- This One Diet Cured My Chronic Yeast Infections and Cleared My Acne
- Diets Decoded: The Anti-Candida Diet
- The Anti-Candida Diet: What It Is
- What You Eat
- What You Don’t Eat
- Pros and Cons
- The Bottom Line
- What to eat to beat candida
- What is candida?
- How can diet fight candida?
- What can I eat on the anti-candida diet?
- Do You Have Oral Thrush?
- What Causes Oral Thrush?
- How Can You Treat Your Oral Thrush Naturally?
- If You Have Oral Thrush, You Might Also Have Intestinal Candida
- Symptoms of a yeast infection
- Lifestyle changes for preventing yeast infections
- 10 Foods to Fight Candida
- What is Candida Overgrowth?
- How Can I Treat it?
- Recent Articles
This One Diet Cured My Chronic Yeast Infections and Cleared My Acne
Two years ago, I was prescribed a strong antibiotic to treat a tooth infection. The meds put an end to my tooth pain, but two days after I finished the last pill, I developed some bizarre symptoms. My skin began to feel itchy and dry, I was constantly bloated, and I had inexplicable brain fog.
I also started getting chronic vaginal yeast infections. I’d treat each one with over-the-counter creams, and then just when I thought one was finally gone and my life was back to normal, the pain and itching would start again. I was miserable.
RELATED: Is an Anti-Inflammatory Diet the Best for You?
To try to heal my health issues, I spent months seeing countless doctors and sampling every suggested remedy under the sun—which included bathing in tea tree oil once a day and seeing a psychic. Then one day, I decided to check out a holistic medical center near my home in New York City. The center was run by Anthony Salzarulo, a holistic medical practitioner. Salzarulo diagnosed me with candidiasis, a fungal infection caused by an overgrowth of yeast.
Salzarulo had me start taking a daily probiotic available at drugstores, and he put me on a diet plan that he said would restore my immune system and balance the bacteria naturally found in my gut. So many medical doctors were unable to help me, so I gave his plan a try. It worked, and I feel better now than I ever did.
But a candidiasis diagnosis and diet plan are not without controversy. To find out more, I reached back out to Salzarulo and also spoke to two other experts for their takes.
What is candida overgrowth?
Candida is a type of yeast, and it’s “a part of the natural biome,” Salzarulo tells Health. Ordinarily, a person’s body contains a healthy ratio of naturally occurring bacteria to yeast. But “when there’s candida overgrowth, the microbiome is off and it needs to be brought back into balance,” he says.
RELATED: The Best Over-the-Counter Fixes for UTIs, Yeast Infections, Allergies, and More
Antibiotic use is the most common factor that causes this overgrowth of candida or the bad bacteria, Salzarulo adds, because antibiotics kill off the good bacteria that keep your system balanced. “Using antibiotics even once creates a very favorable situation for yeast to get the upper hand in your intestinal ecology,” he explains.
Cynthia Sass, RD, Health’s contributing nutrition editor, says that a weakened immune system and having a diet low in nutrients and high in sugar could also cause candida to grow. My love of candy, pasta, and pancakes, which are all loaded with sugar, worked hand in hand with the antibiotic to promote overgrowth by feeding the yeast in my body, she believes.
Sass points out that candidiasis is a contentious topic. “This is a controversial issue, even within the alternative medicine community,” she tells Health via email. “Practitioners who do believe in it however typically cite symptoms including chronic vaginal yeast infections or UTIs, fatigue, bloating, constipation, or diarrhea, brain fog, moodiness, and skin problems (itchiness, worsening of eczema or psoriasis).” But not all health professionals believe it’s a legitimate diagnosis, and Sass says that no tests can prove that a person has candidiasis.
RELATED: Dr. Pimple Popper’s Advice for How to Get Rid of Acne
Another nutritionist I spoke to, Tamara Duker Freuman, RD, is also skeptical. “Candidiasis is a real diagnosis, but it refers to candida overgrowth in the esophagus, in the vagina, and in the mouth; that’s where candida overgrows,” Freuman tells Health. But the idea “that you have this systemic sort of overgrowth . . . that is not real.” While candida is a normal part of the flora in the gut, “when they say it’s overgrowing, what are they basing it on? We have no standards for what is normal. We don’t know what a normal amount is naturally found in the gut,” she says.
The basics of the candida diet
Salzarulo does believe that candida overgrowth in the gut is a real thing, and he put me on a strict sugar-free, grain-free, and dairy-free diet to restore the right balance of yeast in my body. The goal is to starve the yeast by taking away the foods and beverages it could be feeding off of. That means no bread, pastries, pasta, chips, cereal, fried food, cheese, milk, starchy vegetables (like corn and potatoes), sugary desserts, fruit, soda, alcohol, or coffee.
That’s a big list, but Salzarulo recommends focusing on what is allowed, not on the restrictions. Foods that are okay on the candida diet are green vegetables, meat, fish, eggs, salad, almonds, walnuts, herbal tea, green juice, and unsweetened coconut water. Along with the diet, he suggests taking vitamins and a probiotic, getting enough sleep, and avoiding stress, which all help boost your immune system.
RELATED: This Diet Is All Over Reddit—But Here’s What It Gets Wrong
There is no set amount of time to follow the diet; some people feel better after a month being on it, while others see their symptoms clear up after three months, Salzarulo says. However, once you do feel better and see symptoms disappear, you shouldn’t immediately go back to eating Dunkin Donuts and pizza every day. Adds Sass: “After resolving symptoms, foods that have been eliminated are systematically added back, but the goal is not to go back to a way of eating that triggers another imbalance.”
What happened when I tried it
Telling someone who goes to IHOP once a week for the unlimited flapjack special that they can no longer have pancakes is like telling Kim Kardashian that she can’t take selfies anymore. I was in tears when Salzarulo read me the list of foods I’d have to give up. The first few weeks were the most challenging. I was cranky, sleepy, hungry, and mad at the world. I dreamed of French fries.
