Candida is a yeast genus that lives within the body and on the skin. There are hundreds of these yeasts in your body, but many of them can cause fungal infections if their population grows rapidly in an uncontrolled manner. They invade the bloodstream or other organs and cause illness. Candidiasis is the medical term for this sort of illness.
A diet heavy in sugar and refined carbohydrates, such as white bread and sugar-sweetened drinks, is a major factor contributing to Candida overgrowth. Carbs are the primary energy source for yeast, so a diet high in sugar and processed carbohydrates can provide an ideal environment for Candida overgrowth (2).
- What is the Candida diet?
Some integrative medicine practitioners prescribe a Candida diet to treat the symptoms and reverse yeast overgrowth. Those who followed the advised dietary changes and did antifungal therapy had better results than those who did not.
The Candida diet is a specialized diet designed to treat the symptoms of Candida infections. In addition, the Candida diet boosts immunity, improves digestive health, and reduces inflammation (3).
Individuals must avoid foods and beverages that may increase the likelihood of Candida overgrowth in the Candida diet. These include gluten, sugar, alcohol, and certain dairy products.
Instead, the diet emphasizes the consumption of lean proteins, healthy fats, veggies without carbohydrates, and probiotics. Diet proponents assert that excluding some foods can reduce inflammation and restore the microbiome’s equilibrium. If you have Candida or a disease related to Candida yeast overgrowth, your healthcare provider recommends that you follow the Candida diet guidelines (4).
- Candida diet foods to consume
Avoiding sugar in all forms is crucial in the battle against Candida. Candida yeast cells require sugar to create cell walls, develop colonies, and transform into their more deadly fungal form. That is why a low-sugar diet is an essential component of Candida therapy.
Individuals with a weaker immune system, type 2 diabetes, and patients using antibiotics are also at a higher risk of acquiring candidiasis. The dietary choices below are recommended for those trying the Candida diet, so feel free to use this as a reference point for what you should be eating regularly.
- Raw or steamed non-starchy veggies are best, i.e. artichokes, asparagus, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, celery, cucumber, eggplant, jicama, kale, onions, rutabaga, spinach and tomatoes.
- Grains that aren’t glutinous, i.e. buckwheat, millet, oat bran, quinoa, almond flour, or coconut flour for baking.
- Fruits with little or no added sugar, i.e. apples, avocado, berries, lemon, lime, and olives.
- Nuts and seeds that are resistant to mold growth, i.e. almonds, coconut, flaxseed, hazelnuts, and sunflower seeds.
- Proteins that are low in fat and calories, i.e. anchovies, bone broth, chicken, eggs, herring, wild salmon, sardines and turkey.
- Fermented food i.e. kefir, olives, sauerkraut, yogurt.
- Condiments, herbs, and spices are all included in this category, i.e. apple cider vinegar, basil, black pepper, cinnamon, cloves, coconut aminos, dill, garlic, ginger, oregano, paprika, rosemary, salt, thyme and turmeric.
- Healthy fats and oils, i.e. ghee, flax oil, olive oil, sesame oil, virgin coconut oil.
- Teas that are made from herbs, filtered water, and chicory coffee.
- When used in moderation, certain sugar-alternative sweeteners, i.e. erythritol, stevia and xylitol.
- Supplements used in a Candida diet
There are two sources of caprylic acid, coconut oil and mammalian milk. Caprylic acid, which has antifungal characteristics, is thought to penetrate Candida’s cell membranes and break them down (5).
By eliminating healthy bacteria in the stomach, antibiotics can raise the chance of developing a Candida infection. Probiotics can be used to replace beneficial bacteria populations. Fermented foods such as yogurt include probiotics. Probiotics may help relieve symptoms and lower the risk of a Candida infection in very sick people (6).
The Candida diet is generally healthy and may provide a more nutritious diet than many individuals currently take daily. You may benefit from the diet even if it doesn’t “treat” candidiasis, simply by eating more non-starchy veggies, increasing fibre intake, drinking more water, and avoiding refined sugars and processed foods. Starting by gently and progressively removing things from your everyday routine is recommended if you decide to go on the Candida Diet. Limiting refined sugar or caffeine should be your first step before moving on to the next. If you’re looking for long-term treatment, seek the advice of your healthcare provider (7).
About The Author
Dan Jackowiak, Nc, HHP, is the Founder of Yeast Infection Advisor. Dan is a Holistic Healthcare Practitioner and nutritional consultant who suffered from yeast and bad bacterial overgrowth of the gut for most of his life. The information on his website is a combination of his own nutrition and holistic training, life experiences, collaboration with fellow experts on his team, and over 18 years of studying medical research on candida yeasts infections of all types, which has allowed him to take his life and health back help others overcome yeast-related health problems and digestive problems of all kinds.