You may be surprised to know that it’s quite normal to have Candida albicans in your body. In fact, almost all of us have it in some form. It’s when you have too much Candida albicans that it becomes a problem, and this is known as Candida overgrowth.
A Candida cleanse is a treatment protocol that uses a low-sugar, anti-inflammatory diet, combined with probiotics and other supplements, to reverse a Candida overgrowth.
Table Of Contents
- What Is Candida Overgrowth?
- What Causes Candida Overgrowth?
- The Benefits Of Doing A Candida Cleanse
- Foods To Eat On Your Candida Cleanse
- Foods To Avoid On Your Candida Cleanse
- Sample Meal plan
- Supplements To Take On Your Candida Cleanse
- Now It’s Time To Fight Your Candida!
- 10 Signs You Have Candida Overgrowth & How to Eliminate It
- How do you get Candida overgrowth?
- 10 Common Candida Symptoms
- The Candida & Autoimmune Connection
- How do you test for Candida overgrowth?
- How do you treat Candida overgrowth?
- The Best Time I Went on a Candida Cleanse
- What’s On the Menu?
- Does It Work?
- Your Best Move
- So When Does The Diet Finish?
- Coping with Die-Off
- We’ve Decoded The Candida Diet For You!
- Getting started – the candida cleanse
- Does the Candida Diet Work?
- Is your strict candida diet making your symptoms worse?
- What is candida albicans overgrowth?
- What increases the risk of Candida overgrowth?
- How is Candidiasis treated?
- The whole-systems approach to Candida
- The 6 Biggest Mistakes in Treating Candida
- LIKE WHAT YOU’VE READ?
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- We asked nutritionists what they thought of the Candida Diet
- Restoring your Gut Health with the Anti-Candida Diet
- How to Follow the Anti-Candida Diet
- 1. Avoid added sugars
- 2. Eat non-starchy vegetables
- 3. Eat low-sugar fruits
- 4. Eat lots of fermented foods
- 5. Minimize your caffeine
- 6. Eat gut-healing foods
- 7. Enjoy healthy proteins and fats
- 8. Stay away from gluten
- 9. Cut back on your alcohol
- 10. Maximize your nutrition
- 11. Drink lots of water
- The Bottom Line
- Candida Diet Good Foods That Are Safe to Eat
- Candida Diet Protein Foods
- Candida Diet Allowed Fish
- Candida Diet Vegetables
- What Nuts Can You Eat on the Candida Diet?
- Candida Diet Good Fatty Foods
- What Fruits are Good on the Candida Diet?
- What Grain Carbs are ok on the Candida Diet?
- Can I Drink Alcohol on the Candida Diet?
- Feed Your Good Bacteria
- Candida Diet Good Foods Helpful Diet Tips
- Commonly Asked Candida Diet Questions?
What Is Candida Overgrowth?
Candida is a species of yeast that lives naturally on and in your body. It’s a normal component of the microorganisms that live in your gastrointestinal tract. Small amounts of Candida albicans live in the warm, moist areas of your body, such as on your skin, in your gut and mouth, and in your rectum and vagina. Candida albicans even plays a part in digestion and nutrient absorption.
Usually, the population of Candida albicans is kept under control by your ‘good’ gut bacteria: the healthy microorganisms that make up the majority of your microbiome. These microbes work to keep the balance of good and bad in check. However, if Candida albicans multiplies out of control, problems begin. This can lead to overgrowth, also known as Candidiasis, thrush, or yeast infection.
Candida overgrowth can lead to infections that cause pain and inflammation throughout the body, usually on the skin, in the gut and the genitals. If left untreated, Candida microbes can even break down the walls of the intestine and release toxic by-products into your body, which may lead to many different health issues, from digestive disorders to depression. (1)
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The symptoms of Candida overgrowth often show as skin, mouth and vaginal infections. Candida overgrowth is also is a common cause of diaper rash. These skin infections are often a sign of an imbalanced gut. If the yeast overgrowth in the gut is left untreated, these other Candida infections are likely to recur.
The symptoms of Candida include:
- Brain Fog
- Digestive Issues
- Recurring Yeast Infections
- Oral Thrush
- Sinus Infections
- Food Sensitivities
- Fungal Infections On Skin Or Nails
- Weak Immunity
- Joint Pain
- Low Mood
What Causes Candida Overgrowth?
Although it’s the job of your ‘good’ gut bacteria to keep your Candida levels under control, sometimes they aren’t able to function as effectively as they should. If these bacteria are weakened in any way – whether through antibiotics, illness, or poor diet – they may fail to keep pathogens like Candida at bay.
Candida overgrowth is especially common among those who regularly eat large amounts of refined carbohydrates and sugar.
In some cases, your body may be lacking in beneficial bacteria due to antibiotics, the oral contraceptive pill, and other medications that can decimate your healthy bacteria. Chronic stress can also upset a healthy gut.
In all these cases, Candida yeast population may quickly get out of hand and become harder and harder to treat.
The really tricky thing about Candida is that it can adapt quite quickly to spread and protect itself from your immune system. It transforms from a rounded yeast cell into an elongated hyphal cell, which allows it to cope with a change in temperature or varying acidity levels. An elongated cell is also better able to break through the gut lining. (2)
Over time, this ability to penetrate the intestinal wall can lead to another health problem known as Leaky Gut Syndrome. If Candida succeeds in breaking through the gut lining, it may even allow toxins and food particles from your gut to enter the bloodstream.
The causes of Candida overgrowth include:
- A High-Sugar Diet
- Chronic Stress
- The Contraceptive Pill
- Heavy Metal Exposure
- Chemical Exposure
The Benefits Of Doing A Candida Cleanse
With all the problems that Candida overgrowth can cause, it’s not surprising that many health practitioners recommend a Candida cleanse! And fortunately, this isn’t as difficult as it might sound.
There are lots of different ways to do a Candida cleanse, but the most effective result will be achieved through targeting all areas of your body that may have been affected by the overgrowth. This includes your gut, which is often colonized by Candida albicans, and your liver, which has to process and eliminate the toxins produced by the yeast overgrowth.
Here are some of the benefits of doing a Candida cleanse:
- A rebalanced gut microbiome
- Better immune function
- Improved digestion
- Lower inflammation
- Improved mood
- Higher energy levels
Foods To Eat On Your Candida Cleanse
During your Candida cleanse diet, you should eat healthy, nutritious foods that are easy to digest.
Avoid foods that are high in sugars, pro-inflammatory, or difficult to digest. Instead, fill your diet with foods like non-starchy vegetables, low-sugar fruits, non-glutenous grains, healthy fats and proteins.
While this may be more limited than your usual diet, you can include a variety of herbs, spices, oils, and other cooking ingredients to create some delicious meals with lots of nutritional benefits! What’s more, these foods will begin the process of healing your gut, reducing inflammation, boosting nutrient absorption, and rebalancing your gut flora.
These are three types of foods that we recommend you eat while on your Candida cleanse diet:
1. Low-Sugar Foods
Reducing your sugar intake is the first step in beating Candida. Candida albicans relies on sugar to grow, reproduce and create the biofilms that protect it from your immune cells, so it makes sense to keep sugar out of your diet as much as possible.
While it may sound impossible to avoid all sugar, it’s important that you at least begin investigating the sugar content of the foods you do eat. You’ll soon find that there are lots of hidden sugars in foods you wouldn’t consider to be treats, such as condiments, fruit and processed snacks.
Low sugar foods that are acceptable on a Candida cleanse include non-starchy vegetables, some fruits (such as berries), non-glutenous grains, lean proteins, oils, and herbs.
The good news is that once you cut down your sugar intake, you’ll actually find that you crave sugar less! That’s partly because you’ll be starving the Candida yeast of its main source of fuel.
2. Non-Glutenous Grains
Keeping gluten out of your diet can improve your gut health, lower inflammation, and reduce the symptoms of your Candida overgrowth.
White breads, white pasta, and most cereals contain gluten, which causes chronic inflammation in the gut and destroys the bond between the cells lining your intestinal wall.
Our list of Candida diet foods contains only gluten-free grains and pseudo-grains such as buckwheat, quinoa, teff and millet.
Non-starchy vegetables are naturally gluten-free, and can be substituted for some grains in recipes where they provide a similar texture. For example, it’s possible to make a pasta substitute out of zucchini!
You can also substitute most flours for gluten-free alternatives, such as chickpea flour, almond flour or buckwheat flour.
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3. Anti-Inflammatory Foods
Reducing inflammation is one of the key objectives of the Candida cleanse diet. That’s why it’s vital that you not only avoid processed foods, minimize sugar, and reduce your caffeinated drinks, but also that you include lots of anti-inflammatory foods in your daily diet.
Many of the best-known anti-inflammatory foods are quite safe to eat on the Candida Cleanse. In fact, nutritionists believe that one of the most powerful tools to combat inflammation is not from pills, but from what you put on your plate!
Many studies have found that certain components of foods or beverages can have powerful anti-inflammatory effects on the body. These will help your body to recover faster from Candida.
Some of the best anti-inflammatory foods include olive oil, green leafy vegetables (such as spinach, kale, and collards), raw nuts and seeds (such as almonds and walnuts), fatty fish (salmon, mackerel, and sardines) and low-sugar fruits (blueberries, cherries and raspberries). (3)
Foods To Avoid On Your Candida Cleanse
As you may have already realized, it’s what you DON’T eat that matters most on a Candida cleanse! Improving the health of your gut means eliminating the foods that ‘feed’ the Candida yeast or worsen inflammation.
The following categories of foods should be avoided on the Candida Cleanse for one of three very important factors – sugar, gluten, and inflammation.
1. Foods That Are High In Sugar
Most of us love a sugar fix – but unfortunately, Candida does too! Sugar provides Candida with the energy it needs to develop, grow and spread throughout your body.
Sugar also allows Candida to build special protective biofilms that function as a kind of protective shield for the yeast cells, so they can ‘hide’ from your immune cells. These biofilms are actually composed of 32% glucose. (4)
It’s been found that the presence of extra sugar in the bloodstream can allow yeast to colonize more readily.
If your blood glucose levels are consistently high, your body may release extra sugar into your mucus, sweat and urine. The areas of your body where Candida thrives are generally where these bodily fluids are released.
And when the Candida yeast has colonized in a certain area, there’s a higher chance it will return – unless you cut it out completely.
Foods that are particularly high in sugar include fruit juices, candy, desserts, cereals, and dried fruit. There are many forms of sugar that appear in our foods – check the ingredients label carefully and be sure to understand exactly what you’re eating.
2. Foods That Contain Gluten
Even if you don’t suffer from celiac disease or gluten intolerance, you should still avoid gluten while on your Candida cleanse.
Research shows that gluten has the tendency to cause inflammation in the gut and increase the risk of intestinal permeability. It can also worsen the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome and Candida overgrowth. (5)
Gluten stimulates the release of a protein called zonulin, which damages the gut lining by loosening the junctions between cells in the gut. (6)
It’s been found that people who don’t appear to be sensitive to gluten may still suffer from inflammation when they eat wheat, due to the amylase trypsin inhibitors (ATIs) in wheat. These can cause an inflammatory immune response in the GI tract by provoking immune cells. (7)
Unsurprisingly, all glutenous grains are excluded from the Candida cleanse! You should avoid wheat, barley, and rye. Many breads, cereals, and other foods also contain added gluten, so watch out for those too.
3. Pro-Inflammatory Foods
Along with gluten and sugar, a number of other foods common to the Western diet are also known to cause inflammation in the gut.
The worst offenders include refined vegetable oils, which contain high levels of pro-inflammatory omega-6 fatty acids. If these Omega 6 fatty acids get out of balance with anti-inflammatory Omega 3 fatty acids, they can cause an increase in inflammatory markers in the body. Unfortunately, many of the foods we eat are high in Omega 6. (8)
Alcohol and caffeine also promote inflammation in the body, as well as irritating the gut lining.
Processed foods that contain artificial additives are to be avoided too, including processed meats, trans fats (commonly found in fried foods), white breads and pasta, soybean oil and processed snack foods, such as chips. (9)
Sample Meal plan
Here is a 3-day, sample meal plan for the Candida cleanse. You can find lots more Candida recipes in our recipe section.
Breakfast: Avocado Baked Eggs with Vegetable Hash
Lunch: Chicken Piccata
Dinner: Vegan Cauliflower Curry
Breakfast: Turkey and Sage Breakfast Patties
Lunch: Cool Sardine Salad
Dinner: Mindful Veggie Bowl
Breakfast: Avocado Pancakes With Lemon Parsley Butter
Lunch: Mediterranean Zucchini Dip With Vegetables
Dinner: Green Chili Chicken Stew
Supplements To Take On Your Candida Cleanse
There are several supplements that can help you on your journey to beating Candida. Between them, they help to eliminate Candida toxin, restore your gut flora, and inhibit the growth of Candida albicans.
These are the supplements that you need for a Candida cleanse:
- A detox supplement
- A probiotic
- An antifungal
Let’s take a look at those in more detail.
