Candida can refer to a large family of yeasts, or one celled fungi. What you need to understand that these organisms harmlessly inhibit the tissue of your body under normal circumstances. But that is because there is a balanced intestinal tract from mouth to colon that keeps the candida in check.
However, when your body does not have enough beneficial bacteria, the balance is disrupted, and the candida transforms from a harmless state into an invasive state. That is when you should start considering how to get rid of candida. And one of the solutions is following a candida diet.
When the candida is in it invasive state, it can penetrate through the gut wall and cause leaky gut. Candida overgrowth can happen in many tissues of the body. Most commonly, however, candida happens as a vaginal yeast infection.
The candida diet is a rather simple solution. You need to eat protein and lots of green vegetables for a period of six months. The biggest challenge is there is not a single cheat day, or cheat meal. If you slip, you have to start all over. The idea behind the diet is to starve the yeast organisms living in the body.
Symptoms and Causes of Candida Overgrowth
Before we get to the candida diet, and other home remedies for candida, let’s talk about what causes candida, and what are the symptoms. The sooner you notice the symptoms, the better. One of the keys to treating candida infection is early diagnosis and treatment, before the infections spreads.
Candida is an opportunistic pathogen. When a person is under therapy of antibiotics, candida usually takes over. That is because antibiotics decimate the beneficial gut flora, but have little to no effect on candida. Here are other causes of candida.
- Diet high in processed foods and sugars encourages candida overgrowth
- Birth control pills, same as antibiotics, can encourage environment for candida. They do not cause a yeast infection directly. However, birth control pills can adversely affect the body, which leads to candida infection
- Speaking of pills, oral corticosteroids are one of the many causes of candida. Taking oral corticosteroids for asthma infection increases the risk of developing oral candida. It is imperative that you follow the directions for swishing the mouth out after each use
- Diabetes type 1 and 2 provide a sugary environment for the candida in the mouth. Those with diabetes are at greater risk for developing candida overgrowth
- In simplest terms, many of the causes of candida are linked with the weakened immune system. Candida lives naturally in our body. But that is under normal circumstances. When the immune system is weakened, candida can develop. Risk groups for weakened immune systems include elderly people, small children, infants, and patients with inflammatory and autoimmune conditions
Symptoms of candida
As mentioned previously, the best way for how to get rid of candida is to diagnose it early, and start using home remedies for candida. The sooner you notice the symptoms, the better. Most women do not even realize that the source of their yeast infection is the diet. When you do not consume healthy food, over time, you will create a positive environment for candida to take over.
One of the most common symptoms of candida includes fogginess in the morning upon waking. And you will also notice digestive complains due to the imbalance of gut flora. That being said, here are the symptoms of candida overgrowth.
- Chronic fatigue is a common symptom of candida. When you have a feeling you cannot perform your daily tasks, despite getting a good night sleep of minimum of six hours. If the fatigue lasts for more than few months, it might be time to check for candida
- The problem with candida infection is that the symptoms are very similar to other conditions. For example, another common symptom of candida is mood disorders
- Vaginal and urinary tract infections are more common and more frequent. You might not know it, but candida is the root of the problem for recurring infections
- Sinus infections are a common symptom nowadays for many conditions, and one of them is candida overgrowth as well. It is difficult to pinpoint the cause of sinus infections. But if they are accompanied by other symptoms of candida, you have yourself a diagnose
- Skin infections, as well as fungus in the toenail, and athlete’s foot are common with yeast infections. They stem from the same breed of candida
- Oral thrush is actually a yeast infection caused by the same strain of candida
- Last, but not least, intestinal distress is a clear sign you have a candida infection. Burping, bloating, constipation, diarrhea, and persistent flatulence are all possibilities
Foods to Eat
The good news about candida diet is that the foods you can eat are delicious and healthy. There are many sources of protein, fat, and non-starchy carbs that you can combine for a great meal. With that in mind, let’s break down the foods that will help for how to get rid of candida.
In terms of veggies, you need to consume non-starchy ones. In other words, vegetables that won’t break down to sugar. These vegetables will starve the yeast infection. But vegetables fresh, and eat them raw, grilled, or steamed.
You can eat:
Generally speaking, you should avoid fruits. That is because they contain sugar. However, there are some low-sugar fruits that can be consumed at a minimal rate. You can use them to flavor your food and salad dressings.
Here is what to eat:
The key to a successful candida diet is loading up on protein. The following foods should consist most of your daily meals:
- Chicken meat
- Turkey meat
- Lean beef
Nuts and seeds
As with most foods you can eat, you need to look for nuts with low mold content. You can remove residual mold by soaking nuts in diluted grapefruit seed extract for few hours.
Here are some of the nuts you can consume:
- Flax seeds
- Sunflower seeds
Grains is a tricky category, mostly because most grains contain some glucose and other types of sugar. However, there are non-glutinous grains you can easily include in your candida diet. Grains are great for your fiber consumption. That will keep you feel full, and eliminate candida toxins from the body.
Instead of rye, wheat, and rice, use the following grains:
- Oat bran
In terms of dairy products, what you need to consume is basically probiotics. You need the good bacteria to restore balance in your gut. And that includes:
When you consume absolutely no carbs, you need fats for energy. With that in mind, it is imperative that you stick to healthy fats. Whenever possible, use cold pressed oils. And do not overheat the food, as it can destroy the oil’s healthy nutrients.
Stick to the following:
- Olive oil
- Coconut oil
- Sesame oil
- Flax oil
Condiments and spices
This is the food category where most people make the mistake of eating something with sugary content. Let’s be honest, without some condiments and spices, the food does not taste as delicious. With that in mind, there are a lot of herbs and spices you can use for seasoning your food.
