There are many different ways to do a cleanse. In fact there are cleanses designed for your liver, kidney, gallbladder, and more. If you begin your Candida treatment with a cleanse, you should be focusing on relieving the stress placed on your digestive system and detoxification pathways.
A cleanse should also help to physically remove some of the Candida colonies and biofilms, possibly in addition to some old fecal matter, that are found in your intestines.
Designing a good cleanse means sticking to healthy, nutritious foods that don’t force your digestive system to work too hard. That’s why I recommend eating mostly salads and vegetables throughout your cleanse. Some people choose a more strict interpretation and follow a fully liquid diet throughout their cleanse, but that is not really necessary.
For most Candida sufferers, simply cutting out the hard-to-digest foods is the most appropriate method. You can follow this cleansing diet anywhere from 3 to 7 days, before moving on to the main Candida diet plan.
What To Eat On Your Cleanse
The diet during your cleanse is similar to the main Candida diet, but with a few differences. You should mostly be eating salads, steamed vegetables, and some eggs for protein. Some fruits are allowed, but only the very low sugar fruits like avocados lemon, lime, and olives. By using these ingredients, with a variety of herbs, spices, oils, and other cooking ingredients, you can cook some delicious meals that pack a serious nutritional punch. They will be easy on your digestive system too, and will start the process of healing your intestinal membrane and restoring balance to your gut flora.
Remember that you are only doing this cleanse for a few days. Your body will quickly adjust to your new, healthier eating plan, and you will end the cleanse feeling refreshed, light and healthy. Then, you will quickly be able to move on to a more varied diet.
Consider what a typical person eats every day, and you will begin to understand why a cleanse is sometimes the best way to give your intestines, liver, and internal organs a fresh start. Fast food is overloaded with additives, most beef has added growth hormone, and fish are full of the various chemicals that are pumped into the oceans. Cutting out these toxins and replacing them with fresh vegetables is a great way to start your fight against Candida.
- Eat salads, steamed vegetables, and eggs
- Flavor your food with lots of herbs, spices, healthy oils, lemon juice, salt, and pepper
- Avoid starchy vegetables such as sweet potatoes, potatoes, yams, corn, and winter squash
- Avoid hard-to-digest foods like red meat, glutenous grains, and dairy products
If all this sounds like a big change from your regular diet, don’t worry! You can make some really delicious recipes using the ingredients listed above. Check out the list of foods to eat on your cleanse for more information.
Another gut-healing food to consider during your cleanse is broth. Vegetable broth and bone broth are both great options, and you can make each of them easily at home. They will give your body a big hit of extra nutrition and support the healing process in your gut. I have listed a simple veggie broth recipe below. Note that most people discard the vegetables after cooking, as by that point most of the nutrients have already leeched into the broth during the cooking process.
You can drink 2-3 bowls of this vegetable broth each day during your cleanse. This is particularly important if you are doing a strict cleanse and limiting your food intake. But even if you are not doing such a strict cleanse, broth can still be a tasty addition to your diet. The quantities in this recipe should last you for about 2 days of your cleanse, and you can keep it refrigerated during this time. Use organic vegetables if possible!
Recipe: Vegetable Broth
- 2 medium onions, chopped
- 1 large handful of kale or chard, chopped
- 4 stalks of fresh grown celery, chopped
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 1 tsp. sea salt
- Cayenne pepper, to taste (optional)
Place ingredients in 2 quarts (about 2 liters) of pure or distilled water.
Bring to boil and simmer for at least 60 minutes, then strain the liquid and discard the veggies. If you’d like to spice it up a little, throw in some cayenne pepper. Let it cool, then drink or refrigerate.
What To Drink On Your Cleanse
The first thing to mention in this section is that you should be drinking lots of water during your cleanse. This will give your body the absolute best chance to repair its detoxification pathways and expel as many toxins as possible. All that water also keeps your digestive system moving, prevents constipation, and speeds up the elimination process.
There are several detox drinks that you can use to make your cleanse more effective. In our Ultimate Candida Diet program, we describe a detox drink that is carefully designed to support your liver, promote bowel movements, and encourage your body to expel the Candida toxins more quickly. If you are serious about tackling your Candida then I would definitely recommend it. However, on this page I will describe two other detox drinks that are regularly used by cleansers.
The Fiber/Bentonite Shake
A popular drink among cleansers is the fiber and bentonite shake. This is a detox drink designed to physically remove toxins from your gut. The fiber supplement gets your digestive system moving and scrapes clean the walls of your gut, while the super-absorbent bentonite clay sucks up any toxins sitting in your intestines and carries them safely out of your body.