1. A Detox Supplement To Reduce Your Candida Symptoms
As well as eating a clean and healthy diet, there’s another important aspect of the Candida Cleanse: detox. It’s vital that you support your body’s detoxification pathways in order to help flush out those Candida toxins, prevent a die-off reaction from occurring, and reduce your Candida symptoms.
When the Candida yeast is being ‘killed off’, it can put up quite a fight – and your organs and immune system may bear the brunt of this damage. Some of the symptoms you experience at this point can include fatigue, headaches and nausea.
These symptoms are known as Candida Die-Off, or alternatively the Herxheimer reaction, and will usually diminish within a week or two. In some cases, they can continue a little longer. This is sometimes referred to.
Die-off happens as Candida cells break down and release large amounts of their endotoxins, all at once. As well as the unpleasant effects that these toxins can have on your body, Die-off can also place a significant amount of stress on your liver.
The good news is that there are lots of natural supplements that can assist your liver in processing and expelling these toxins.
Taking a liver support supplement during your Candida cleanse can make a huge difference to your recovery. Look for a high-quality supplement that contains a range of natural, liver-supportive herbs.
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Milk thistle, molybdenum, and NAC are some of the best-researched natural medicines for boosting your liver’s functioning capacity. They can also help to flush out Candida-related toxins.
Molybdenum is especially useful, as it helps your body to produce enzymes that convert the neurotoxin acetaldehyde into acetic acids. These acids can then be flushed out of the body, or else converted into helpful digestive enzymes.
When it comes to plant-based liver support, you can’t go wrong with milk thistle. This powerful herb is renowned for its ability to protect the liver and support your body’s detoxification pathways.
Milk thistle’s seeds contain a powerful flavonoid called silymarin, which is a potent antioxidant and one of nature’s most potent liver purifiers. Silymarin has been found to optimize liver function and detoxification, while also helping to repair damage to liver cells from disease, alcohol, and drugs. (10)
One of the ways in which milk thistle works is by increasing production of glutathione, your body’s most important antioxidant. Glutathione helps to ward off damage from free radicals that are generated by our environment or from within the gut. (11)
The detox supplement that we recommend is Liver Support by Balance ONE. It contains standardized European milk thistle extract, molybdenum, NAC, and a total of 11 liver-supportive ingredients. It was formulated especially for Candida sufferers, and it’s the only detox supplement that we recommend.
2. A Probiotic To Restore Your Gut Microbiome
Did you know that up to 70 percent of your immune tissue is in your gut? (12)
Your immunity can really suffer when your body is trying to fight off a gut infection like Candida overgrowth. Restoring your healthy gut bacteria should be a priority in order to get your immunity back up and running. The most effective way to do this is by taking a high-quality probiotic supplement.
Here are two of the top probiotic strains for restoring gut microbiome:
L. plantarum is a powerful strain of probiotic bacteria that has been shown to support immune health in a variety of ways. It is highly adhesive, which means it ‘clings’ to the intestinal wall and helps to promote gut healing. It’s also very good at fighting pathogenic bacteria and yeast that cause us problems, particularly E. coli and Candida albicans. (13)
L. plantarum works by protecting the membrane that surrounds your gut. This makes it particularly helpful if you have any irritation or damage to your gut lining.
Studies have found that L. plantarum is particularly resilient and can survive the harsh environment of the gut, even alongside antibiotic treatment. If you need to take antibiotics and want to avoid overgrowth of yeast, L. plantarum is a good choice.
Lactobacillus acidophilusis perhaps the most well-known and well-researched of probiotic bacteria. It displays remarkable potency in the battle against Candida and has been shown to significantly inhibit the rate at which the yeast grows. This is one of most effective probiotic bacteria against Candida albicans. (14,15)
L. acidophilus produces lactic acid as a byproduct of its metabolism. This helps to regulate acidity in your gut, boost your immune system, and prevent Candida albicans from switching to its fungal form (it needs an alkaline environment to do this).
This remarkable microbe has also been found to lower cholesterol, prevent and treat diarrhea, negate the effects of irritable bowel syndrome, promote weight loss, lessen the symptoms of colds and flu, reduce allergies and eczema, and is an excellent bacterium for improving gut health.
Our recommended probiotic for Candida is the Balance ONE Probiotic. It uses time-release tablets to get 15 times as many probiotic bacteria past the stomach acid barrier and to your gut. It contains 15 billion CFUs of bacteria, has 12 probiotic strains, and is made in the USA. It’s the only probiotic that we recommend for Candida overgrowth.
3. An Antifungal To Fight The Candida Overgrowth
Candida is a virulent pathogen that is particularly difficult to dislodge from your intestinal walls. Antifungals help to break down the biofilms that it creates and give your immune system the best possible chance to eliminate it.
There are only a handful of prescription antifungals that can help with a Candida overgrowth, and they tend to come with some nasty side effects. This is because yeast and fungal cells are quite similar to human cells, which makes it difficult to create a treatment that targets the ‘bad guys’ and not the ‘good guys’. For this reason, natural antifungals are often the best option for Candida sufferers.
Oregano oil is a powerful antifungal treatment that can help to inhibit and reverse a Candida overgrowth. Oregano oil is the concentrated extract of oregano leaf. It’s been used in natural medicine throughout history, and research has shown that it can inhibit a variety of pathogens including Candida yeast infections. (16)
Oregano’s antifungal properties are largely due to its active constituent, carvacrol. Carvacrol is rich in concentrated phenols that attack pathogenic fungi. (17)
Carvacrol has also been found to inhibit a range of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, viruses, parasites, and fungi, which can give your immune system the boost it needs while it deals with Candida yeast.
At the same time, carvacrol has the ability to prevent Candida toxins from releasing harmful substances and creating protective biofilms (18).
Oregano oil supplements are generally available in capsule form at most health stores. Diluted oregano oil can also be taken orally.
This supplement is a powerful antifungal that comes in capsule form. It’s one of the antifungals most often used in Candida treatment. It is derived from coconut oil, which contains caprylic acid and two other antifungal compounds.
Caprylic acid can help in two ways: its ability to kill Candida cells, and the way that it restores normal acidity levels in the gut. Taking caprylic acid during your treatment can get your intestinal tract back in shape and help to inhibit or reverse your intestinal Candidiasis. (19)
Now It’s Time To Fight Your Candida!
A Candida cleanse is one of the best ways to address Candida overgrowth. With the right foods and supplements, you’ll be on your way to beating that yeast and feeling fantastic again!
Here are the most important steps in your Candida cleanse:
- Follow a low-sugar, anti-inflammatory diet to boost your immunity and starve the Candida yeast.
- Take a detox supplement to support your liver and reduce your Candida symptoms.
- Use a high-quality probiotic supplement to restore your gut flora.
- Take a natural antifungal to inhibit and reverse the Candida overgrowth.
If you’d like to learn more about how to create your own Candida treatment plan, check out our Ultimate Candida Diet program. It contains more than 100 sugar-free, gluten-free recipes, as well as lots of detailed advice on the best foods and supplements to beat Candida.
Filed under: About Candida, Antifungals, Candida Die-Off, Candida Symptoms, Causes Of Candida, Detox & Cleansing, Diet Tips, Immune System, Probiotics
Beat your candida in 60 days with this detailed 5-step program
If you’re looking for a more comprehensive Candida treatment plan, check out the Ultimate Candida Diet program, written by Lisa Richards and Dr Eric Wood. This plan is based on the latest research into Candida Related Complex, and contains everything you need to know to beat your Candida overgrowth.
10 Signs You Have Candida Overgrowth & How to Eliminate It
January 8th, 2020
• Free eBook: 35 Gut Recovery Recipes
Candida overgrowth is one of the most common conditions I would see in my clinic, especially among my autoimmune patients. I’ve seen thousands of patients suffer from digestive issues, fatigue, brain fog, recurring fungal infections, skin problems, mood swings, and more, all caused by Candida overgrowth.
I have also seen the incredible transformation that they experience by beating Candida overgrowth. I’ve witnessed the return of energy, vitality, and mental clarity, and chronic symptoms fade away.
You might be wondering, “What on earth is Candida?” Candida is a fungus, a form of yeast that lives in your mouth and intestines in small amounts. Its job is to aid with digestion and nutrient absorption. However, when it is overproduced it breaks down the wall of the intestine and penetrates the bloodstream. This releases toxic byproducts into your body and causes leaky gut. It can also lead to many different health problems ranging from digestive issues to depression.
How do you get Candida overgrowth?
The healthy or ‘good’ bacteria in your gut typically keep your Candida levels in check. However, the Candida population can get out of hand if a round of antibiotics kills too many of the friendly bacteria, you have a diet high in refined carbohydrates and sugar (which feed the Candida), high alcohol intake, are taking oral contraceptives, or any number of other factors including a high-stress lifestyle. Even a diet high in beneficial fermented foods like Kombucha, sauerkraut, and pickles, can feed Candida and cause an overgrowth.
10 Common Candida Symptoms
Candida has the unique ability to change shape in order to protect itself from harsh environments. It responds to a shift in temperature or acidity levels by transforming from a rounded yeast cell into an elongated hyphal cell. These elongated cells have the ability to permeate the gut lining, causing leaky gut. Once in the bloodstream, Candida can invade other tissues. This means that Candida can quickly transition from a gut problem to a full-body problem. It can colonize the skin, mouth, ears, thyroid, reproductive organs, or elsewhere. For this reason, symptoms of Candida overgrowth can be experienced in many different forms.
- Skin and nail fungal infections such as athlete’s foot, ringworm, and toenail fungus
- Feeling tired and worn down or suffering from chronic fatigue or fibromyalgia
- Digestive issues such as bloating, constipation, or diarrhea
- Autoimmune diseases such as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, rheumatoid arthritis, ulcerative colitis, lupus, psoriasis, scleroderma, or multiple sclerosis
- Difficulty concentrating, poor memory, lack of focus, ADD, ADHD, and/or brain fog
- Skin issues including eczema, psoriasis, hives, and rashes
- Irritability, mood swings, anxiety, or depression
- Vaginal infections, urinary tract infections, rectal itching, or vaginal itching
- Severe seasonal allergies or itchy ears
- Strong sugar and refined carbohydrate cravings
Do you think you have Candida overgrowth? Take this simple quiz to find out!
The Candida & Autoimmune Connection
Once Candida has penetrated your intestinal lining and caused your gut to become leaky, it opens the floodgates for undigested food particles, toxins, viruses, and bacteria to pass through your intestinal wall and into your bloodstream. This triggers an inflammatory response from your immune system in an attempt to fight off these foreign “invaders.” As your gut remains leaky, your immune system continues sending out wave after wave of inflammation, and soon gets stressed, weakened, confused, and begins firing less accurately. When this happens, your own body’s tissues can end up in the crosshairs of your immune system. Over time this can lead to the development of a full-blown autoimmune disease.
How do you test for Candida overgrowth?
IgG, IgA and IgM Candida Antibodies
Blood tests check for IgG, IgA, and IgM Candida antibodies in your blood, and they can be performed at most any lab. High levels of these antibodies indicate that an overgrowth of Candida is present somewhere in the body and that your immune system is reacting to it.
Remember, Candida has the ability to suppress the immune system so it is important to ask your doctor to test your total IgG, IgA and IgM levels along with the Candida antibodies. Low levels of total IgG, IgA or IgM could cause a false negative response to the Candida antibodies, meaning you have Candida but since your immune system is lowered, you are unable to produce a response and your blood test comes back negative. I see so many patients with suppressed immune systems, so I find that blood tests can often be negative even when the stool or urine tests are positive.
Complete Blood Count (CBC)
Often, I will see clues on a CBC that let me know that Candida is present. A low white blood cell count (WBC) has been associated with Candida overgrowth. It has also been associated with a pattern of high neutrophil and low lymphocyte count. These are non-specific to Candida, yet I can tell you I see this pattern very frequently in patients with Candida overgrowth.
I personally find this to be the most accurate test available. This will check for Candida in your colon or lower intestines. However, you need to make sure that your doctor orders a comprehensive stool test rather than the standard stool test. With the stool test, your stool is directly analyzed for levels of Candida. The lab can usually determine the species of yeast as well as which treatment will be effective.
Urine Organix Dysbiosis Test
This test detects D-Arabinitol a waste product of Candida overgrowth. An elevated test means an overgrowth of Candida. This test will determine if there is Candida in your upper gut or small intestines.
How do you treat Candida overgrowth?
Effectively treating Candida involves stopping the overgrowth, restoring the friendly bacteria that usually keep them in check, and repairing your gut so that Candida can no longer enter your bloodstream. I accomplish this with a simple three-wave attack I describe in detail in my free training. The steps are as follows:
- Step 1: First, you need to starve the Candida by removing the foods that feed it from your diet. This means cutting all sugar and alcohol and limiting carbohydrates such as fruit, starchy vegetables, grains, and legumes.
- Step 2: Next, you’ll want to attack the Candida by taking supplements that destroy Candida’s cell walls. I use Candifense® as well as Caprylic Acid. Candifense® supports microbe balance in the GI tract and discourages the growth of yeast. Caprylic Acid creates an inhospitable environment for yeast, and it’s able to penetrate intestinal mucosal cells to exert its effects. Both Candifense® and Caprylic Acid are excellent at breaking down the walls of Candida cells.