It took about three weeks for my body to get used to my new meal plan. I would eat eggs for breakfast, baked chicken or fish and a side salad for lunch, a burger without the bun for dinner, and then snack on almonds and carrots throughout the day. I had some weak moments when I desperately craved Doritos (and maybe even snuck a few). But I had to keep reminding myself of the misery of my symptoms, and I had to stay strong in order to get my life and health back.
RELATED: Best Snacks for Weight Loss
After a month, I started feeling better than I did even before my symptoms showed up. I wasn’t hungry all the time, I was sleeping better, I had more energy than I had in years, and most importantly, the yeast infections stopped. To my surprise, I lost 15 pounds, my acne went away completely, and my hair and nails were longer and healthier.
“Typically the is much more nutrient-rich than the diet people had been consuming,” Sass says. “That combined with eliminating sugar, coffee, and alcohol, and drinking more water, often does lead to other benefits, including increased energy, better digestive health, improved mood, mental clarity and sleep, improved skin health, and weight loss.”
Two months later, I went back to Salzarulo, who gave me the green light to slowly add the foods I love back into my diet in moderation. I, of course, went to IHOP as soon as I left his office, but I found that I couldn’t eat as much as I could before. I also realized that I didn’t need sugar or French fries as much as I thought I did. I preferred eating salmon and salads over my usual choice of chicken fingers and fries—though I still enjoy them from time to time.
To get our best wellness tips delivered to you inbox, sign up for the Healthy Living newsletter
It’s been almost two years, and I continue to monitor my sugar and carb intake and take a daily probiotic—though I am no longer on the candida diet, since my symptoms have not returned. Whether I really had candida overgrowth that was brought back into balance by the diet plan, or if the diet itself just happened to be healthier and that got rid of my symptoms, I may never know.
But looking back, I’m thrilled I didn’t give in to my IHOP addiction early on. It’s good to know that my desire to feel healthy beat out my cravings for unlimited pancakes.
Diets Decoded: The Anti-Candida Diet
Is the Anti-Candida Diet healthy?
We’re going to let you in on a little secret. Most popular healthy diets that are touted for weight loss—from Paleo to Mediterranean and vegetarian—share many of the same basic principles.
All involve eating whole foods (as opposed to packaged and processed) and filling your plate with quality sources of protein, healthy fats, complex carbohydrates, and vitamin-, mineral-, and fiber-rich vegetables. (Again, we’re talking about the ones that fall somewhere on the healthy spectrum, not unhealthy fad diets like, ahem, the Grapefruit Diet.)
However, each proposes a slightly different path that leads to fulfilling those principles.
RELATED: Is the Ketogenic Diet Healthy?
In this column, we’ll be breaking them down for you one by one so you can figure out which (if any!) is right for you. We’ll quickly explain the facts and then provide quick, actionable tips on how to follow the diet as part of a Nutritious Life.
The Anti-Candida Diet: What It Is
Functional and alternative medicine physicians believe many common health issues are caused by an overgrowth of yeast called candida, which causes leaky gut when overproduced. Symptoms of that overgrowth range from yeast infections, skin issues like psoriasis, and digestive problems to fatigue, mood swings, and brain fog.
RELATED: Could the Low-FODMAP Diet Transform Your Digestion?
One of the main contributors to candida overgrowth, they say, is diet, since refined carbs and sugar feed the yeast. On the flipside, changing to a diet that starves the yeast can help rid the body of candida overgrowth.
However, it’s important to note that conventional medicine doesn’t recognize candida overgrowth as a medical issue, and there is little research that shows it’s the cause of these many symptoms (or can be corrected via an anti-candida diet).
What You Eat
The Anti-Candida Diet is like a more restricted version of eating Paleo. You eat high-quality meat, eggs, and fish, non-starchy vegetables like greens, onions, asparagus, and artichokes, low-sugar fruits, and herbs and spices. There are also foods with anti-fungal properties—like garlic, ginger, coconut oil, and cinnamon—that the diet encourages you to pile on your plate.
RELATED: The Incredible Health Benefits of Cinnamon
What You Don’t Eat
Here’s where it gets a little intense. The most basic restriction is around sugar. Yeast feeds on sugar, so any added sugar or foods that break down into sugar are off limits. That includes most packaged foods, sweets, alcohol, all grains (even the gluten-free, healthy ones), starchy vegetables like squashes, high-sugar fruits like bananas, most dairy products, and legumes. Some experts even recommend ditching fermented foods and mushrooms until the candida is under control.
Pros and Cons
The most obvious benefit to the Anti-Candida Diet is cutting sugar. More evidence is showing how bad sugar is for your body, so anything that helps you eat less of it is a good thing. And we all know eating lots of vegetables and high-quality protein is a good idea.
But the evidence that any of this will help you rid your body of yeast (or that you even have a yeast problem to begin with) is still flimsy. That’s not to say it’s not true; the science to prove it just isn’t solid yet.
And the biggest con to eating this way is that the diet is extremely restrictive. It’s a very tough protocol to follow, which could make you miserable or even lead to you missing out on important nutrients. (Variety, remember, is one of the keys to getting all the nutrients you need!)
The Bottom Line
If you suspect candida is messing with your health, trying the Anti-Candida Diet for a brief stint won’t hurt. Cut the sugar, eat healthy anti-fungal foods like garlic and coconut oil, and see how you feel. If it helps, that may signal you’ve been eating too much sugar overall, and you can incorporate that knowledge into a less restricted, more manageable long-term diet plan filled with a variety of veggies, plant-based protein, and healthy grains.
by Dr. Will Cole
Among the 100 trillion bacteria, fungi, and other critters that are not technically you but live inside you, many are beneficial. They manufacture serotonin, generate much of your immune system, and keep the pathogenic bugs at bay. However, one of them – a yeast called Candida, is a persistent troublemaker. When overgrowth of this yeast happens, it has been linked to a staggering list of health problems, from weight gain and mental health issues to autoimmune diseases. That’s why candida overgrowth can be a real problem for many people.
