Hi, I’m Jackson and I am excited to share this candida diet with you. There are so many candida treatments out there but very few of them have reliable results.
However, with the help of my friend Maya who taught me a lot about her experiences for this post. She also helped me understand that your food choices will help you the most in your battle with Candida overgrowth, but not only that, this diet will be the solution to many other health problems. So I wanted to share with you the recipes, meal plans and facts I discovered about the candida diet.
Even though it can be a lot of information be sure to read till the end where you can get your hands on a sweet infographic that can be used as a reference page.
This post is the third in the Candida series with Maya.
To read her interview click here.
Not sure how to find out if you have candida overgrowth? Then this is for you.
What Is The Candida Diet?
Despite the many studies on the factors of candida overgrowth, studies of treatment plans are still unreliable. However, of all the candida treatment plans, the candida diet is probably the most consistent treatment option so far.
The candida diet is an anti-inflammatory, low-sugar diet that promotes a healthy gut. Essentially, it cuts out highly processed junk foods that are full of sugar because sugar is what feeds candida growth and allows it to turn into its fungal form. Also, processed foods are rich in ingredients that can easily cause inflammation around your body.
The candida diet is kind of like a reset button for your stomach. The diet works to restore the balance of the bacteria and yeast in your stomach. In turn, you gain relief from yeast infections, bloating, indigestion, fatigue, and other candida-related symptoms.
Moreover, the candida diet affects more than just your gut health. It can also boost your body’s immunity and further reduce your chances of developing an overgrowth and chronic digestive problems.
Before you dive deeper into the details of the diet, here are some rules to keep in mind:
- No added sugars
- Eliminate all processed foods
- Minimize caffeine and alcohol intake
- Eat gluten-free
- Use high-quality protein
- Go for fermented fruits and healthy fats and oils
- Eat starch-free vegetables
How Do You Start A Candida Diet?
In order to start a candida diet, it is highly suggested that you first do a candida cleanse. Remember, the candida diet is short term and can irritate your gut. The cleanse actually allows you to gently transition your body into the new candida diet and cleans out any excess toxins.
There are two candida cleanse methods:
- Drinking only liquids, like lemon water, diluted apple cider vinegar, a bone broth, or veggie broth.
- Eating steamed vegetables
The liquid cleanse tends to be stronger and requires 1-2 days. Meanwhile, the vegetable cleanse tends to be gentler cleanse that lasts 3-5 days. Which one you choose to do is up to you, but you can do these two cleanses together. You can use the liquid cleanse to jumpstart your vegetable cleanse.
Something to be mindful of with these cleanses is that they can cause some negative symptoms. Some people can experience fatigue, mood swings, and sleep changes. Otherwise, once you have completed the cleanse, you can move into the actual diet.
What Do You Eat To Limit Candida Overgrowth?
A candida diet focuses on consuming whole natural foods. The types of foods you should aim to consume should be low in sugar and low in inflammatory properties. A good rule of thumb is to look at your groceries and if it was made in a factory, then avoid it.
Here are 8 types of foods you should eat on a candida diet:
- Non-Starchy Vegetables
Candida feeds on what you eat. Vegetables, like sweet potatoes and carrots, are full of starches and sugars that can feed the candida overgrowth. As such, you should focus on vegetables that curb candida growth instead. Leafy greens like swiss chard, kale, and spinach are full of nutrients that are good for you but bad for the candida.
Try steaming and sauteing your leafy greens. This method of cooking makes it easier for your stomach to digest the greens.
- Clean Meats
While they might be more pricey, grass-fed beef and wild-caught fish are good investments in your gut health and immunity. Organic meat, fish and even organ meats, like liver, are rich in vitamins that can strengthen your immunity.
- Cultured Foods
Fermented foods are also a great way to kill off candida growth. Foods like kimchi, sauerkraut, and kefir can actually introduce healthy bacteria back into your body.
- Bone Broth
This is probably one of the strongest gut health medicines you can try. Basically, the collagen in a bone broth can heal and strengthen your gut lining. Additionally, there is no sugar in bone broth, which actually starves the candida.