- Step 3: Finally, you will repopulate your gut with good bacteria using a high-potency probiotic to keep 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.
The Best Time I Went on a Candida Cleanse
by Kendra Eash
“Sugar is basically poison,” my friend Rachel said over a couples’ dinner with her husband and my girlfriend, Kelli, at our favorite pizza place.
She was telling us about the monthly “Candida Cleanse” she embarks on to combat her allergies and indigestion.
“Essentially, it clears out all of the yeast in your gut that keeps your immune system from working the way it needs to,” Rachel explained. “My acupuncturist told me about it. You guys should try it.”
She had us at “poisoned gut” and “acupuncturist.” Kelli and I both tend to get seduced by alternative wisdom like horoscopes, yoga mantras, and books about the holographic universe (because we’re artistic, because our Midwestern parents would scoff at it, or just because it’s weird and fun to play along with mystical conspiracy theories). Plus we’re lesbians with two cats and crystals growing on our mantel, so, you know, it’s not a big surprise that we would be into this stuff.
Besides these preferences, Kelli really does suffer from sneezing fits and weird allergic skin reactions, and I get debilitating migraines that relegate me to giving myself a shot of sodium chloride in the leg after days of puking my guts out. So an alternative cure — no matter how suspicious-sounding — seemed worth a try. As we walked home from dinner with Rachel, we pledged to give yeast-free living a go.
“The Candida mold feeds off of the food that you eat, especially sugars and starches. The mold then begins to produce its own waste products. These wastes are toxic to the system and cause most of the sickness and disease which plagues man.”
As it turns out, when searching for information about Candida you’ll come across a lot of sites that look like a LiveJournal entry by someone writing a sci-fi novel about sugar aliens.
According to these sources, Candida forms from too much yeast in your gut, which produces mold (a.k.a. “toxic mold” depending on how alarmist the site you’re reading wants to be). The overgrowth of yeast feeds off sugar. Since there’s sugar in everything we eat, we’re all being lightly poisoned by a Sleeping Beauty’s Castle-esque overgrowth of yeast in our system, potentially causing a range of symptoms — everything from acne to indigestion, asthma, headaches, low libido, night sweats, panic attacks, bad breath, yeast infections, crying spells(?), and itching anus(!). So goes the theory, anyway.*
We decided 10 days would be a reasonable amount to try the cleanse, giving us enough time to get through the “withdrawal” phase and see any positive effects.
“If you’ve tried to stay on it, even the words ‘Candida diet’ make you shudder.”
It’s the day before we are set to start the cleanse. We examine packets of Stevia in the Raw over brunch, trying to detect if there is anything resembling sugar that we can eat on the diet. The answer? Nope, everything that tastes like sugar has sugar in it. Balls. Kelli eats two-week-old cantaloupe in an effort not to waste the yeasty items we already have in the fridge. Every five minutes, I think of a new food to ask Kelli if I can still eat. She shuts me up by sending me a list, which I’ve helpfully shortened to the basics.
Not allowed: Everything and anything that includes sugar, including all fruit, all bread, and every condiment/sauce. Caffeine and alcohol. (According to The Candida Diet, caffeine suppresses the immune system from fighting back against poisonous effects of Candida.)
It worries me a bit that the list says, “Gum with xylitol is allowed to combat any bad breath you may experience.” I picture dying yeast struggling out of my tongue in a green cloud, trying to make my life even more miserable, like the animated mucus family in those Mucinex commercials.
We purchase yeast-fighting supplements online, including Nature’s Bounty™ Probiotic Acidophilus (its label mysteriously touts the contents as having “100 Million Organisms”) and something Rachel recommended called Undecyn that is manufactured by a company called THORNE RESEARCH. I wonder aloud if the origin of Batman’s next arch-enemy might come from the THORNE RESEARCH labs — a yeast giant created when eccentric millionaire Gregory Thorne falls into a vat of oh, 100 million organisms, perhaps? Kelli says she hopes I’m ready to take this seriously as she scratches at an angry red rash that has spontaneously appeared on her shins. I put my palm on her leg and feel the heat coming from her skin. I tell her Candida is going DOWN.
We go out for our “last meal” at a friends’ apartment. A guest at the dinner party tells us she’s done the Candida Cleanse before, and that she remembers her “pee and sweat smelled differently.” Noted.
“You will be surprised what lingers in the intestine.”
Normally we enjoy a ritual of making coffee, one of us sleepily setting the water to boil and measuring out rich, dark coffee to put in the French press, the other one checking email and playing Beach House on the stereo.
This morning, Kelli is chopping kale and drinking herbal tea. I match her enthusiasm with some cleanse-inspired air karate chops. We take our two THORNE RESEARCH pills; eat a full breakfast of kale sautéed in garlic and eggs, and high five.
At work, I immediately start to feel totally spacey — a little bit like being high but not in a fun way, just a stupid way. I learn not to say anything in meetings for fear of sounding like I’m on drugs or just really, really slow. I chalk it up to the no coffee and persevere. Around 3 p.m. I start to get a tension headache and secretly resent everyone who talks to me. I worry about my xylitol gum-covered breath.
The headache abates with dinner (brown rice, steamed green beans), after which Kelli decides to make hard-boiled eggs, and we sit down to watch Breaking Bad with seltzer and lemon juice on hand. At the part where Walt and Jesse are breaking into the police station with a giant magnet, Kelli realizes she’s boiled the eggs for 40 minutes. We don’t high five. She’s still itching her legs.
I have a slight headache that persists all day, but it’s nothing that can’t be handled by a couple of Advil. I still feel in a fog, but now it’s more like a light mist. I pack rice cakes and almond butter for us to bring to work, and eat mine immediately. When Kelli eats hers she instant messages me: “I’m embarrassed about my snack.” “Why?” I type. “It just seems like a parody of a diet. Who eats rice cakes?” Candida killers, that’s who.
Later, I have a conversation with a co-worker about a similar-sounding sugar cleanse she recently completed. She asks me what day I’m on. When I say day two, she replies, “Ohhhhhhhh. Watch out — on day three I felt like I was coming down with a fever.” Hmm.
I wake up feeling a little falsely filled up, like a human balloon animal. I’ve noticed a bit of a separation from my body, which I suppose means I’m usually a slave to my sugary appetites. So instead of tucking into every meal like it’s my last, I’m now spearing steamed broccoli and observing it as a thing that is going to get digested and power my muscles to move. I take no enjoyment in eating. I explain my feelings to Kelli, who tells me to stop acting like we’re in a reality show confession room and bear down. I notice a rash of red bumps creeping up her collarbone, so I do.
I am still irritable and foggy. I bring more rice cakes smeared with gloopy almond butter in little baggies to work. They look like dog poop sitting on my desk, so I cover them up with papers and eat them later when no one is looking. They taste like an oily cardboard box. Lunch is actually pretty good — some wild salmon (allowed), romaine lettuce, avocado, tomatoes, and almond slices in lemon juice and olive oil. All of the best things I can have on the diet put me in high spirits. I convince myself I’m entering the “energy” portion of the cleanse, until I get a headache later that night and pass out watching So You Think You Can Dance.
“Candida fights back when you attack it. Some people have burning when they urinate. DO NOT BACK-OFF ON THE ATTACK.”
Plain yogurt with unsweetened cinnamon for breakfast tastes like going for a jog in 100-degree heat. You have to coach your mouth into every bite. Despite the lack of enthusiasm during our meals, we’re both feeling pretty good. Over flavorless herbal tea, we get into an argument about how much sugar and cheese we are going to eat after the cleanse is over.
I argue that we can just eat a smaller amount of cheese post-cleanse, while Kelli, clearly high on yeast withdrawal, suggests we never eat cheese again. I gasp a little.
We finally agree that we will eat as little sugar and dairy as possible, but not completely cut anything out. We hug, and Kelli mumbles into my shoulder, “I just want to lead a lightly sugared life.” I tell her she should start a low-sugar recipe blog called Lightly Sugared Life. I go to bed hungry and exhausted. She goes to bed scratching.
Our weekends are typically filled with flea market food tastings, mimosa-soaked brunches, and intimate meals at creative Brooklyn hotspots serving things like fried kale, creamy risotto, plantain arepas, and creatively flavored artisan ice cream. Like any Brooklynite couple, we take full advantage of the diverse culinary splendor of the borough. But until this cleanse, I never realized how big of a part food played in our freewheeling weekend pleasure-seeking.
Physically, I feel pretty good. I’ve lost a couple of pounds, my head feels clear, and I have a decent amount of energy. But mentally, I’m getting pretty depressed. Life without sugar sucks. The most exciting thing we do all day is go to the park, where we proceed to detail out all of the things we are going to go back to eating once the cleanse is over.
This morning my pee was a shocking fluorescent yellow, which I took as a sign of good health. We finally caved and bought some pure Stevia from Whole Foods, which is a plant-based extract that kind of tastes like NutraSweet without the aftertaste, and is the only sugar-like thing allowed on the cleanse. It comes in a small bottle and is administered with an eyedropper, making me feel like a scientist doling out precise drops of pleasure into our herbal tea, oatmeal, and yogurt. After eating a not-that-bad-but-not-that-good-either meal of quinoa-based pasta, almond-basil pesto, and tomatoes for dinner, I start to sow the seeds of discontent, grumbling out loud about how I think the cleanse is kinda bullshit. I suspect the THORNE RESEARCH pills are placebos. Kelli says, “Wow, this cleanse is making you really bitchy.” I tell her it’s my demon yeast talking.
I haven’t had anything alcoholic for eight days, the longest I’ve gone since I graduated from high school. Nothing like a Candida Cleanse to make you examine your dependencies. I’d say my skin and energy are about the same as they were before — certainly not the pristine complexion or laser-focused mental clarity I’d been promised by the LiveJournal sites, but not too shabby, either. On the plus side, Kelli’s allergies have virtually disappeared and I haven’t had any migraines. We’re both noticeably losing weight, but I kind of feel like I’m getting a haunted, starving-myself look rather than the healthy, Nike Training Club app model look I would prefer, should I have my choice of body types. (Which, deep down, is at the heart of why all of us embark on these cleanses, I think; to somehow suddenly be able to shape our flesh like Play-doh.)
I’ve also developed an annoying superiority over other, sugar-dependent human beings, but it isn’t really that satisfying. After all, I like snarfing cookies with other people and gossiping about how Jim from HR looks like he cuts his hair with a Flowbee. I feel good, but life looks bleak.
“Candida is a fast-growing fungus that will take advantage of any opportunity that you give it.”
One day left and rather than feeling a sense of calm and control over my cravings, or a peaceful oneness with the physical world, I’m just getting more irritable and impatient. Food without sugar pretty much ruins food, one of the great pleasures of life. I start to tempt Kelli into quitting early, setting up my arguments with philosophical Ally McBeal lawyer-esque flair.
“If you can’t look forward to food, what can you look forward to? It’s like three tiny prizes every day,” I say, cupping my hands in front of me and knitting my brow in my best John Cage impression. “I’m not living my life like this. We can’t see our friends, we’re miserable, and annoying.”
“No, YOU’RE miserable and annoying,” Kelli says. But I’ve gotten to her. She agrees that we can have coffee the next morning. I’m so excited about going back to sugar I can’t sleep that night because I’m picturing myself contentedly smiling and stirring a perfectly caramel-colored cup of hot coffee.
Sweet release. Coffee is So. Fucking. Good. How could I have left it? I bounce around the room like a toddler given a tub full of Lik-M-Aid and feel euphoric the rest of the day.
VI. Epilogue: Taking Stock and Getting Stuffed
“Sugar weakens the immune system and gives yeast a spectacular feast.”
By the following weekend, I’ve eaten pizza, pancakes, and amazing Udon noodles with poached egg and tempura. It may just be my shape-shifting yeast talking, but I’ve never felt better. We are, however, trying to continue some of the lessons from our time on the cleanse. For example, Mayor Bloomberg will be happy to know we won’t be ordering giant-size sodas anytime soon.
Kelli’s still into the Stevia, and is using the little eyedropper like crazy in her morning coffee and yogurt (me, I went straight back to my vulgar morning lover, Sugar in the Raw). We’ve cut back on our wine consumption, opting for our cleanse-time staple of soda water and lemon juice instead of the “relaxing” three glasses of wine habit we used to have. I haven’t had a migraine yet and Kelli’s allergies really do seem better, although her skin is still mysteriously reacting from time to time, and I’m beginning to expect it might be our laundry detergent and not Candida after all.
I guess I can’t say whether the cleanse “worked” or not because it’s not really a black or white answer. It worked in getting me to recognize how much sugar I eat, and in getting me to appreciate eating amazing food, guilt-free. But it didn’t work as a lifestyle, or produce a big enough change in my health to convince me of any of the alarmist warnings I was secretly hoping would manifest for a dramatic conclusion.
Maybe I’ll hop back on the cleanse train at some point down the road, just to freshen up my gut if I’m feeling a little yeasty. But for now, life’s just too short. And sugar is just too sweet.
