Today fellow wellness enthusiasts, I’d like to take you on a journey into the world of fungus. We’ll explore foods that are high in fungus, what fungus is, diseases associated with it, a test you can try at home, and then we will round things out with anti-fungal foods and natural remedies.
I think we would all agree that the thought of actually eating fungus – putting it in our mouths, chewing it up, and swallowing it down – is pretty gross, maybe even repulsive and disgusting? Now how would you feel about it, if I told you we have all been eating fungus our entire lives? Yes it’s true, but fear not my friends – because below are some easy tips for how and why to change your course on this.
We’ll start by identifying the top 4 sources of fungus in our food supply.
Although there are plenty of other foods and alternate ways for fungus to enter our bodies, for now we’ll keep it simple and stick with these four.
Number one is YEAST. If you’ve ever eaten yeast or anything with yeast in it, you’ve eaten fungus. This includes eating bread or pizza, rolls or muffins, bagels or croissants, cake or cup cakes, or even drinking wine or beer. We know this because all of these items (and many others) are prepared with yeast, which is a mold, which is a fungus.
Second on our list is CORN. If you’ve ever eaten corn in any form, you’ve eaten fungus. This includes eating corn on the cob, from a can, corn tortillas or corn chips, corn bread or muffins, corn flakes, pop-corn, corn starch, corn meal, corn syrup, corn oil; or any products containing corn of any form. We know this because of the reports on file with the Department of Agriculture, pertaining to fungus infestation of corn crops across the country.
Third up are PEANUTS. If you’ve ever eaten a peanut, you’ve eaten fungus. This includes eating them plain or dry roasted, salted or unsalted, peanut butter, peanut oil, Thai peanut sauce, or any food item with peanuts in it. We know this because peanut crops are recognized worldwide for their dangerous levels of fungus and fungal byproducts.
Number four is the elephant in the room, — the unassuming little MUSHROOM. If you’ve ever eaten any type of mushroom, you’ve eaten fungus. This includes eating them cooked or raw, traditional, exotic, medicinal varieties — or even ‘the other kind’… We all know this, because mushrooms themselves are fungus.
To be perfectly honest, I’m not sure who the first guy was who went out to the cow pasture after a rain storm, spotted a big pile of cow dung with mushrooms growing out of it, called his friends over – pointed at the mushrooms and said, “Hey guys, let’s try eating those things!” – but no one should have done it back then, and we should not be doing it now.
Next, let’s talk about what fungus is.
Basically, it is a single celled organism with its own nucleus and DNA, (not unlike ours) which thrives in a moist and warm environment. This makes us human types a perfect host for them. Although, what is even worse than the fungus itself, are the mycotoxins it is constantly emitting. As the name implies, mycotoxins are toxic to the human anatomy and also suppress our immune systems. They can live anywhere in our bodies, except our teeth. This includes any of our organs, our blood, bones, nerves, connective tissue, nails and skin – even our eyes! These unwanted organisms are not only poisonous to us, but they can also excrete secondary carcinogenic compounds. Additionally, across the board – mycotoxins are basically temperature resistant – therefore no type of freezing nor cooking will eliminate them from our food, before we eat it.
Fungus is so dangerous to us! It can cause genetic mutations, tremors or seizures, birth defects in developing embryos, and as we’ll discuss below – it has even been known to provoke cancer. Additionally, fungus is very toxic to many areas of the human body, including nerves, kidneys, liver, the blood stream, heart and blood vessels, the lymphatic system, and even our skin. The most significant health danger from fungus is that can suppress our immune system, thereby enabling it to gain a stronghold within us and lead to more serious physical issues.
Numerous infections and diseases have a connection with fungus, including cancer.
Those we’re probably already familiar with are things like athlete’s foot, jock itch, yeast infections, and toenail fungus. These tend to be more annoying than life threatening, but can be indicators of a fungal over-exposure and/or a weakened immune system.
Many lung, sinus and breathing disorders are attributed to fungal infections. This can include chronic sinus headaches, asthma, or pneumonia – to name just a few.
Fungus is injected into lab animals, to give them diabetes and some diabetic drugs are anti-fungals, such as Metformin. In my humble opinion, this makes for a pretty strong connection.
There is also mounting evidence that Alzheimer’s Disease is caused by fungus growing in the brain. This position is validated by global research from here in the United States, England, Spain and several other countries. And if you think about it, have you ever seen anyone with Alzheimer’s Disease that did not have toenail fungus, or some sort of skin condition? Please understand, I’m not pointing this out to be unkind – but instead to help you become more aware – so you can learn how to observe health patterns and connect the dots on your own.