In my previous article on the subject, I went over the signs and symptoms as well as the specific labs to have run to test for an underlying overgrowth of candida. Now I’d like to lay out the foods I recommend eating – and which to avoid – if yeast overgrowth is an issue for you. As Hippocrates said, “Let food be thy medicine and medicine thy food.” Let the microbiome healing begin!
8 Foods To EAT On The Candida Diet
1. Non-starchy vegetables
Fungus eats what you eat, but make the right choices and your fungal populations won’t overgrow. Choice #1 is plant foods like kale, spinach, Swiss chard, and bok choy, which offer a lot of nutrients without overfeeding the overgrowth.
Green leafy vegetables are also rich in folate, which I mentioned in my previous article, is needed for people with MTHFR gene mutations who are extra-sensitive to candida overgrowth.
Some people do better with steaming or sautéing non-starchy vegetables, which is more gentle on the gut than eating them raw.
2. Clean meats
Grass-fed beef, wild-caught fish, and organic organ meat (like liver) are rich in bioavailable fat-soluble nutrients such as vitamins A, D, and K2, all of which are needed for immune and microbiome health, without the toxins that can come from industrially farmed versions.
3. Healthy fats
Coconut, olive, and avocado oil are all healing to the gut. A variety of saturated and monounsaturated fats have an anti-inflammatory effect on the gut lining, which provides a less hospitable environment for fungus. Coconut oil in particular is rich in caprylic acid, which has been shown to inhibit candida overgrowth.
4. Cultured foods
Fermented foods like kimchi, sauerkraut, and coconut or grass-fed kefir will help reinoculate a stressed-out microbiome with beneficial bacteria, which can work to keep Candida at bay. I recommend eating these in moderation at the beginning of your healing so your digestion can adjust, and slowly increasing intake, as too much cultured food can cause a flare-up of symptoms from a too-quick die-off of the yeast overgrowth.
5. Healing herbs and spices
Herbs like oregano, ginger, and pau d’arco have all been shown to have antimicrobial effects. You can choose to use them in recipes, tea, or in supplement form.
6. Healthy sweeteners
Candida thrives on sugar – its very favorite food – so choose non-sugary sweeteners like raw green stevia and xylitol if you need to sweeten your food. But even these should be used sparingly.
Tannins found in black tea have been shown to help kill off candida. Calming teas, like ginger, can help soothe the delicate gut lining.
8. Bone broth
This ancient healing food is making a modern comeback, and for good reason – it just may be the strongest easily available gut medicine. The collagen in the broth helps to rebuild a healthy gut lining and because it contains no sugar, it can also help starve down fungal overgrowths and turn down inflammation.
8 Foods To AVOID On The Candida Diet
Sugar – in all its forms – feeds candida, no question about it. If you want to get control of a fungal overgrowth, cut sugar out 100%, and be sure to read labels carefully since sugar has many different pseudonyms. Know that while some sweeteners may have more nutrients than others, they all feed candida to some degree. And just in case you think artificial sweeteners are the answer, think again. Research shows that they can catastrophically alter the balance of the gut flora.
It’s called “nature’s candy” for a reason – it’s made by nature, but it’s not unlike candy. I would suggest severely limiting or avoiding fruit while healing your gut. At the very least, stick to lower-fructose fruits like berries and citrus fruits like lemon, lime, and grapefruit. Besides being lower in sugar, these citrus fruits also have antimicrobial properties.
Grains are really just another form of sugar, and should also be avoided when healing a fungal overgrowth. That’s especially so for those containing gluten, which can be very damaging to the gut, giving fungus the upper hand. Grain-free flours like almond, hazelnut, and coconut can be used in moderation as a replacement. Later on, as you heal, you can slowly reintroduce gluten-free grains (like rice and organic, non-GMO corn) sparingly to see if they agree with you.
Alcohol is tough on your intestinal lining, and is even linked to leaky gut syndrome. Alcohol can also impair detoxification pathways, which need to be optimized when healing the microbiome.
I consider most dairy in the U.S. to be junk food. That’s because the cows are given hormones and antibiotics, fed GMO corn instead of grass, and live in unhealthy conditions. The milk is then pasteurized and homogenized, and the fat, with all its vitamins, is removed. Synthetic vitamins are then added back because the milk is devoid of nutrition. In other words, dairy isn’t doing you any favors.
Moreover, many people with candida overgrowth have leaky gut syndrome, which can make them more sensitive to casein, a protein in milk, and the milk sugar (lactose) is, again, just sugar. The one exception I would make is grass-fed, full-fat, cultured dairy foods like kefir and yogurt.
6. Starchy plant foods
Starchy vegetables like potatoes, yams, and beets can feed the yeast overgrowth because of their high carb content, even though they do contain fiber and vitamins. While you’re healing your gut, I would also avoid legumes like black beans, pinto beans, lentils, peanuts, cashews, and chickpeas, which can be inflammatory for some people. As you heal, you can test these to see how your body handles them.
One specific food category that often goes unmentioned when it comes to gut problems are FODMAPS. FODMAP stands for Fermentable Oligo-, Di-, Monosaccharides, and Polyols and refers to carbs – often from otherwise healthy vegetables – that aren’t easily digested by the gut. When eating in excess, they can also feed microbiome overgrowths such as candida and small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, so avoiding them may be a temporary but critical strategy.
Some foods that are high in FODMAPS: onions, garlic, cabbage, and apples. Legumes are also high in FODMAPS. I suggest avoiding or limiting them while you heal, and then slowly increasing your intake to find your individual tolerance.
8. Conventional coffee
Coffee, in excess, is a well-known irritant to the gut lining. Coffee can also be high in molds, which can stress a compromised immune system and encourage Candida overgrowth. And decaf might actually be worse when it comes to both mold content and acidity. Make sure to search for high-quality organic coffee beans, and drink coffee in moderation.
