Candida, or yeast overgrowth, is a very common condition among those with autoimmune disease, gut issues, fatigue, brain fog, and other chronic health problems. It occurs when Candida, a form of fungus that lives in your digestive tract, overpowers the good bacteria that usually keep it in check. This wreaks havoc with your gut, causing it to become leaky and leading to a variety of symptoms, including digestive issues, fatigue, brain fog, recurring fungal infections, skin problems, seasonal allergies, and mood swings.
Many factors, including medications like antibiotics and birth control, and toxins contribute to Candida, but diet is often the biggest factor. A diet full of inflammatory, sugary, and processed foods creates the perfect conditions for yeast to thrive and multiply. That’s why eliminating the foods that feed Candida, and replacing them with whole, nutrient-dense foods, is one of the keys in beating Candida and healing your gut.
Foods that Feed Candida
- Sugar and Sweeteners
As you probably know, yeast feeds on sugar so you will want to cut out all sugar and sweeteners. This includes the obvious sources such as sodas, candy, cakes, and cookies, but also the sugar found in salad dressings, low-fat packaged foods, marinara sauce, protein bars, and more. It is important to read your food labels. Four grams of sugar equals one teaspoon of sugar. Be sure to read the number of grams per serving size.
- Wine and Beer
It is important to cut out beer and wine while getting your yeast in check. Wine is fermented (meaning it is made from yeast) and also high in sugar. Beer is also fermented and contains gluten.
- Beans and Other Legumes
While beans and legumes can provide a great plant protein, they are still starchy and feed Candida. Legumes can also be inflammatory for many people because they contain aglutinins. Like grains, I recommend minimizing legumes or eliminating them altogether.
- Dried Fruits and Fruit Juices
Although fruits can be part of an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant-rich diet, they are high in sugar and still feed Candida. If you have a problem with Candida overgrowth, try cutting out all dried fruit and fruit juice. Depending on the severity of your Candida overgrowth, you may or may not be able to have up to 1/2 to 1 cup of fruit per day.
- Gluten and Grains
Gluten is very inflammatory in many people and is the protein in the grain. Grains are broken down into simple sugars during the digestive process, which can feed Candida. I would encourage you to remove gluten from your diet for about 45 days and see how you feel when you add it back in. I would limit your intake of grains, legumes, and starchy vegetables as well.
- Starchy Vegetables
There are certain vegetables that are good sources of carbohydrates, but once eaten, they are broken down into sugars that feed Candida. A few examples of these are corn, carrots, peas, and potatoes. I encourage you to focus on eating plenty of leafy greens and other vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, and asparagus. I would recommend limiting your grains, legumes, and starchy vegetables to one cup per day.
While dairy doesn’t directly feed Candida, it is highly inflammatory for many people. Inflammation damages your gut lining. If you have Candida, your gut is already leaking. This allows the yeast to escape into your bloodstream along with toxins, microbes and other particles. Once these particles enter your bloodstream, they trigger inflammation as your immune system tries to neutralize the threats. This constant level of inflammation can eventually lead to an autoimmune disease.
Mushrooms are members of the fungi family and they can cross-react with Candida. This means that your body and your immune system may confuse them with Candida. This can cause you to have an inflammatory reaction to mushrooms which then can interfere with your treatment of Candida.
- Fermented Foods
This is a hotly debated topic, but I believe that anyone with Candida Overgrowth should avoid fermented foods until their yeast population is back under control. Fermented foods can be great to restore good bacteria because they are essentially food for good bacteria. However, Candida also likes to feed off the fermented foods, and for that reason I recommend killing Candida first and then using fermented foods to help restore the good bacteria.
What foods help fight Candida growth?
Cleaning out your pantry of the nine foods outlined above will go a long way in starving the yeast so that good bacteria can restore your gut’s healthy balance. Now is the time to stock up on foods that fight Candida growth to help your body fight off the yeast overgrowth.
Some of the top foods that can help fight Candida growth include:
- coconut oil
- apple cider vinegar
- cruciferous vegetables
- olive oil
- lemon juice
- wild salmon
Supplements that help you beat Candida overgrowth
The best diet that will help you beat your Candida overgrowth is a low-carbohydrate plus anti-inflammatory diet. In my experience, an anti-Candida diet is not enough by itself and needs yeast-fighting supplements.
For uncomplicated treatment of Candida overgrowth, Caprylic acid and Candisol are often very effective. Caprylic acid is a naturally occurring fatty acid that comes from coconut oil. Caprylic acid is known for its antiviral and antifungal activity. Candisol also contains a combination of plant-based enzymes that break down the cell walls of Candida.
I also recommend taking a high quality, multi-strain probiotic to restore your population of good bacteria. These friendly bacteria strains will prevent a future Candida problem, and are essential for supporting a healthy gut and immune system.
For moderate to severe cases of Candida overgrowth, additional evaluation and treatment are necessary. Often, higher doses of key anti-fungal supplements are necessary. I have found that a Personalized Treatment Program,, combined with dietary changes, is critical to full recovery from Candida. For a Free Phone Consultation, click here.
Did you like this article?
Have the latest newsletter articles delivered to your inbox and receive exclusive discounts with newsletter sign up. Join Now.