Cancer has so much in common with fungus, it’s impossible to ignore the similarities.
If we put a fungal cell next to a cancer cell, it’s hard to tell the difference. They both have a nucleus and DNA, plus they both flourish when we eat a diet heavy in processed sugars, starches and carbohydrates – yet die without these foods. Each can metabolize nutrients without oxygen. Both of them emit Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC’s). We know this because dogs that can sniff out mold, can also sniff out cancer.
When mycotoxins (or cancer) live in our bodies, congregate and begin to multiply in one specific area, they develop and live in a sac known as an ascomycete. Those are the tumors. A cancer tumor lives in an ascomycete and a fungal infestation also grows and lives in an ascomycete.
Both cancer and fungus respond favorably to anti-fungal medication, such as Sporonox and others in that category.
As you can see, because of these many points in common a fungal overgrowth could easily be misdiagnosed as a cancer.
Possible signs of a fungal infection.
What if you don’t have any particular disease? Fungal infections can cause a variety of symptoms, depending upon the type of infection, the area of the body affected, and other factors.
Fungus can be sneaky and not hit you all at once. Sometimes it may take years for a specific illness to manifest itself. In the meantime, you could just somehow feel “off”, not at the top of your game – or you could have some health irregularities that no one can figure out. Either way, let’s cover some possible general symptoms of a fungal infection:
You’re tired and want to sleep more, you feel hung over even if you don’t drink, you’re anxious, depressed, irritable, or have trouble controlling your emotions; you get brain fog, headaches, dizziness, or blurred vision, you regularly get blocked ears or severe sinus or ear infections, nasal congestion or a runny stuffy nose; you experience chronic pain, numbness, hypersensitivity, fibromyalgia, or chemical sensitivity; you suffer from cardiac issues (heart problems), asthma or COPD; insulin resistance, IBS, leaky gut, loss of appetite, constipation and/or diarrhea, abdominal cramps, or nausea; you have wrestled with sleeplessness, rapid weight gain or loss, tremors or chills; you have hair loss, itchy skin or scalp, dry skin; dental problems, mouth sores, or difficulty eating and swallowing,
Please know this is not a definitive list, but potential indicators.
Consequences of unresolved fungal infections could bring damage to vital organs, therefore it’s important to identify and eradicate them early on.
How to tell if you might have a fungal issue?
There’s something out there called the spit test or saliva test, which can be a generic indicator of what’s happening in our bodies.
To prepare for this, put a clear glass of filtered water on your nightstand – ready for use the next morning.
The best time to take this test is as soon as you wake up in the morning, before you even get out of bed.
Start by gathering as much saliva as possible in your mouth.
Spit into that clear glass with the room temperature filtered water and watch carefully.
The saliva will float at first. Watch to see if there are thin projections extending downward into the water after 15 minutes or so. They may look like hairs or strings. If this happens you may have a Candida overgrowth problem.
If your saliva is very cloudy and sinks to the bottom within a few minutes, or parts of the saliva slowly sink, yeast overgrowth is a possibility. The particles can be yeast colonies which band together.
If your saliva is still floating after about an hour, it is likely that your fungus is under control.
Foods that can help the body combat fungal overgrowth.
COCONUT OIL has 3 different fatty acids that are known anti-microbials. (The one you may be most familiar with is called Caprylic acid.) Coconut can be consumed cooked or raw, plus has the versatility for topical use as well. It may be part of your meal, or applied to skin, scalp or nails, to aid in fungal remediation. It is also available in capsule form.
GARLIC’S anti-microbial ingredient is called allicin and more of it is released when raw garlic is crushed. Waiting up to 15 minutes before using the raw crushed garlic will provide the maximum anti-fungal effect. If you’re not a fan of raw garlic, it is still best to crush or chop it, then wait up to 45 minutes before cooking – to maintain the anti-fungal benefits of the allicin.
ONIONS are highly anti-fungal, due to a complex assortment of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients – plus they will also help to flush excess fluids from the body. So girls, if you ever feel a bit “puffy”, add some raw onions to your diet. Onions are most effective when cut or chopped and allowed to rest for up to 30 minutes before eating them raw. To maintain their anti-fungal benefit if you’re cooking them, follow the same method of chopping and resting them before cooking, then strive to cook them for the least amount of time possible. As a matter of fact, in the Middle Ages onions were such an important food, that people gave them as gifts and even paid their rent and other important bills with them!
