I have detailed below the foods that I have been advised to eat by my own doctor. There are some conflicting ideas on the internet regarding specific items of foods on the list, but the key here is to listen to your own body. The world is not going to end because you ate something that was on the “bad food” list. But equally, you can’t fool your stomach. If you allow yourself certain high carb or sugary foods or even having entire cheat days on the diet, then you are only delaying your own recovery time.
I also strongly advise you to keep a food diary about how you are feeling in order to document your changing symptoms. This enables you to track your progress, but also to check that your new diet is working for you, as there could be an item on the “good foods” list that your body simply does not agree with. For example, I was told that organic soy products were fine to include in the diet, however, found that they caused symptom flare ups, so I now no longer include them. Use this foods list as a basis to tailor your own version of the diet, so that it works best for you.
The Basic Principles
The concept of the anti-candida diet is to eliminate any food groups that feed the candida bacteria, as well as include higher amounts of anti-fungal, anti-microbial and immune boosting foods that will help to fight it off.
Because candida thrives on sugar, the most important element of the diet is to cut it out. This means eliminating all forms of sugar or sweeteners including natural sources including fruit. You also want to avoid foods that are prone to moulds, contain yeasts or that stress the immune system.
Patience and persistence is also key here, as the bacteria is very stubbon to treat and has cleverly evolved to protect itself in it’s environment. Even if your symptoms die down relatively early in the diet, this is not necessarily an indication that you are cured – the candida could still come back with a vengeance so you need to persevere. Think of it like putting out a blazing fire, where sugar is the oxygen – it’s no good bringing the flames down to a small amount only to re-introduce the oxygen, as the fire will only spread once again.
Foods to Eat
- Eggs – need to be organic
- Non-starchy veg – broccoli, cabbages, cauliflower, spinach, endives, leeks, brussel sprouts, artichoke, chard, kale, salad leaves, cucumber, fennel, courgette, bell pepper, tomatoes, suede, turnip, radishes, onion, garlic, aubergine, bamboo shoots, bean sprouts, algae, asparagus
- Allowed fruit – lemon, lime, avocado
- Gluten free grains – quinoa, brown rice, brown basmati rice, wild rice, red rice, buckwheat, gluten free oats, millet
- Organic poultry e.g. chicken, turkey
- Organic grass-fed lean meat e.g. beef, lamb, pork (aim for less than 10% fat)
- Wild white fish
- Wild salmon – limit to every other week due to higher levels of mercury
- Organic soy – tofu, soya milk
- All things coconut: oil, milk, flour etc
- Nuts – almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts, chestnuts, pecans, macadamias, brazil nuts – store in the fridge and consume packets quickly to minimise any development of mould
- Seeds – hemp, pumpkin, flaxseed / linseed, chia, sesame etc
- Unsweetened plant milks
- Herbs and spices – thyme, rosemary, oregano, tarragon, dill, parsley, basil, cumin, ginger, cinnamon, liquorice, turmeric, coriander, mustard seed, clove, nutmeg
- Apple cider vinegar
- Oils – cold pressed organic coconut, cold pressed extra virgin olive oil – stored in glass not plastic
Foods to Avoid
- Absolutely all forms of sugar e.g. Honey, maple syrup, agave, sweets
- Dried fruit and fresh fruit (in particular fruit that is over-ripe or damaged)
- All dairy e.g. cheese, cream, milk – however, if you can tolerate it; kefir, organic soya milk / yoghurt or sheep’s milk / yoghurt can be included in small quantities
- All gluten and grains such as wheat, rye, barley, white rice and corn
- Beans and pulses e.g. kidney beans, lentils, chickpeas (at the beginning, as these are more difficult to digest)
- Non-organic meat
- Processed / high fat /smoked meat e.g. Sausages, salami, cured ham, smoked salmon
- Fish high in mercury e.g. tuna
- All processed oils
- High carb starchy veg – potatoes, carrots, parsnips, corn, yams, beetroot,
- Peanuts, pistachios
- No additives or preservatives
- Soy sauce, tamari, all vinegars (except ACV), pickles
Foods in Moderation
- Gluten free whole grains need to be eaten in moderation
- Sweet potato
- Xylitol (max 15g a day but do check your own tolerance), stevia
- Legumes and beans – wait at couple of months before slowly re-introducing – max 3 portions a week
- Dairy made from sheep’s milk – max 2-3 times a week
- Red meat (even if organic)
- Green apples, berries, apples that are not too green or brown (max two pieces of fruit a day after a couple of months of treatment)
- Be wary of food leftovers (even in the fridge) more than 24 hours old
The above list is a general representation of the diet, however, you should tailor the list dependent on your own allergies and intolerances.