*Please note that none of the quotes about Candida in this article are endorsed in any way by the mainstream medical community. It could be all bullshit. OR it could be exactly what THEY don’t want you to know. Or it could be incoherent residue of the holographic universe.
Kendra Eash is a copywriter in NYC specializing in writing Facebook status updates in the voice of inanimate objects. Thanks to Sister Act 2 (Back in the Habit), she knows that if you want to be somebody, if you want to go somewhere, you better wake up and pay attention. Her social media alter ego is Jeri Blank.
These days it feels like there are a thousand elimination diets out there that will cure every ailment from migraines to acne. Now, the Candida Diet is taking on yeast.
Candida is a type of yeast that lives in your mouth and gut or on your skin. This yeast is a normal part of your body’s environment (particularly in the gut), but when levels get too high, candida can wreak havoc throughout your body, explains Niket Sonpal, M.D., assistant clinical professor at the Touro School of Osteopathic Medicine in New York City. Candida overgrowth has been linked to oral thrush (marked by white lesions in the mouth), sinus infections, fatigue, skin infections, UTIs, yeast infections, and digestive issues such as Crohn’s, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and ulcerative colitis.
Candida overgrowth occurs when there’s an imbalance between the types of bacteria in your gut. And, while anything from your birth control to stress can throw off your body’s delicate balance of intestinal bacteria, most often, issues are due to the use of antibiotics. After all, antibiotics are all about killing bacteria, and even if some forms of bacteria are bad, others are good—and responsible for regulating candida levels.
Related: 6 Signs You Should See A Poop Doctor ASAP
The question is, can altering your diet help keep candida in check? And is it even necessary?
What’s On the Menu?
The Candida Diet, developed by Lisa Richards, a health researcher and self-proclaimed candida sufferer, and Eric Wood, a naturopathic doctor (neither responded to requests for comment), stresses that treating candida overgrowth requires three elements: probiotics, antifungals, and, of course, diet. Probiotics are used reintroduce the “good” bacteria into your system and rebalance your gut, while antifungals kill excessive fungal growth.
The diet itself starts with a “cleanse” that lasts for a few days to a week in order to prepare your body for the new style of eating. During that time, you can eat non-starchy vegetables, low-sugar fruits, healthy oils, herbs, and spices, and organic eggs.
Then, you start eating according to the diet’s rules. In general, the diet encourages you to avoid high-sugar fruits, refined grains, meats such as pork and lunch meat, fish such as tuna and swordfish, some dairy products, moldy nuts and seeds, condiments with added sugars, refined and processed vegetable oils, sugars and sugar substitutes, caffeinated or sugary drinks, and alcohol. Instead, you should focus on eating non-starchy vegetables, low-sugar fruits, non-glutinous grains, healthy fats, and lean protein. (Learn how bone broth can help you lose weight with Women’s Health’s Bone Broth Diet.)
Any food that’s highly processed, high in sugar, or quickly gets processed as sugar is a no-go on this diet. If it looks familiar, that’s because at its core, this is an anti-inflammation diet, similar to the Whole30. The idea is that foods that are high in sugar or simple carbs exacerbate the problem of candida overgrowth, while processed foods directly spike inflammation.
Related: 5 Types Of Vaginal Odors You Should Know About—And What They Mean For Your Health
But what about pork chops, tuna, and dairy? They aren’t processed or high in sugar, right? “Pork contains retroviruses and parasites that may survive cooking and be harmful for those with a weakened digestive system. Also, remember that pork often comes in an over-cooked form (i.e. bacon!) that is full of carcinogenic compounds. “Properly-cooked pork from a reputable source may be okay, but we would recommend avoiding it during your Candida diet,” the diet’s website says. Tuna and swordfish should be avoided because they contain metals and “other pollutants” due to the fact that they live longer and therefore spend more time in our polluted oceans. Meanwhile, the diet also dictates that there’s too much sugar in dairy, and it should be avoided.
Watch a hot doctor explain whether you have to treat yeast infections or not:
Does It Work?
“It’s true that yeasts thrive on sugars and refined carbohydrates,” says Sonpal. “Many theories exist on the relationship between foods and yeast, and there are more anti-candida diets than can be counted.”
There’s no doubt that the fewer processed foods and less added sugar in your diet, the better, but that doesn’t mean the diet is a cure-all, he says. “I’ve had over a dozen patients come to me with new diets for their IBS and, sadly, some of them get relief, others don’t, and no one is cured.” After all, just because you have IBS or a UTI, it doesn’t mean that you have a candida problem.
“It’s difficult to say if this would cause a patient harm, but I would tell the patient to ensure they are getting a balanced diet and taking vitamin supplements if they plan to proceed with something drastic,” says Sonpal. “Likewise, hard to judge if there are may benefits to the idea, as there is no clinical data to support its use. When my patients present with new diets, I ask them to bring me a sample diet schematic of their meals and sit with them to make sure they aren’t hurting themselves through this diet. I would tell all patients if they plan to try that is not supported by evidence based medicine, to simply have their doctor look it over and make a few shorter-interval, follow-up appointments.”
Plus, registered dietitians generally advise that you avoid anything that includes the word “cleanse,” as there’s no such diet that “cleanses” your system—the body is self-cleansing.
Related: My Sister Would Still Be Alive if She Hadn’t Ignored Her Cancer Symptoms
Your Best Move
Before you attack candida with everything you’ve got, talk to your doctor about any health issues that are troubling you, possible courses of treatment, and find out if candida’s even a problem for you. For instance, if you find yourself suffering yeast infections when prescribed antibiotics, share that with your doctor and they’ll likely put you on an a probiotic regimen to combat the antibiotics’ effects. Sonpal says he typically advises these patients to get four to six serving of probiotics a day, whether through food like kimchi and yogurt, or through supplements.
If you’re considering finding resolution through diet changes, it’s best to talk to your doctor about tailoring your diet to a low-FODMAP diet, which has been proven to help patients with IBS, says Sonpal.
This is one of most common questions we get from Candida dieters. Often they find it a struggle to make the strict dietary changes that the plan requires, and its hard to imagine sticking to the diet for the long term.
Many Candida sufferers quit the diet after a few days or weeks when they experience the symptoms of Candida Die-Off. Sadly, this is just when the diet is actually starting to work, but often they don’t realize and they go back to their old comfort food.
So When Does The Diet Finish?
The simple answer is that you will probably always need to eat a much healthier, low sugar diet than you did before. Candida overgrowth is a problem that can keep coming back, especially in those that have already show a propensity for it.
In the long term you will need to avoid:
- Eating large amounts of junk food again
- Eating large amounts of sugar (even from natural sources like fruit)
- Taking antibiotics unless absolutely necessary (antibiotics are one of the main triggers for Candida overgrowth)
There are certain foods that you can reintroduce once you’ve finished the strict anti-Candida diet . However you will need to follow the above rules consistently and for a long time. Candida albicans is a fast-growing, opportunistic fungus that will take advantage of any opportunity that you give it.
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 🙂
Coping with Die-Off
One of the most common things we hear is people saying they’ve had a Candida overgrowth for 5 or even 10 years, and they’ve tried the Candida diet several times but it didn’t work. Many of these people quit the diet early because of Candida Die-Off. So if you can reduce the symptoms of Die-Off, your chances of completing the diet and moving back to a more normal routine are greatly increased.
Here are a few ways to mitigate the symptoms of Candida Die-Off:
- Molybdenum to remove byproducts of a Candida overgrowth
- Milk thistle
- Detox techniques like saunas
If you reduce the symptoms of Die-Off, you will find it easier to stick to the diet and beat your Candida overgrowth for good.
For a detailed step-by-step timeline to use in your Candida treatment, check out my Ultimate Candida Diet treatment plan.
We’ve Decoded The Candida Diet For You!
Getting started – the candida cleanse
The candida diet starts with a cleanse — lasting no more than a couple of days — until symptoms have improved. The cleanse involves sticking to healthy, nutritious foods that don’t force your digestive tract to work too hard.
The most common way to do the cleanse is to eat mainly salads and vegetables alongside a small amount of protein throughout the day. Some people choose a more strict interpretation and follow a fluid-only diet — consisting of lemon water or bone broth — for the duration of the cleanse, but this is not really necessary.
While there are no studies to support the benefits of the candida cleanse before beginning the actual diet, it might help you get into the mindset for the candida diet.
To ensure adequate nutrient intake, it’s best for you to work with a healthcare provider when undertaking the candida diet.
What foods can I eat on the candida diet?
The candida diet is like a more restricted version of the paleo diet. It encourages consumption of low-sugar and anti-inflammatory foods.
Here is the list of foods to eat on the candida diet.
Along with the diet, it can be helpful to take a probiotic, get enough sleep, exercise regularly and avoid stress, all of which can help boost your immune system.
There is no set amount of time to follow the diet. Some people feel better after a month, while for others, it may take a little longer.
What foods should I avoid on the candida diet?
This is where things get a little more intense! The basic restriction of the candida diet is sugar. Yeast feed on sugar, so any added sugar or foods that break down into sugar need to be limited.
Here is a list of foods not to eat on the candida diet:
- High-sugar fruits: bananas, dates, fruit juice, grapes, mango, and raisins
- Grains containing gluten: barley, rye, spelt, triticale and wheat
- Certain meats: deli-meats and farm-raised fish
- Certain dairy products: cheese, cream, and milk
- Nuts and seeds high in mold: cashews, peanuts, pecans, and pistachios
- Condiments: barbecue sauce, horseradish, ketchup, mayonnaise, soy sauce, white vinegar
- Processed fats: canola oil, imitation butter spreads, margarine, soybean oil, sunflower oil
- Sugar and sugar substitutes: agave, aspartame, cane sugar, corn syrup, honey, maple syrup, molasses, and table sugar
- Caffeinated and alcoholic drinks: beer, black tea, cider, coffee, energy drinks, liquors, soda, spirits, and wine
After symptoms have been resolved, foods that have been eliminated can be systematically added back, with the goal of not going back to a way of eating that triggers another imbalance.
Does the Candida Diet Work?
Doctors agree that Candida albicans, a yeast-like fungus that is normally found in the mouth, stomach, and vagina, can overgrow and cause real infections in these areas and other areas of your body. These types of candida infection are very common. If your body’s ability to fight off infections becomes very weak from a condition like cancer or AIDS, you could develop a nasty condition in which candida infects your whole body.
But many doctors do not agree that candida is responsible for systemic yeast syndrome, a condition some believe may cause symptoms ranging from fatigue to infertility. The American Academy of Allergy and Immunology, for example, does not recognize systemic yeast syndrome, and states that this syndrome remains unproven.
“I have worked with several clients who have been ‘diagnosed’ with systemic yeast syndrome by an alternative medicine provider. In all of my research, I have not been able to find any scientifically valid evidence that the syndrome exists,” says registered dietitian Debra J. Johnston, director of nutrition services at Remuda Ranch, a program for eating disorders in Wickenburg, Ariz.
The Candida Diet
According to some health practitioners, overgrowth of candida in the intestinal tract can cause many symptoms, and a candida diet can help eliminate these symptoms. But, says Johnston, “the diet is highly restrictive and eliminates many very nutritious foods while also limiting the consumption of carbohydrates.”
In fact, she says, this candida treatment could add to the problem. “By limiting carbohydrates, the primary source of energy for the body, this diet may actually contribute to some of the symptoms that yeast syndrome reportedly causes, such as fatigue, lethargy, poor concentration, mood swings, headache, and cravings.”
There is not a specific, agreed-upon candida diet. The type of candida diet depends on the beliefs of the diet proponent and the patient’s symptoms. Here are some common features of candida diets:
- Candida cleanse. These diets often begin with a detoxification process, or candida cleanse. This may be accomplished through fasting, drinking lots of fluids, restricting the diet to vegetable juices, colon cleansing, or using certain herbs that may have anti-fungal properties.
- Avoiding carbohydrates. Supporters of the candida diet believe that candida thrives on sugar. This may explain why people who might have this syndrome crave sweets and other carbohydrates. Simple sugars found in dairy products, chocolate, syrups, and processed foods like white bread are discouraged.
- Avoiding food that contains yeast. This includes beer and wine, aged cheeses, vinegar, breads, baked goods, smoked meats, mushrooms, and leftovers.
- Using probiotics. Adding so-called friendly bacteria to your digestive system may prevent the build-up of candida. Eating lots of yogurt with live probiotic cultures is one way to get at these bacteria. Another option is to buy over-the-counter probiotics that contain billions of live organisms.
- Other candida treatments. Along with the candida diet, people suspected of having systemic yeast syndrome may benefit from nutritional supplements like vitamins B, C, and E, calcium, garlic, ginkgo, echinacea, and omega-3 fatty acids.
Because the possible symptoms of systemic yeast syndrome are so numerous and so variable and there is no proven way to diagnose or treat this syndrome, it remains very controversial.
“Until there is clear scientific evidence that systemic yeast syndrome actually exists, I recommend that people see their primary care physician to help eliminate any medical reasons for their symptoms and then see a registered dietitian for help with planning a diet that incorporates plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, along with whole grains and lean meats,” urges Johnston.
Learn more in the Everyday Health Digestive Health Center.
