Dear Martina, I am 29 years-old and suffer from recurring bouts of thrush infections and tiredness.

I buy over-the-counter creams but have found they only work as long as I keep using them. A friend told me I should stop eating sugar and bread. I am reluctant to do this and wonder if there is anything else I can do?

Yours, Jenny Dear Jenny, The lowly yeast organism Candida albicans responsible for thrush infections has reached almost epidemic proportions because we do our utmost to accommodate it.

Normally, this opportunistic organism lives in harmony with other bacteria but the widespread use of antibiotics, the contraceptive pill, steroids and other drugs has upset the natural bacterial balance within our bodies. In addition, we continually feed the yeast with sugar and other sources of concentrated sweetness, thus contributing to its rampant overgrowth. Candida can be the root cause for not only thrush but chronic tiredness, IBS, depression, irritability, allergies, cystitis, menstrual problems and much else besides.

Getting the yeast back under control involves sticking to a nutritional programme designed to enhance digestion and detoxification as well as denying the yeast its main source of food - sugar and refined carbohydrates.

Yeasty and mouldy foods should also be avoided, as well as stimulants like caffeine.

Follow a healthy diet with plenty of fresh vegetables, home-made soups and salads, unrefined grains such as brown rice or millet and good-quality protein sources (meat, fish and tofu).

It is best to work with a nutritionist who can provide recipe ideas and advise on immune boosting and antifungal supplementation.

One of the hardest items to give up is bread. Most breads are highly refined and full of genetically-modified yeasts so should be avoided on an anti-candida programme.

So far, I have found only one exception to this rule.

Artisan bread is baked with baking ferment leaven and does not contain added yeast. The unique action of the ferment, the slow mixing, fermentation and proofing process makes this bread highly nutritious and allows it to develop good keeping qualities. The overall result is a bread prepared for humans rather than fungal organisms.

Some yeast-free breads can be rather "heavy-duty" but you should find this bread tasty and digestible. The bakers at Artisan Bread Ltd use only top-quality ingredients such as pure spring water and ground, organic seaweed instead of salt.

The grains have been grown biodynamically without artificial fertilisers and are freshly milled every day.

There are six different types of bread, some varieties contain freshly sprouted grains, some are wheat-free and suitable for those suffering with food intolerances. The bread costs from £2 to £3 per loaf but is worth every penny for those suffering from fungal infections who are reluctant to give up bread. You can buy it in bulk, slice and freeze it in batches.

Artisan Bread is available from Sunny Foods, Beaconsfield Rd, Brighton and other outlets in Lewes, Horsham, Forest Row, Chichester and St Leonards-on-Sea.

For mail order or to find names of stockists, visit or telephone 01227 771881.

Martina is a qualified
nutritionist at the Crescent Clinic of Complementary Medicine, 37 Vernon Terrace, Brighton. Tel: 01273 202221 or email: