Much of the population has candida spores in them and never realizes it. For the most part, there is no harm in having this fungus in or on your body, and you can go your whole life without even any symptoms.
Occasionally, however, it can take over and lead to some painful and harmful side effects. While there is medication out there to fight candida, it isn’t always helpful or effective. Thankfully, with a simple diet for candida elimination, you can fight against many of the symptoms and give your body a chance to promote good bacteria for future prevention.
What Is Candida?
Candida is a fungal infection. It is from a yeast known by the same name. There are a few different species of candida, and some of them can infect people. The most common species in humans is known as Candida albicans. There is another form of candida arising known as Candida auris, which is resistant to multiple kinds of drugs and is fairly infectious.
It is often found on the outside of the body but can be found in the mouth, throat, gut, and vagina without any problems. It is often the fungus known for causing thrush and vaginal yeast infections.
Many people have candida without ever knowing. This is because most of the time, it lives without causing any problems for its host. However, occasionally, it can infect the blood or other organs and lead to severe sickness. This version is often known as invasive candidiasis.
Candida is pervasive throughout the population. Almost 75% of people that have a vagina will get some sort of vaginal yeast infection at least once.
Most of the time, your body’s microbiome and bacteria control candida and prevent it from spreading. However, your diet can throw off your microbiome and allow for the overgrowth of this yeast. This is why it can be important to change your diet to eliminate candida when you start to notice symptoms.
Common symptoms of candida are redness of the skin, itching, blisters, white patches, pain at the location of the infection, burning sensation, and irregular vaginal discharge. However, just because you don’t have these symptoms doesn’t mean you don’t have candida. The symptoms won’t appear unless there is an imbalance in your body.
Your diet, diabetes, stress, a weak immune system, hormones, sex, steroids, and antibiotics can all affect whether or not your bacteria is balanced or not.
There are ways to eliminate candida using antifungal oral or topical medications. However, with the new version of candida, these don’t always work. This is where a specified diet can come to help.
In addition to taking medication and changing your diet, you can work on managing your health and reducing stress when possible.
7 Foods to Eat to Eliminate Candida
Some foods are naturally able to fight fungal growth or promote good bacteria. By making these the center of your diet plan, you are better able to at least find a balance between bacteria and candida in your body. You can also potentially eliminate candida completely.
Getting lots of protein in your diet can help fight your candida infection. These are generally wild-caught proteins when it comes to animal sources, like wild-caught fish, free-roaming chickens, eggs, shellfish, and so on.
You can also get your protein from plant sources such as beans and legumes. Nuts and seeds can also be a good source of protein, but be aware that some of them have mold in them, like peanuts and pistachios.
2. Fresh Vegetables That Aren’t Starchy
When you are looking at choosing vegetables in your diet, you want to pick the freshest choice you can. You can have frozen, jarred, dehydrated, and canned occasionally, but they won’t offer the same benefits.
Try to focus on vegetables that are full of minerals and have a lot of texture, like spinach, cabbage, kale, and collards. These provide you with beneficial nutrients and can also help clean out your system better. You can eat other vegetables as well but try to avoid root vegetables or ones that are very starchy.
3. Fresh Fruits Low in Sugar
Like with vegetables, fresh fruits can offer a lot of fiber, vitamins, and minerals to help your bacteria get back on track and clean out your system. However, you specifically want to pick fruits low in sugar.
For example, berries, avocados, grapefruit, kiwis, peaches, melons, oranges, lemons, and limes are all good fruits to look at adding to your diet.
4. Complex Carbohydrates
While you may think that carbohydrates are bad while fighting off candida, some carbohydrates can be beneficial. Some examples of complex carbohydrates include buckwheat, quinoa, millet, brown rice, wild rice, and oats.
Whole grains can also be beneficial. In general, you want to look at staying away from carbohydrates with gluten, as these can flare up your symptoms.
5. Good Oils
Adding good fats to your diet can improve cell health and create a protective layer on your cells that makes it harder for candida to grow. You mustn’t just use any fat or oil, but oils that are full of unsaturated fats.
Some good fats and oils to look at adding to your diet are chia seeds, flaxseed oil, fish oil, sunflower oil, avocado oil and avocados, olive oils, and coconut oils.
6. Some Dairy Products
While you don’t have to necessarily eat dairy while trying to stop candida growth, there are some healthier dairy options to pick from. This can work if you are craving dairy but don’t want to eat something bad.
