Last updated December 13, 2021 by Lisa Richards, CNC   Reviewed by Katie Stone, ND.

17 Antifungal Foods To Fight Your Candida

Antifungal foods to fight Candida: garlic, onion, rutabaga, turmeric, ginger.

I have included 17 of my favorite Candida-fighting antifungal foods in this list. You can make some delicious recipes with these ingredients, safe in the knowledge that the food you are eating is helping with your Candida treatment too. I have tried wherever possible to include these ingredients in the recipes found on this website and in the recipe books.

Our Ultimate Candida Diet program contains a larger list of 28 Candida-fighting foods that you can find in your local store. It includes some surprising probiotic and antifungal foods that you might not have realized would help with your Candida treatment. There are also some foods that will help your body’s own detoxification processes, and foods that will help to heal your intestinal walls.

Here are 17 of the best Candida-fighting foods:

1. Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is a potent Candida killer, and one of the most useful antifungals there is. It contains Lauric acid and Caprylic acid, which both help prevent Candida overgrowth and strengthen your immune system.

Coconut oil is very heat stable, so it’s an ideal oil to use for frying and cooking. It is also inexpensive to buy and has a much longer shelf life than other oils! You can consume 2-3 tablespoons per day. Look for a high quality, organic, virgin coconut oil.

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If you are unsure how to incorporate coconut oil into your diet, our recipe books include lots of tasty meals that include it.

2. Garlic

Garlic has powerful antifungal properties which not only attack Candida but also help to maintain healthy microbiome in the digestive system. This amazing herb destroys harmful bacteria while leaving healthy bacteria in place.

Garlic stimulates the liver and colon, giving it a potent additive effect to your body’s own detoxification processes. Garlic also boosts the function of the lymphatic system, helping it to rid the body of waste more efficiently.

Those who love the taste of garlic won’t mind adding it liberally to their food. You can also eat 2-4 cloves per day, crushed and mixed with coconut oil as an anti-Candida tonic.

NOTE: Always take garlic with a healthy fat such as coconut oil or avocado, as the powerful compounds can burn your stomach.

Also, choose your garlic carefully. Many supermarkets sell garlic that comes from China, where food and agricultural standards are still significantly less stringent than in the West. Try to buy only good quality, organic, local garlic, or garlic grown in Europe or North America.

3. Onion

Popular around the world, onions are celebrated for their strong anti-fungal, antibacterial and anti-parasitic properties. They also help the kidneys to flush excess fluids out the body: highly beneficial for Candida sufferers who experience water retention.

Onions work well in almost any savory recipe, enhancing flavor and taste. You can even add them to your omelets in the morning for a high-protein, low carbohydrate, gluten free start to your day.

Of course, both onions and garlic can have a rather negative effect on your breath! That’s why it’s a good idea to chew a little parsley afterward to counter the smell.

4. Seaweed

Seaweed is a nutrient-dense ‘superfood’ known for its powerful healing properties. It’s particularly recommended in helping your body to fight Candida.

Seaweed is a rich source of iodine, which helps to balance thyroid hormones and the impact they have on your metabolism. Many Candida sufferers have issues with sluggish or underactive thyroid, which can slow their recovery.

Seaweed also helps to flush toxic pollutants and heavy metals from the body. High in minerals, it helps in maintaining a healthy intestinal tract and regulating bowel function.

Kelp extract supplements are one of the most potent sources of Iodine. It’s also a good idea to add lots of different types of seaweed to your diet, such as wakame, nori, algae and bladder wrack.

5. Rutabaga

Although it’s not well-known in Western countries, rutabaga is one of the most potent antifungal vegetables on earth. It’s technically a starch, but its ability to kill off fungal overgrowth makes up for it!

Rutabaga is a root vegetable, and a member of the mustard family. It’s also known as ‘swede’ or ‘Swedish turnip. Rutabaga is a versatile vegetable that works well in many dishes. You can make a rutabaga mash, cut up some rutabaga fries, or mix it into your vegetable soup.

It’s recommended that you try rutabaga in small amounts first, as it can cause die-off symptoms. You may even prefer to try a milder antifungal food like turnip instead.

