The first element in a Candida treatment plan is a low-sugar diet. This is because sugar is one of the major causes of Candida overgrowth, and the modern Western diet is absolutely full of it. The Candida yeast cells need sugar to build their cell walls, expand their colonies and switch into their more virulent, fungal form.
A 2011 research study looked at how Candida Albicans uses sugar. It found that carbohydrates were ‘indispensable’ both for cellular growth and for the conversion between the yeast and fungal forms. This is just one of the studies that make it very clear that a low-sugar diet is a necessary part of your Candida treatment.
Now, just because we recommend a low-sugar diet, that doesn’t mean that you should follow exactly the same eating plan all through your treatment. In fact, there are three distinct sections to the diet in our program, and you will need to eat a slightly different diet for each of them. We explain this in much more detail in our Ultimate Candida Diet program, but on this site I will give a brief summary of each of them.
First is the optional cleansing phase. This is when you eat the strictest diet, combined with lots of water and some detox drinks, in order to flush out your colon and quickly eliminate as many of those Candida colonies as possible.
During this stage you should be sticking to a diet of raw salads and steamed vegetables, along with various herbs, spices and oils to liven up your meals. It is quite a restrictive diet but you only need to follow it for a few days. You will end the cleanse feeling refreshed, light, healthy and ready to move on to the next stage.
The Anti-Candida Diet
This is the really important part of the diet. The Anti-Candida Diet is a more balanced diet but it still eliminates added sugar, most starchy vegetables, most fruit, caffeine and anything with a high Glycemic Load. This phase is carefully designed to starve the Candida of food while giving you all the nutrition that you need.
There are also a handful of foods that actually fight Candida. These fall into the category of either antifungals or probiotics, and you should integrate them into your diet too. So you’ll be happy to know that foods like yogurt and rutabaga are on the foods to eat list, even though their carbohydrate content might have looked too high.
I have added lists of Foods To Eat and Foods To Avoid to this site. There is more information in our Ultimate Candida Diet program, along with some shopping lists that you can print out and take to the store.
This stage can take anywhere from a few weeks to several months. It really depends on several factors – how strictly you follow the diet, the effectiveness of your probiotics and antifungals, and the severity of your Candida infestation. Read more about the duration of the diet here.
Once you have beaten your Candida, what’s next? Well, it’s certainly not a great idea to immediately go back to your original diet. After all, that’s the diet that probably caused your Candida overgrowth in the first place.
In this phase you should start to gradually reintroduce certain foods into your diet. Low-sugar fruits like green apples and berries are a great example, and you might also start reintroducing some beans. If all goes well and they don’t cause a flare-up of your Candida symptoms, you can move on to reintroducing more foods.
Will you ever return to your original diet? Probably not. The fact that you have suffered from Candida overgrowth already, might indicate that a regular diet will trigger that Candida again. However, once you’ve got this far I hope that you won’t even want to go back to sugary snacks or junk food. The healthy, energetic feeling that you get from a diet of nutritious whole foods is worth the cost of missing out on a few treats.