Candida Diet Guidelines
The Candida Diet details below have been adapted from Donna Gates’ groundbreaking book “The Body Ecology Diet”. This diet plan is a method to restore gut health through the re-balancing of candida (yeast) overgrowth. Often, candida imbalance is a result of antibiotics overuse which destroy both good and bad bacteria in the digestive system. The digestive tract needs probiotics, which means “for life” while antibiotics means “against life”. When our beneficial gut bacteria are reduced through antibiotics or other reasons then candida (yeast) can overgrow, causing digestive and system-wide symptoms.
Following this dietary program will:
- Eliminate fungus, yeast and some parasites in the digestive system.
- Cleanse the body of waste and toxins that can accumulate in the digestive tract.
- Restore health, energy and vitality to the body.
> Recommended Foods:
Animal Foods – Beef, poultry, eggs, fish and shellfish
Organic, unrefined oils – especially coconut oil and olive oil
Butter & Ghee
Land vegetables – See below for complete list
Ocean vegetables and algaes
Seed-like Grains: Quinoa, Buckwheat, Amaranth & Millet
Fruits: Lemons, limes, unsweetened cranberries, black currants
Cultured Foods like raw organic apple cider vinegar, raw cultured vegetables like kimchi and kefir
Raw almonds (soaked and sprouted)
Seeds including Pumpkin, Flax and Sunflower seeds (avoid sesame)
Stevia and monk fruit extract
Herbs and Herbal teas
> After completing the first 2-4 weeks of the program, the following are acceptable at 1 serving per day:
Low-Sugar fruits: green apples, berries including raspberries, blackberries and blueberries
> Avoid the Following:
Sugar, Candy, Honey, Soft Drinks
All grains and all flour products (except when made with Quinoa, Buckwheat, Amaranth & Millet)
Fruits (except those listed above)
Fruit juice (except lemon and lime juice)
Beans, Soybean products and Tofu (except lentils)*
Nuts and nut butters (except raw soaked almonds)
Soy sauce & Braggs Amino acids
Wine, beer and alcohol
All artificial sweeteners (except stevia and monk fruit)
Commercial refined vinegar
Yeast and yeast products
Mushrooms and mushroom products
* Note that some versions of the candida diet allow soy products.
> Food Combining Basics:
One of the secrets to this diet plan is proper food combining. Eating foods at the same time that are not compatible cause gas, bloating, poor digestion and weight gain. With proper food combining most people notice:
Less gas and bloating
Effortless weight loss – When food are assimilated and metabolized better the body doesn’t need to store fat.
> 3 Rules of Food Combining:
1.) Rule #1 – Eat fruits alone on empty stomach:
High-sugar fruits encourage the growth of yeast in the body, so only allow lemons, limes, unsweetened cranberries, and black currants for the first 1-3 months. All other fruits are too high in sugar. In terms of food-combining, fruits pass through the digestive system very quickly and leave the stomach within 30 minutes. However, if eaten with other foods such as protein or starch, the fruit gets slowed down and begins to ferment. Yeast will feed of the sugars produced from this fermentation process.
You can eat acidic fruits with protein fats such as kefir, yogurt, nuts or seeds. So after the first month is finished, you could combine strawberries, blueberries, kiwi, pineapple, or grapefruit with yogurt, kefir or a handful of soaked and sprouted sunflower seeds.
The only time your stomach is truly empty is when you wake up. This is the best time to eat fruit. Remember not to introduce other fruits too soon – This is the biggest mistake most people make. Fruit is a perfect breakfast because they contain lots of water, which is important to hydrate you after a long sleep. Drinking a glass of water with lemon or black currant juice is a great way to start the day. It can cleanse the liver, improve energy and stimulate the peristaltic action of the colon.