Butter and ghee are good options to add fats and oils to your diet. If you want to add some probiotics to your diet to promote good bacteria growth, consider plain kefir and Greek yogurts as they are low in sugar and high in probiotics.
7. Spices and Herbs
Some spices and herbs are considered to naturally be antifungal. If you aren’t on medication or have finished your medication but still want the antifungal properties to prevent a return of your infection, consider adding higher doses of certain herbs and spices to your diet.
Black pepper, salt, cinnamon, dill, ginger, garlic, oregano, rosemary, paprika, turmeric, and thyme are all great ones to add. Not only do they add flavor to any dish, but they can help your gut health as well.
10 Foods to Avoid
Some foods can actually promote candida growth or hamper the growth of good bacteria. To completely eliminate candida from your body, it is best to avoid those foods as much as possible.
1. Simple Carbohydrates and Sugar
Simple carbohydrates tend to turn to sugar. If you’ve ever made your own bread, you’ll know that yeast needs sugar to thrive. So by adding more sugar or foods that will turn to sugar into your diet, you will keep feeding your candida and giving it the strength it needs to thrive.
Examples of simple carbohydrates include fruits, milk, processed sugar, refined sugars, candy, sodas, bread, and pasta.
2. Starchy Vegetables
You can eat starchy vegetables in moderation. However, you don’t want them to become a main part of your diet. This is because starches tend to break down into simple carbohydrates and sugars once digested, which can benefit your candida more than you.
Some examples of starchy vegetables include corn, potatoes, peas, beets, squash, and turnips.
By adding more yeast to your diet, you are throwing off your bacteria more. While it isn’t the same kind of yeast, it can help candida grow and take out some of the bacteria your body is trying to grow to fight off your infection.
Anything fermented as well usually produces yeast or a fungus of some kind. So anything pickled, brined, or fermented should be avoided as well.
Foods and drinks high in yeast include soy sauce, bread, cakes, milk, beer, sugary fruits, cured meats, salad dressings, mayonnaise, and vinegar.
Mold is another food that should be avoided. Mold is another fungus, and can cause the same problems as yeast as well as allow for a better-growing environment for candida. If you don’t know a lot about food processes, it may sound weird to actively avoid mold.
However, a lot of foods include mold. It can help create certain types of food and growth necessary to finish a curing process and many molds don’t usually bother you unless your bacteria is out of balance.
Some foods that may have mold in them are pistachios, peanuts, dried fruits, canned fruit, dried, pickled, or smoked meats, and many kinds of cheese.
Mushrooms are also a fungus, so it is a good idea to avoid them while trying to eradicate candida from your diet. Mushrooms have a lot of health benefits and can boost the immune system. However, their downsides outweigh their good sides in this case.
To be safe, you just want to avoid any food that has a fungal element to them, whether mold, yeast, or mushrooms.
Many additives can break down into sugar or starches easily. Some can also mess with your bacteria and slow the growth of healthy bacteria in the body.
Some additives you want to avoid are cellulase, nitrates, and sulfates.
7. Fruits High in Sugar
Fruits high in sugar should be avoided. Like mushrooms, fruits contain a lot of beneficial nutrients. But in this case, fruits, especially very sugary fruits, should be avoided as much as possible.
Fruits low in sugar are still fine and can be a great way to get the nutrients you need to promote healthy bacteria growth but stay away from those on the higher end of sugary. Some examples are mangoes, grapes, cherries, bananas, apples, figs, dates, and pears.
8. Farm-Raised Fish and Animals
Many farm-raised animals should be avoided while you are on a candida elimination diet. This is because these animals are often fed things that can make your candida worse, such as grains and corn.
They are fed these because it is a cheap feed and easy to get in bulk. However, grains and starches can affect the meat, which is why you should avoid them. During your diet, it is best to stay as close to wild-caught and free-range as you can.
9. Some Dairy
Some dairy can be alright, but most dairy you want to avoid. Most dairy contains galactose, which is a simple sugar and shown to produce candida. Anything that contains high amounts of lactose tends to have a lot of galactose.
This means no milk, no cheese, and no cream, including ice cream, whipping cream, or half-and-half.
Caffeine can stimulate adrenal glands. For those who don’t know, adrenal glands produce cortisol and adrenaline. These are two hormones in your body that are also caused by stress.
They can reduce your hormone regulation as well and mess with healthy bacteria growth. All of these factors can lead to an increase in candida growth.
Energy drinks, soda, tea, coffee, and chocolate are all known to have high levels of caffeine and should be avoided.