Dietary Options for Candida

Before I dive into this post, I want to welcome you to my new website! I’m excited to offer a new site and am working hard to fill in the areas that are missing content. Was it backwards to launch the site before it was done? Maybe … but desperate times call for desperate measures. Please forgive me. I welcome your feedback!

Let’s get down to business. Before reading this post, please read my previous post, Candida 101, to familiarize yourself with what Candida is, how it becomes overgrown and which issues it can cause in the body.

Picture of Candida

Candida. Gross, huh?

When fighting a Candida overgrowth, it is essential to remember that you cannot defeat Candida without starving it. Think about it … you can take pills and supplements by the handful, but it will be very difficult to eliminate the overgrowth if you are still providing nourishment to the Candida organisms. What does Candida thrive on? It’s simple: SUGAR. Many of you are probably now thinking that eliminating sugar won’t be a problem. Good for you! However, simply eliminating added sugar from your diet is not sufficient because your body metabolizes and breaks down many foods into simple sugars. What foods provide sugar to feed Candida? This list includes grains, rice, beans and legumes, fruit, dairy, vinegar, kombucha and starchy veggies.
But … take heart. You don’t need to eliminate those foods forever. The protocol I use follows three phases, each of which lasts four-weeks. (You can do anything for four weeks, right?) I also combine each phase with increasing levels of three carefully selected supplements designed to eliminate the bio-film Candida uses to protect itself, kill the Candida, and restore balance.
Let’s keep it simple … during the first four weeks, I ask people to limit their foods to include:
  • Any (organic) meats and eggs, excluding processed meats and sushi with rice
  • Most organic nuts and seeds (I eliminate cashews and peanuts because they are typically high in fungal growth)
  • All veggies other than the starchy ones, beets and carrots
  • Unsweetened milk alternatives

Subsequent phases re-introduce some of the ancient grains, low glycemic-index fruits, and legumes. During this phase, all condiments containing sugar and vinegar are also eliminated. (Vinegar is one of yeast’s favorite foods. Yeast cells grow very quickly when exposed to vinegars.)

Most people can return to a fairly normal eating pattern following the 12-week program, although they still need to be careful to limit sugars and grains. Is it possible to go back to eating Snickers for lunch after completing the  program? Unfortunately, most people need to be cautious on a long-term basis. This doesn’t mean they can never enjoy a dessert or a dinner roll, it simply means they need to limit their intake of these foods and to listen to their body to recognize when Candida starts to rear its ugly head again. Most people report that they feel so much better and have so many health issues disappear while following the protocol that continuing to eat well becomes much easier.

My next post will cover the types of supplements that can be used to kill Candida and its bio-film, restore balance, and reduce die-off symptoms. The final post in this series will discuss common symptoms of “die-off” which may occur as the body works to eliminate dead yeast cells. You can view the next post here: Candida Battle Plan.

What do you think?

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Dr. Pamela Reilly is a Naturopathic Physician dedicated to helping people improve their health and eliminate symptoms using natural, integrative methods. She has over 25 years of experience and has helped men, women and children improve their health using a holistic, client-centered focus. She sees clients in Indianapolis, does house calls, and also conducts consultations via Skype or telephone. Please feel free to contact her or visit her Consultations page for more information. Dr. Pamela speaks nationwide on a wide variety of health topics and welcomes speaking invitations.

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17 Responses to Dietary Options for Candida

  1. Ellen says:

    Thanks for such a helpful post!

    Two foods I’d like you to qualify, if you don’t mind:

    Fermented foods (homemade beet kvass, sauerkraut)?

    Stevia extract (nothing added)?

    I am curious if these will allow Candida to persist. Thanks!

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  3. Selah says:

    I thought that apple cidar vinegar was was good to consume. Is that not true?

    • GWWR says:

      Although apple cider vinegar has health benefits, it is one of the worst things for Candida. All vinegars feed Candida like crazy. I know one popular anti-yeast lifestyle book promotes the use of ACV, but science disagrees.

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  11. bitt says:

    I am reading a lot about candida as I likely have it. I have read a lot of different diets to follow, and yours is yet another variation! For example I’ve read that certain grains are ok like quinoa and some people say beans are ok too. I do think it’s possible to eat vegan and be on a candida diet, some people find meat to be really hard on their digestion.

    • GWWR says:

      Yes, there are many different approaches to Candida. As I said in my post, mine is broken down into three different phases. Phase II and III provide access to the foods you mention. Quinoa is actually not a grain but is a seed. However, it is a seed that is high in lectins and which the body metabolizes into simple sugars. Many people refer to it as a “pseudo-grain.” Many practitioners believe their clients won’t adhere to a full Candida diet and therefore offer more lenient options. I do the same with my clients, especially those who are very thin or who are vegan/vegetarian. Meat is actually not that difficult to digest and absorb. It only becomes difficult to digest and absorb when it is consumed at the same time grains are. All in all, there is no single plan that is perfect for everyone. We each need to tweak any recommendation to fit our own personal needs. 🙂

  12. GWWR says:

    That is always a great option! Organic EVCO isn’t a very strong antifungal, but every bit counts! 🙂

  13. Colleen says:

    What about adding organic coconut oil to your diet right from the start?

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