Candida problems are thought to be caused when the beneficial yeast form of candida albicans mutates to it’s fungal form. As it grows out of balance it is said to produce toxins which affect the mucousal lining of the intestines leading to leaky gut syndrome and a whole host of problems. The list of suggestions of how to deal with the effects of candida is as large as the list of numerous symptoms that are said to be associated with the problem.
So where do we begin with a candida diet?
First things first, if you are taking anti-biotics then your balance of flora bacteria will be compromised, anti-biotic means anti- life, and indiscriminatley eliminate beneficial bacteria along with problem strains. So if you are on a course of antibiotics wait until you have finished before beginning the diet, alternatively ask your doctor if there are any natural alternatives.
Stress and emotional upset can negatively effect our immune systems and many candida sufferers have reported that their candida problem really got a hold after a period of intense stress or a prolonged period of low level stress. So take steps to destress your world.
The candida diet is an elimination diet, foodstuffs that contribute to the candida problem are either eliminated completely or removed from the diet for a time until their contribution to the problem is evaluated. This diet is recommended as a guidline for someone who has never carried out an elimination program before. Those with mild candida symptoms may want to try it for 3 months to evaluate if it helps, those with severe symptoms should seek the help of an expert with a case history of success with long term candida sufferers.
Step 1. Elimination
Sugar: All foods containing processed sugars should be eliminated. This includes cakes, sweets, jams, sodas etc.
Fruit, Fruit sugars, and this includes fruit juices, and honey are also eliminated at the beginning of the diet. (These can be gradually introduced after 12 weeks and the impact of their introduction monitored.)
- Processed Foods: White Flour products, such as breads and pastas and white rice.
- Simple Carbohydrates: Potatos, Chips, crisps, crackers.
- Fermented Products: Removal of products that have been fermented or contain yeast. ie. bread, alcohol, soy sauce, vinegar.
- Fungal Products: Mushrooms and cheeses.
Step 2. Cleansing & Food Choice
Drink plenty of water to help your body detoxify.
Start the day with a cup of hot water and lemon juice (there is no need to eliminate lemon juice even though it is a fruit).
Eat plenty of salads with raw salad vegetables such as celery, peppers etc to help detox and to help energy.
Stock up on vegetables that inhibit the growth of Candida: raw garlic, onions, cabbage, broccoli, turnip, kale
Get your protein from fish and fowl. Cut out red meats for first four weeks as they may strain a weak digestive sytem.
Another area that may be helpful is to perhaps eat smaller meals.
Chew your food well, digestion starts in the mouth.
You may add digestive enzymes (available in health-food stores) at this stage if you experience intestinal discomfort or bloating.
Step 3. Repopulate
Add probiotic (pro-life) bacterial flora back into the system. a good probiotic supplement is a must. Also use natural no sugar yoghurt to help repopulate intestines. A mixture of yoghurt and two tablespoons of linseed can be a good way to start the day. Some dietary practitioners think the linseed can help ‘scrape’ the sticky residue from processed foods from the intestinal walls.
Step 4. Re-introduce
Begin by reintroducing foods back into the diet. Introduce one food per week and note the effects. If a food disagrees then eliminate it.
Keep processed sugars to a minimum.