6. Ginger

A well-known anti-inflammatory, ginger has long been used in traditional medicine for treating an enormous variety of ailments. It has a detoxifying effect on the body due to its ability to increase circulation and can also help the liver perform more efficiently in flushing out toxins.

Ginger also stimulates the immune system, helping to fight off invading pathogens. It’s a fantastic tonic for the digestive system, relieving intestinal gas and stimulating gastric juices. Its anti-inflammatory effects help to soothe irritation caused by Candida overgrowth in your intestinal tract.

Ginger tea is incredibly easy to make – here’s how you do it:

1 square inch piece of fresh Ginger root
Squeeze of lemon
2 cup of water

Cut off the outside of the ginger root, then grate it and add to boiling water. Boil for 20 minutes. Strain and serve with a slice of lemon.

7. Olive Oil

This is something nearly everyone has in their kitchen cupboard – but it’s not just good for cooking! Olive oil contains a powerful chemical called Oleuropein.

It has powerful antifungal properties and has been shown to stimulate your immune system’s own response to effectively fight off Candida albicans overgrowth.

Oleuropein has also been shown to help stabilize blood sugar levels. This is an important benefit for Candida sufferers, as elevated blood sugar levels can increase the yeast’s ability to spread.

Oleuropein is also found in olive leaf extract and can be taken in concentrated doses in the form of supplements. Olive oil can also be added to salads, stir-fries, and vegetables. Be sure to choose a high-quality, extra-virgin olive oil, and make sure that you buy a real olive oil, and not a fake one.

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8. Lemon And Lime Juice

Lemon and lime juice stimulate the peristaltic action of your colon, which literally means the muscles squeeze together, moving waste along so it can be moved out of the body. This increases the efficiency of your digestive system.

Lemons and limes are also very good for alkalizing the body. This simply means that it helps to bring your body back into balance, which helps it function more efficiently.

Both lemons and limes are great options for seasoning your vegetable, fish and meat dishes. And you can add them into your salad dressings at any stage of the diet plan.

9. Pumpkin Seeds

Pumpkin Seeds are an excellent source of Omega-3 fatty acids, an important healthy fat. Pumpkin seeds are also known to have anti-fungal, anti-viral and anti-parasitic properties.

Omega-3s are a vital component of healthy brain and thyroid function. They also help to combat depression and other symptoms of Candida-related inflammation, such as skin conditions.

Unfortunately, most of us do not get anywhere near enough Omega-3 oils in our diet. Deficiencies in this fatty acid have been linked to poor skin repair, slowed cognition and lower thyroid hormone levels. For an easy Omega-3 boost, add these pumpkin seeds to cereal, smoothies, and salads, or even use them as a portable snack.

10. Cayenne Pepper

Cayenne pepper is a little-known antifungal solution that naturally speeds digestion and supports the immune system. 
Cayenne helps in the breakdown of food in the gut and speeds up bowel transit time, which reduces the incidence of constipation.

Not surprisingly, cayenne is an excellent circulatory booster, which makes it a good option for enhancing the delivery to nutrients to your extremities. It also speeds the metabolism, providing an energy boost that helps to combat Candida-related fatigue.

Use it in small amounts to spice up your favorite foods!

11. Algae

It’s not really green slime! Algae is one of the world’s superfoods, thanks to its incredibly high concentration of nutrients. It’s the highest food source of natural chlorophyll, which is a powerful detoxifier. Algae also helps with gently cleansing the bowels. 

The many nutrients in algae mean it works like a multivitamin – but in the form of a food. 

The best source of algae is fresh blue-green algae, such as spirulina. In powder form, it can be added to smoothies, salads or other cold dishes. When taken as a tablet or capsule, the recommended dosage is 2-3 times a day on an empty stomach.

12. Cinnamon

An aromatic spice that most people associate with sweet food, cinnamon is actually a potent antifungal. It’s been shown to help stabilize blood sugar and prevent further spikes. This makes it a useful treatment for those with diabetes. 

Because Candida wreaks havoc with blood sugar levels, Candida sufferers may sometimes feel the effects of both high and low blood sugar levels. A little cinnamon can be an excellent addition to an anti-Candida diet. It’s best when taken with foods or mixed into a beverage. Try a cinnamon tea with xylitol or stevia.

