Once you have beaten your Candida overgrowth with the combination of a low-sugar diet, probiotics and antifungal, it’s time to move on. This is when you start to return to a long term eating plan that will keep your Candida overgrowth from returning ever again. But it’s really important that you don’t start eating the junk food and sugary snacks again. That’s why in my Ultimate Candida Diet program I recommend gradually reintroducing certain foods to your diet.
But first of all, are you sure that you’ve really beaten your Candida? Some Candida sufferers mistake a temporary lapse in symptoms for a full recovery. So if you’re not sure whether you have cured your Candida overgrowth, read the ‘Diagnosing A Candida Overgrowth’ chapter in my program again. The sections on testing for Candida and the two questionnaires should help. And of course the most important thing is really how you feel. You should have more energy, and symptoms like brain fog, dizziness and recurrent yeast infections should have disappeared. If not, be prepared to stick with the diet for a little longer.
How quickly should you reintroduce foods?
You’ve done the hard work of defeating your Candida infestation, so don’t blow it by reintroducing foods too quickly! Start slowly and add back one food at a time. This has the added benefit that you will easily be able to pick out any food allergies as you go. You can start by adding back some fruits, particularly those with lower sugar content like green apples and berries. Fruits that are high in sugar like oranges, grapes and bananas should still be avoided for a while.
Some complex carbohydrates can also be added back into your diet, in small portions. These include sweet potatoes and beans. Although these will be broken down by your body into sugars that can promote Candida growth, they are whole foods that are digested and broken down much more slowly. Small portions of these complex carbs are OK. My Foods to Reintroduce page has a full list of the foods that you can introduce to your diet.
How long does it take to get back to a normal diet?
There is no fixed duration for this stage of the program. Some Candida sufferers find that any return to their old diet will quickly result in another infestation, so they stick to a more restricted diet indefinitely. Others find that with time they can reintroduce almost all of their favorite foods, even sugary fruits and alcoholic drinks.
It really depends on who you are and how bad your infestation was, but you should certainly be prepared to make long term changes to your eating habits. You can read more about the duration of each part of the treatment here.
Should you continue with the probiotics and antifungals?
Now that you’ve got this far and you’re starting to return to a more normal diet, you’re probably wondering whether you need to continue taking the probiotics and antifungals. Well, if you’ve beaten your Candida overgrowth you can certainly quit the antifungals, but I would recommend taking probiotics for a longer period.
The probiotics have a much great impact on your health than just beating Candida. Firstly, they help support your digestive system. Secondly, they help your immune system work more efficiently. A 2009 study at the University of Pennsylvania (read the report here) found that a healthy balance of bacteria in your gut will actually boost your immune system. They showed that normal levels of bacteria increase the effectiveness of the immune system and help your body to fight off pathogens.