UPDATE: There are many versions of the candida diet out there. I’ve been able to chat with Dr. Eric Bakker, ND, a naturopath who has treated 1000s of patients for candida in his 20+ years in practice. I find his approach much more doable and comprehensive than the one I first recommended. I’ve updated the information below and included a brief explanation of his 3-stage diet below. I encourage you to check out his ebook, Candida Crusher for all the details as well as various ways to treat specific candida-related infections naturally. (disclaimer: Candida Crusher is a medical volume and contains anatomical photos that some readers may find objectionable.)
The first recommended step in treating candida is to do a colon cleanse to rid your body of toxic waste that can harbor it. The best kind of colon cleanse is gentle and natural. From experience, we recommend the Colon Cleansing Kit by Blessed Herbs. Their herbal cleansing kit is safe, effective, and, without giving too much info or trying to sound like an advertisement, we know from personal experience that it works very well. Many diseases start with an impacted colon – give candida a run for its money by eliminating (pun intended) its hiding place.
Candida lives off the food you eat. Let me rephrase that: candida thrives off the foods you eat. Let me restate that – candida exuberantly proliferates off the foods you eat. Get the picture? The best way to keep candida under control is with a healthy diet.
Or, as I tell my kids, “Starve the little beasts.” If you don’t feed candida what it needs to survive and multiply, it will eventually have to revert back to its former, non-harmful self.
Foods Allowed in Stage One
butter or ghee
fat from meat and fish
bacon fat (from bacon with no added sugar or nitrates)
cod liver oil
all red meat
hard cheeses (i.e. cheddar, colby, Parmesan, Swiss) - possibly but if you have chronic candida/yeast, it’s probably best to avoid cheese for a time.
sour cream (made from yogurt)
yogurt (make your own or look for unpasteurized, unsweetened yogurt that features ‘live active cultures’ or ‘living cultures’)
avocados (good for stabilizing blood sugar)
celeriac (celery root)
green and wax beans
green peppers (all peppers)
lettuce (green leaf, head lettuce has no nutritional value)
greens (green leaf lettuce; head lettuce has no nutritional value, spinach, chard, collards, mustard greens, kale, radicchio, endive, etc.)
peppers (all bell peppers)
scallions and green onions
sea vegetables (nori, kombu, wakame, etc.)
snow peas, snap peas, pea pods
sprouts (bean, alfalfa, etc)
nuts & seeds
**cashews (susceptible to mold)
*Make sure your nuts are properly soaked and/or sprouted for easier digestion.
**Cashews are susceptible to mold. Pistachios and peanuts (actually a legume, not a nut) tend to be moldy as well.
all spices and herbs are allowed.
non – caffeinated herbal teas (especially Pau d’ arco)
apple cider vinegar (balances body’s pH level. A teaspoon to a tablespoon taken before each meal can aid digestion and prevent undigested food particles from feeding candida in the gut.)
Grains are allowed in moderation in various stages of Dr. Bakker’s 3-stage diet, however, it’s imperative that it be a pure sourdough bread or it’s best to avoid them. That means it can not have added dry yeast, bread machine yeast, yeast cakes, etc added. Other grains used, like millet, rice, etc. should be properly soaked and sprouted.
The best grains are:
*Although almond and coconut flour are not grains, they are allowed.
Stage Two of the diet removes foods that are prone to cause allergies, and Stage Three is learning how to reintroduce healthy foods again. Be sure to check out Candida Crusher for step-by-step details. (disclaimer: Candida Crusher is a medical volume and contains anatomical photos that some readers may find objectionable.)
Foods to Avoid (in order of importance)
natural sugars in fruit
any ingredient that ends in ‘ose’ (i.e. lactose, sucrose, etc.)
alcohol – the most refined sugar you can consume
Most people readily admit to having a sweet tooth. I do too! One of the most helpful ‘fixes’ I’ve found is to use stevia, a sweet herb. You will see it used in some of my recipes and I like adding it to my tea or full-fat ice cream to have a little treat while staying perfectly on plan. You can find more information about this herb and where to find it here.
Fruit is also a hard one to give up. But keep in mind, sugar in all forms will help candida multiply faster than a room full of bunny rabbits. Some fruits are higher in sugar than others, so if you find yourself wandering toward the all-you-can-eat fruit salad bar, here’s a helpful list:
rhubarb (technically not a fruit, but. . .ya know)
apples (some mod. & some high)
any dried fruits
oranges (tend to be moldy too)
2.) Limit carbohydrates – carbs also feed candida; and candida can be a glutton. Carbs are any food not classified as protein or fat. Carbohydrates also play a big role in weight gain so any diet (i.e. Atkins-type) that limits carbs would also be good for someone with candida.
*For those tracking carbs, you only count net carbs. To do this, take the total number of carbohydrates (i.e. 5g) and subtract the total number of dietary fiber (i.e. 3g) to equal your net carbs (i.e. 2g).
High Carb Vegetables
-legumes/beans (lima, pinto, navy, split pea, garbanzo, normal, white, kidney, peanuts, etc.)
-sweet potatoes-winter squash (hubbard, butternut, acorn, etc)
-yams (this includes gluten-free flours like potato starch and flour, tapioca starch, and arrowroot powder)
You will need to avoid all store-bought breads (they contain yeasts and sugars), but pure sourdough bread (no commercial yeast added) in moderation is okay. If you want to be a little stricter and really kick it into gear, I’d avoid even sourdough breads to begin with.
I won’t tell you this diet is a walk in the park. It can be really hard to stick to your guns when all you want is (pick your poison) . And I’ll be the first to tell you I’m not perfect either. But don’t forget: candida is a sneaky little organism. When you deplete your diet of the food it loves, it makes you crave them. However, the longer you keep those foods out of its greedy little hands (read: your mouth), the easier it becomes, until eventually, the cravings are gone.
He might look cute on the outside, but candida is a wolf in sheep’s clothing.
Oh, and one more thing. Don’t be surprised if while on this diet the pounds start melting off like hot butter. That’s just one of the many side effects of candida justice.
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