Putting It All Together
Food is undoubtedly the most important factor you can modify on your own as you begin your gut-healing, Candida-busting journey. For more help, work with a qualified clinician on customized natural protocols. Consider taking advantage of a free webcam or phone evaluation to talk about your individual case. Always talk to a trusted health care provider before making changes to your diet.
If you want to learn more about your own health case please check out our free health evaluation. We offer in person as well as phone and webcam consultations for people across the country and around the world.
The information on this website has not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration or any other medical body. We do not aim to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any illness or disease. Information is shared for educational purposes only. You must consult your doctor before acting on any content on this website, especially if you are pregnant, nursing, taking medication, or have a medical condition.
Our articles may include products that have been independently chosen and recommended by Dr. Will Cole and our editors. If you purchase something mentioned in this article, we may earn a small commission.
What to eat to beat candida
Fatigue, bloating, recurrent thrush and urinary tract infections can all be symptoms of candida – but changing your diet can help fight the condition.
What is candida?
A yeast that lives in the mouth, gut and vagina, candida only causes problems if it grows out of control.
Antibiotics, stress, the contraceptive pill, HRT and a diet high in sweet foods and drinks can all trigger it to grow out of hand, causing symptoms such as persistent thrush, urinary tract infections like cystitis, fatigue, thinning hair, and bloating.
How can diet fight candida?
Your doctor may not diagnose candida, as it’s only medically recognised in people with compromised immune systems, such as those with HIV. So if you have the symptoms listed above and they’re not clearing, see a natural health expert who can diagnose candida with a saliva test.
An anti-candida diet is considered the best way to tackle the condition. It effectively starves the yeast by removing the foods that help it thrive. But be warned: the anti-candida diet is tough. There are lots of foods and drinks you have to avoid, and you need to follow it for at least three months to stop the candida growing again.
Avoid sweet foods
Candida feeds on sugar and having excess amounts in your diet may be one of the factors that caused the yeast to thrive in the first place.
You need to cut out all cakes, biscuits and sweetened foods, from breakfast cereals to ready-made sauces. Check labels and prepare food from scratch to cut your sugar intake.
Beware of natural sugars
It’s not just added sugar you need to avoid – many fruits are high in natural sugars, particularly dried fruit, and these fruit sugars can also encourage overgrowth.
Fresh apples and pears are lower in sugar so are fine to eat, but always go for the whole fruit; in juices, the sugars are concentrated. Dairy contains lactose, or milk sugar, so you’ll need to avoid most dairy products as well.
Stay away from fermented foods
Yeast in your diet can also feed candida. So avoid fermented foods, including yeast extract, bread, vinegar, blue cheeses, soy sauce and ketchup.
Watch your drinks
As alcohol is fermented and contains sugar, you need to avoid it. But you should also stay away from all sweetened drinks, including smoothies, squashes, fruit juices, and fizzy soft drinks. Instead, try herbal teas and still or sparkling water.
What can I eat on the anti-candida diet?
While it may sound a long list of foods to avoid, there’s a lot you can still eat while fighting candida.
- For breakfast, try porridge made with water, topped with chopped apple, seeds and sweet spices such as cinnamon
- You can also eat soda bread, as it isn’t made with yeast, and instead of jam or marmalade, try nut butters such as almond butter
- Plain live yoghurt is, unlike some dairy foods, low in lactose, and the friendly bacteria it contains are beneficial for fighting candida
- Lean meat, fish, eggs, lentils, all vegetables, rice and rice cakes are also on the menu
It may be tough, but remember if you’re strict for just three months, it could make a real difference to your symptoms.
Looking for more tips on women’s health? Take a look at all our articles.
Oral thrush isn’t an uncommon condition. It involves the overgrowth of the Candida albicans organism in your mouth and throat. Common symptoms include white patches covering your throat, cheeks, mouth, and tongue. You may also develop painful sores within the mouth.
The milder your oral thrush case is when it’s developed, the easier it is to treat. Doctors commonly turn to oral medications and mouth washes and you may want to explore natural remedies and rinses as well. Oral thrush can impact both children (as young as newborns) and adults, so you’ll need to choose your treatment method accordingly.
- Can Candida Cause Canker Sores?
- Candida Case Studies: Meet Anne
- Is There a Connection between Strep Throat and Yeast infection
- What You Need to Know about Mouth and Throat Yeast Infections
- Oral Yeast Infection (Oral Thrush) Symptoms, Causes & Treatment
- What are Gliotoxins?
Foods to Avoid When You have Thrush in the Throat
Let’s start with the basics. You’ll need to avoid the same foods you’d avoid with any traditional Candida diet. You need to avoid all sugars (including some artificial sweeteners), all alcohol, grains containing gluten, most high-sugar fruits, starchy vegetables, any meats or seafoods that aren’t organic or wild-caught, preservatives, coffee, soda, tea, and juice. You’ll also avoid mushrooms and other fungal foods and you’ll need to stay away from most condiments, vinegars, and oils that are likely contaminated with GMOs or molds.
Citric acid is something we usually tell people to avoid while dealing with Candida, but we usually find that in its natural form – in citrus fruits like lemons and limes – it’s not harmful. That said, when you have oral thrush you should avoid acids altogether as they’ll likely irritate the sores in your mouth and throat. This means you should avoid oranges, lemons, limes, tomatoes – products made with these foods, and their juices.
So What Can You Eat?
Aside from citric acids, foods that are on the list approved for the regular Candida Crusher diet are generally good for those with oral thrush. Yogurt is highly recommended, as it will expose your mouth, throat, and intestines to probiotics. You may also find that colder foods and liquids provide some relief to the discomfort caused by the sores and coating in your mouth.