The list includes:
- Black pepper
- Apple cider vinegar
- Coconut aminos
Drinks and beverages
Stick to herbal teas that have antifungal properties. Try to consume them without sugar and artificial sweeteners. Even honey is not allowed. Just sip some lemon juice to your tea for taste.
Foods to Avoid
When you are following a candida diet, the key to success is being strict. That means no cheat meal, no cheat day. You need to stay away from certain food for as long as you have symptoms. Here are the foods that can ruin your candida diet.
High Sugar Fruits
The sugar content in fruits is breeding ground for candida. Even though fruits contain natural sugars, they should be avoided at all costs. Dried fruits are especially troublesome, as they contain high amounts of sugar. Avoid fruit juice as well.
- Fruit juices
Another food category that is rich in sugar is grains. They are also high in gluten, another ingredient that is food for your candida infection. As we saw earlier, there are certain grains you can consume. But there are also ones you need to avoid:
Generally speaking, meat is a great source of protein. However, not all meat is good. For your candida diet, you need lean meat. You should stay away from starchy and processed meat. Here all the toxic meats and fish you need to avoid:
- Processed meats
Most dairy products contain natural sugars like lactose. They are difficult to digest, and make matters worse in your gut. With that in mind, here are the dairy products to avoid:
- Milk and cow’s milk products
- Whey isolate
Condiments and spices
What you do not know is that most condiments contain sugar. That is why a burger is not a healthy food. When you load up on ketchup and mayonnaise, your burger becomes empty calories. The beef meat of which the burger is made is great, along with the salads. But it is the condiments that contain sugar. With that in mind, here are all the condiments you need to avoid while on a candida diet:
- Barbecue sauce
- Soy sauce
- White vinegar
Processed fats and oils
Most of you probably know there are good fats, and there are bad fats. When you are on your candida diet and you are trying to get rid of the infection using home remedies for candida, processed oils can set you back.
And while there are plenty of excellent oils to choose form, you should avoid the following:
- Fake butter spreads
- Canola oil
- Sunflower oil
- Soybean oil
Forget healthy sugars and sugary sweeteners. Sugar should be avoided at all cost. That includes healthy and natural sugars as well. For example, you cannot consume:
- Maple syrup
- Agave and agave syup
- Cane sugar
- Corn syrup
Beverages and drinks
Be careful, most drinks and beverages contain high amount of sugar. People mostly make the mistake of drinking alcoholic drinks during their candida diet. All alcoholic drinks should be avoided. But also some other beverages like:
- Black tea
- Diet and regular soda
- Fruit juices
- Energy drinks
How to follow candida diet
Now that you know the foods that you can eat, and the foods you need to avoid, the last step to how to get rid of candida is to understand the guidelines for the diet. The candida diet is a few steps treatment. It is not as simple as starting to eat all protein and vegetables from tomorrow.
Here is a step by step guide.
The first step is a cleansing plan, and lasts for one or two days. During this period, you can consume only liquids. A good idea is to make vegetable broth from the veggies you can eat. Drink lots of water to help your body expel all the toxins in your system.
The cleansing continues through step 2, and during this period, you can consume steamed vegetables for three to five days. During this period, your goal is to eliminate grains, sugars, fruits, and starches from your daily diet.
Consume either fresh and organic vegetables, or steamed vegetables. Stay away from starchy vegetables like carrots, beets, sweet potatoes, and radishes. Continue with your high water consumption. You can also eat a salad made of leafy greens no more than once per day during the second phase of the cleansing process.
During the third step, you need to remove the problem foods, and introduce the foods you can eat (popularly called candida killers). This is the time when you can start adding protein, as well as other foods from the home remedies for candida list below. Your diet will now be centered on vegetables, gluten-free grains, and high-quality protein foods.
The third step of the candida diet lasts for as long you have signs and symptoms of candida infection. The recommended length is six months. However, there are factors like intake of probiotics and antifungals, as well as severity of the candida overgrowth that affect the timeline.
During the last step, you can start slowly reintroducing off-limit foods. Be sure you are completely free of candida infection before you start this step. Be careful, candida can come back at any point. As long as you keep an environment in your gut that does not allow candida, you are good.
When you introduce off-limit foods, start with low-sugar fruits like green apples. If you do not notice flare-ups or candida symptoms, continue introducing other foods.
The Problem with the Candida Diet
There is one glaring issue with the candida diet. And that is you need to completely eliminate sugars in all forms. That includes grains like cereal, bread, pasta, and muffins, as well as dairy, sweet vegetables (carrots), and fruits. Carbs that are converted into sugars are simply not allowed. They feed your candida overgrowth.
The biggest problem with the diet is the longevity and persistence. For example, let’s say you follow the diet for two months perfectly. And then, you need to attend a birthday party, and you take just a small bite of cake. It is a social thing. Even if the yeast in your body were close to dying, that small piece of cake will provide food for them. And they start reproducing. You need to start over, and the two months before were just a waste of time.
The impossible and most challenging part is that you have to stay on the diet with no carbs for six months to completely eliminate the candida overgrowth.
Why Avoid Candida Diet
If you ask the question “Should I Follow the Candida diet”, in some cases, the answer might be no. It all depends on your persistence.
In addition, there is a glaring concern that eating only protein and green vegetables cannot classify as a healthy diet. Yes, there are low carbs and high protein diets, but that is a different thing. The candida diet is virtually no carb diet. And we all know that we need carbs for energy.
That being said, if you cannot follow the candida diet, what should you do? When the candida diet was first developed in the 90s, there were not many other products available for fighting off infections. Nowadays, there are many other ways for how to get rid of candida. Decades of research and studies have shown us there are medical remedies, and home remedies for candida.