2.) Rule #2 – Always eat protein with a non-starchy and/or ocean vegetable:
When you eat eggs, meat, poultry and fish you produce hydrochloric acid. When you eat starch such as potatoes or rice, you produce an enzyme called ptyalin. If you eat them together, they neutralize each other which stop digestion. Enzymes cannot do their job, resulting in poor digestion and fermentation. Eat protein-based foods with the following:
Red Bell Pepper
Sprouts (except mung beans)
Turnips and Turnip Greens
* These non-starchy vegetables go with anything. Eat them with oils, butter, ghee, animal flesh, eggs, grain, starchy vegetables (like acorn squash and potatoes), lemons, limes, sunflower, caraway, flax or pumpkin seeds
> Menu Tips:
Fish with stir-fry or steamed veggies
Chicken with leafy green veggies and an all-veggie soup
Large veggie salad with protein (salmon or boiled egg) and dressing (organic, unrefined oils)
Onion, red pepper and zucchini omelet or ocean veggies omelet with steamed asparagus and garlic
3.) Rule #3 – Eat grains and starchy vegetables with non-starchy and/or ocean vegetables:
Grains allowed in the beginning are amaranth, quinoa, buckwheat and millet. Starchy vegetables include acorn and butternut squash, lima beans, English peas, fresh corn, water chestnuts, artichokes and Jerusalem artichokes, and red skin potatoes (only red skin). Combine these with non-starchy vegetables or ocean vegetables.
> Menu Tips:
Millet Casserole, steamed leafy green vegetable and yellow squash and leeks sautéed in butter
Buckwheat/quinoa/millet croquettes, steamed greens, and carrot cauliflower soup
Dill potato salad, watercress soup, and leafy green salad
Acorn squash stuffed with curried quinoa, broccoli with butter, and sea vegetable hijiki with onions and carrots
In the beginning, stick with fresh pressed organic and unrefined oils like sunflower, flax, evening primrose, borage, pumpkin and safflower. Olive oil is also great. Fats are unrefined, organic coconut oil, butter and ghee. (raw butter best if available)
Never combine large amounts of fat with your protein. Example, mayonnaise with tuna is too much (especially in the beginning).
Use small amounts of oil to keep food from sticking like coconut, olive oil, butter or ghee. Never eat hydrogenated fats such as margarine, they are toxic.
> Protein Fats:
Avocado, olives, cheese, seeds and nuts (except chestnuts and peanuts which are starch). They combine best with non-starchy and green veggies, ocean veggies and acid fruits.
Most milk products contain lactose (milk sugar) that feeds yeast. Cultured dairy foods are ok, such as kefir. These combine well with acidic fruits, seeds, nuts and non-starchy vegetables. Kefir dressing with lemon juice and herbs is great for a salad. Black currant juice and cranberry juice are excellent in kefir.
> Beans, Peas and Soybeans:
These are not recommended. They are protein and starch, making them difficult to digest, causing gas and bloating. They can be introduced at a later time when digestion becomes stronger. They combine best with non-starchy green veggies and ocean veggies. If eating soybeans, only eat fermented such as miso, natto, tempeh and wheat free tamari.
> Sugars, honey, molasses:
Sugar feeds yeast. These will be introduced intelligently at a later date. Stevia and monk fruit extract can satisfy the natural sweet cravings. When you are healthy and balance is restored, we can re-introduce raw honey, rice or maple syrup, or molasses. Blackstrap molasses is particularly high in minerals. Sugars should always be eaten alone as they do not combine well with anything.
For most people, this plan will result in weight loss. You will be less bloated and full feeling. You may discover you seem hungry more often. This is because you have no bloated feeling after meals that people are so commonly used to. Eat smaller meals more often, not a problem. If your food is combined properly then eat as much as you want. Just remember a protein meal can take up to 4 hours to properly digest.
Drink 8 glasses per day minimum, but not during meals. It is very important to drink water early in morning to re-hydrate the body. Try to drink hot tea or room temperature water, never cold. It is a complete shock to the system and will sit in your stomach until the body warms it enough to make it usable. Try to get the majority of your daily intake of water in the morning.
