Candida overgrowth happens when naturally occurring fungus in your body grows too much, putting the delicate balance of bacteria out of whack. It is often misdiagnosed, and therefore mistreated. If you have been getting frequent yeast infections, are fatigued, or have persistent abdominal discomfort, it might be from too much candida in your body. If you aren’t sure what the signs of candida overgrowth are, you can read my previous article about its common symptoms.
Since candida overgrowth happens most commonly in your gut, it makes sense that one of the best ways to address it is by going on an anti-candida diet. It’s also important to understand that other things besides food, such as stealth parasites and infections, can create candida overgrowth, in which case proper testing and investigation is suggested. For today’s purposes, however, let’s address how to reduce candida overgrowth by changing food choices.
Reducing Candida with Food
With an anti-candida diet, you are going to starve the fungus of what feeds it, then work on building the good gut bacteria back up.
First, you have to starve candida of what feeds it by eliminating sugar, alcohol, and refined carbohydrates.
Next, replace sugar and refined carbs with whole, fresh foods such as organic vegetables and lean proteins. You can consume some fruit and whole grains, but keep them to a minimum. Remember, grains convert to sugar and can feed candida.
Finally, feed the good bacteria by adding in probiotic foods. This includes fermented foods such as kimchi, sauerkraut, kombucha, and fermented veggies.
Food and Supplements to Help Reduce Candida Overgrowth
What you eat has a huge impact on yeast production, so it is often the easiest way to reduce candida levels. Some foods can act as your internal soldiers, cutting down candida and helping other good bacteria to grow! Here are some foods known to help reduce and balance candida.
The first thing you can do is begin cooking with coconut oil, which has lauric and caprylic acids. These important fatty acids work in your body as antifungals. They can help to kill off some of the excess candida cells, while keeping more from forming. (Source) In fact, we add coconut oil to Mr Cooper’s (our golden retriever) food to help combat his fungal prone ears! He thinks it’s yummy and it’s great for his coat too!
Cloves, Cinnamon and Garlic
Spicing up your diet will also help tremendously. Cinnamon is helpful, thanks to being a natural anti-inflammatory and antifungal. Cloves have an antifungal element called eugenol that can also help with reducing fungal levels in your body. Lastly, garlic contains allicin, which has been shown in a test tube study, to reduce yeast. (Source)
Apple Cider Vinegar
While other types of vinegar are not recommended if you have candida overgrowth, apple cider is encouraged because of its unique, antimicrobial enzymes. (Source) Be sure to choose an ACV that is unfiltered and you can see the “mother” in the bottle. We use Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar in our home.
When choosing your salmon, make sure you buy the wild-caught variety. This is the most natural type of salmon, and will have the most omega-3 fatty acids to help with candida overgrowth.
Not just any vegetables – you want to go for cruciferous vegetables. Of course, if you find that adding in cruciferous vegetables has uncomfortable symptoms for your digestive system, you can ignore this suggestion! However, for everyone else, they are an excellent choice when you are trying to reduce the candida overgrowth in your body. These types of veggies are low in starch and contain isothiocyanates, compounds that contain sulphur and nitrogen that reduce candida. Some cruciferous vegetables include broccoli, cabbage, and brussels sprouts. (Source)
Adding in a potent probiotic supplement can help foster the growth of healthy bacteria, rebalancing your gut. This is especially key if your candida overgrowth likely resulted from taking immunosuppressant drugs. (Source)
I also recommend adding in a high-quality vitamin C supplement during your candida diet since your body will be working hard to eliminate toxins. Vitamin C will work to support your immune system during this time.
Candida overgrowth is extremely treatable as long as you stick to your diet, take the right supplements, and start treating it early! If you suspect you have candida overgrowth and need some guidance with how to treat it, please feel welcome to schedule an appointment with me here.