continue to pleomorph into its pathogenic forms when it has an ideal environment (acidic and inflammatory). When blood sugar drops and spikes, cortisol and inflammation spike too, which favours this environment for candida to overgrow. Therefore, any form of metabolic stress needs to be addressed when candida is present and this is why blood sugar management is a great place to start.
Consuming a healthy well balanced breakfast that is high in protein provides the body with fuel, helping us feel satiated after eating. If you think of the types of breakfasts that are commonly advertised to us, they are very carbohydrate heavy and lacking nutrition. These types of breakfast foods like pancakes, toast, bagels, cereal, potatoes, french toast, etc being carbohydrate dominant will be very quickly digested where it will turn to glucose, leading to a major blood sugar spike, and within a couple hours you will likely be starving again. This is a classic example of poor blood sugar balance through diet. Amino acids from protein take longer to digest in the stomach and therefore provide a steady release of energy to the body without the crashes or feeling hungry 1-2 hours later. Amino acids from protein are also the major building blocks for most hormones and so a high protein breakfast is one of the best ways to balance hormones first thing in the morning.
Along with protein, including healthy fats is another key nutrient needed in a well balanced breakfast to boost metabolic function and manage blood sugar. Fats also take longer to digest compared to carbohydrates so it is to your benefit to include some healthy fats into not only breakfast but every meal to assist with metabolic function and energy. Some examples of healthy fats include: ghee, grass-fed butter, extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil, etc.
Sometimes it can be hard to know what types of foods to eat while on a Candida cleanse especially when it comes to breakfasts so I want to share some options (including plant based) that are delicious and a perfect way to start your mornings!
Try these out:
Scrambled eggs with a side of coconut yogurt, chia seeds, and 1/2 a pear.
Buckwheat porridge with protein powder, berries, nuts or seeds, and/or nut or seed butter. Check out my favourite candida friendly protein powders here.
Tofu scramble. When purchasing tofu, try to buy organic and non-GMO when possible. Sprouted is also preferred if it is available.
Let me know if you try any of these recipes!