- Healthy Spices
Ginger and oregano are go-to herbs and spices. You can incorporate them into your recipes or have them in tea or in supplements. These types of spices have proven microbial benefits
- Healthy Fats
There are a variety of fats and oils that are actually beneficial to your gut lining. Coconut oil, olive oil, and avocado oil can have an anti-inflammatory effect on your gut.
- Healthy Sweeteners
Natural sweeteners are the answer to your prayers if you cannot live without a little bit of sweetness. Go for things like honey, agave syrup, or stevia as an alternative to sugar. However, they should be used in moderation.
There are two types of tea that work well against candida overgrowth. Black tea has tannins that can kill off candida. Meanwhile, spiced teas, like ginger tea, can soothe and calm an inflamed gut lining.
What Do You Avoid Eating To Limit Candida Overgrowth?
In a candida diet, less sugar and starch is key. These types of food feed candida cellular growth and their ability to turn into fungus.
Here are 8 types of food you should avoid on a candida diet:
Candida is a type of yeast. Yeast thrives on sugar. So eliminating sugar is your best bet to combatting an overgrowth. However, you should be mindful to read labels when grocery shopping because sugar can have many names.
Grains have gluten and sugar which are damaging to your gut. They can easily cause inflammation in your gut and encourage overgrowth. You can use alternative flours like almond and hazelnut but in moderation.
You’re probably scratching your head at this one. Fruit is supposed to be good for you, right? And it still is, but the sugar content of fruit is what matters in this diet. If you want to eat fruit, focus on ones that are low in sugar, like berries and citrus fruits. The great thing about citrus fruits is that they are also full of antimicrobial properties.
- Starchy Vegetables
Vegetables like sweet potatoes, potatoes and beets can worsen the candida overgrowth. You should also avoid legumes, like black beans, pinto beans, lentils, peanuts and the like.
While we typically associate dairy with calcium and vitamin D, dairy products can be considered processed foods. Think about it. Cows, particularly in the US, are pumped full of antibiotics and hormones, fed GMO corn, and live in unsanitary environments. Then, the milk is pasteurized and homogenized while the fat and the vitamins are essentially taken out.
If you do want some type of dairy in your life, try to go for grass-fed, cultured dairy products, like kefir and yogurt.
It goes without saying that alcohol is not the most beneficial thing you can put in your body. Not only can it damage your intestinal lining, but it can also damage the detoxification pathways.
Let me break this down for you. FODMAPS stands for fermentable oligo-, di-, monosaccharides, and polyols. It refers to carbs that are not easily digested. For this reason, they can feed candida growth.
Some foods high in FODMAPS to avoid:
- Conventional Coffee
Coffee can irritate your gut lining because of its high acidity and high mold content. The high mold content actually can compromise your immune system.
Candida Diet Supplements
In addition to these food lists, you should also consider adding anti-candida supplements. These can help further alleviate inflammation and reduce candida and infection symptoms.
Here are some supplements you can take to support your candida diet:
- Restore healthy gut flora.
- Improve your immune system.
- Can strengthen your defenses against recurring candida growth.
- Regulate and balance gut flora.
- Related to antibiotics and their functions
- Proteolytic Enzymes
- Break down the biofilms of candida.
- Support joint health and mobility.
- Strengthens tissues.
- Supports your body’s ability to heal.
- Orange Grape Root
- Contains a plant alkaloid called berberine that disrupts the cellular membrane of candida.
- It has a broad range of antimicrobial activity against a multitude of pathogens.
- Can stabilize blood sugar.
- It is an anti-inflammatory spice.
- Detoxify your liver.
- Disrupts microbial biofilm.
- Boosts immunity and controls blood sugar
- Improves digestion
Again, these supplements are not necessary. However, they can help speed up the candida detoxifying process.
Meal Plan Idea
Now, there is no perfect way to eat a candida diet. So long as you stick to the suggest food lists, you should be right on track. However, if you want a more structured plan and want to be able to measure your progress, making your own meal plan is a good idea.
