5 Vegan Foods That Can Trigger Yeast Infections

February 4, 2014

mushrooms by brian yepVegans are conscious of the effects of food on the body and spirit and they know that some food (junk, stale, processed, unclean, fast) is harmful and even detrimental. But even some “healthy,” vegan-friendly foods can contribute to often pesky, sometimes even serious condition: excess yeast. Our bodies harbor microbes naturally and even healthy individuals play host to yeast. But lifestyle (too much stress, dehydration), clothing choices, and eating too much yeast-inducing foods can create an imbalance–and result in symptoms like lethargy, depression, thrush (white growth on tongue), even yeast infection (Candidiasis). If you have weakened immune system or feel prone to infections, avoid these 5 foods that can trigger excess yeast:

  1. Mushrooms. Mushrooms are not vegetables, although they are sometimes called plants. They belong in the fungi kingdom, along with yeast and mold, and can contribute to yeast infections. Mushrooms are called ignorant food in Ayurveda.
  2. Vinegar and other fermented products: pickles, yeast, miso, soy sauce, wine, etc. are highly acidic food. Vinegar is a liquid composed of acetic acid (CH3COOH) and water. The acetic acid is produced by the fermentation of ethanol by acetic acid bacteria. According to Dr. R. Young, M.D., fermenting or “aged” foods have an aging effect on the body: we grow old because when acids and toxins ferment, they produce more bacteria, yeast, fungi, and other unhealthy microbes in the gut.
  3. Peanuts. Peanuts are not technically nuts, and belong to the “legume or “bean” family. Peanuts cause intolerance and allergies in many people. Apart from that they “contain over twenty-seven yeasts and molds,” and are particularly susceptible to the mold Aspergillus flavus which produces a carcinogenic substance called aflatoxin. Due to the aflatoxin threat it’s actually required that workers dealing with peanuts wear facial masks. Cashews and pistachios also accumulate mold more readily than other nuts and may cause allergic reactions as well. All nuts require careful handling and storing, and like grains, shouldn’t be eaten if they have been stored for a long time.
  4. Corn and other genetically-modified products. It’s common knowledge that 90% of corn in the US is genetically modified (GM). We also know so far that soy, papaya, zucchini, potato, and apples are genetically modified too. But not only is corn GM, it also contains numerous carcinogenic fungi and molds, much like peanuts. The more mold- and fungi-contaminated food you consume, the more susceptible to yeast infections you become.
  5. Sugar, yeast, and wheat. Yeast thrives on sugar, so cut back on all sugary or wheat-based foods. Yeast-containing foods like leavened bread and beer should also be avoided.

Related: Daily Routine in Ayurveda

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Photo: Brian Yep via Flickr



A passionate environmentalist, Larisa Tazmin stopped consuming any kind of animal protein long ago after realizing how much resources are taken from nature and how much toxic waste is released in order to produce animal food. Having recently retired from her 9-to-5 job, Larisa is looking for an opportunity to help others lead a healthy life through lifestyle coaching based on her knowledge of plant-based alkaline living and fitness (Bikram yoga, jogging, kickboxing/karate, swimming, rebounding). Larisa's other passions are traveling, writing, and learning to dance. Larisa lives in Brooklyn, Williamsburg, and she is originally from Siberia, Russia.


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