Look for softer foods that are easier to swallow. If you generally cook your approved vegetables to an al-dente state, you may want to cook them so that they’re a little bit softer and easier to swallow. You might also want to consider blending them into a soup so that you’re able to get your nutrients without irritating your throat. You’ll want to have these things warm, not hot, and you’ll want to avoid spices that may cause irritation as well.
Other Things You Can Do to Rind Relief
As always, follow a Candida diet and make sure you’re getting a good probiotic, as this will help with your systemic yeast overgrowth. To treat it locally, consider rinsing with a mouthwash of 2TBSP water with 5 drops of water soluble tea tree oil (rinse your mouth and spit it out – don’t swallow it). Do your best to avoid inhaled steroidal drugs and antibiotics as well.
Oral thrush that has spread to the throat isn’t pleasant. Take a proactive approach to your treatment and don’t try to push foods you shouldn’t have too soon. Carefully caring for the delicate tissues of your mouth and throat will make your recovery a lot easier.
- Candida and Sugar Connection
- Can Candida Cause Hair Loss & Constipation?
- Yeast Infection Drug Treatment Chart
- Is Alcohol Consumption Connected to Candida?
- Multiple Yeast Infections Have Tried Everything
- All You Need To Know About Rhodotorula
Also read my 10 tips to crush mouth yeast infections by clicking here.
Oral thrush, otherwise known as oral candidiasis, is a localized Candida infection that occurs in the mouth. The major symptoms include creamy white lesions on your tongue and inside of your mouth, soreness, and pain.
Oral thrush is often caused by the same factors that trigger an intestinal or vaginal Candida overgrowth – for example, a diet high in sugar or the over-use of antibiotics. Candida albicans, the yeast that causes intestinal fungal overgrowth, is also the organism that gives rise to oral thrush.
The symptoms are easy to recognize, but it’s not so easy to beat the infection. You may find that the oral thrush will keep coming back until you have adjusted your diet and lifestyle to eliminate the underlying cause of the oral candidiasis.
In addition to the low-sugar, anti-inflammatory anti-Candida diet plan, there are a number of natural remedies that can help with your oral thrush. You can make an antifungal mouthwash from essential oils that will both kill the Candida yeast and freshen your breath. A therapy known as oil pulling is also an effective way to eliminate yeast from your mouth and remove the toxic byproducts of Candida.
Table Of Contents
Do You Have Oral Thrush?
The symptoms of oral thrush are easy to recognize, much easier in fact than the symptoms of a more generalized Candida infestation. Oral thrush can often develop very quickly, but then can turn into a long-lasting chronic infection if it is not treated.
Free Guide To Beating Candida Sign up to our free, 8-part email course today, and learn how to create your own, personalized Candida treatment plan 🙂
Here are the main symptoms of oral thrush:
- Small white lesions that you will start to notice on your tongue or inside your cheeks
They may also spread to the roof of your mouth and your gums. Underneath the white lesions is a painful, red area that may even bleed slightly if you scrape off the lesion. Your doctor will take a look at these cells under the microscope to give a definite diagnosis.
- Damage to the skin at the corners of your mouth
The skin at the corners of your mouth may redden or crack slightly. It may hurt when you smile widely or laugh.
- Pain inside your mouth
The lesions can be sensitive to touch, and you may also experience pain in your tongue and gums.
- Pain or difficulty swallowing
This is a sign that the infection has spread down your into your throat (esophageal candidiasis). If the infection worsens further you may even develop a fever.
- Unpleasant tastes
You may have a consistent, unpleasant taste in your mouth. This might even change the flavor of the food that you eat, to the point where you might not even enjoy your favorite foods any more.
What Causes Oral Thrush?
Many of the triggers for oral thrush are similar to the causes of Candida overgrowth. A high sugar diet has just the same effect on your mouth flora as it does on your intestinal flora. Antibiotics will disturb the balance of microorganisms in your mouth, just the same as they will alter your gut flora.
However, there are a few other causes of oral thrush that are more unique and localized. Common examples might be dentures or a regular smoking habit. These can both change the environment in your mouth and allow an opportunistic pathogen like Candida albicans to thrive.
Here are the main causes of oral thrush that you need to be aware of:
- A high sugar diet
- Medications that cause dry mouth
- Weakened immunity
If your baby has oral thrush, consider the possibility that it might have been passed on from a vaginal Candida infection. The Candida yeast that causes vaginal candidiasis is exactly the same microorganism that causes intestinal Candida overgrowth and oral thrush.
How Can You Treat Your Oral Thrush Naturally?
Eliminate The Risk Factors
The first step to treating your oral thrush is to address anything whatever it is that might be causing it. Take a look through the causes above and see if any of those correspond to your own situation. Do what you have to do to eliminate them.
Are you a regular smoker? If your smoking habit is causing regular oral thrush, then it’s time to stop. What about your diet? Cutting out sugary foods can help to prevent Candida outbreaks, both in your mouth and elsewhere. Do you often take antibiotics for viral infections or flus? Try this instead: rest up, drink lots of water, try some natural remedies, and stay off the antibiotics wherever possible. Probiotics can help to rebalance the bacteria in your gut, and support your immune system in other parts of your body too.
By eliminating some of these risk factors, you might find that your overall health improves too. The lifestyle and dietary choices that contribute to oral thrush can also trigger an intestinal Candida overgrowth. A happy side effect of fixing your oral thrush can be that you see improvements in your digestion, immunity, and much more.
Essential Oils Can Help
In addition to eliminating risk factors for your oral thrush, you’ll need something to treat the local infection. Your doctor may prescribe medication, but many find that these are very hard on the liver. If you are a frequent oral thrush sufferer, natural therapies can be a gentler option.
Note: These topical solutions will relieve your symptoms, but remember that they will not address the underlying imbalances that are causing your symptoms. Whichever therapy you choose, you should still combine it with an anti-Candida diet and, ideally, some probiotics too.
