If you have a candida overgrowth, it’s time to put a candida diet to the test!
Now, candida isn’t itself a bad thing. In fact, candida is a fungus that naturally lives in your body. That’s right! It’s supposed to be there, to help with such bodily systems as digestion and nutrient absorption. However, left unchecked, candida can overproduce. This occurs if the body’s ecosystem is out of balance, and that overgrowth can lead to problems. (1)
You see, candida thrives on dead tissue as well as sugars from food, so chances are your diet may be contributing to candida overgrowth. There are many manifestations of a candida overgrowth. For example, you may need a candida cleanse if you experience any of the following signs:
- Cravings for sweets
- Brain fog
- Hormone imbalance
- Chronic sinus and allergy issues
- Digestive problems
Other well-known symptoms of candida include a white coating on your tongue (bad breath, anyone?) and joint pain. Candida can cause and be caused by a weak immune system, so that’s something to keep in mind as you read on.
To get rid of candida naturally, you need to follow a candida diet plan to discourage the overgrowth of yeast in the body. Removing problem foods from your diet and replacing them with healthy, whole foods and candida supplements can work as a natural candida treatment.
Foods To Eat on the Candida Diet
1. Sauerkraut and Other Fermented Foods
Fermented foods like sauerkraut, kimchi and kombucha contain probiotics that promote a healthy environment in the gut. Consuming probiotics on a regular basis can help strengthen the immune system and make the body less susceptible to candida. However, do not buy your sauerkraut from the dry shelf. This kind of kraut doesn’t contain live, active cultures and, as such, will offer you no probiotics. Instead, be sure to get your sauerkraut from the refrigerated section at the grocery store. The label should state that it contains live probiotics. (2)
2. Apple Cider Vinegar
Next, include apple cider vinegar in your candida diet. ACV works because the drink contains acid and enzymes that help kill excess yeast in the body. Apple cider vinegar acts as a natural candida treatment by discouraging the overgrowth of yeast, which helps to neutralize fungus in the body. Try adding a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar to a glass of water. Drink daily. (3)
3. Green Veggies
Leafy green vegetables act as a natural candida treatment by alkalizing the body. An alkaline environment fights against acidic yeast overgrowth. Green vegetables also contain a high amount of magnesium, which naturally detoxes the body. Try spinach, kale, cabbage or collard greens, for example, to help fight candida and keep your body in good working order. (4)
4. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is naturally antimicrobial. It contains lauric acid and caprylic acid, which have the ability to kill of an overgrowth of candida. Coconut oil can be used topically or ingested to help get rid of candida overgrowth. (5)
Garlic has natural anti-fungal properties that make it the perfect natural remedy for candida. The sulphur-containing compounds in garlic work to rid the body of candida and other harmful bacteria. For best results, consume garlic raw. Try chopping it up into small chunks, about the size of a pill. Then allow the garlic chunks to sit for a while to release the allicin, which is the active ingredient. Then swallow the chunks one small handful at a time with plenty of water. This method isn’t for everyone, however, so you can also use garlic in your favorite savory recipes. (6)
Turmeric can be used as a candida supplement. It has powerful anti-inflammatory and anti-fungal properties that help kill candida in the body and balance out the acidic environment in the gut. You can use turmeric in smoothie recipes, or try adding it to pasta or rice dishes. (7)
Foods To Avoid on the Candida Diet
Candida thrives on sugar. A diet full of processed sugar encourages the perfect environment in the body for candida growth. To avoid candida, cut processed sugar out of your diet. (8)
This can be a difficult task, of course, when processed sugar is in so many products. For example, sodas and many fruit juices contain processed sugar. If you like a flavored beverage, try switching out your soda or juice for lemon or orange-infused water. Or, as mentioned above, try kombucha! There are many great flavors available. Kombucha drinks do contain sugar, however, they do not contain anywhere near the amount of sugar soda does. Furthermore, you get the great candida-busting benefits of live probiotics by consuming kombucha.
Most alcohol contains yeast. Heavy alcohol consumption can lead to an overgrowth of yeast in the body, which can cause candida. Limit alcoholic drinks to avoid candida. (9)
You should note that kombucha does contain a trace amount of alcohol. However, it’s no more than what is in a non-alcoholic beer, and should not greatly affect your efforts to stop candida overgrowth. Moreover, the pros of drinking kombucha for candida overgrowth outweight the cons.
3. Fruit Juice
While fruit is healthy, many fruit juices you purchase at the store are heavily processed and full of sugar. Avoid processed fruit juices and be sure to check ingredient labels. (10)
If you can’t stay away from fruit juices, consider juicing your own fruits right at home. This ensures your juice contains no added sugar. Furthermore, you can have fun inventing new healthy juice combinations. Try adding in a few vegetables for an extra burst of health.
When you consume grains, they break down into sugar in the body. The sugar can feed candida, causing an overgrowth of bad bacteria. To follow a candida diet, it’s best to avoid grains that contain gluten. (11)
Dairy that isn’t fermented can end up feeding candida. Milk and other dairy products contain lactose, a sugar that can create the perfect environment for candida growth. There are plenty of nut-based milks that are super low in sugar, however. Consider trying one of them to help fight candida overgrowth. (12)
All types of vinegar should be avoided on a candida diet, with the exception of apple cider vinegar. Regular vinegar promotes an acidic environment in the body, which can lead to candida overgrowth. (13)