> Additional Tips:
Eat Alkaline Meals (mostly vegetables)
Eat Warming Foods (especially in fall and winter)
Do not over-eat, only eat to 80% of capacity
Practice colon cleansing if you have a history of constipation
If you crave sweets, use stevia
Get lots of rest
Find someone to talk to for encouragement that may have had a similar experience
> 80/20 Rules
Eat until stomach is 80% full, leaving 20% empty
If you eat to capacity or beyond, you further yeast overgrowth and heavily burden your digestive system. Never over-eat grains or starchy vegetables especially! Have one serving of grains (quinoa, amaranth, buckwheat or millet) and make the rest vegetables.
> 80% of your food is vegetables, 20% can be:
Grain such as amaranth, millet or quinoa
Starchy vegetables such as potato, carrot, beets or squash
80% vegetable soup and 20% quinoa
80% vegetables and 20% cream of buckwheat
80% greens and onions, 20% eggs (such as an omelet)
A green drink in the morning works great for some people and is very alkalizing
> Detox Symptoms (Healing Crisis):
During the first few days, or even weeks of the program there is a period of healing and detoxification. By eating high quality food that is easy to digest, your body will likely respond with signs of healing, even if you are temporarily feeling worse. Detoxification and healing are sometimes uncomfortable – within reason this is evidence that your body is eliminating accumulated waste and toxins. You will likely feel tired and have headaches, body aches or flu-like symptoms. It is best to remain strict with the diet at this time to give the body maximum chance to heal.
Compare this detox process to cleaning your home. In the beginning, furniture is moved around, dust and dirt are stirred up, and things temporarily look worse. But when you’re done cleaning, the house looks much better. During this process you may have a sore throat, headaches, flu-like symptoms, aches, pains, feelings of anger or depression, lethargy, fatigue, skin rashes, acne, vaginal or rectal itching, discharge, etc. This is known as the Herxheimer reaction. If these symptoms are extreme, a colonic or home enema can be helpful for this phase. When the cleansing period ends, your body will feel stronger and lighter than it has in years.
> Healing Requires Time:
Lifestyle change is the only way to truly heal and regain balance for long-term health. We often want the quick fix or take short-cuts which interfere with our healing capacity. For example, instead of taking time to get over a cold or flu and let the body do its job, we take medicine and antibiotics. This halts the natural process of the body.
For most people the candida cleansing process will take 2-3 months. For mild cases one month is all that is needed, for more severe cases it may take up to 6 months to repair the gut.
If you want to speed your healing process while following this program, here are some great tips:
-Eliminate stress as much as possible – breathe deeply, pray or meditate
-Eat according to the plan and don’t cheat
-Focus on cleansing foods like lemon, limes, apple cider vinegar (raw, with the mother), cultured vegetables and raw coconut kefir
-Eliminate medicines that break down the body and suppress illness
-Focus on cleansing the colon with fiber from vegetables
-Rest as much as possible
-Probiotics will increase good bacteria and speed healing
> More advice regarding specific foods:
> Animal protein foods:
These do not feed fungus, but never eat more than 20% of your meal with animal protein. Combining these with raw, lightly cooked or cultured vegetables is very important. This will protect you from the toxic by-products created by animal proteins in the body and protect you from parasites. Buy animal protein free of antibiotics and growth hormones. Buy beef that is 100% grass fed. Cows do not eat corn or grains, they only should eat grass. A program too high in animal protein is never a good idea, but works in the beginning of this program to keep strength levels up. You can later increase grain and vegetable intake, decreasing animal proteins. Fish is the preferred meat, 3x weekly is ideal. Salmon and sardines are the most healthy types of fish.
Eggs are extremely healthy, so eat the entire egg. Forget about eating only egg whites. That is actually the hardest part to digest and the nutrients are actually in the yolk. Eggs are best in the afternoon. Eggs over easy in coconut oil is a great way to eat them. Eggs are very misunderstood. They are high in lecithin which helps you digest fat and they will raise good cholesterol levels. Combine them with alkaline vegetables for balance, and raw uncultured vegetables are best.