Here’s a fantastic way to use essential oils to combat your oral thrush. Simply add 2-3 drops of peppermint essential oil to water, and you have a mouthwash that will kill the Candida yeast in your mouth and freshen your breath too. Spearmint essential oil is another great option that has much the same effect. You can also use combinations of essential oils – try a few drops each of tea tree oil, lavender oil, and chamomile oil.
Swish the mixture around in your mouth just like a normal mouthwash, and be sure to spit it out rather than swallowing it. These mouthwashes are gentle on your body and you can use them several times a day. Continuing to use a good herbal mouthwash after your thrush has gone will also prevent it from returning.
Oil pulling was featured in early Ayurveda, and was first mentioned in Ayurvedic literature around 2300 years ago. It’s a very simple process, and it can help to quickly eliminate the symptoms of oral thrush.
The theory behind oil pulling is that swishing certain oils round in your mouth can help to ‘pull’ toxins from your system. Thousands swear by it, although there is very little scientific evidence to support its use. However, by using a different oil you can get all the possible benefits of oil pulling, plus the added bonus of a natural antifungal to destroy the Candida albicans in your mouth.
Oil pulling is usually done with sesame oil or sunflower oil. If you have oral candidiasis, try using coconut oil or olive oil instead. These are two super-healthy oils with strong antifungal properties. As you swish the oils around in your mouth, they will be constantly attacking the Candida and, hopefully, relieving those troublesome symptoms.
Oil pulling is a very simple process, but there are a few rules that you do need to follow.
After brushing your teeth in the morning, put one tablespoon of virgin coconut oil or olive oil in your mouth. Now swish it around, just like mouthwash. Be sure to push the oil all around your mouth, – between your teeth, under the tongue, across the roof of your mouth. Do this for at least 10 minutes if you can, after which the oil should have thinned and turned a milky color. Now spit it out and rinse out your mouth with salt water.
Here are a few points that you need to remember:
- Do oil pulling on an empty stomach.
- Don’t swallow the oil! By the time you finish swishing, it’s full of dead Candida cells and toxins. Remember to spit it out.
- Don’t gargle with the oil (for the very same reason).
If You Have Oral Thrush, You Might Also Have Intestinal Candida
Is your oral thrush connected to an intestinal Candida overgrowth? If you’re suffering from digestive symptoms, fatigue or brain fog, there might be more going on than just an infection in your mouth. The same risk factors and behaviors that lead to oral thrush can also trigger a Candida overgrowth in your gut.
Fortunately, finding a long term to both is possible with a combination of low-sugar diet, probiotics, and antifungals. For lots more information on how to treat Candida, whether it’s in your mouth, gut, or elsewhere, take a look at my Ultimate Candida Diet treatment program.
Symptoms of a yeast infection
A vaginal yeast infection can be a miserable experience. Symptoms typically include:
- Redness, swelling, and itching in and around your vaginal opening
- Vaginal pain
- Watery or thick discharge that looks like cottage cheese
- Burning sensation while urinating or during intercourse
Causes of a yeast infection
Many things can cause a yeast infection. Some of the common causes of vaginal yeast infections include:
- Uncontrolled diabetes. High amounts of sugar in your body can feed yeast in your vagina. Once you get your diabetes under control, the bacteria in your body should follow suit.
- Antibiotics. Because antibiotics kill both good and bad bacteria, you’re more likely to get a yeast infection while taking them. If you get recurrent yeast infections, let your doctor know if they’re considering prescribing an antibiotic. They may be able to help.
- Sex. You can pass a yeast infection to your partner during sex, so communicate clearly with your partner before engaging in intercourse.
- Hormones during pregnancy, menopause, or breastfeeding can change the bacterial balance in your vagina.
- Immune system disorders may let yeast grow uncontrolled in your body.
- Products like vaginal sprays or douches can change the balance of bacteria in your vagina.
Being aware of the causes of a yeast infection can often help to head them off before symptoms begin. For example, if you know you’ll be taking antibiotics, also take probiotics. This can help keep the bacteria in your vagina balanced.
Diet for a yeast infection
The foods you eat may be contributing to your recurring yeast infections. Yeast loves sugar. Avoiding the following foods (also known as a Candida diet) can curb the growth of yeast in your body.
- White flour and rice
- Foods or drinks fermented with yeast
- Foods made up of simple sugars
Although avoiding these foods may help you avoid a yeast infection, this diet can be difficult to maintain. Fortunately, you may not need to completely eliminate these foods to see positive effects in the number or severity of yeast infections you get. Cutting back in small amounts may help.
It may also help to increase your intake of healthy proteins and fats and increase your intake of low-starch fruits and vegetables. Eating a low-sugar diet doesn’t mean you have to go hungry; you just need to eat more from other food groups.
Probiotics might help
Certain bacteria occur naturally in your digestive tract, on your skin, and in other parts of your body. When you get a yeast infection, your body’s natural bacteria have gotten out of balance. Consuming probiotics can help to balance the good bacteria in your body. Good sources for probiotics are:
- Yogurt with live bacterial cultures
- Fermented foods such as kimchi, kefir, kombucha, sauerkraut, and pickles
- Supplements containing lactobacillus or acidophilus
Some women have success in preventing and treating yeast infections when they consume yogurt (or a probiotic supplement) regularly.
Lifestyle changes for preventing yeast infections
You can do several other things – beyond dieting – to help prevent yeast infections. In fact, good genital hygiene is one of the best ways to prevent this type of infection. This includes:
- Keep things clean. Use mild, unscented soap and water to keep your vaginal area clean.
- Choose the right underwear. Your underwear should keep your genital area dry. Cotton underwear is a good choice. Sleeping without underwear can also help.
- After using the bathroom, wipe from front to back to avoid spreading yeast or bacteria between your anus, urinary tract, or vagina.
- Don’t wear swimsuits longer than necessary. Wearing a wet swimsuit will foster the spread of yeast because it keeps things warm and wet.
- Don’t wear tight clothes. Tight-fitting clothing also keeps your genitals warm and moist.
- Change tampons and pads regularly.
