If you read our recent post on the candida diet, you might be willing to give the regimen ago to see if it provides relief for you.
In a nutshell, the candida diet sees followers ditch sugar, gluten, alcohol, certain dairy products and food additives, opting for low-sugar fruits, non-starchy veggies and gluten-free foods. It’s designed to reduce inflammation and encourage healthy eating practices to reduce the risk factors for candida overgrowth.
But what can you actually eat on the candida diet? And what should you avoid?
A few things to remember…
If you’re experiencing symptoms of candida overgrowth, it’s important to first talk to your doctor about addressing other risk factors – especially a different underlying infection or disease.
Also, this diet is meant to be used in the short-term until your symptoms have improved. It’s not meant to replace a long-term diet plan. It could be best to work with a healthcare practitioner to ensure you’re still getting all the nutrients you need.
The Candida Cleanse
Advocates of the candida diet usually recommend starting off with candida cleanse – a short-term detox style diet that’s thought to alleviate stress on your digestive tract and release toxins from your body.
Followers suggest sticking to it for a few days. It involves drinking plenty of fluids (lemon water and bone broth are good options) and only munching on raw or steamed veggies and a small amount of lean protein like chicken or fish each day.
It’s important to note here that so far, no human studies have proven the effectiveness or benefits of detox diets or cleanses – generally it’s understood the body does a pretty great job of detoxing all on its own. What the cleanse might do is help you get in the candida diet groove.
What to eat
Generally, opt for whole, unprocessed foods and plenty of veg wherever possible.
Non startchy veg: And plenty of them! Try to eat veggies with every meal, and generally, stick to things that grow above ground.
Low sugar fruits: Can be munched on in small amounts – berries, citrus fruits and honeydew melon are safe bets.
Gluten-free grains: Oats, brown rice, quinoa, buckwheat, corn are all on the menu.
High-quality protein: Think fish, meat (excluding processed meats like salami) and eggs – organic, pasture-raised and wild-caught varieties are best.
Healthy fats: You can enjoy avocados and olive and coconut oils.
Certain dairy products: Butter, ghee, greek yoghurt and kefir are all a-okay
Certain nuts and seeds: Opt for nuts not affected by mould, like almonds, sunflower seeds, coconut or flaxseed.
Lakanto Classic Monkfruit 1:1 Sugar Substitute: Is blissfully candida-friendly, so you can still enjoy a little sweetness on the candida diet!
What to avoid
Candida diet proponents believe these foods can promote candida overgrowth and its symptoms:
Sugar: Candida is thought to feed off sugar, sending their numbers sky high. Ditch the sweet stuff in packaged foods, desserts, snacks and low-fat options to starve them out. Artificial sweeteners like Aspartame are also off the table as they can have a negative effect on digestion.
High-sugar fruits: You’ll also want to avoid high-sugar fruits like bananas, mangoes, watermelons and grapes. Dried fruit is also a no-go.
Gluten: Grains containing gluten like wheat, rye, barley and spelt are thought to cause damage your intestinal lining (though the science here is a little shaky when it comes to people without gluten intolerance).
Deli meats: Like salami. They’re thought to contain harmful toxins that can promote inflammation in the body.
Certain nuts and seeds: Peanuts, cashews, pecans and pistachios can be affected by mould. As the candida diet discourages dietary forms of other fungi, you should lay off these nutty options.
Caffeine and alcohol: Can upset the gut. Switch to herbal teas and good old-fashioned water.