> Menu Tip:
Try vegetable or ocean vegetable omelets. Eggs are great with steamed greens, or scrambled with onions, scallions or red bell peppers. Nothing works better to aid digestion then cultured vegetables – eat with every meal when possible. Digestive enzymes are helpful, or hydrochloric acid capsules. Drinking a couple of teaspoons of raw, apple cider vinegar with the mother throughout a meal is greatly beneficial. Cayenne pepper also stimulates hydrochloric acid production, as do digestive bitters before a meal.
> Nuts and Seeds:
In the beginning three months, stick to soaked almonds. Cover almonds with purified water in glass or stainless steel container overnight or for 12 hours. Drain and refrigerate. To sprout, soak almonds in sprouting jar 8-12 hours then drain. Turn upside down for 8 hours, then refrigerate in an airtight container or use a dehydrator.
Flax, sunflower, pumpkin and caraway seeds work well. They digest more easily if soaked and/or sprouted like almonds. They are great in green salads, but eat in small quantities.
There are four, gluten-free grains allowed. They are quinoa (keen-wah), amaranth, buckwheat and millet. They are available at most health food stores. Combine these with vegetables using the 80/20 rule. Never over-eat these grains, which slow down digestion. You can use flours, but the whole grain is always best. Soak grains in water 8-24 hours. Soaking increases digestion and absorption.
The most abundant and most perfect foods available on the planet. Leafy greens are rich in chlorophyll and clean the blood. Root vegetables provide strength and warmth in the winter.
> Ocean Vegetables:
They are loaded with minerals, build the immune system and support proper thyroid function. Choose the following:
* Avoid kelp, which has excessively high iodine content.
* Cook sea veggies with sweet vegetables like onions and carrots for a nice balance.
> Vegetables to Avoid:
Beets (unless fermented), parsnips, sweet potatoes, and yams (high in sugar)
Mushrooms (a fungus)
Tomatoes (Ok in season with green salads. When cooked, very acid forming)
Eggplant and Green Bell Peppers (Nightshade family, irritate nervous system)
Russet Potatoes (Too high in sugar and feed yeast)
Mung Bean Sprouts (Usually contain mold)
> Raw vs. Cooked:
People with poor digestion have problems with raw foods. Start with mostly steamed vegetables. Cultured vegetables are the exception and easily digestible by anyone. Try a daily salad and ½ cup cultured (fermented) veggies with your meals each day.
> Cooking Tip:
When steaming veggies, many nutrients fall into the water. Be sure to drink and/or reuse this water in soups.
In the beginning, only lemons, limes, black currants and cranberries are allowed because they do not feed yeast. You can later introduce other fruits, starting with grapefruit and kiwis. Eating fruit too soon can bring back candida symptoms. It may take a year or longer depending on the severity of your situation. Eat fruits alone on an empty stomach. However, with lemons and limes you may freely use them with drinks, teas, fish or other animal proteins and salads.
Most herbs are welcome. Use liberally for seasoning on foods. Ginger, garlic, cayenne and turmeric are all highly recommended.
> Fermented Foods:
Avoid: salted & pasteurized sauerkraut, amasake, miso, soy sauce, tamari, tempeh and rejuvelac.
Include: raw apple cider vinegar, fermented young coconut, raw, cultured vegetables made with cabbage, carrots, daikon, garlic, celery, kelp and herbs. Cultured vegetables can be amazing for controlling sugar cravings. You can make your own or buy them at a health food store. ½ cup per day minimum, especially with grain and protein meals. They are worth the effort.
Water is critical. Add lemon and a drop of stevia if you don’t like the taste of water. Chlorine and fluoride destroy friendly bacteria, so tap water is best avoided.