Is your strict candida diet making your symptoms worse?
Many of you will have come across information on candida albicans and candida diets claiming to eradicate this ‘invasive yeast-like fungi’. The common theme among most of these is the suggestion that candida can be eradicated by looking at sugar and carbohydrate consumption. As a result, patients are not only advised to cut out refined sugars and starchy carbohydrates, but also fruit. The paradox that is often experienced, however, is that patients very often deteriorate in their general health because nutrient deprivation and symptoms such as unresolved food intolerances and immune dysregulation are often created by cutting out certain foods. Although the candida overgrowth has been reduced through the strict diet, its roots remain and it becomes a persistent problem, re-occurring when the body is under par or stressed – often the very things that stimulated its growth in the first place.
What is candida albicans overgrowth?
To see how best to treat the problem, we need to understand more about it. Candida, a yeast-like fungus, is commonly present in your intestines, and its growth is usually limited by your immune system and by your microflora.
If Candida is allowed to grow due to a weakened immune system or disease such as diabetes, the harmonious balance between it and the “good” bacteria is upset, resulting in intestinal candidiasis. Not only can this imbalance cause problems such as vaginal infections, but Candida also releases by-products that are subsequently absorbed into the bloodstream, exposing the whole body to a variety of symptoms as the immune system tries to fight it off. Common signs of this include fatigue, bloating, gas, diarrhoea and/or constipation, recurring bladder infections, menstrual irregularities, allergies, chemical sensitivities, and depression.
What increases the risk of Candida overgrowth?
- Repeated use of antibiotics, oral contraceptives, and/or steroids like prednisone
- Diet high in sweets
- Low beneficial bacteria
- Chronic stress
- Weakened immune system
How is Candidiasis treated?
The revered German laboratory, the Dr Hauss Laboratory has extensively investigated the theory of the strict candida approach and their findings have thrown it on its head. Experiments found that yeasts like candida grow as fast in a glucose concentration of 100 mg/dl as in one of 1000 mg/dl. The concentration of 100 mg/dl equals the normal glucose concentration of the tissue and blood liquids in a healthy person (a figure we know from blood tests for diabetes). Even a decrease of the glucose concentration to 8 mg/dl, which is completely impossible in a living organism, reduced the yeast growth only by 60% – this would result in killing the host but by no means killing the candida! Therefore starvation of yeasts in the GI tract by simply reducing dietary sugar or yeast intake is not enough to remove its presence.
The whole-systems approach to Candida
A comprehensive approach is necessary to reduce the overgrowth of Candida organisms. The risk factors listed above must be reduced as much as possible while supporting immune, digestive, and liver function. Since yeast feeds on carbohydrates, a food plan must be followed that starves yeast of its main fuel – simple sugars. Additional support in the form of healthy bacteria (called probiotics) is also used to compete with Candida in the intestines, resulting in a re-balancing of the microflora. Sometimes anti-yeast supplements or prescriptions are used to kill the yeast.
It has been found that a healthy intestinal immune system is the best barrier against a fungal overgrowth in the GI tract. This also proves that pathogenic candida is the result of a weakened immune system. The previously used one-dimensional diet approach neglects the fact that good health is the best protection from disease.
Rather we have to concentrate on promoting health instead of fighting a symptom. A good “candida diet” has to be wholesome and healthy to promote the intestinal immunity:
- Reduction of refined sugars, white starchy carbs, animal fats, preservatives and additives, reduction of pesticides as much as possible. Recommended are plenty of vegetables and low fructose fruit, preferably organic, including berries.
- Eating with the seasons and choosing local produce will ensure that your food is as fresh and nourishing as possible.
- Plenty of fibre (from fruit, veg, moderate amount of whole-grains)
- Drinking plenty of filtered water ensure the metabolic by-product caused by candida overgrowth is removed effectively.
The only successful anti-candida therapy will be one of a wholesome diet combined with the other procedures such as anti-fungal supplements such as Caprylic Acid, Berberine or oregano as well as formulas to support the gastro-centric immune system to restore balance and repair.
The 6 Biggest Mistakes in Treating Candida
Candida overgrowth is one of the most common gut infections I encounter in my practice, and I receive numerous emails daily with questions about how to best treat it. It’s a tough one to tackle. Make sure you avoid these six mistakes in treating candida overgrowth.
Candida albicans is a fungus, a form of yeast, and is a normal part of a healthy digestive tract when it stays in check. It challenges our good gut flora to work more efficiently to keep us healthy. But candida is an opportunistic organism, meaning that if the conditions are ripe, it will overtake the good bacteria and have a party in your digestive tract, causing you some undesirable symptoms such as weight gain, brain fog, fatigue, achy joints, gas, bloating, sugar cravings, nail fungus, and yeast infections. It produces toxins as it multiplies, and the major waste product of yeast cell activity is acetaldehyde (the same compound that your liver must break down when you drink alcohol), a toxin that promotes free radical activity in the body.
Our Western processed diets and lifestyles are to blame for pathogenic and bacterial overgrowths in the digestive tract. Antibiotic and drug use, birth control pills, refined carb and sugar-heavy diets, stress, alcohol, heavy metals, and female hormone and thyroid imbalance contribute to candida overgrowth.
As I mentioned, candida is hard to kill off. It can become quickly resistant to anti-fungals or antibiotic herbs, so you have to outsmart it. The best advice if you’ve attempted a candida cleanse unsuccessfully is to rotate your antibiotic herbs and hit it hard. It typically takes 2-3 months to kill it off.
Here are some of the biggest mistakes I see in attempts to kill candida. Avoid these mistakes and you should only have to do your candida cleanse once. It took me 3 tries to get it right, and I have finally developed a winning protocol I now use with my clients. Meantime, avoid these errors when treating candida.
Don’t miss my FREE candida training series on the top tips you need to know for kicking candida!
The 6 Biggest Mistakes in Treating Candida Overgrowth
1. Attempting to wipe out ALL candida. First off, please understand that some candida is absolutely normal in your digestive tract. We need it to keep our gut strong and our immune system healthy. The first big mistake I see is the misconception that we need to kill off ALL candida in the gut.
People are often prescribed strong anti-fungals (such as diflucan) for several weeks to kill candida. These anti-fungals work, and people feel amazing. But they may also wipe out beneficial yeast, which keeps dysbiosis (bad bacteria overgrowth) in check. Then you have other dysbiotic bacterial strains that take hold, or the yeast morphs and can return worse than before. The anti-fungals can also create major die-off symptoms when the yeast is killed, overwhelming your detox pathways and immune system. The key is to “reeducate” the bacteria in the gut by escorting too many bad guys out when they’ve reached capacity rather than coming in with guns blazing and killing everyone.
2. Using the “candida diet” alone. Google “candida diet” and you’ll get a million different ways to kill candida. Most of these diets recommend removing sugar, starch, alcohol, and refined foods–candida’s preferred food sources. But cutting all starchy carbs can yield you a very low carb diet, and studies indicate that yeast may actually feed on the ketones that result from a very low carb diet (source). So cutting all starches and sources of glucose isn’t a great idea.
Your diet will depend mostly on you. I design a different diet for each and every one of my clients. We each have a gut microbiome as unique as our fingerprint. If you have leaky gut, intestinal inflammation, or malabsorption issues, you may fare well on the specific carbohydrate diet or low FODMAP diet that limits hard-to-break -down starches. When a compromised digestive tract can’t fully break down these complex starches (grains, potatoes, certain legumes), they ferment, feed yeast, and cause gas and bloating.
So the short answer about your perfect candida-killing diet is that it depends on the health of your gut. Some may fare fine cutting out sugar, gluten, dairy, alcohol (hard to digest foods) but leaving in starchy carbs. Others may need to go low FODMAP or SCD.
But the larger point is that no matter what, the candida diet alone will not kill candida. Sure, it will starve some of the bad guys, and you’ll feel a reduction in symptoms, but you need anti-microbial herbs and probiotic intervention to seal the deal.
There are foods that help wipe out candida–garlic, lemon (hot water with lemon is a great way to get your lemon), ginger, coconut oil-– to supplement your protocol, but those foods alone won’t cut it.
3. Taking the wrong antimicrobial herbs or taking the same herbs continually. In addition to the right anti-candida diet for you, you’ll need to take anti-microbial herbs to knock back the overgrowth. In the olden days I would recommend taking an anti-candida formula for 6-8 weeks (and did so myself many times). Sometimes it would work, sometimes not. I’ve now developed a protocol that works almost always, and it involves using several different herbs in rotation. Candida can become easily resistant to herbs, so using different herbs prevents this and seems to prevent serious die-off, too. . Again, this will depend on the person.
One thing that may work well is diatomaceous earth (food grade). It slices candida and kills it, allowing it to be excreted via stool. It has so many benefits. I use this for the full 8 weeks of my candida protocol. I’ve used it myself and was impressed with the benefits to my skin and hair.
4. Failure to recolonize the gut with the proper strains of probiotic bacteria. This is a big one. Once people are finished with the killing phase, they skip the most important part: putting the good bacteria back in the gut! Imagine you have a beautiful neighborhood that eventually gets trashed by vandals. You come in with a SWAT team and escort the vandals out, and they go back to their area. But now you have a bare neighborhood. Know what happens if you just leave it and don’t rebuild? The vandals come back to trash it again. Same situation in your gut. You’ve cleaned it up, so don’t just leave it. You need to rebuild your nice houses and get your neighborhood watch team in place to keep the vandals out. That requires mega doses of probiotics and probiotic-building foods to build back up the good guys that got starved out. . You’ll also need to eat plenty of prebiotic foods to feed your probiotic bacteria.
5. Returning to your old eating habits. Don’t celebrate the end of your treatment by going out for pizza and beer. You just spent 8 long weeks being super strict to improve your health– don’t ruin all your hard work! Yes, you may be able to enjoy pizza and croissants again in the future, but it’s important to finish the program. Reintroducing inflammatory and/or sugary foods will encourage the bad guys to come ruin your nice neighborhood again.
So, do the probiotic recolonization. Do the leaky gut healing. Most important, tweak your diet to include lots of gut friendly foods. Once you’ve been symptom-free for a few weeks AFTER these phases are complete, THEN you can begin to reintroduce foods to see how you react. Some of you may need to be gluten & dairy free for life if you have allergies to casein and gluten. Some of you may choose to avoid it because it makes you feel crappy. Some of you may not have sensitivities to those foods and choose to enjoy them from time to time. Fine. Whatever the case, don’t jump back into the same diet that got you here in the first place.
6. Not testing to see what’s causing it. Candida overgrowth is often a secondary infection to some other GI issue, whether it’s a parasite, pathogenic bacteria, SIBO, or another strain of bad bacteria overgrowth. I recommend stool testing to see what else is going on so you know what you’re dealing with and what to treat. Oftentimes parasitic infections occur initially, changing the terrain of the gut, which then becomes a hospitable environment for candida overgrowth to thrive. So, test, don’t guess! You also want to make sure your candida overgrowth is gone after all your hard work.
Want help getting rid of candida for good?
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Healing Leaky Gut
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Mary Vance is a Certified Nutrition Consultant and author specializing in digestive health. In addition to her coaching practice, she offers courses to help you heal your gut and kick nagging digestive issues for good. Mary lives in San Francisco and Lake Tahoe in Northern California. Read more about her coaching practice here and her background here.
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We asked nutritionists what they thought of the Candida Diet
The majority of humans have a system that is awash with Candida. The fungus lives in your gut, in your blood, in your eyes, mouth, and genitals. In normal levels it presents no problems – you don’t even know it’s there. When there is an overgrowth of Candida however, it may present you with some symptoms. This could take the form of oral thrush, genital thrush, a UTI perhaps, or dandruff. In fact, an overgrowth of Candida can simply present as making you feel bloated and sluggish, but then again so can a slap up meal, and it’s not normally something we give too much thought to. Rather, it is the thrush, and UTIs, that we notice, and for which we are much more likely to seek out medical treatment.
With 50 per cent of women of childbearing age having had thrush at least once in their lives, and 40 per cent of women contracting thrush on a recurring basis, it is no wonder that alleged miracle cures abound and the internet is awash with advice such as coating tampons in yoghurt and swallowing teaspoons of coconut oil.
But of the cures that are lauded as being the thing that will stop you never contracting thrush ever again, which are the most legitimate? Can we trust any of them? Or is thrush just a fact of life that women will have to deal with at some point?
One particular piece of advice circulating seems to be that you can prevent thrush with a certain diet. The diet, marketing as the Candida diet, claims to ‘eliminate your Candida’ in 60 days, by getting rid of sugar, and including probiotics, after starting with a strict and restrictive ‘cleanse’ for three to seven days ‘to clear out as many toxins as possible’.
But is there any real truth behind this? Faith Toogood, a dietitian who works with Make Your Switch to help women switch to a healthier lifestyle, is skeptical of the benefits of a specific ‘candida diet’. “There isn’t any research on the Candida diet itself,” she says, “so as such there are no specific dietary guidelines for people suffering from thrush. For me, as a dietician, the most important thing is actually not to rely on diet to cure something.”