- Avoid douches and any kind of perfumed sprays, powders, or tampons.
When to see a doctor?
Even with all of your preventive efforts, you can still get a yeast infection. So when should you see a doctor? You should consider making an appointment if:
- You’re experiencing a yeast infection for the first time
- Your symptoms don’t go away after using over-the-counter antifungal vaginal creams or suppositories
- You’re not sure if you have a yeast infection
- You develop unrelated symptoms
- You have recurrent yeast infections regardless of any preventive efforts
10 Foods to Fight Candida
January 31st, 2020
• Free eBook: 35 Gut Recovery Recipes
Do you suffer from mood swings, seasonal allergies, digestive issues, or frequent yeast infections? If so, you may have Candida overgrowth. Candida albicans, a form of fungus, is the scientific name for a specific type of yeast. Fortunately, there a number of powerful foods to fight this yeast that you can start eating TODAY to help get you to optimal health!
What is Candida Overgrowth?
A small amount of Candida lives in your mouth and intestines along with many other microbes. There they aid digestion and defecation, among other things. When you’re in good health, the variety of bacteria and yeast in your body are in balance. However, many factors can disrupt that delicate balance.
Bacterial infections, viruses, medications, diet, and a toxic environment can all change the balance of bacteria in your body. Candida can quickly overgrow. Symptoms of Candida overgrowth range from digestive issues to depression.
When it’s overproduced, it breaks down the wall of your intestines and enters directly into your bloodstream, where it releases toxic byproducts that can cause leaky gut.
How Can I Treat it?
When it comes to treating Candida overgrowth, there are few key points to remember.
1. Starve the Yeast
First, you want to starve the Candida, which feeds off sugar, refined carbohydrates, and yeast-containing foods. refined carbohydrates, and yeast-containing foods. For this reason, you’ll remove all gluten, sugar, refined carbohydrates, alcohol, dried fruit, fruit juices, and fermented foods from your diet. Fermented foods not only feed good bacteria, they also feed Candida.
I also recommend limiting legumes and grains to 1 cup a day, or eliminating them from your diet completely. See this article for a complete list of the foods to toss if you have Candida.
2. Attack the Candida
Once the Candida is contained, you want to attack the overgrowth by breaking down the Candida cell walls with Candifense®, caprylic acid, and an anti-Candida diet.
To get a complete guide to using all three of my go-ways to take down Candida overgrowth, I recommend my 30-day Candida Breakthrough® Program.
It is a step-by-step guide to naturally overcoming Candida overgrowth. In the program, you’ll find a complete meal plan and supplement regimen. You’ll also receive a comprehensive set of tools to help you take back your health and eliminate your symptoms.
3. Repopulate the Gut
Lastly, repopulate your gut with good bacteria by taking a high-potency probiotic that keeps Candida under control. While battling Candida, I recommend a probiotic supplement containing 100 billion colony-forming units (CFUs) to restore your gut’s healthy microbial balance.
Eat the following foods to fight Candida overgrowth and restore balance to your microbiome.
1. Coconut oil
Coconut oil naturally contains the antibacterial fatty acids capric acid and lauric acid which promote gut health. These antifungal fatty acids interfere with Candida growth and replication by poking holes in the walls of the yeast cells, causing them to die off. Capric, or caprylic acid, a 10-carbon saturated fatty acid, is the fastest and most effective at eliminating Candida overgrowth,1 which is why it’s the primary ingredient in one of my Candida-fighting supplements, Caprylic Acid.
Garlic and garlic extracts are not only used as ingredients but also as plant-based pharmaceuticals to help prevent and address various illnesses.2 Garlic contains allicin, a sulfur-containing compound with natural antifungal properties which inhibits the growth and reproduction of Candida cells.3 Despite many studies, the best way to reap the benefits of allicin-containing garlic is to add the raw ingredient to your diet. When freshly crushed, this little food is one of the best antifungals around.
3. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is the one type of vinegar allowed on a Candida diet. Most vinegar is made from alcohol or grains, while apple cider vinegar is sourced from apples or, as you may have guessed, apple cider.4 Research on apple cider vinegar is limited, though it shows an ability to damage the Candida cell walls and protein structures.5
4. Cruciferous Vegetables
Cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli, Brussels sprouts, arugula, cabbage, and radishes, contain isothiocyanates, the sulphur- and nitrogen-containing compounds that attack Candida. Isothiocyanates studies determined that the plant-derived compound inhibits the growth of Candida, and supports a healthy balance of bacteria with its anti-bacterial properties.6
Ginger is commonly used to soothe a belly ache, or ease internal pressure from gas. However, it can do more than break apart and expel gas in the intestinal tract. Ginger also contains gingerols and shogaols. These inflammation-fighting, anti-fungal components of the ginger root support a healthy balance of bacteria to help eliminate an overgrowth. While ginger is not the most powerful anti-fungal of the group, it does provide significant liver support while your body is detoxifying by promoting your body’s glutathione levels.7
6. Olive Oil
Olive, flax, avocado, and primrose oils contain polyphenols, which are antioxidants that can help your body fight Candida. The main phenolic compounds (polyphenols), hydroxytyrosol have powerful antioxidant activity, and the primary fatty acid in olive and avocado oils, oleic acid, helps to fight inflammation and support your immune system.8
Cloves naturally contain eugenol, a powerful essential oil and extremely effective antifungal when taken internally. It almost completely inhibits the growth of Candida cells.9 Clove oil can also be effective as a topical aid for fungal infections of the toe and fingernails.
Cinnamon is a spice that helps your body fight inflammation, and it also exhibits antifungal properties. Similar to caprylic acid, it appears to damage yeast cells, causing them to denature and eventually die off. It may be beneficial to include in your diet as you work to eliminate or prevent Candida overgrowth.
