Are you following the Candida diet and wondering if you can still enjoy some delicious shrimp?
The answer is yes, but with a few important considerations. Shrimp can be a healthy addition to your diet, but only if you choose the right kind.
In this article, we’ll explore the quality of shrimp available in the U.S. and how it can impact your gut health. We’ll also discuss the benefits of shrimp and why it’s important to include it in moderation.
So, let’s dive in and find out if shrimp is a friend or foe on the Candida diet.
Can You Eat Shrimp On Candida Diet?
Shrimp is allowed on the Candida diet, but it’s important to choose the right kind. The quality of shrimp can have a significant impact on your gut health, so it’s essential to be mindful of where your shrimp comes from.
In the U.S., about 90% of shrimp is imported from countries that don’t have the same standards when it comes to contamination. This means that the shrimp may contain harmful compounds like antibiotics and pesticides. To avoid these contaminants, it’s best to choose wild-caught shrimp that has a low contamination level.
Wild-caught shrimp is a healthier option because it’s harvested in a natural environment and has fewer contaminants. If you’re going to eat shrimp regularly, it’s worth the effort to find a reliable supply of wild-caught shrimp. While it may be more expensive, it’s a small price to pay for cleaner and healthier shrimp.
Understanding The Candida Diet
The Candida diet is a strict diet that aims to alleviate the symptoms of Candida overgrowth. Candida is a fungus that is commonly found in the human body, but an overgrowth of this fungus can lead to infections. The Candida diet removes all sources of flour, sugar, and yeast from your diet and encourages lean proteins, non-starchy vegetables, and healthy fats, as well as several supplements to encourage the process.
The idea behind the Candida diet is to stave off yeast overgrowth and use compounds through food and supplements that support the die-off of yeast and the removal of this yeast and its by-products out of the body. However, the effectiveness of the Candida diet is unsupported by scientific evidence, and many experts disagree with the idea that this diet is necessary in the first place.
Research in this area is pretty sparse, and even though it often gets blamed for a lot of things, we don’t really know what causes Candida overgrowth and whether the Candida diet even works. Currently, no research has been able to definitively support the use of a low-sugar diet to treat Candida overgrowth. Some research has suggested that certain carbohydrates or sugars may promote yeast growth, but more definitive research is needed.
The completed research has been largely done in vitro (test tube), which can’t replace human studies. The way organisms behave in a test tube is not necessarily the same as how they behave in the human body. One perspective paper has offered initial promise, noting that yes, as has been well established, the gut microbiome is an important player in health, and that Candida, an “opportunistic” pathogen in the GI tract, can likely also affect digestion and immunity, though more research is needed to understand exactly how.
A pilot study on 120 patients with chronic intestinal Candida overgrowth found that a group that was treated with antifungal medication and who followed a specific diet (one with no simple sugars, alcohol, cured and fatty meats, or dairy) during and after treatment were more likely to have normalized Candida levels three months later than individuals who used medication only. The researchers wrote that there was no established diet to treat the condition, but the study results were “encouraging.”
The Nutritional Benefits Of Shrimp
Shrimp is a highly nutritious food that can provide several health benefits. It’s an excellent source of protein, with a 3-ounce serving of steamed shrimp containing about 20 grams of protein, which is 40% of the recommended daily value (DV). Protein is essential for building and repairing tissues, and it can also help keep you fuller for longer, aiding in weight management and fueling exercise.
Shrimp is also a rich source of several vitamins and minerals. It’s an excellent source of vitamin B12, providing 59% of the DV in a 3-ounce serving. Vitamin B12 is essential for nerve function and the production of red blood cells. Shrimp also provides phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, zinc, and selenium. These minerals are essential for bone health, muscle function, and overall health.
Shrimp contains omega-3 fatty acids and the antioxidant astaxanthin, which can promote heart and brain health. Omega-3 fatty acids can help reduce inflammation in the body, lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels, and reduce the risk of heart disease. Astaxanthin is a powerful antioxidant that can protect against oxidative stress and inflammation in the body.
Despite its high cholesterol content, shrimp has not been found to have a negative impact on heart health. In fact, studies have shown that eating shrimp may improve heart health due to its content of omega-3 fatty acids.
The Quality Of Shrimp Available In The U.S.