Faith adds that there is no evidence that, for example, eating too much sugar causes thrush, so eliminating sugar from your diet may make little difference. As thrush can be caused by a huge number of different things and health conditions, including cancer and HIV, she believes it is more important to head to your GP and get a diagnosis, rather than leaping to diet as a cure.
“If you look at the Candida diet, it tells you to cut carbs, yeast, use probiotics, and do a ‘candida cleanse’,” Faith says. “For me, the issue with this is that all of these kind of things involve restricting foods. This can lead to deficiencies in nutrients, which, if you have thrush caused by health issues, decreasing some nutrients could be quite damaging. The bottom line is that there isn’t enough research to suggest dietary changes can reduce infection.”
According to Faith, rather than focussing on a specific diet marketed to cure thrush, those that do find themselves getting thrush on a regular basis should not only seek advice from their GP, but it might also be worth focussing on a diet that improves gut health and boosts immune functions. “Look at natural live yoghurt, have a fibre rich diet that is sufficient in antioxidants. It should have probiotics and prebiotics and be low in sugar and processed foods, but we all eat too much of those in any case. With probiotics, they are generally safe, but if your immune system is weak you do have to be careful with these, so you should see your GP to make sure they’re safe.”
Faith emphasises that prebiotics can potentially be as useful as probiotics when it comes to gut health. Prebiotics are the carbohydrates that your gut bacteria feed on. However, our stomach acid can kill probiotics before they reach the gut, but prebiotics can help because they reach the gut, thus improving general gut flora. “Although the link between diet and thrush hasn’t been proven, it won’t harm anyone to have a decent diet focussing on the immune system and gut health,” says Faith. “But avoid massively restricting certain foods.”
Sophie Medline, a freelance dietitian, and lecturer in nutrition and dietetics at King’s College London, has her doubts about the benefits of a specific diet being used to cure thrush. “We all live alongside yeast in our bodies and on our skin at all times. It is part of the normal symbiotic relationship between microbes and humans,” she says. “Unless you are plagued by yeast infections, there is no need to worry about the population of Candida in your body. They’re supposed to live there.”
Sophie adds that the only time that Candida can become a problem is when there is a disruption to your health that allows the popular of yeast to take over. Examples of this include when your immune system is compromised by an underlying disease, when scented soaps affect the pH of your vagina, and when you have raised blood sugars indicative of an underlying problem such as diabetes.
Her biggest concern with the Candida diet specifically centres around claims about reducing blood sugars for the yeast to feed on. “The Candida diet promotes healthy eating and a low sugar diet,” she says. “You can see that this would help some people by improving their energy levels and general well-being. It could also reduce blood sugars which may prevent yeast infections – but only in predisposed individuals whose blood sugars are high because of an underlying condition.”
If someone is getting recurrent thrush, she says, they should see their GP to rule out any underlying reason for this, before trying to self-medicate with diet. In terms of probiotics, she adds that while there is some evidence that probiotics may help balance the populations of microbes in our body, there isn’t proof of this with regards to yeast infections. Like Faith, she is also skeptical of the ‘cleanse’ aspect of the diet. “There is no evidence that Candida has any ‘toxic byproducts’,” she says. “And unless you have recurrent infections there is no need to worry about the population of yeast in the body. You should never cut out any food groups unnecessarily or without individualised advice on how to ensure your diet is still balanced.”
Dietitians, then, aren’t all that convinced by the claims of the Candida diet, and both stress the importance of not changing your diet or following any ‘cleanse’ without first consulting a doctor. However, others do believe that the Candida diet works – or at least it worked for them. Pollyanna Hale is a weight loss coach, personal trainer, and nutritionist, and thinks that some people could see positive results from the Candida diet.
“You can have a gut only Candida infection and not get thrush,” she says. “So regularly feeling bloated with a distended stomach would be a sign that Candida might be the culprit. Brain fog and sugar cravings are two other common symptoms, as well as skin and nail fungal infections.”
Pollyanna believes following the Candida diet could help relieve symptoms and clear infection. “The Candida diet cuts out sugar, yeast, fermented and mouldy foods, and foods that have a tendency to contain low levels of moulds, such as some nuts, which help Candida thrive. It also encourages natural anti-fungals such as garlic and coconut,” she explains. But not everyone will need to follow the diet as strictly as others. “The more severe or stubborn the infection, the more rigid you will need to be with what you eat and drink, until the infection is cleared,” she adds.
However, like Faith and Sophie, she does voice her concern at the extreme cleanse part of the diet, as advertised. “An aggressive reset won’t be necessary for everyone,” she says. “It’s basically just eating lots of vegetables and a little fat and protein to ‘flush out’ your gut and cut off the Candida’s food supplies to help stop it growing.” However, this sort of extreme eating (or abstaining) can be difficult to stick to, she notes, and says the Candida dying off can cause “unpleasant and flu-like symptoms”. She does add that anyone wanting to do the cleanse part of their diet should first seek a doctor’s advice. “It’s quite an extreme way of eating even if it is only for three days, and not everybody is suitable to follow such a protocol,” she says.
The general consensus seems to be, then, that the Candida diet won’t necessarily cure your recurring thrush, and doesn’t seem to be substantiated by much scientific fact. However, eating a healthy diet will obviously do no harm to anyone, so if following some of the tips given on the Candida diet’s website makes you feel better in yourself, then do so. That being said, recurrent thrush can often be a symptom of an underlying condition, so if you do get thrush regularly then you should visit your GP for testing before attempting to prevent thrush from recurring by changing your eating habits.
Page last updated July 2017
The anti-Candida diet is a very important part of preventing or reversing a Candida overgrowth.
By avoiding sugary foods, eliminating foods that cause inflammation, and eating foods with probiotic or antifungal properties, you can go a long way towards recovering your gut health.
As your digestive health recovers, you might find relief from many of the symptoms associated with Candida overgrowth.
The anti-Candida diet is a low-sugar, anti-inflammatory diet that promotes good gut health. The diet includes non-starchy vegetables, some low sugar fruits, non-glutinous grains, fermented foods, and healthy proteins.
We’ve distilled the core ideas of the anti Candida diet down into 11 simple principles which you can see below. You can use these, along with the lists of allowed foods and disallowed foods, as the basis for your diet.
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Table Of Contents
Restoring your Gut Health with the Anti-Candida Diet
Did you know that there are more than 40 trillion living microorganisms inside your body? It’s a staggering number, especially when you realize that a typical human is made up of only around 30 trillion cells. In other words, we are massively outnumbered by our gut bacteria (1)!
Clearly, these bacteria and yeast living inside us have an important role to play. We wouldn’t have evolved this way if that wasn’t true.
Research over the past few years has exposed exactly how dependent we are on our microscopic friends for things like immunity, digestion, glucose control, and heart health (2, 3, 4). There’s even evidence that your gut microbiome can affect your mental health too (5).
It seems obvious that a disruption in the balance of your gut microbiota can have some wide-ranging consequences. When an opportunistic pathogen like Candida albicans starts to overgrow, it can lead to digestive symptoms such as bloating, indigestion, nausea, diarrhea, and gas (6).
Researchers call this a type of gut dysbiosis, which is just another way of describing an imbalanced gut flora. More broadly, Candida symptoms can include fatigue, recurring yeast infections, and weak immunity.
One of the major causes of fungal overgrowth in the gut is a poor diet. By eating foods that are high in added sugars and rich in pro-inflammatory ingredients, you can create the conditions necessary for Candida albicans to thrive (7).
On the other hand, positive dietary changes can inhibit and even reverse the growth of Candida albicans. By following a low-sugar, anti-inflammatory diet and eating the right foods, you can promote good gut health and recover from a Candida overgrowth.
How to Follow the Anti-Candida Diet
Here are the 11 main principles of the anti Candida diet plan, along with tips on how to follow them and a few suggested recipes. If you follow these principles, you’ll see big improvements in your gut health.
- Avoid added sugars
- Eat non-starchy vegetables
- Eat low-sugar fruits
- Eat lots of fermented foods
- Minimize your caffeine
- Eat gut-healing foods
- Enjoy healthy proteins and fats
- Stay away from gluten
- Cut back on your alcohol
- Maximize your nutrition
- Drink lots of water
Let’s take a look at those in more detail!
1. Avoid added sugars
Did you know that there are more than 50 different names for sugar? If you carefully check your ingredients labels, you might be surprised to find these different types of sugar in everything from cereals and condiments to pasta sauce and peanut butter.
Some food manufacturers even include three or four different sugars in their recipe. Have you ever wondered why? If they just used a single sugar, it would appear as the first ingredient on the label. By using several sugars, each in smaller amounts, they are able to portray their product as healthier than it might actually be.
Sugar is needed by the Candida albicans yeast for a couple of important reasons.
Firstly, Candida uses sugar for cellular growth and to transition into its more pathogenic, fungal form (8). This is the hyphal form in which it is most likely to spread around your gut and elsewhere.
Secondly, Candida uses sugar, in the form of glucose and mannose, to form the biofilms that allow it to hide from your immune system (9, 10). These biofilms are perhaps the major reason why Candidiasis of all forms is a particularly difficult condition to treat. Biofilms are a protective matrix that Candida albicans builds around itself.
Of course, added sugars are not just bad for a Candida overgrowth. Other ways in which excess sugar can damage your health include:
- Damaging your heart health (11)
- Making you overweight (12)
- Triggering diabetes (13)
- Increasing the risk of cancer (14)
- Making you depressed (15)
We’ve established that added sugars should be eliminated from your diet, but where are they? Which foods contain them? Researchers have put together a list of the main sources of added sugars in a typical adult diet, and here’s a summary (16):
As you can see, added sugars come from a wide variety of sources. However, the worst offenders are clear – soft drinks, energy drinks, juices, desserts, and candy.
There are some surprising sources of added sugar, which is why it always makes sense to check the ingredients label. These include pasta sauce, crackers, coleslaw, salad dressings, peanut butter, bread, and breakfast cereal. On your Candida cleanse, you need to be very mindful of what you are eating.
Here are some healthier alternatives to some of those foods to avoid. These are all recipes that you can include in your anti Candida diet.
Cinnamon Coconut Crisp Cereal
Coconut Flour Crackers and Grissini
Coconut-Almond No-Bake Balls
Avocado Lime Tart
Cool Almond Milk Smoothie
2. Eat non-starchy vegetables
Vegetables are a key part of any balanced diet, and so they should naturally form a large part of your Candida diet. However, some vegetables contain large amounts of starch, are high on the glycemic index, and should be minimized.
Starchy vegetables like sweet potatoes, potatoes, yams, corn, winter squash, beets, and peas contain lots of net carbs and are likely to raise your blood sugar much more than non-starchy vegetables.
That doesn’t mean that you need to eliminate them completely. They’re on our Maybe list because although they are high in net carbs, they are still nutritious and healthy. You just need to make sure that you don’t eat too many of them.
For example, when switching to a healthy diet free of junk and processed food, many people over-compensate by eating lots and lots of potatoes, yams, and other starchy vegetables. That’s not the goal here. Your vegetable consumption should be mostly green, low-starch veggies.
Equally, don’t go completely no-carb. The Candida diet is a low-carb diet, not a no-carb diet. If you eat so few carbs that you enter ketosis, that can actually be counter-productive. Research has shown that Candida albicans is capable of using ketones as a food source (17).
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The best vegetables to eat while fighting Candida are generally those that are high in micronutrients but relatively low in carbs. These include all leafy greens like spinach or kale. They also include anything from the cruciferous family, like broccoli, cauliflower, or cucumber.
There are a couple of exceptions. Rutabaga (often known as Swede) is relatively high in starch but also has some powerful antifungal properties (18). Jicama and turnips are similar. You can both of these without worsening a Candida overgrowth.
If in doubt, look up the net carbohydrates in a vegetable. To calculate net carbs, simply take the total carbohydrates and subtract the fiber. A 100g portion of Brussels sprouts, for example, contains 9g of carbohydrates and 4g of fiber. That means that it has only 5g of net carbs per portion.
Here are some delicious recipes that incorporate non-starchy vegetables:
Mediterranean Zucchini Dip
Buffalo Cauliflower Florets
Stay Chicken Bowl
3. Eat low-sugar fruits
On the Candida diet, you should stick mostly to fruits with low net carbohydrates. Good examples are lemons, limes, and avocado. Berries also have relatively low net carbs. You can also consider including some fruits that have higher net carbs but a larger proportion of fructose, for example apples and pears.
Fruits contain three different types of natural sugars – sucrose, glucose, and fructose. Sucrose and glucose have both been shown to promote Candida albicans biofilm creation, growth, and activity (19, 20). Fructose, on the other hand, is metabolized more slowly by Candida albicans, and in fact has been shown in some cases to inhibit its growth (21).
When you’re looking for fruits to include in your anti-Candida diet, this means that there are a couple of different factors to take into account.
First, how many net carbs are there in your fruit? Remember that to calculate net carbs, you simply subtract fiber and sugar alcohol from the total carbohydrates. A lower number is better. For example, a 100g portion of blackberries contains about 5g of net carbs, whereas a 100g portion of banana contains 20g of net carbs.