9. Wild Salmon
Wild salmon is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids. This fatty acid may fight fungal infections, and help keep Candida in check. Additionally, omega-3s can help increase the production of inflammation-fighting compounds, such as short-chain fatty acids. They also work together with your immune system to improve the integrity of your gut lining,10 and help repair the damage done to the gut by an imbalance of bacteria.
10. Lemon Juice
The essential oil of lemons contains mild anti-fungal properties. Lemon’s main role in the diet is to help detoxify your liver as it tries to fight off the Candida.
Are you ready to take back your health? Sign up for my free training to learn how to beat Candida for good in three easy steps, and don’t forget to register for my Candida Breakthrough® Program so that you can join the thousands of others who have successfully overcome their Candida overgrowth and found relief from chronic symptoms, including digestive issues, fatigue, brain fog, recurring fungal infections, skin problems, mood swings, and more.
Sign me up!
Bubble and Squeak Kale and Potato Patties
Photo by Darren Kemper
Fatigue, yeast infections and stomach troubles? You may have candida. This overgrowth of Candida albicans (C. albicans), a yeast that typically lives in the mouth, gastrointestinal tract and vagina, doesn’t cause problems at normal levels. But an overgrowth – caused by poor diet, excess alcohol intake, stress or impaired digestive function – can trigger bloating, digestive issues, rashes, yeast infections, fatigue and more.
To protect against candida overgrowth, avoid high-sugar fruits, excess carbs, alcohol and sugar in any form, including honey or maple syrup, and focus on lean meats, nonstarchy vegetables and healthy fats. These 7 foods are proven to bolster your system against candida.
Coconut oil is a traditional remedy to protect against candida and other fungal infections. It’s high in caprylic acid, capric acid and lauric acid, fatty acids with antifungal properties that help inhibit the growth of C. albicans and other pathogens. Lauric acid in coconut is also effective against mouth sores and can prevent candida infections in the mouth (thrush). Try this: Cook asparagus, slivered almonds, onions and garlic in coconut oil over low heat; add a tablespoon of coconut oil to any smoothie; combine MCT coconut oil with a few drops of peppermint essential oil and swish in your mouth to kill yeasts and other pathogens.
Turmeric contains curcumin, a powerful anti- inflammatory and antifungal agent that appears to inhibit the growth of C. albicans and protect against yeast infections. One study suggested curcumin hampered the ability of yeasts to attach to mouth cells and was actually more effective than fluconazole, an antifungal drug. Try this: Sauté shredded Brussels sprouts, red peppers, onions and minced ginger root with turmeric and black pepper; toss green beans in curry powder, black pepper and melted coconut oil and roast until crispy; simmer sliced turmeric root, sliced ginger root and black peppercorns in coconut milk then strain and sweeten with stevia.
See also: 3 Supplements That Fight Candida
Garlic is high in allicin — formed when garlic cloves are crushed or chopped — which has been shown to inhibit the proliferation of fungi and bacteria. Studies suggest allicin can protect against candida overgrowth and may reduce the ability of candida to attach to cells lining the mouth. Because allicin is damaged by heating, it’s best to eat garlic raw for maximum effectiveness. Try this: Crush whole garlic cloves, mix with coconut oil and minced rosemary and use instead of butter on cooked vegetables; finely mince garlic cloves and whisk together with apple cider vinegar, olive oil and minced thyme for an easy salad dressing; press garlic cloves through a garlic press and toss with cooked vegetables and olive oil.
Ginger contains antifungal compounds called gingerol and shagelol and anti-inflammatory agents. Studies show ginger can inhibit the growth of C. albicans. In one study, an antifungal cream with added ginger was more effective at relieving yeast infections than the antifungal cream without ginger. Try this: Simmer broccoli, cauliflower, onions, curry powder and chopped ginger root in broth and coconut milk then purée into a creamy soup; finely mince fresh ginger root and combine with white miso paste, apple cider vinegar and sesame oil for a creamy dressing; simmer grated ginger root and zucchini “noodles” in vegetable or bone broth then top with sliced green onions, bean sprouts, chopped basil and sliced jalapeño peppers for a candida-fighting pho.
Kimchi a spicy, traditionally fermented cabbage dish, is rich in a variety of probiotics to protect the gut from pathogens. Studies show probiotics reduce gut inflammation, protect against overgrowth of pathogens and candida yeast, and may alleviate symptoms of candida. Because it’s dairy-free and also contains garlic and ginger, it’s ideal for an anti- candida diet. Other probiotic-rich, dairy-free foods include coconut kefir, miso, tempeh and traditionally prepared (unpasteurized) sauerkraut. Try this: Toss shredded baby spinach leaves with kimchi, black sesame seeds and chopped tomatoes for an easy salad; finely chop kimchi and add to scrambled eggs then top with cubes of avocado.
Apple cider vinegar has long been used as a home remedy to treat candida overgrowth and protect against yeast infections and thrush. Studies show that apple cider vinegar has powerful antimicrobial activities and can inhibit the growth of C. albicans and other pathogens, and it may be more effective than nystatin, an antifungal drug, in preventing candida overgrowth in the mouth. Try this: Combine apple cider vinegar with chopped ginger, crushed garlic cloves and turmeric and let stand overnight before straining for a potent fire cider; toss shredded red and green cabbage, red onions, chopped cilantro and minced serrano peppers with apple cider vinegar and olive oil for a fast slaw.
Kale and other leafy greens are high in fiber to nourish beneficial gut bacteria and help your body protect against candida overgrowth. Kale is also a crucifer, so it’s rich in compounds that are thought to minimize the growth of C. albicans. Other nonstarchy and cruciferous vegetables for an anti-candida diet: spinach, arugula, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, broccoli, celery, green beans, cucumber, eggplant, onion and zucchini. Try this: Sauté chopped kale and sliced mushrooms in coconut oil then sprinkle with very finely minced garlic; toss quartered escarole and leeks in olive oil and grill until tender; cook eggplant, cauliflower and spinach until soft then purée with avocado, salt and pepper for a dairy-free dip.