LEMONS contain very effective anti-microbial properties, plus will help your body move toward becoming more alkaline, rather than acidic. We always want our bodies to be alkaline and not acidic. If your body pH is in an acidic range, it can compromise your health and leave you vulnerable to disease. Just be sure and brush your teeth soon after consuming lemons, to protect tooth enamel.
PUMPKIN SEEDS are very high in Omega 3 Fatty Acids and zinc, which make them terrific for fighting off fungus. They are quite versatile, since you can eat them plain, put them on salads, toss them with fruit, or even include them in smoothies. With the oil content of these seeds, it is best to eat them raw, as roasting will compromise their nutritional benefits.
CARROTS are chock-full of anti-oxidants, plus they also contain falcarinol which is a potent anti-fungal. Eating them raw or in juices is perfectly fine, but in the case of carrots, cooking them actually boosts their positive nutritional qualities. So, go Carrot Crazy – try including them in as many meals as you can! Maybe Bugs Bunny was a smarter rabbit than we thought!
GREEN APPLES are known for containing something called malic acid, which is a strong anti-fungal. All apples have this nutrient, but it is highest in Green Apples. As the saying goes, “An apple a day, keeps the doctor away!”
BLOOD ORANGES and BERRIES all have an ingredient called Anthocyanin, which is their Anti-fungal weapon. For children and adults alike, it is far better to eat lots of fruit than to load up on candies with refined sugar that will depress the immune system, feed fungus and have no nutritional value.
BROCCOLI SPROUTS contain high levels of the cancer fighting agent sulforaphane, which is an anti-cancer (anti-fungal) phyto chemical. Broccoli Sprouts are a fun addition to salads or wraps, smoothies, or even in a stir-fry.
Within this food list, there should be something for everyone – young and old alike – plus anyone in between.
There may already be some natural anti-microbials in your kitchen cupboard. We have known about the medicinal properties of herbs and spices for centuries, so let’s take a closer look at some of them.
CINNAMON is one of the most anti-fungal spices available to us. Just make sure when buying cinnamon that it is 100% cinnamon with no other spices, and especially no added sugar! Top of the line cinnamon is from Vietnam, but if it’s out of your budget, or if you are just unable to find it – any cinnamon will do.
CLOVES are the second best powdered spice for eliminating fungus, because they contain the essential oil Eugenol. They have a long medicinal history. As a matter of fact, in ancient China, when someone from the general public was allowed a visit with the Emperor, they would chew on cloves to freshen their breath. (Although if you are pregnant, it is best to avoid cloves or cinnamon in a concentrated form – as they both can induce uterine contractions.)
If none of the foods or spices in this article appeal to you, or there’s just not time in your schedule for preparation; there’s always a supplement version to choose from. These can be just as effective as their whole food counterparts and are a terrific alternative for busy households.
Liquid anti-microbials come in a small bottle and are consumed by adding drops to a beverage or a meal. The top 2 in this category are OREGANO OIL and OLIVE LEAF EXTRACT. Oregano Oil commonly comes mixed with Olive Oil because it is so strong and so intense it is too hard to take it by itself. Olive Leaf Extract comes in a mixture of either water or alcohol. Both work in the same capacity, this is merely a matter of personal choice.
What you will do is take the little eye-dropper and experiment with adding it to your food or drink. I recommend starting with only 1 or 2 drops and let your body get used to it. If you read the instructions it will tell you to take a whole dropper at one time. Well, your body may not be ready for that! It’s always best to start with smaller quantities and work your way up.
Additionally, any time you take an anti-microbial of any sort (this includes Doctor prescribed anti-biotics) you must also take a pro-biotic. Because although we want this to kill the bad guys, any anti-microbial treatment cannot differentiate and will kill all microbes in the body – including our good gut flora that we need for proper digestion and a health immune system. It doesn’t know the difference, so we have to compensate for that. Two hours after taking any anti-microbial, always take pro-biotics to restore healthy beneficial gut bacteria that may have been lost in the battle, shall we say. If you have ever taken anti-biotics prescribed by a Doctor, I implore you to go as soon as possible and get yourself some good pro-biotics. In this instance, eating yogurt or fermented foods is not enough. Those foods are terrific for maintenance, but are not a strong enough defense to replace gut flora lost to anti-microbials. It is critical to restore our good intestinal bacteria, since 80% of our immune system resides in our guts.