Second, how much fructose does your fruit contain? Fruits that are high in fructose (e.g. apples) are generally better for glucose control.
In the long term, eating lots of fructose can have serious health implications like insulin resistance, fatty liver disease, and diabetes (22, 23). But that’s only really a problem for people who are consuming lots of table sugar, High Fructose Corn Syrup, or fruit juice. It’s pretty much impossible to consume too much fructose only by eating fruit (24).
Here are some recipes that include those low-sugar fruits:
Apple Walnut Yogurt Parfait
Gluten-Free Avocado Pancakes with Lemon Parsley Butter
4. Eat lots of fermented foods
Probiotic bacteria are one of the most crucial elements of any Candida diet. They help to improve digestion, repair gut health, boost immunity, and so much more. During your anti-Candida diet plan you can take probiotic supplements, eat probiotic foods, or ideally do both!
There are a few simple precautions that you should take when buying fermented foods. To get the most out of those probiotic bacteria, and enjoy the most benefit to your health, follow these tips.
- Look for live cultures
Foods like sauerkraut and yogurt naturally contain lots of probiotic bacteria. But these good bacteria can be killed by the pasteurization process. Terms that you should look for on the label include ‘live cultures’, ‘probiotic’, and ‘unpasteurized’. These are a good sign that the product contains live bacteria.
- Make sure that your fermented food is actually fermented!
Olives and sauerkraut can be delicious probiotic foods, but the brands that you find in your supermarket are often pickled rather than lacto-fermented. Pickling with white vinegar is a shortcut to get the flavor of a fermented food, but without the time-consuming fermentation process.
- Watch out for added sugars
This one applies particularly to yogurt. Probiotic yogurt can be tremendously beneficial for your gut health and overall wellbeing, but if you buy a brand with added sugars then you’ll lose some of those benefits. Note that all yogurt does contain some natural, residual sugars that remain after fermentation – this is perfectly OK.
- Making your own is always best
Not sure what to buy? Make your own! Fermenting your own foods at home is fun, incredibly cheap, and gives you total control over the whole process. You can even ferment your foods a little longer to get the natural sugars lower. Start with yogurt and sauerkraut – these are generally the easiest to ferment. Then move on to foods like kefir and kimchi.
Here’s a list of some of our favorite probiotic foods to include in your Candida diet:
- Apple Cider Vinegar
5. Minimize your caffeine
Caffeine is not necessarily harmful during a Candida diet. In fact, there are lots of health benefits to drinking coffee (25). However, there are a couple of important things to keep in mind if you’re suffering from Candida.
In some circumstances, caffeine can irritate your gut and impair your digestion. It can also contribute to burnout that might weaken your immunity just when you need it the most.
Let’s take a look at those in more detail.
The consumption of caffeine, specifically coffee, has been shown to activate a protein complex in the gut that is linked to inflammatory bowel disease (26).
Drinking coffee regularly on an empty stomach has been shown to weaken the intestinal wall, which can undermine your immune system and leave you more vulnerable to pathogens like Candida (27).
Additionally, animal models have shown that caffeine consumption increases the production of zonulin, an inflammatory protein that is strongly linked to intestinal permeability, or leaky gut (28, 29).
Just as importantly, drinking too much caffeine can leave you tired and burned out. If you find yourself drinking more and more caffeine each day just to cope with life, or if your coffees are getting stronger each day, there’s a good chance that you’re burned out.
Burnout and adrenal fatigue can wreak havoc on your immunity and digestion, as well as making you very tired (30).
Some people give up caffeine entirely on their anti-Candida diet. Others reduce their cups of coffee to one or two in the morning.
If you choose to continue drinking coffee to tea, make sure that you do it in the morning only. An afternoon coffee is almost certain to impair your sleep in some way, and you need to get all the rest that you can (31). Avoid caffeinated drinks on an empty stomach too, as this can affect your gut health.
6. Eat gut-healing foods
The Candida diet is an anti-inflammatory diet designed to recover your gut health. That means two things: eating less of the foods that lead to inflammation (sugar, processed foods, etc), and eating more of the anti-inflammatory foods that can reverse that inflammation.
If you’re eating a diet rich in vegetables, healthy proteins and fats, and fermented foods, you’re already halfway there.
But there are some other foods that are particularly useful for gut healing, and you should consider including at least one of them in your Candida diet.
Here are 3 gut-healing foods to add to your diet:
Bone broth is, firstly, an easy-to-digest, low-carbohydrate food that is incredibly nutrient-dense. Depending on what ingredients go into the broth, it can contain calcium, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, iodine, zinc, iron, boron, manganese, selenium, glucosamine, chondroitin, omega-3 fatty acids, and much more.
That, by itself, should be enough reason to include it in an anti-Candida diet. But where bone broth really comes into its own, and where its particularly helpful for gut issues like Candida, is in the gelatin that it contains.
Animal studies have shown that gelatin acts to protect against damage to the intestinal wall (32). It contains an amino acid named glutamine which, in other research, has been shown to inhibit the inflammation and oxidative stress that leads to intestinal permeability (33).
Bone broth is really easy to make, especially if you have a slow cooker. You can also buy bone broth from health food stores or online. It can be added to your foods, mixed into smoothies, or even just drunk by itself.
As the name suggests, this is made simply by juicing cabbage. A large part of the health-affirming properties of this juice are due to its content of glutamine. However, it is also a powerful antioxidant, supporting detoxification through several liver detox pathways, and full of anti-cancer compounds found in many brassica family (i.e., cruciferous) vegetables.
Coconut oil has antifungal properties thanks to the three fatty acids that it contains (34). One of these is caprylic acid, which is one of the most useful antifungal supplements to take while on the Candida diet.
Beyond its antifungal properties, coconut oil is also an anti-inflammatory food (35). It’s a great choice for cooking and baking, and some people even maximize the benefits by eating a tablespoon each day.
Coconut oil has other uses too. It can be used topically to treat fungal rashes or infections. And a tablespoon of coconut oil, swished around inside the mouth for a minute or two, is often used to reduce the symptoms of oral thrush.
7. Enjoy healthy proteins and fats
When some anti-Candida dieters cut back on the carbohydrates in your diet, they lose weight quite quickly. Sometimes this is desirable and sometimes it isn’t – either way, this is not really a diet that’s focused on weight loss. Improving your gut health is the first priority.
If you want to maintain your weight, you’ll need to replace those calories. Put simply, that means eating more proteins and fats.
When buying meats, look for cuts that are as nutrient-rich and fresh as possible. That might mean buying organic, or local, or just working with a trusted butcher.
Avoid any added ingredients like sugars, nitrates or sulfites. Processed meats like bacon, ham, and turkey slices should be avoided (36). Try to stick to healthier, white meats as much as possible.
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Eggs are an excellent food to incorporate into your Candida diet. They are one of the best, most nutritious sources of protein you can find. Look for organic and free-range eggs, as they tend to be more nutritious.
When buying fish, focus on the species that are less affected by heavy metals and other toxins. Swordfish, albacore tuna, shark, and king mackerel tend to be the worst affected.
Look for smaller fish like sardines and herring, as well as some larger fish like wild-caught salmon. Wild-caught fish is always a better choice than farmed fish.
If you’re vegetarian, you can get plenty of protein from nuts, beans, yogurt, and protein-rich pseudo-grains like quinoa and teff.
Fats and oils are an excellent way to maintain your calorie intake, and you’ll find that many of them have antifungal or anti-inflammatory properties too. Coconut oil, olive oil, butter, and ghee are all good options.
8. Stay away from gluten
There is increasing evidence that gluten affects the health of a much wider group of people than simply those with Celiac disease. The era of gluten-are being dismissed as a ‘fad’ diet is well and truly over.
The latest research shows that gluten triggers the production of zonulin, a pro-inflammatory protein that damages the intestinal wall and causes intestinal permeability (37, 38).
Intestinal permeability, which you might know as Leaky Gut, has been implicated in auto-immune conditions, food sensitivities, Crohn’s disease, and IBS (39, 40).
If you have been suffering from a Candida overgrowth and your gut health has deteriorated, eating gluten is likely to worsen your symptoms.
Staying away from gluten will help your gut to repair itself, reduce inflammation, and undo some of the damage caused by the imbalance in your gut flora.
Avoiding gluten is incredibly easy these day. There are lots of innovative pseudo-grains on the market, for example buckwheat and millet, that simply weren’t easily available 10 years ago.
Be careful of buying gluten-free packaged foods. Many of these come loaded with sugars, preservatives, and other unhealthy additives. Making your own gluten-free products at home is quite easy.
Here are a few gluten-free recipes to try in your own kitchen.
Leek and Roasted Garlic Focaccia Bread
Coconut Flour Crackers and Grissini
Buckwheat Breakfast Muffins
9. Cut back on your alcohol
Alcohol is bad news for your gut, for a few different reasons. While on the anti Candida diet, we would recommend that you cut back your alcohol consumption or, even better, eliminate it completely until your gut health is restored.
There is a clear and well-established link between alcohol and intestinal permeability.
Remember that Candida albicans, in its pathogenic hyphal form, can also cause intestinal permeability (41). If a long-term Candida overgrowth has damaged your gut, alcohol can make it worse.
Alcohol also destabilizes your blood glucose.
Large amounts of alcohol will lead to a quick drop in your blood sugar, while smaller amounts can make it rise. Either way, instability in your blood sugar can stimulate your appetite, encouraging you to make poor food choices and further destabilizing your blood sugar levels.
There is also evidence that excessive alcohol weakens and destabilizes the immune system. Research shows that heavy drinking causes a temporary increase in immune system activity, but in the following hours the immune system becomes less active than when the subject was sober (42).
10. Maximize your nutrition
As you move away from processed foods, sugary snacks, and soft drinks, the nutritional profile of your diet is going to dramatically improve.
Vegetables, fruits, and healthy proteins simply contain more micronutrients and will help you to stay healthier and happier.
By taking the next step and looking at the details of your new food choices, you can make this improvement even more significant. Let’s take a look at three ways to maximize your intake of micronutrients.
- Buy organic when you can
There is concrete evidence that organic food contains fewer pesticides, and that switching to an organic diet can reduce the amount of pesticides that we consume (43). Organic plants contain more antioxidants, and organic meats and fish contain more omega-3 fatty acids (44). If you can afford organic food, it’s a no-brainer.
- Local and in season
There are also advantages to buying local. Imported vegetables and fruit are picked when they are not ripe so that they don’t rot before they reach the supermarket. This means that they don’t have the time to gain their full nutritional value. Buying local, seasonal produce is the way that we used to eat before global supply chains, and it’s a healthier option.
- Some foods are nutritional powerhouses
There are delicious probiotic foods, antifungal foods, and anti-inflammatory foods – you should include all of these in your Candida diet. But there is also a subset of foods that are particularly high in micronutrients that you might not obtain elsewhere. These include fermented foods, organ meats such as liver and heart, eggs, seaweed, and sprouts. Look out for these foods and try to incorporate them into your diet whenever you can.
11. Drink lots of water
This last one applies whether you’re following the Candida diet or not. Drinking more water and staying hydrated can improve anyone’s health and should always be a made a priority.
Is a Candida overgrowth making you tired and grumpy? Not drinking enough water could make that worse. In fact, research shows that dehydration can lead to poor concentration, fatigue, headaches, low mood, anxiety, and impaired memory (X, 45). That’s quite a list!
Drinking water can improve your digestion too. Candida can affect your digestion in different ways – some people might experience constipation, while others have diarrhea. Drinking more water, especially filtered water that is free of contaminants, can help.
If you are experiencing runny stools and diarrhea, you need water to replace fluids that you are losing. If you are suffering from constipation, drinking more water will help to lose your stool and promote more regular bowel movements (46).
When you exercise, it’s common to lose a lot of water via sweat. That can affect your motivation levels, your energy, and even the way that your body controls its temperature (47).
The Bottom Line
To reverse a Candida overgrowth, one of the most important elements is a low-sugar, anti-inflammatory diet.
That means eating lots of non-starchy vegetables, some low-sugar fruits, healthy proteins and fats, and fermented foods.
The foods that you should avoid include anything with added sugars, high-sugar fruits, and glutenous grains. Try to minimize your consumption of alcohol and caffeine, as they can cause inflammation in your gut and destabilize your blood sugar.
For more tips on following the Candida diet, as well as how to integrate probiotics and antifungals into your treatment plan, take a look at the Ultimate Candida Diet program.
The program includes comprehensive food lists and a 5-step plan to get back to perfect health. More than 50,000 people have used it to boost their gut health, digestion, and immunity.
Filed under: About Candida, Antifungals, Candida Symptoms, Causes Of Candida, Diet Tips, Immune System, Probiotics, Featured
If you’re looking for a more comprehensive Candida treatment plan, check out the Ultimate Candida Diet program, written by Lisa Richards and Dr Eric Wood. This plan is based on the latest research into Candida Related Complex, and contains everything you need to know to beat your Candida overgrowth.