Healing anti-fungal teas are very beneficial during this time. Pau D’arco, Cat’s Claw, Burdock Root, Dandelion and so many others are all excellent choices. Ginger tea will enhance digestion.
> Unrefined, Organic Seed Oils:
Avoid industrial seed oils like: safflower, sunflower, soybean, etc.
Small amounts of the oil from pumpkin seed, hemp, evening primrose, borage, and flax seed are good in salad dressings. Coconut oil, butter and ghee are all great for cooking. Olive oil can be used liberally when combined with foods properly. Always buy organic, cold pressed, unrefined oils in dark glass, amber colored bottles.
The right fats provide essential Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids that must be obtained from food. These oils add health benefits and flavor to the program. All refined oils and margarine must be completely removed from your life. The above listed oils will increase oxygen levels, assist with weight loss, increase energy levels, normalize blood pressure and cholesterol levels, build the immune system, reduce inflammation in the body, and give your skin a healthy glow. These oils also fight depression, emotional problems, ADHD and even schizophrenia. Do not cook these seed oils, but use them in salad dressings or sprinkle on fish, chicken or steamed vegetables after cooking. Eat a minimum of 1-2 Tablespoons daily. They are also good added to grains, leafy greens and soups. Pumpkin oil has specific benefits for fighting parasites and healing the prostate gland in men, while nourishing the ovaries for women.
> Coconut Oil, Butter and Ghee:
Coconut oil is one of the healthiest foods you can eat, contrary to mainstream belief. There is an incredible misunderstanding about coconut oil, perpetrated largely by the hydrogenated soy industry that coconut is bad for you.
Coconut oil is excellent for heart health, healing for the thyroid, assists with weight loss and is loaded with beneficial saturated fats that are contained in every cell of the human body. For example, human breast milk contains mostly saturated fat needed by infants for development. Coconut oil is also a powerful anti-fungal agent. Coconut oil is great for cooking.
Ghee is clarified butter, the oil of butter with the solids removed. Ghee is less mucus forming and contains no lactose (milk sugar). Ghee keeps fine at room temperature and has a longer shelf life than butter. Look for grass-feed butter and ghee for the most health benefits. Raw, organic butter is best, but not easy to find. Avoid margarine at all costs.
> Fat Intolerance:
It is possible that until balance is restored, you may have an issue digesting fats. This is especially true with a congested gallbladder and/or liver. Symptoms include pain in the neck and shoulders, spasms in the large and small intestines, feeling tired immediately after eating, bloating, indigestion, belching, gas, nausea, pain in the right upper abdominal and hard stools. Eliminating fats for a week and noting improved digestion is the easiest indicator. A small amount of extra virgin, organic coconut oil should not be a problem.
> Heart healthy:
Especially good foods for normalizing cholesterol levels include daikon, raw vegetables (carrots, red peppers, broccoli and cauliflower), lemons (and later, grapefruit), garlic, ginger, fish oils, unrefined oils like coconut, flax and olive and friendly bacteria (probiotics and fermented foods).
> Foods to Avoid:
Alcohol – feeds yeast
Breads and flour products, grains and pastas (except for ones listed) – High gluten and yeast feeding
Citric Acids found in many foods and teas
Legumes, Peas, Peanuts – Hard to digest, high in fungus and ferments producing sugars
Mushrooms (yeast is a type of mushroom)
Nuts, nut butters, and nut milks – Too acid forming and hard to digest
Oils (besides above) – Canola, soy, peanut, toasted sesame, etc.
Sugars – Honey, molasses, corn syrup, dextrose, brown rice syrup, barley malt, etc. feeds yeast
Yeast – Baking, nutritional and brewer’s yeast
> Cravings – How to satisfy your sweet tooth:
Try Stevia in a cup of tea. It tastes sweet, but does not feed yeast or contain sugar. It balances the blood sugar in your body actually. Artificial sweeteners are not allowed as they suppress the immune system.
Try apple cider vinegar on your vegetables and drinking it in water. This balances the digestive system and helps fight sugar cravings.
