Every woman experiences the occasional brain blip. But if you're a type 3 carb addict, daily bouts of foggy thinking make even simple mental tasks (such as remembering where you put your keys) a major challenge. And when mental fatigue sets in, the brain sends out sweet-seeking signals. The reason: The brain is dependent on glucose for cell-to-cell communication. But while caving to the carb call yields a fleeting mental boost, the blood sugar dips that occur within hours of ingesting refined carbs and sweets prime women for future mental crashes and more intense carb cravings.
Part of the problem is that refined carbs stimulate intestinal yeast overgrowth, a condition that produces persistent mental fuzziness, says weight-loss expert Ann Louise Gittleman, author of The Fat Flush
Plan (McGraw-Hill). "Candida albicans yeast feeds on sugar and concentrated carbs in the intestines, producing acetaldehyde, a neurotoxin that's poisonous to brain cells," she notes. Candida overgrowth is bad for bellies, too, since it crowds out healthy intestinal bacteria. According to studies at the Washington University in St. Louis School of Medicine, deficits in friendly gut flora are linked to increases in weight and a doubling of body fat.
How to Break the Cycle
Your healing food formula:
Focus on consuming high-protein foods, whole grains and low-glycemic fruit and vegetables, which won't trigger blood sugar spikes and crashes. (This includes most vegetables, plus fruit like grapefruit, apples, pears, plums, peaches, oranges, grapes, kiwi, bananas, blueberries and strawberries.) Eliminate sweets, except for dark chocolate in moderation. And since lactose can fuel yeast, limit dairy products to 1 to 2 servings per day, and make one of those servings a cup of sugar free yogurt that contains live and active cultures. A sample slimming dinner: halibut with green beans and brown rice.
Your key to a healthy focus boost:
Take an acidophilus supplement in "pearl" from (such as Enzymatic Therapy Acidophilus Pearls, $17 for 90 capsules, at VitaminShoppe.com) twice daily for five months then switch to once a day thereafter, recommends Jacob Teitelbaum, M.D. The reason Probiotic bacteria crowd candida yeast out of the gut, and in a Swedish study, probiotics improved subjects cognitive function within four weeks Dr. Teitelbaum adds that the pearl form is best because the coating helps the pill pass through the stomach intact, so yeast-fighting bacteria are released in the intestines where they are not needed most.
It worked for me
"Now I never feel foggy!"
Chris Patterson was shocked when her grandpa- a man who never spoke unless he had something important to say- put his arms around her and said, "Chrissy, you could stand to lose a few pounds."
"I could no longer be in denial," recalls Chris, who was battling stubborn pounds and brain fog. Then she found Ann Louise Gittleman's The Fat Flush Plan and learned that her health issues could be linked to yeast overgrowth.
Chris gave up bread and began eating yogurt. (Go to www.fatflush.com
to find the meal plan she adopted). She also took Uni Key Y-C Cleanse ($35 for a 24-day supply, at www.unikeyhealth.com
), designed to remedy candida overgrowth. "The weight loss became effortless," says Chris, who trimmed 4 inches off her belly that month.
Today Chris is proud of her success. "I've never been a thin girl, and now I am," she says. She has fungal properties also become a master multitasker. "I can keep a million little fires burning at all times-it's amazing!"