What is a Candida Diet?
The thing is - microorganisms (both good and bad) eat whatever you put into your stomach. So, based on what you’re eating, that food could either stifle or proliferate the growth of those microorganisms.
A typical diet begins first by cutting off certain growth-inducing foods. This will put into motion the mechanism of killing the bad bacteria in order to restore the gut-flora balance.
Please note that, as such, dedicated studies have not been conducted to assess the efficacy of certain combinations of foods or candida diets, however, there is plenty of evidence to suggest that consuming certain foods and limiting certain foods may improve the symptoms of candida and restore skin/gut flora.
Think of the elimination period as the candida cleanse period.
Foods to Avoid on a Candida Diet
Below is a list of common foods that you’ll be better off avoiding. Not just for candida, but limiting their intake in general also is a good move for overall good health.
Sugar is something that every dietitian and doctor would recommend you to consume less. There’s plenty of evidence that fructose and glucose present in industrial sugar feeds the bad bacteria. This includes candida overgrowth as well.
So, work to cut back on baked goods, desserts, yogurt, sweetened drinks, etc.
Flour-based items like pastries, pastas, and other baked foods have glucose as the primary carbohydrate. Glucose has been studied for increasing all kinds of infections; especially adhesion of candida with skin cells. Take a look at this study to deepen your understanding.
The study found that increased intake of carbs was closely linked to GI tract infections and candida overgrowth.
Dairy products contain a simple sugar called Galactose. This simple sugar has been studied and identified to be a candida-adhesion promoter. Dairy products that are rich in lactose happen to be one of the biggest sources of galactose. So, steer clear of those.
Alcoholic beverages have to follow the process of fermentation. And fermentation, in general, is discouraged for anyone battling candida. Many alcoholic beverages also contain yeast and since you’re trying to curb yeast overgrowth, you must stay away from all alcoholic beverages.
Studies tell us that alcohol disturbs the gut flora, leads to inflammation, and increases intestinal permeability.
Gluten is perceived as one of the unhealthiest things all across most diet advisors. It’s present in a lot of grains such as barley, rye, and wheat. It has, time and again, been studied to worsen the symptoms of intestinal inflammation and overall gut health.
However, you should know that there is a shortage of studies to affirm whether or not gluten is bad for candida sufferers. But, as a precautionary measure, it’s good to steer clear of it until your condition improves and/or the symptoms clear up.
Foods to Eat More of on a Candida Diet
Herbs, Spices, & Condiments
There are plentiful condiments, spices, and herbs that will not only help to balance your gut flora but will also make your food taste better. To that end, you can try black pepper, basil, cinnamon, coconut aminos, cloves, dill, ginger, garlic, paprika, oregano, salt, rosemary, turmeric, and thyme.
You would ideally want to stick with steamed vegetables such as broccoli, asparagus, artichokes, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, celery, cauliflower, eggplant, cucumber, kale, rutabaga, onions, tomatoes, spinach, and zucchini.
Gluten-free Whole Grains
Many grains are free from gluten such as oat, quinoa, millet, buckwheat, amaranth, almond flour, coconut flour, and teff. Almond and coconut flour are commonly used for baking.
Apple Cider Vinegar
This is one of the best things for fighting yeast infection and thrush. Apple cider vinegar is loaded with powerful antimicrobial properties that inhibit the growth of pathogens like Candida albicans.
Some experts even say that this vinegar may be more effective than the antifungal drug - nystatin.
Healthy Fats & Oils
Nuts, seeds, and avocados are all fine examples of sources of healthy fats. You should also consume flax, coconut, almonds, and sunflower seeds; all of which happen to be low in mold. Especially coconut oil is something that you should consume more of as it is particularly good for improving GI tract infections and limiting candida overgrowth.
Some more things to consider
Low-glycemic fruits such as berries and citrus.
Consume more quality animal proteins such as seafood, meat, seafood, poultry, fish, and eggs.
Dairy products with low-lactose such as yogurt, kefir, and cheese are okay in moderate consumption.
Never underestimate the role of diet when it comes to reversing a condition like Candida. This is not to say that you shouldn’t heed professional medical advice; but do pay special attention to what you eat as well.
Lacey Batch is a fitness trainer & an expert writer who provides useful and meaningful information on lifestyle, health & fitness. Her mission is to cut through the noise in the health & fitness industry & to empower people to create sustainable solutions for lasting health, happiness & confidence by providing them with some tips on different categories like exercise, weight loss, candida diet, healthy eating, candida cleanse & many more. Her vision is a world where daily acts of self-love and care are a regular part of life.