The first step in treating candida
The first step we recommend to treat candida is a colon cleanse to rid your body of toxic waste that can harbor it. The best 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 sharing too many details, we know from personal experience that it works well.
Many diseases start with an impacted colon – give candida a run for its money by eliminating (pun intended) its hiding place.
Treating candida with diet
Candida lives off the foods 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? One of the best ways 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.
There’re a lot of candida-diet versions out there. Some are impossibly strict, and others are impossibly lenient.
(disclaimer: Candida Crusher is a medical volume and contains anatomical photos that some readers may find objectionable.)
A few years ago I came into contact with Dr. Eric Bakker, ND, a naturopath who’s treated 1000’s of candida patients for over 20 years. His 3-Stage candida diet, explained in Candida Crusher, is more doable and comprehensive than any other candida diet we’ve tried and previously recommended.
Each of the three stages address different aspects of how best to fight candida. This is the diet I expand on further in our two candida cookbooks, Healing Candida with Food, and The Sweeter Side of Candida.
Dr. Bakker has graciously allowed me to share the list of foods allowed on Stage One.
Stage One allowed foods
- almond oil
- coconut oil
- macadamia oil
- olive oil
- palm oil/shortening
- peanut oil
- sesame oil
- sunflower oil
- walnut oil
- butter or ghee
- bacon fat (from bacon with no added sugar or nitrates)
- cod liver oil
- fat from meat and fish
- all red meat
- all poultry
- all fish
- all shellfish
- hard cheeses like Cheddar, Colby, Parmesan, Swiss (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 include ‘live active cultures’ or ‘living cultures’)
low carbohydrate vegetables
- avocados (good for stabilizing blood sugar)
- bok choy
- bamboo shoots
- brussel sprouts
- celeriac (celery root)
- egg plant
- green and wax beans
- green peppers (all peppers)
- lettuce (green leaf is best – 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
- spaghetti squash
- sprouts (bean, alfalfa, etc)
- summer squash
- zucchini (courgette)
*nuts & seeds
- almonds (use code ‘whole’ to get 10% off your order)
- almond flour (use code ‘whole’ to get 10% off your order)
- Brazil nuts
- **cashews (careful, these are susceptible to mold)
- chia seeds
- coconut flour
- flax seed/meal
- macadamia nuts
- pumpkin seeds
- sesame seeds
- sunflower seeds
*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
- 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.
The best grains are:
Stage Two of the diet removes foods that are prone to cause allergies, and Stage Three teaches how to reintroduce healthy foods again. Be sure to check out Candida Crusher for step-by-step details.
Foods to Avoid (in order of importance)
1.) The number one food candida loves more than life itself is sugar. If you can’t stick to any other part of this diet, avoid sugar at all costs.
Candida LOVES sugar. It feeds it, gives it warm fuzzies, and makes it do the happy dance. It’s not picky either. It doesn’t care if it’s organic, raw, fruit sugar, or refined sugar. Any kind of sugar will give it the fuel it needs to take over.
Stay away from
- processed white sugar
- natural sugars in fruit
- cane sugar
- any ingredient that ends in ‘ose’ (i.e. lactose, sucrose, etc.)
- corn syrup
- 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 solutions I’ve found is to use stevia, a sweet herb. I like adding it to my tea or Candida Diet Ice Cream to have a little treat while staying 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 though, 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)
- green apples
- apples (green apples tend to be lower in sugar)
- any dried fruits
- oranges (tend to be moldy too)
2.) Limit starches – starches also feed candida; and candida can be a glutton. Starches in this case are synonymous with carbs. Carbs are any food not classified as protein or fat.
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’ll need to avoid all store-bought breads (they’re starchy and they contain yeasts and sugars). 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 sourdough breads to begin with.
Candida is a sneaky little organism. He might look yummy on the outside, but candida is a wolf in sheep’s clothing. When you deplete your diet of the food it loves, candida makes you crave them. But, 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.
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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