For the fiber component, there are several different options. Psyllium husk is very effective, but can be a little harsh on the intestines for those who suffer from Leaky Gut Syndrome or who have an irritated intestinal membrane. Other good alternatives are acacia powder and pure apple fiber. Here is a good example that contains soluble fiber from golden flax meal and acacia, plus inulin as a prebiotic.
Regular bentonite clay doesn’t mix well with water, so look for a brand that comes in liquid form, like this one. This will make the detox drink a lot easier to mix and drink. Add it to your fiber supplement and shake up the mixture for a few seconds, then quickly drink it before it settles. Drink another extra large glass of water immediately after. Both these ingredients are great for detox. The bentonite clay soaks up toxins (it’s in a category of supplements known as ‘toxin binders’), and the fiber physically pushes waste matter out through your colon.
Recipe: Fiber/Bentonite Shake
- 1 large cup water
- 1 flat Tbsp. fiber supplement
- 1 flat Tbsp. liquid Bentonite Clay
This detox drink should be taken on an empty stomach, so don’t eat anything for an hour before and after you drink it. The easiest times are usually first thing in the morning, in the afternoon, and a couple of hours before bedtime. You can drink it 2-3 times each day.
The Liver Flush
There is another drink that you can use to support and protect your liver during your cleanse. Known as a liver flush, it is also popular among cleansers and combines olive oil, garlic, and ginger. You can drink it once a day in the evenings.
Recipe: Liver Flush Drink
- 1 cup water
- 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 1 clove of garlic
- Small chunk of fresh ginger
Just blend all the ingredients together and drink. If you don’t have a very good blender, chop the garlic and ginger first before blending.
What Causes The Toxic Build-up In Your Intestines?
We put our digestive systems under a great deal of stress, largely thanks to our modern lifestyle. Years of fast food, cigarettes, prescription drugs, and alcohol keep the intestines inflamed and irritated. Add gut dysbiosis and a Candida overgrowth to that mixture, and you have a recipe for an unhealthy gut.
The intestines, and especially the colon, are the waste pipe of the body. Once the nutrients are removed and absorbed, the waste from your food intake is passed through the colon and expelled out.
What many people don’t realize is that, without a healthy, functioning digestive system, this process can get disrupted. Waste matter starts to move either too slowly or too quickly thought the intestines. If it moves too quickly, it can leave you dehydrated and lacking in vital nutrients. If it moves too slowly, the built-up waste matter encourages the growth of pathogenic organisms like Candida, along with symptoms like bloating and gas. A good cleansing program is a healthy first step to restoring your digestive system to regular service.
Colonic irrigation is really not as daunting as it sounds, but in some cases it can make your cleanse more effective. Irrigation acts to loosen and expel the hardened fecal matter within your colon, and also serves to eliminate some of the Candida colonies and their byproducts more quickly than you can by diet alone.
Colonics are especially useful for those Candida sufferers who experience chronic constipation. If you are not suffering from constipation then it might not be for you. The downside to colonics is that they can remove some of the good bacteria from your gut as well as the Candida yeast. So if you unsure whether you need it, I would recommend that you stick to the dietary cleanse.
If you choose to try colonic therapy, a typical session lasts for around 45 minutes. The patient first lies down and is given a gentle but firm massage in the lower stomach area. This is to loosen the materials that the colonic will expunge. A small, sterile and disposable plastic tube is then inserted into the rectum and warm water is passed into the colon. Clients typically report a warm feeling but often have little sensation of the colonic, although it can feel slightly uncomfortable the first time. The water is allowed to gently flow into your colon, then you push it out along with the fecal matter that it has loosened. This cycle repeats several times. Other liquids, often coffee, are then typically added to the water to further help with the loosening.
You can look online to find your local colonic therapist. He or she will be able to give you guidance as to how often you should get a treatment. For the purposes of your cleanse, two or three sessions should be more than sufficient.
Is A Cleansing Diet Safe?
A cleansing diet is generally a very healthy way to reset your health, give your liver function a boost, and detoxify your body. However, it can sometimes be stressful on the body, and so I would not recommend it if you have any major health issues. Consult with your health practitioner if you have any concerns. And if you experience an irregular heartbeat or any other worrying symptoms, you should stop the cleanse immediately.
Cleansing diets can also temporarily lower your energy levels, so if you have a full time job it’s best to take some time off and relax in a comfortable environment. Set aside a time for recovering your health, and try to keep it free of commitments, social events, and meetings. Your cleanse should only last a few days so scheduling it around a weekend is often a good idea.
If you’re not sure how to start your cleanse, or you need some more advice, take a look at our comprehensive Candida treatment plan. It contains more detailed lists of foods to eat, more than 50 recipes for every stage of the plan, and lots of sensible advice for beating your Candida.