Candida Diet

Please refer to the section on Candida to understand what Candida is and how it can negatively impact our health.

Candida albicans is a troublesome yeast that can grow on the skin, in any body cavity, within cells, between cells, or free in intracellular spaces, or in the intestine.  It grows best when fed simple sugars. These sugars can come either directly from sugars or from breakdown of starches. We often don't think of foods like fruits or juices as sweet, but the simple sugars from these foods can feed yeast just as effectively as a candy bar.

There are other surprises. For example, some people with Candida cannot tolerate foods which generally are not thought of as sweet, i.e. beets or carrots.

In overcoming yeast, the following dietary suggestions have been found to be helpful because they offer adequate beneficial nutrients and not the simple sugars that foster Candida growth.

Foods to Eliminate

No wheat or oats or products made from wheat or oats. No white rice.

No Sweets: Including sugar, honey, and maple syrup.
No raw fruit, fruit juices, soda pop, energy drinks, or 'vitamin' drinks. Potato makes Candida grow.

Sweets are a huge issue for people with Candida. It's almost as if there is a switch which is turned on in the brain, coming from Candida, which says "eat sugar - resistance is futile."

Most people do find that, with diligent diet changes, after some time, the cravings diminish. This seems to be a sign that the yeast is coming under control. I generally do not recommend artificial sweeteners as these constitute another chemical which will need to be cleansed from your body later.

However, if sweet cravings become intolerable, small amounts of fresh fruit, like pears or apples, may be cooked with organic apple juice and thickened with kuzu, an arrowroot thickener, and sweetened with rice syrup or rice malt.

No yeasted foods including bread or alcohol. 

Sourdough rye, spelt or kamut bread is used instead. Some people may find that even the two last grains, because they are related to wheat, provide too much available carbohydrate to Candida, and will need to be avoided, at least in the beginning.

No moulds No peanuts, mushrooms or dried fruit, i.e. raisins. No vinegar, no beer or wine.

No fermented foods such as beer, alcohol, vinegar, sauerkraut, tamari, tempeh, amasake, or mirin. New or light colored miso is too yeasty. Old or dark rice miso may be used. Umeboshi paste, pickles, umeboshi vinegar and ume extract can be used. In place of vinegar, use fresh lemon juice.

No cows milk products i.e. milk, yogurt, ice cream, kefir, and cheese. Butter may be used by most people, as may goat milk and goat milk cheeses, and yogurt.

Beneficial Foods:

Listen to your body. Your cravings may be healthy i.e. "I need more protein." As you get better, you will be able to tolerate a wider range of foods. But if you get gassy or crampy, you can take this as a sign that you've gone too far and will have to go back to a more restricted diet for a while.

Try to obtain organic produce. Use chlorine-free water i.e. spring or filtered water for drinking and cooking.

Grains: depending on other factors it is usually safe to include millet, quinoa, buckwheat, and teff.

Rye, rice of any sort, corn, and barley, while sometimes safe may cause some people problems.

Most vegetables, raw and cooked, are beneficial, depending on other health conditions you may have, there may be a few restrictions.  Potato is not allowed. Use garlic in food preparation. 

Protein may be obtained from organically farmed fish or some deep ocean, wild caught or organic fish, organic meats (beef, lamb, turkey and chicken), eggs, seeds, and nuts.  Goat milk products are generally OK.

Some beans may create intestinal gas.  Low carbohydrate beans like the adzuki (a small red Japanese) bean are a good source of protein and have less gas forming potential. 

If you find that you would like to eat beans but are having trouble with gas, try the following. Soak the beans overnight in good quality water which is discarded before cooking. Add a little wakame seaweed to the cooking water which is removed before serving. Don't add salt to the water until after the water has been boiling for a little time because it makes it difficult to get the beans soft. If you find you are very gassy, please refer to the suggestions on food combining.

Beneficial Supplements

I suggest starting your healing with a type of yeast which competes with the dangerous yeasts, (Candida), and harmful bacteria in the intestine. Saccachromyces boulardii is a live yeast which multiplies in the intestine and displaces the harmful bacteria and yeasts without itself becoming a permanent resident in the bowel. Take two capsules two times daily with foods. Begin using a high quality digestive enzyme supplement (refer to obtain products) to aid in the breakdown of dietary proteins.

As the negative symptoms begin to subside, switch from Saccachromyces to Lactobacillus acidophilus and L. bifidus. These live probiotic bacteria are usually present in a healthy intestine. They are largely eliminated when we take a course of antibiotics. When they are missing in the gut, their absence creates an opportunity for harmful bacteria and yeasts to move in. In the beginning of the healing process taking these probiotics daily, together with enzymes, is crucial.

Digestive enzymes in my opinion, play an important role in the healing process. For many people with Candida, the gut may have become leaky (see Leaky Gut). In this situation digestive enzymes definitely aid in a more rapid return to health.

Acidophilus, usually three in the morning.

Bifidus, usually three in the evening . 

WGP beta-glucan ™ is a wonderful support to aid in strengthening immunity and recovering from Candida. WGP beta-glucan ™ must be taken on an empty stomach, usually once daily. If your Candida symptoms are severe you may get additional support by increasing it to twice daily. After symptoms subside, WGP beta-glucan ™ may be included, on a daily basis, to aid in the resistance to becoming colonized by Candida again.

Yeasts do not grow well in the presence of minerals such as those found naturally in AFA Algae so it too may be beneficial to take these supplements during therapy for Candida. There is no doubt in my mind that AFA supports immune function and is a strengthening food.

Should you try to kill Candida?

Many practitioners advocate approaches to treatment which involve attempting to kill Candida and parasites using drugs or strong herbs. In my experience, these treatments can be problematic. Nystatin™ (a drug which a medical practitioner may prescribe) is relatively safe and can be very useful when there is an oral growth of yeast. Thrush (oral Candida) often occurs in the ill, elderly, immune compromised, in people on inhaled steroids for asthma, or in people following a course of an antibiotic. Diflucan™, another medication, commonly prescribed to treat vaginal Candida, may also temporarily be of benefit. One problem with these treatments is that while most of the Candida will die, some will remain alive. These yeast cells can then grow and will be tougher to deal with later.

Herbs can also be useful. However in order to be strong enough to kill yeast they may also be harmful to the intestine. They should only be used with the supervision of an experienced health practitioner. Daily consumption of garlic helps reduce yeast growth.

The best approach, in my experience, is to deprive Candida of it's nutrient sources and to strengthen the immunity of the intestine.

Please remember that Candida likely can never be totally eliminated and that it can goes into hiding in the body. Later if you begin to eat larger amounts of sweets, dairy, alcohol or wheat, even after being rigorous for several months, the Candida may return. A moderate diet will help to keep you healthy. Please don't expect instant miracles - it usually takes weeks, and in some cases months to really start feeling better.

It is also common to experience die off symptoms (also called 'discharge' reactions or Herxheimer reactions). These occur when yeast dies off in large numbers and the toxins circulate through the blood and need to be cleared by the liver. Liver support can be facilitated by using herbs: milk thistle, dandelion and increasing the leafy greens in you diet. Other aids are Co Enzyme Q10, Max GXL, and Supersprouts and Algae. Rest. Adequate hydration, and liver support can also make these times easier. These reactions signal that you are getting better so don't loose heart.

Please consider taking WGP™ Beta-glucan and probiotics daily, even when you are feeling better for thew support they will provide to your innate immunity.

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