Candida Diet

Dietary Recommendations for Candidiasis


Dietary Recommendations for Candidiasis Candidiasis or yeast syndrome is an infection caused by an overgrowth in the gastrointestinal tract of the usually benign yeast (or fungus) Candida albicans.i,ii Normally, Candida albicans lives harmoniously in the inner warm creases and crevices of the digestive tract and vaginal tract in women.iii


Candidiasis or yeast syndrome is an infection caused by an overgrowth in the gastrointestinal tract of the usually benign yeast (or fungus) Candida albicans.[i],[ii] Normally, Candida albicans lives harmoniously in the inner warm creases and crevices of the digestive tract and vaginal tract in women.[iii]

The immune system usually keeps candida proliferation under control, but when the immune response is weakened, candida growth can proceed unhindered. Candida is an “opportunistic organism” which, when given the opportunity, will attempt to colonize all bodily tissues. The uncontrolled growth of candida is known as candida overgrowth. In small amounts, this fungus is harmless. However, when there is an overgrowth, it can be destructive and can cause numerous health problems. In fact, candida can produce the symptoms of over 140 different disorders.

Candida thrives on sugar (including natural forms from fruit and unrefined sweeteners), carbohydrates, yeast, preserved, processed and refined foods, and molds. These are the foods to avoid in the treatment of candida overgrowth.

 

The essential guidelines:

  • avoid all sugar, grains and products made from grains
  • eat three meals daily
  • maintain a high fiber intake by including lots of vegetables
  • avoid fruits for the first three weeks of the diet

The main concept to follow is the whole foods philosophy. This involves choosing and eating foods in their natural, whole form, or eating foods as close to how they occur in nature as possible. This means not eating over-processed, boxed or canned foods.

The entire healing/rebuilding process usually takes around 3 to 6 months. The change in diet and lifestyle habits can be radical for some individuals.  However, these changes are extremely beneficial for your body and will be the best way to treat, prevent and control this destructive fungus. Do not eat any refined sugars for at least 6 months after recovery, in fact, it is best to avoid refined sugars overall as much as possible all together. Having candidiasis once predisposes one to getting it again so be very careful after you are well. It is wise to work with a physician experienced with recurrent yeast infections and also pay attention to your own sensitivities.

 

Food to avoid

  • sugar or sweeteners of any kind
  • bread and yeasted baked goods
  • all grains (especially those with gluten)
  • dairy products (except plain yogurt and kefir)
  • smoked, dried, pickled, or cured foods
  • peanuts (high in molds)
  • fruits and fruit juices
  • coffee, black tea, or caffeine
  • carbonated drinks
  • alcohol or foods containing vinegar (apple cider vinegar is okay)


Acceptable foods during first 3 to 6 weeks:

  • vegetables, fresh and lightly steamed (especially onion, garlic, ginger root, cabbage, and broccoli)
  • poultry and seafood
  • sea veggies
  • olive oil and coconut oil
  • eggs and mayonnaise (without vinegar or
  • sugar)
  • nuts and nut butters
  • plain yogurt
  • some citrus fruit, especially lemon
  • butter or ghee (clarified butter)

The length and degree of dietary strictness are dependent on the individual and the severity of the problem. After the initial changes are made and maintained for the necessary time, more foods can be added and tested.. Added foods should be tested one by one and eaten three times during the day, then avoided for the next 72 hours. During this time watch for reactions to occur. If no reactions occur, these items can be added back into the diet on a rotation basis, or eaten every three to four days and another food can be tested. If a reaction does occur that food is best left out for at least 6 months before testing again. After the initial candida diet is complete, a whole foods diet with little, if any, processed foods should be maintained.

 

Some meal ideas

Breakfast:

  • Omelets with any combination of vegetables (sautéed onion, celery, broccoli, red pepper, etc.)
  • Poached eggs on steamed greens (kale, chard, and/or spinach) with sliced tomatoes
  • Full-fat organic plain yogurt with raw nuts and seeds
  • 2-4 slices turkey bacon (gluten- and sugar-free), and baked sweet potato with butter
  • Pureed sweet potato or yam with butter or coconut oil, stevia, cinnamon and shredded coconut, and free-range gluten-free turkey sausage or hard-boiled eggs.

Lunch:

  • Mixed green salad and protein (leftover chicken, turkey, fish, or hard-boiled eggs) with apple cider vinegar or lemon juice and olive oil (herbs, sea salt and pepper are good too)
  • Canned salmon or tuna mixed with guacamole with cut up veggies for dipping (like cucumber, carrots, peppers, celery, etc.)
  • Lettuce wraps – fill large lettuce leaves with gluten-free, organic lunch meat, avocado slices, tomato slices, shredded carrots, sliced onion and sprouts.
  • Homemade chicken and veggie soup

Dinner:

  • Baked, broiled or poached fish (salmon and tuna are great) with steamed vegetables and butter
  • Baked spaghetti squash topped with marinara and grass-fed ground beef or Italian sausage and a side salad with olive oil, lemon juice, sea salt and pepper.
  • Grilled grass-fed filet mignon, baked sweet potato, steamed asparagus with lemon butter
  • Buffalo burger on a grilled portabella mushroom with sliced tomato and lettuce and gluten-free mustard, and a side of oven baked fries from red skin potato

Snacks:

  • Raw nuts and seeds (pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, almonds, walnuts, pecans, macadamia nuts)
  • Almond butter filled celery sticks
  • Raw veggies with guacamole or yogurt dip (plain Greek-yogurt mixed with dried parsley, dill, onion powder and a small amount of lemon juice to taste)
  • Olives and boiled eggs
  • Naturally raised turkey, beef, buffalo or salmon jerky (gluten- and sugar-free)
  • Kale Chips (tear kale leaves into bite sized pieces, rub with olive oil and sea salt, spread on a baking sheet and bake at 350⁰ until crisp, about 10-12 minutes)

A few extras:

  • Brewer’s yeast does NOT cause or aggravate candida or yeast overgrowth although some individuals may be allergic to it.
  • Good substitutes for soy sauce are gluten-free tamari, Braggs’s liquid aminos, or raw coconut aminos
  • Pau d’ arco tea is encouraged for its yeast growth management
  • Purchase a good reference to learn how to make meals that are healthy and tasty.

 

References:

Hass, Elson, MD, 1992. Staying Healthy with Nutrition, Celestial Arts, Berkeley, CA.

Page, Linda Rector, Ph.D. Healthy Healing. 1996.Healthy Healing Publications.

[i] Truss CO. The role of Candida albicans in human illness. J Orthomol Psychiatry 1981,10:228–38 [review

[ii] Crook WG. The Yeast Connection, 2nd ed. Jackson, TN: Professional Books, 1984, 1–2 [review].

[iii] Pizzorno, Joseph, N.D and Murray, Michael, N.D. Textbook of Natural Medicine. 2nd Ed. Churchill Livingstone. 1999