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Ringworm Diet

You have probably heard of a ringworm diet that can help with ringworm disease, and if you are suffering from those itchy, red, circular patches, you are probably looking for any remedies that can help cure the condition. No foods have really been proven to treat ringworm specifically, eating foods to enhance your body’s immune system if you have ringworm can definitely help.


To begin with, ringworm is not caused by a worm. As stated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, ringworm is a fungal infection and is termed ‘ringworm’ because the itchy, red rash it causes is circular (ring-shaped). Ringworm is also known as ‘tinea’ or ‘dermatophytosis’, depending on where the infection occurs on the body. For instance, tinea capitis is the type of ringworm that occurs the scalp.


Ringworm is highly contagious and, given the right conditions, can thrive and grow at an increasing rate, feeding on the proteins (keratins) normally found in the skin tissues. Whenever this happens, the condition of the skin deteriorates, allowing bacteria to enter the body and cause inflammation, irritation, and significant discomfort. It is critical that one see the doctor as quickly as possible because this condition, if left untreated, can lead to complications.


Ringworm symptoms appear after 4–14 days of being exposed to the fungus. The symptoms vary depending on the location, but the following ones are common in all types of ringworms:

  • Itchy, red skin
  • Circular ring-like rash on the skin
  • Hair loss in the affected area
  • Skin rash having a scale-like and cracked texture


Causes of ringworm

Ringworm is a fungal infection caused by the species tinea. Because it is highly infectious, it can affect people of any age and gender. It can spread in the number of ways:

  • It can result through direct contact with a ringworm patient, through touch, or when someone comes in contact with the surfaces infected with ringworm, such as handles, doorknobs, utensils, and towels.
  • It can be transmitted through pets or other animals to an owner. Ringworm can be found in animals, particularly puppies and kittens. It can occur in cats, dogs, horses, pigs, and goats among other animals. People may become infected if they come in contact with an infected animal.
  • Ringworm can survive on surfaces, particularly in damp areas such as in shower rooms and common locker rooms. As a result, if someone is exposed to the fungus in such places, they may become infected.


Additionally, there are certain individuals who are more susceptible to the ringworm infection than others, including those having:


  • Weakened immunity: Whenever it comes to fighting infections and diseases, the role of immune system is crucial. If the immune system is weak or compromised, it becomes considerably difficult for the body to defend itself from possible threats, thereby allowing infections like ringworm to spread and thrive. This is the reason ringworm is highly common in children and the elderly, as both groups have vulnerable immune systems.


  • Poor nutrition: Diet can also contribute to the susceptibility to ringworm. In addition to the disbalance of gut microbes, the presence of yeast in the gut can be harmful because it absorbs nutrients found in the food. Moreover, yeast feeds on sugar, indicating that a high-refined-sugar diet can increase the number of this yeast in the gut, sometimes resulting in systemic overgrowth. The diet can also weaken the immune system and resulting in the impairment of body’s defence to fight against bacterial and fungal infections.


  • Stress: Stress, like the diet, is not the main cause of ringworm infection, but it can sometimes increase the susceptibility to it. Stress can harm the digestive and immune system by compelling the body to feel in a life-or-death situation. This causes the immune system to raise the blood sugar levels, essentially providing more food for the yeast, and can lead to a variety of digestive issues. It could also add to the number of unwanted bacteria in the gut. Essential nutrients like vitamin A and E will be redirected to major organs such as the lungs or heart as the body will focus these organs over others, which can weaken the skin cells and allow fungus and bacterial infections to penetrate the epidermis of skin.


Risk factors for ringworm

Ringworm can affect anyone, but a variety of risk factors increase the likelihood of getting it.

  • Living in a tropical or warm-weather climate
  • Participating in skin-to-skin sports such as wrestling or football
  • Sharing objects with an infected person, including razors, towels, clothing, hats, brushes, bed linen, or sports equipment
  • Sweating profusely
    Using public restrooms and locker rooms, as well as residing in tight proximity with others
  • Tight shoes, underwear, or clothing
  • A weakened immune system, diabetes, and obesity all increase the chances of getting ringworm.


Even though there is no evidence that vitamin deficiencies are related to the ringworm risk, if the immune system is weak, one may be more susceptible to it.


Unfortunately, diet alone cannot cure ringworm. To ensure the complete elimination of a ringworm infection, topical as well as oral medications are typically used; however, diet might still play a part in the healing. Eating with the intention of promoting anti-inflammatory responses would also assist the immune system to fight off ringworm infection.


There are certain antifungal foods for ringworm that may be beneficial when someone has ringworm, as they can help to boost the immune system and promote anti-inflammatory benefits. Some examples of these foods include:


Fruits and vegetables: These foods are high in antioxidants and vitamins that can help strengthen the immune system and promote healing. Some good options include leafy greens, berries, citrus fruits, and carrots.

Omega-3 fatty acids: Foods that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as fatty fish (salmon, mackerel, and tuna), walnuts, chia seeds, and flaxseed oil can help to reduce inflammation in the body and promote healing.


Probiotics: Foods that contain probiotics, such as yogurt and kefir, can also help to boost your immune system and promote healing.


Poultry: Poultry products are high in vitamin B6, which is required for the production of healthy and new red blood cells, boosting immunity, and healing.


Garlic: Garlic is considered one of the most effective foods for fighting infections. It is high in vitamin B6, potassium, and sulphur-containing compounds, which aid in detoxification, and boosts immune system. Garlic also has anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and antiviral properties that aid in the fight against various kinds of infections, including a fungal infection.


Onion: Onion is a food that does not only taste good but is also beneficial to the health. It is an excellent food for the digestive system because it promotes the growth of good bacteria, thus lowering the risk of a fungal infection. Onions are high in vitamin C, vitamin B6, potassium, and antioxidants. Onions can be used in salads, soups, curries, and other dishes.


Ginger: Ginger stimulates blood circulation and cleanses the body. It aids in purifying the digestive system and strengthening the immune system. It also helps in controlling fungal infections. Ginger can be consumed in tea, Indian curries, chutney, pickle, jam, and as a juice with honey.


Green tea: Green tea is high in antioxidants, which boost the immune function, and it contains the amino acid L-theanine, which helps in the production of germ-fighting compounds.


Turmeric: Turmeric is well-known for its anti-inflammatory properties. Curcumin, a component of turmeric, is thought to be the reason for its health benefits.  To reap the benefits of turmeric, drink it in a tea or add it to the daily meals.


Cinnamon: Cinnamon is well-known for having anti-inflammatory and anti-fungal properties. It contains caprylic acid, which aids the body in fighting off harmful yeast cells.


Coconut oil: Coconut oil has antimicrobial properties that can help manage fungal infections. Coconut oil is abundant in caprylic acid and lauric acid, each of which help the body to fight infections. It is also beneficial for rashes, dry skin, and itching. One can consume coconut oil by adding 1 to 2 teaspoons of the oil to their daily diet or can use it to season the curry or dal.


Proteins: Protein sources such as eggs, beans, and lean meat are good for boosting immunity.


Pumpkin seeds: Pumpkin seeds are high in omega-3 fatty acids and have antiviral and antifungal properties. Omega 3 aids in the reduction of inflammation and the nourishment of dry skin. One can include roasted pumpkin seeds in the daily diet as a teatime snack or in the salad.


Mulethi/liquorice: Liquorice has antifungal properties that can aid in the control of fungal infections. It also has a high level of mucilaginous compounds and flavonoids, which aid in the regulation of inflammation, blood sugar levels, and digestive issues. It can be mixed with tea or a juice.

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