Another anti-fungal strategy is to limit our intake of excess sugar. Sure, we pretty much all tend to love sweet treats, we all enjoy desserts, but they are not good for us. Of course there will always be Holidays, birthdays and special occasions – but let’s try and promise ourselves to keep sugar in that “special occasion” category and not let it become a daily occurrence. Where we get into trouble is by eating too much of that sort of stuff, on a regular basis.
Please, please my friends – this also includes drinking soda pop. I cannot stress to you enough, how important it is to remove soda from your diet and replace it with water. Each person should be drinking half of their body weight in ounces of water – every day. This means someone who weighs 100 pounds should drink 50 ounces of water daily. If plain water is a difficult transition for you, look into different flavors of tea (without sugar), fruit waters (without added sugars), or small amounts of fruit juice in addition to some water – to equal your hydration needs.
Let’s recap the foods to avoid, foods to eat, and herbal remedies:
Right now you might be thinking, “What am I going to do?” First of all we need to be pro-active and cut out those top 4 foods with the highest fungal content. Just to review, the 4 foods we’d like to avoid are anything with yeast in it, anything containing corn or a corn derivative, any peanut product and of course our ‘cow pasture’ mushrooms. The top anti-fungal foods to help us in this ‘War Against Fungus’ are coconut oil, garlic, onions, lemons, pumpkin seeds, carrots, green apples, blood oranges, berries, plus broccoli sprouts — and the top 4 anti-fungal herbs are cinnamon, cloves, oregano oil and olive leaf extract.
Now before you start pulling your hair out and say, “How am I ever going to eat again?” here are some food replacement recommendations: (1) For yeast products – you can still eat pasta, just not the pizza; use wraps instead of sandwiches or burgers made with bread; many flat breads do not include yeast, but you must read the ingredients list to be sure; flour tortillas are alright, just not their cousins the corn tortilla; crackers without yeast are fine; and so are rice cakes, as long as there’s no added corn. (2) Corn – if baking, arrowroot can replace cornstarch; corn oil can be nicely replaced with anti-fungal coconut oil; if a recipe calls for an added sweetener, look into pure stevia leaf, xylitol (from birch not corn), molasses, honey or coconut sap instead of corn syrup; as for eating the corn itself – God created plenty of other veggies (actually corn is not even a vegetable anyway, it’s a grain) so replacing it with a vegetable is a big step up! To phase out corn chips, many snack chips are now made from a variety of other vegetables (and I don’t mean potatoes, because they aren’t veggies either), but be sure to check the label and see that no corn has been added; (3) Replacing peanuts is quite easy, since nut and seed mixes have plenty of other varieties to choose from, nut butters are made with an array of different nuts and seeds these days; once again, safflower oil is a healthy alternative to peanut oil; and as for Thai Peanut Sauce – you’ll just have to have those tasty noodles without it. (4) We really don’t need mushrooms in our diet at all, so do some experimenting to find a new favorite vegetable in the meals where you previously enjoyed mushrooms. Try different veggies such as zucchini, yellow summer squash, eggplant, or even a legume like garbanzo beans. Any benefits from medicinal mushrooms can always be found in different sources that do not include ingesting fungus.
All of this may not be easy at first, I understand. Oh how I used to love Corn Chips. I ate them a lot, but good health was far more important than a favorite food, so I gave them up. The best way to do this is by taking one thing at a time, removing it from your diet and finding a good replacement for it. Once you are comfortable with that, move on to swapping out the next one. When I decided to make these changes, mushrooms happened to be the easiest for me to give up first. Once I was comfortable with that, it was time to move on to the next food type to switch from my diet, and so on… I know it can be tough, but trust me – I haven’t had any sort of bread product (nor any of these high fungal foods) in over 9 years, and I’m still here – I survived — and you will too! The best part about this is how good you can to feel, once these offending foods are no longer part of your diet.
With 1,000’s of fungal species and at least 200 of them having been found to cause human diseases, our best defensive strategy is to avoid eating high fungal foods, be diligent in maintaining a strong immune system and take quality pro-biotics regularly. Other protective measures are to frequently consume anti-fungal foods, herbs and supplements.
I truly hope this information will enable you to become more nutritionally aware and help in creating your own evasive action plan against the health dangers of fungus.
Blessings and Wellness!