- Jiny says:
Is there a gluten free bread you recommend
- Lisa Richards, CNC says:
Try our coconut bread! https://www.thecandidadiet.com/recipe/coconut-bread/
- Lisa Richards, CNC says:
- Janet says:
Thanks for all your help, I read it over and over to try to get it ingrained in my head!! Putting recipes on here helps a lot! so thank you again!
Candida Diet Good Foods That Are Safe to Eat
FTC Disclaimer: We do receive financial compensation for some of the products we recommend and personally sell, including Amazon on qualified products.
These anti candida diet good foods are designed to starve candida yeast by keeping the blood sugar levels even and avoiding blood sugar spikes from eating sugars and grains. It is these spikes and sugars in the blood and intestine that feeds candida yeast. If conditions are right, candida yeast can double its population in one hour. So you can see how important the diet really is.
You could take the strongest candida chemotherapy drugs in the world but if you feed the beast I highly doubt you’ll get rid of this. Its just like cancer, which coincidentally also feeds on sugar. As a matter of fact, there are some doctors that think cancer is caused by candida and other fungi.
Many anti candida diets will promote the alkaline diet and this does improve one’s health and that is important, but it also helps yeast grow. It also does not necessarily improve cellular health. The reason for this is, most alkaline foods lack essential fats and those good-fat foods usually fall on the acidic side of the chart.
The cell wall is 40% fat and 60% protein and is permeable, so nutrients pass in and waste passes out. This process happens easily when cell walls are made from good fats, but feed the body bad fats and it will use what you give it to make new cells. Bad fats reduce the cell permeability and the cell walls become hard. No longer is the cell getting all the nutrients it needs or getting rid of all the waste.
Besides, candida can live from a ph range of 2.5 to 8.0.Your body maintains blood at a ph of 7.365. Now, for that 7.365 to get to 8.2 does not sound like a lot but the odds of you getting your ph above that figure are very slim. Why? Because the body will maintain that 7.365 level if at all possible. It will dump the minerals it uses like excess calcium and potassium in your urine and if the level falls too low, it takes those minerals from the bone and uses them to maintain that ph level.
Yes you can get your ph levels up short-term, but long term, no way. So you would constantly have to eat high alkaline foods on a daily basis and this would deprive you of the needed fats for healthy cells. And those cells all put together make up your body.
All those soft tissue cells are also replaced every seven years or less, so you want to make the best of the best of cells. If you don’t eat protein and good fats this is not going to happen and you’re going to pay for it in declining health and degenerative diseases.
I have tried to make this anti candida diet good foods list as complete as possible but more than likely I have missed something, somewhere. If you discover a food that is not on the list below and question it, then I would check the carb index. If the food is low carb and is not in the candida diet bad foods list then go ahead and eat it. However, if that food gives you a problem or contains high amounts of fructose then of course stop eating it.
Candida Diet Protein Foods
When it comes to fowl, don’t buy into the white meat is better for you, if you do not like white meat. If you like dark meat your body is telling you it needs the extra fat this meat provides. Of course it is best to eat free-range chicken and grass fed beef if at all possible.
Grass fed beef is far superior to regular commercial beef because of the fatty acid ratio. Grass fed is around 3 parts Omega 6 to 1 part Omega 3, commercial beef is around 20 parts Omega 6 to 1 part Omega 3. Omega 6 fats in high doses cause inflammation and disease. Omega 3 does the exact opposite and also makes healthy permeable cells.
Bologna, frankfurters, sausage, and salami can be eaten occasionally, read the labels looking for the addition of starches, sugar and fructose.
Candida Diet Allowed Fish
I would avoid tuna unless you’re getting certified mercury free. Shark, swordfish, mackerel and farm-raised salmon, Atlantic salmon is farm-raised, are not a good idea either because of high mercury levels and other toxins.
Candida Diet Vegetables
All herbs, asparagus, green beans, bok choy, broccoli, butternut squash, green and red cabbage, sauerkraut, savoy cabbage, cauliflower, celery, chili pepper, green chili peppers, cucumber, eggplant, endive, escarole, fennel, kale, all lettuce, fresh mushrooms, okra, onions, green onions, green peas, snow peas, green and red peppers, jalapeno peppers, radicchio, radishes, rhubarb, shallots, spinach, spaghetti squash, summer squash, swiss chard, tomato, turnips, watercress, and zucchini. Generally, if it grows above ground it is ok to eat.
Carrots are a very controversial food on the candida diet, I have seen one yeast infection diet say yes and the next say no so here’s my take. One medium carrot contains 7.3 carbohydrates, which is not to bad. They have been said to be anti-fungal and keep the yeast infection from spreading. If you cook carrots it raises the glycemic index to double that of a raw carrot so if you are going to eat them, eat them raw and limit it to one or two a day.
Mushrooms are also a very controversial food. Fresh mushrooms are very low carb, dried mushrooms are not. Shiitake mushrooms are high carb, maitake mushrooms are not. Both are medicinal and have been proven to boost immune function. Do they help candida grow, shiitake would because they are high carb but I doubt maitake would. It’s your call.
What Nuts Can You Eat on the Candida Diet?
Eat unsalted brazil, filbert, hazel, flax seeds, macadamia, pecan, pumpkin seeds, sesame, sunflower seeds, and chestnuts.
Candida Diet Good Fatty Foods
Real butter, sour cream, ghee, natural low sugar yogurt – FAGE brand at Whole Foods Market, kefir, avocado, coconut, olives, coconut oil, flax seed oil, macadamia oil, olive oil, pumpkin seed oil, sesame oil and walnut oil. If you have any skin conditions that you believe are a result of yeast, I would eliminate ALL dairy, including the yogurt.
Also, you are going to get some fat from the meats you eat. If you find yourself wanting to snack between meals then raise your fat content at meals. A great way to do this is with coconut oil. Not only is it a great fat but it also kills candida.
What Fruits are Good on the Candida Diet?
All these fruits are low carb, under 10 grams a serving, and I feel would be ok every now and then while on the candida diet. You have to stay healthy and some fruit does have its place. You also cannot cut off all carbs, the red and white blood cells need them to function correctly. Candida will also go into survival mode if you eat zero carbs and produce an enzyme that helps it convert fat to glucose for survival. This could force it deeper into the body tissues.
If any of these fruits cause a problem for you, stop eating them. I would not exceed more than one serving per day. I would not go over 60 grams of carbs per day, that’s all the body needs.
However, Dr. Al Sears says the body is fully capable of making carbs from fat and protein so the thing to do, would be to listen to what your body is telling you. If you experience fatigue and headaches from the lower carbs, try increasing the amount of water and salt you consume. If that doesn’t work, you are probably going to have to add some carbs.
Fresh apricots and fresh plums.
1/2 cup serving size: blackberries, blueberries, cherries, cranberries, plums, raspberries, and strawberries.
1/2 cup of tomato, unsweetened grapefruit, lemon, and lime juice are all ok.
What Grain Carbs are ok on the Candida Diet?
There are quite a few diets out there that allow grains but generally I suggest you keep them to a minimum because they are rapidly turned to sugar during digestion. A typical serving of one cup quite often contains way too many carbs that will induce a blood sugar spike. However, the alternative grains, those free of gluten and non gmo are ok once in a while. You should also be aware of the carb load.
Carbohydrates per 1/2 cup serving.
Quinoa – 17 grams
Basmatti rice – 22.5 grams
Wild rice – 16 grams
Certified Gluten-free buckwheat groats – 17 grams
I suggest you keep the serving size equal to 20 grams of carbs or less.
Can I Drink Alcohol on the Candida Diet?
Some say alcohol causes yeast infections and makes candida grow. This medical study done by Microbiologists C.C. Sheth, K. Makda, Z. Dilmahomed, R. González, A. Luzi, M. del M. Jovani‐Sancho, V. Veses and published in that was publsihed in 2016, tested both alcohol and tobacco using the saliva from 105 patients on mutans streptococci bacteria and Candida spp. They found;
“Alcohol consumption statistically significantly decreased oral carriage of mutans streptococci, whereas there was no effect on Candida albicans colonization levels. Tobacco users were found to harbour elevated levels of C. albicans; however, there was no observed effect on bacterial colonization by mutans streptococci.”
But, this medical study that was published in the Journal Microbiome in 2018, showed that alcohol altered the good bacteria levels in the mouth. It seems pretty obvious to me that since you swallow it, it is going to alter your intestinal microbiome as well and that could influence candida growth in the intestine.
So if I was going to drink while doing this diet, because yeasts prefer sugar as a carbon source for growth, I would avoid high sugar alcohols. So here’s a list for those of you that have to have a drink every now and then. All are very low carb and have very few calories.
1/2 an ounce of whiskey, gin, brandy, and rum have a trace amount of carbohydrates and 33 calories. Four ounces of dry red wine has .5 carbs and 70 calories. Please be aware that testing on California wines shows they are all contaminated with Roundup, a pesticide that kills good bacteria and has been classified by the International Agency for Research on Cancer as a Class 2A “probable human carcinogen”. Most of the other alcohols contain to many carbohydrates and should be avoided. Personally, I would avoid all alcohol but you’re the doctor so…
Feed Your Good Bacteria
Because low levels of good bacteria is probably what started your problems to begin with, while you are on the diet and taking probiotics, enzymes, etc; it is a good idea to feed them daily. Good bacteria like to eat the fiber from vegetables but there is also a fiber out there that has been shown to really make them grow at a rapid pace, it’s called Resistant Starch(RS). RS resists digestion and the body cannot absorb its glucose content in the small intestine. However, once it reaches the large intestine, good bacteria feed on it like crazy.
Bad bacteria will try to feed on it as well but stool testing shows their numbers go down in a big way. It seems the bad bacteria attach themselves to the RS and when you have a bowel movement, they are disposed of. No studies have been done as far as yeast goes that I know of but once again, stool tests show that yeast levels will not increase if you consume no more than 20 grams per day in your diet.
Eventually, by following the diet and the protocol below, the biofilms and yeast are eliminated and the good bacteria levels return to normal levels. Long term treatment for 6 months shows good bacteria levels through the roof, while bad bacteria numbers are greatly reduced below the average person. Yeast is non existent.
However, if you feel uncomfortable using these while doing the cleanse because it might feed the yeast, do it after you have it under control for 6 months.
Good Resistant Starch Foods:
1/4 cup unripe Plantains = 25grams of RS – 14grams carbs
1 Medium Green Banana = 15grams of RS – 0 grams carbs
Be very careful with these three below, they are still high carb.
1 Medium Sweet Potato = 8grams of RS – 24 grams carbs
1/2 cup Kidney Beans = 5grams of RS – 26grams carbs
1/2 cup uncooked Rolled Oats = 5grams of RS – 27grams carbs
The sweet potato and kidney beans need to be cooked, then refrigerate over night and consume cold the next day. Plantains are best sliced thin and dehydrated into chips. Make sure you rotate these, don’t get stuck using the same one over and over again, your bacteria need a variety of food.
Probiotia Immune has actually has been shown to grow bifidobacteriums and acidophlius almost twice as fast as the resistant starches. This is a good option for people that are not comfortable with taking rs.
Even better than Probiota Immune would be Floraphage. Studies have shown that Floraphage increases the growth of good bacteria 2400%, and 500% over the FOS prebiotic known as inulin. The best thing is, it does not feed yeast in any way.
I would then take Biofase and either Profase, or the 11-strain probiotic at bedtime and again one hour before breakfast. This combination will completely transform your intestinal environment in a big way… for the better.
Candida Diet Good Foods Helpful Diet Tips
Natural peppermint tea will be very soothing on your digestive system while on the candida yeast diet since it helps manage yeast die off, as well as nausea, abdominal fullness, or pain. Try to drink four 8-ounce glasses of distilled water a day, and four glasses of bottled, reverse osmosis, or spring water to keep the body flushed of toxins.
That about does it. If you do not see a candida diet good food here check the bad foods list and if it’s not there then refer to the carb and glycemic index. High carb and high glycemic foods should be avoided.
Sometimes candida yeast is not the problem at all but the problem is actually food allergies, so I strongly suggest you keep a food journal so you can monitor how particular foods make you feel. Short of being tested for allergies, a food journal will help you identity problem foods.
If you are having a problem figuring out what to eat, these cookbooks are very good
Primal Cookbook at Amazon
Quick and Easy Meals at Amazon
There is also quite a few candida diet recipes on this page.
Commonly Asked Candida Diet Questions?
Why can’t I drink coffee on the candida diet?
It has been said that coffee causes a release of sugar by the liver. However, I have not tested this to see if it is true or not? I had two cups a day with no ill effects when I followed this diet for a year so I doubt a couple cups a day would hurt you, definitely skip the sugar.
What’s the best milk to drink on the candida diet?
Unsweetened almond is best.
Why no cheese on the candida diet?
If you are going to sit down and eat piece after piece it can cause a blood sugar spike from the lactose. However, I do think when used as a condiment like on lettuce wrap tacos, a little would be ok.
What breads can I eat on the candida diet?
Generally, almond or coconut flour breads are best but you still have to watch the amount of carbs.
How long should I stay on the candida diet?
I can’t answer this, everyone is different and will have this to different degrees. Obviously, the worse it is or the longer you have been dealing with this problem, the longer you will need to be on the diet.
Article written by Dan
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