Here is our take on a candida diet weekly meal plan:
- Breakfast: Omelet with spinach, tomatoes, and avocado
- Lunch: Green salad with avocado, broccoli and lemon and olive oil dressing
- Dinner: Stir-fried chicken and steamed vegetables on top of quinoa
- Breakfast: Kefir or your preferred full-fat yogurt with berries, almonds, and cinnamon
- Lunch: Tarragon chicken with leeks (find this recipe here)
- Dinner: Beef patty with steamed vegetables and kimchi or your fermented vegetable of choice
- Breakfast: Avocado pancakes with lemon parsley butter (find this recipe here)
- Lunch: Vegan cauliflower curry (find this recipe here)
- Dinner: Curry chicken with steamed vegetables and quinoa
- Breakfast: Baked eggs with avocado and vegetable hash
- Lunch: Fish tacos with cabbage, avocado, and lime crema
- Dinner: Roast turkey with sage pesto (find this recipe here)
- Breakfast: Coconut granola with buckwheat groats, millet, chopped nuts, and plain yogurt
- Lunch: Chicken and “zoodle” pasta salad
- Dinner: Lemon and dill salmon with asparagus
- Breakfast: Buckwheat pancakes with berries and chicory coffee
- Lunch: Salmon bowl with arugula (find this recipe here)
- Dinner: Chicken fajita bowl with peppers, onions, cilantro, and avocado
- Breakfast: Kefir, berries, almond butter, coconut, and cinnamon smoothie
- Lunch: Chef’s salad
- Dinner: Kimchi meatballs (find this recipe here)
Evidently, while this type of diet is quite restrictive, you won’t be missing out. There is a wide variety of exciting dishes you can try that keep this diet exciting.
Can You Reintroduce Foods From Your “Avoid” List?
A candida diet is not meant to be a long-term diet. It is only meant to act as a treatment plan and can be stopped once you are free of a candida overgrowth. This actually means you can transition back into eating your original diet, including all the foods that were on the avoid list.
The biggest thing you should do is reintroduce your old diet slowly. Do not start adding massive amounts of foods and dishes at one time. Just start by adding one at a time. If you don’t, you could easily cause a candida flare-up.
A great place to start is by adding fruits back first. While they have sugar they are full of nutrients so you won’t be completely shocking your system.
How long it takes for your body to readjust depends entirely on you. If your infestation was severe, your readjustment period could be longer.
Why Is It Important To Eat Right To Get Rid of Your Candida Overgrowth?
So as we said earlier, candida treatment plans are not well-researched, including candida diets. However, they are still popular because of its overall benefits due to their focus on healthy whole foods.
The focus on healthy foods can be beneficial for weight loss, heart disease, and digestive function. Meanwhile, this type of diet can also prevent lifelong diseases, like obesity and diabetes.
Moreover, this type of diet is one of the more long-term reliable treatment plans for candida. This is due to the fact that it deals with candida as a systemic issue. The cleanse and diet strive to restart the body from the inside out. Whereas if you stuck to just ointments and medications, you might only be providing temporary relief rather than dealing with the root of the problem.
Potential Downfalls of a Candida Diet
Overall, this diet seems to be the best bet for directly targeting a candida problem. However, it does propose some potential issues.
First, it is not a well-researched topic with conflicting results. So although there have been some successful studies, there are other studies that say otherwise.
Second, it is quite a strict diet. Much of the foods you have to avoid on this diet are difficult to avoid in our normal grocery store settings. As such, it demands a little more effort and willpower on your part to complete this diet.
Thirdly, this diet can get expensive. Whole foods, in general, are quite pricey. So this could be a difficult diet for you if you favor budget shopping. The very same can be said if you do not like cooking. The key is knowing everything that is going into your food and cooking is the only way to do so. As such, if you do not cook or enjoy cooking, you might not enjoy this diet.
Lastly, this diet has a limited time period. It cannot be used as a long-term dietary choice.
Of all the candida treatments, the candida diet proves to be a favorite and for good reason. It not only targets the problematic aspects of candida overgrowth by eliminating sugar, gluten and alcohol, but it also introduces an all-around healthy diet of whole foods to your body. This can have overall positive impacts on your health and reduce your chances of lifelong diseases. Despite the fact that there are no strong pieces of evidence supporting this diet, there are many success stories of people who have found this diet helpful. So you are in good company if you decide to give it a try.
We hope this article helped you gain a better understanding of a candida diet and what it can do for you. If you have any questions or comments, please share them with us.