The quality of shrimp available in the U.S. can vary significantly, so it’s crucial to know what to look for when choosing your shrimp. One of the most readily available domestic shrimp is Gulf shrimp, which has a more pronounced minerality due to the muddier environment caused by low tide. However, Gulf shrimp may not be the most flavorful option and are often used as a “utility” seafood.
On the other hand, U.S. wild-caught white shrimp is a smart seafood choice because it is sustainably managed and responsibly harvested under U.S. regulations. This type of shrimp is also less likely to contain harmful contaminants like antibiotics and pesticides. It’s important to note that about 90% of shrimp in the U.S. is imported from countries with lower standards for contamination, so it’s best to choose wild-caught shrimp whenever possible.
Another option is the Coonstripe or Pink Striped shrimp, which are native to Northern Canadian waters and have a unique body shape with a rounded head and curved body. These medium-sized shrimp are naturally sweet and popular for poaching or chilled in salads.
How Shrimp Can Impact Your Gut Health On The Candida Diet
When it comes to the Candida diet, some animal proteins may create an environment in your intestines that can lead to a Candida overgrowth. However, consuming shrimp in moderate quantities is generally safe. Shrimp is a good source of protein and can be a healthy addition to your diet, as long as you choose the right kind.
Studies have shown that the gut bacterial microbiota of shrimps is closely related to the environmental factors, host developmental stage, and health status, just like that of humans and animals. Additionally, the mycobiota (fungal microbiota) in the digestive tract of shrimp also plays a key role in host growth, metabolism, and homeostasis.
The hepatopancreas and intestinal mycobiota of Litopenaeus vannamei, a type of shrimp, are dominated by the phyla Ascomycota and Basidiomycota, and the genera Alternaria, Tuber, Hortaea, Sarocladium, and Stagonospora. However, sick shrimps had a higher level of potential pathogenic fungus, Candida in the intestine. Healthy shrimps had a higher abundance of the genera Didymella and Filobasidium in the gut and Pyrenochaetopsis in the hepatopancreas.
While shrimp is generally safe on the Candida diet, it’s important to choose wild-caught shrimp that has a low contamination level. Wild-caught shrimp is harvested in a natural environment and has fewer contaminants than farmed shrimp. Additionally, some studies suggest that including a commercial yeast cell wall (YCW) extract complex in a formulated diet can promote animal performance and gut health in shrimp.
Moderation Is Key: How Much Shrimp Can You Eat On The Candida Diet?
As with any food, moderation is key when it comes to consuming shrimp on the Candida diet. While shrimp is allowed, it’s important not to overdo it. Eating too much shrimp can lead to congestion in the liver, which can exacerbate Candida symptoms.
It’s recommended to limit your consumption of shrimp to a few times a week and to choose smaller portions. It’s also essential to pair your shrimp with other gut-healthy foods like vegetables and whole grains. By doing so, you’ll be able to enjoy the benefits of shrimp without compromising your gut health.
Delicious And Healthy Shrimp Recipes For The Candida Diet
If you’re following the Candida diet and looking for delicious and healthy shrimp recipes, here are a few ideas to get you started:
1. Garlic Shrimp Zucchini Noodles: This recipe is a great way to incorporate more vegetables into your diet while still enjoying some pasta. Simply sauté garlic and onion over low heat until tender, then add in some wild-caught shrimp and zucchini noodles. You can also use a 50-50 blend of zucchini noodles and whole wheat pasta noodles if you prefer.
2. Shrimp Scampi with Chicken Stock: This classic shrimp dish is usually made with white wine, but for a Candida-friendly version, you can use chicken stock instead. Sauté garlic and onion in a pan, then add in some wild-caught shrimp and chicken stock. Serve over some zucchini noodles or whole wheat pasta for a satisfying meal.
3. Spicy Shrimp Stir-Fry: This recipe is perfect for those who like a little heat in their meals. Sauté some garlic, ginger, and red pepper flakes in a pan, then add in some wild-caught shrimp and your favorite vegetables (such as bell peppers, broccoli, and snow peas). Serve over some brown rice or quinoa for a filling and flavorful meal.
Remember to always choose wild-caught shrimp for the best quality and health benefits. With these delicious and healthy recipes, you can enjoy shrimp while still sticking to your Candida diet plan.