Look for ‘real’ cinnamon if you can – this is often known as Ceylon Cinnamon. This form of cinnamon tends to be sweeter and less spicy than the more common ‘cassia’ cinnamon, and according to some sources has more powerful antifungal properties.

13. Papaya seeds

The extract of papaya seeds has been shown to harbor strong antiparasitic action. Studies have found that this inhibitory activity is effective against Candida overgrowth. Papaya seeds are also believed to be highly beneficial for detoxifying the body of harmful toxins, as well as reducing inflammation. They help to control bacteria, yeasts and parasitic organisms, which can help to improve the digestive system.

Some sources note that papaya seeds are quite powerful and may result in unpleasant die-off reaction. They’re best used during the later phases of a Candida or parasite cleanse, when the pathogens have been weakened. They may also be used as part of a colon cleanse. 

Use papaya seeds in the later phases of your candida cleanse or parasite cleanse. Simply remove the seeds from a fresh papaya and add to a smoothie. You can also drizzle them with lemon or lime juice and store for up to 3-4 days in the fridge.

14. Turmeric (curcumin) 

One of Mother Nature’s most important anti-inflammatory remedies, turmeric is best known for its use in cooking. It also harbors mild antifungal properties, and has been shown to inhibit the growth and spread of Candida in the gut. Turmeric is also antibacterial and antiviral, which makes it a very useful addition to any diet!

Turmeric can be added to meals, soups, smoothies or taken as a concentrated supplement. It’s important to take turmeric with black pepper and a healthy fat such as coconut oil, as this aids the absorption of the therapeutic properties in the body. 

15. Fermented Foods

When it comes to healthy digestion, fermented or probiotic foods are a must. These are foods that have been prepared in a way that allows beneficial bacteria to grow, creating live nutrients within the food itself. When you eat them, the live bacteria are quickly established in your gut – like an instant dose of probiotics. The best sources of probiotic foods include sauerkraut, kimchi, miso, tempeh, and kefir. Eating fermented foods regularly can support the immune system and prevent the invasion and spread of yeasts or fungal infection. 

16. Bone Broth

Bone broth is an easy, age-old solution for stomach troubles. It’s essentially a soup made by boiling beef or chicken bones, allowing the nutrients to break up into the broth. The amino acid glutamine is one of the most important of these nutrients. Glutamine helps to rebuild the lining of the gut, protecting it from yeast overgrowth and repairing any damage.

Bone broth is also a rich source of collagen, which supports the integrity of the gut lining. Bone broth is also completely sugar-free and makes for a satisfying meal or entrée. Serve hot and eat as much as possible! 

17. Pau D’arco Tea

A proven antifungal, pau d’arco is the best tea you can have while on the Candida diet. Pau d’arco is packed with naphthoquinones that can kill a variety of bacteria, fungi, viruses, and parasites. It has a powerful yeast-fighting active ingredient named lapachol. Studies suggest that this special compound is as effective against both Candida albicans and Candida tropicalis as pharmaceutical drugs. This is possibly due to its effect on the cellular membrane of the yeast. 

Pau d’arco tea can be sourced from most good health stores. Drink daily as part of your Candida cleanse. 

For the full list of our top Candida-fighting foods, including foods that heal your gut and replenish your gut flora, check out our Ultimate Candida Diet treatment program.

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  1. Dorothy says:

    Hi Lisa; I’ve been following the Candida diet for several years. I’ve also been receiving your emails and always read them, your recipes, many times making a simple version, always good. I ate rutabagas one time, years ago remembering of not being very flavorful. I also bypass mushrooms, but will start eating them again. Used to like them sautéed in a hot pan, without a small amount of butter & salt which I added afterwards. Will try that dish again sometime. They were not the variety you mention.

  2. Bernice Music says:

    Very impressed with info. Think I may have a return of candida after 20 years. I more or less eat like this anyway, so it is strange. Can you tell me if oats are ok. Also have I missed section on pulses? Any comment? Think lentils split peas, beans , etc are a no. Always take daily probiotic, but your explanation is incredible, will try Balance 1. I live in italy, very healthy 80 year old.
    Thanks Bernice

  3. Arnold Rydberg Jr says:

    very good info !!!

  4. AndySugs says:

    Iodine is effective as well on skin/nail fungal infections

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