Eat sweet tasting vegetables as often as desired. Carrots, onion, butternut and acorn squash.
Drink water with fresh lemon or lime juice. Often we are just dehydrated.
Eat green algaes to reduce cravings and provide nutrition
When you eat salty food, such as meat or eggs, your body may start to crave sweets. Make sure to balance the meat protein with vegetables to avoid the cravings.
Kefir in morning helps with cravings. Colon cleansing helps also.
Alcoholics have candida that has often spread to their liver. This program is amazing and healing for alcoholics. Drinking two cups of young coconut kefir each day works wonders for preventing cravings of sugar and alcohol.
> Hormones and Sugar:
Women have a tough time just before their monthly cleansing. They unknowingly eat too many salt and animal proteins or have too much stress. This is very constricting on the body. When the cycle starts and the body needs to “open” to shed the lining of the uterus, they crave sugar, an expansive food. Progesterone increases, causing an increase in blood sugars which feeds yeast and increases cravings for more. It is important to break this sugar habit and stevia can help with that, along with the above tips.
Make special requests, they’re used to it with so many people with special diets these days. Get fresh fish or chicken with steamed veggies or a nice salad. It is possible to eat out and eat healthy! Order a plain salad with lemon wedges. Get extra virgin olive oil. Most restaurants have vegetable side dished like steamed broccoli and green beans. You can bring home made salad dressing with you.
As you optimize digestion and you are no longer full, bloated or gassy, you may feel hungry. Here are snack ideas:
– Keep celery sticks and carrots handy
– Use salad dressing from recipe section as a dip
– Eat baked blue corn chips with cultured veggies
– Try raw pumpkin seeds with celery sticks
– Drink young coconut water kefir (great at bedtime)
– Keep pot of soup in refrigerator to heat as needed
– Chew on Nori or other sea veggies
– Eat young coconut meat or fermented kefir cheese
> Cleansing and Your Immune System
We must welcome the Cleansing: The first few days through the first few weeks will be the most challenging. Toxins will begin leaving your body and you will begin cleansing. This can mock the same symptoms as candida – you may feel flu-like, weak, fuzzy headed, ringing in the ears, pain and discomfort around stomach and/or chest. Cleaning your colon here is critical to help the escape of the dying candida organisms. Stay with it, You will emerge strong and healthy.
Exercise! Especially for Type O Blood types, exercise is important to feel great. This is how Type O’s release stress, tension and stimulate their minds. An hour of physical exercise before writing a paper will be beneficial. Exercise will clear the mind when upset or angry.
Type A and A/B need calm exercises. Yoga, walking, tai chi and pilates are all great choices. This sharpens the mind, but keeps you from being exhausted. This also relieves tension.
Type B’s are in between. Balance of brisk exercise along with calming or mild exercise at end of day works well.
Bouncing is amazing, mini-trampoline or rebounder. It stimulates blood flow, the lymphatic system and the entire immune system. It requires little energy with tremendous benefits. Five minutes twice a day is great, and it is ok to do this along with another workout. This adds oxygen, an important strategic partner in your battle against candida and an improved immune system. If you can find a buddy to exercise with you, that always helps.
> How to Reintroduce Healthy Foods
If you have followed this program for 3-4 months, chances are you feel absolutely amazing! Your symptoms are gone and you have a new outlook on life, so you might want to add in some other foods. We are NOT talking about donuts, cookies, alcohol and soda! There are plenty of healthy desserts and recipes using Stevia and other healthy alternatives.
Even though you are symptom free, the yeast burrows deep into your tissues and organs and can resurface!
Introduce one new food at a time! Try a small amount and if you notice any symptoms (headache, upset stomach, rash, et.) stop eating that food and try something else. If you have no reaction (after at least two days), then start rotating that food into your daily life. Continue to follow the basic guidelines of food combining and eating high quality foods.
Recipes are available at: http://bodyecology.com/recipes/recipes.php