Candida is a type of fungus. Its overgrowth results in infection in our body. Candida is present in the human body in the skin, regions of the mouth, and genitals. Sometimes, it grows uncontrollably and results in Candidiasis. Excessive use of antibiotics and excessive intake of sugar are the major factors for causing infection.
Antibiotics help to eliminate the harmful bacteria in our body. Sometimes, they also kill the useful bacteria that help in keeping Candida growth under control. As Candida is said to grow on sugar, it is the major cause of Candidiasis.
There are antifungal drugs available, but, they can cause side effects. They kill the fungus in the body, but, do not prevent it from growing again. Therefore, it is advisable to follow the Candida diet.
*The food list mentioned here should be used only as a guideline. For a detailed and personalized diet chart, please consult your doctor.
Foodstuffs To Avoid
- Sugar is the major reason for Candida overgrowth as yeast thrives on it. Hence, avoid sugar completely. Fruits like apples, cherries, grapes, mangoes, pears, pineapple, figs, bananas, dates, dried fruits as well as sugar beet and sugarcane have a high amount of sugar. One should completely stay away from fruit juices, sugar syrups, honey, and other sweeteners.
- Refrain from consuming any type of fermented foods as they contain a large amount of yeast.
- Foods rich in carbohydrates, like whole grains, cereals, rice, bread, pastas should also be avoided. Carbohydrates are said to feed yeast, i.e. influence fermentation.
- Abstain from drinking beer, brandy, gin, whiskey, rum, vodka, etc., as they contain sugar and are also fermented.
- Coffee (regular or instant) and tea should be avoided.
- Bakery products containing yeast, like bread, cakes, muffins, pastas, cookies, etc., must be avoided.
- Starchy foods like corn and potato, sweet potato, yams be excluded from the diet, as they get converted into sugar in our body.
- Reduce the intake of butter, processed cheese, peanut butter, and other dairy products.
- Consumption of junk and processed foods, like chips, sodas, etc., must be completely avoided. They contain refined sugars, yeast, and carbohydrates. Also, refrain from eating macaroni and cheese.
- Avoid bacon, ham, sausage, and lunch meats.
- Pickles, ketchup, sauces are a total no-no.
Foods to Consume
- Fresh vegetables are healthy as they contain a high amount of fiber. Go for cabbage, turnips, broccoli, asparagus, lettuce, onions, carrots, cucumbers, radish, parsley, cauliflower, etc.
- Nuts like cashew, almonds, pecans, and pumpkin seeds are also very good to reduce the growth of Candida.
- Yogurt helps in reducing Candida overgrowth. It has very little amount of sugar. Yogurt also contains beneficial bacteria that help in controlling fungal overgrowth. One must avoid an excessive intake of yogurt as milk products stimulate heavy mucus formation and can result in more Candida growth.
- Proteins are an essential part of Candida diet. Proteins regulate the amount of sugar in the blood, and thus, indirectly prevent Candida overgrowth. It is difficult to get the same amount of proteins from vegetarian foods as that obtained from non-vegetarian foods. Kidney beans (sprouted), peas, black beans, tofu, and soybean have good amounts of proteins.
- You can have bread made of whole grain flour. Besides, chapatis, pancakes or biscuits made using baking soda are good options.
- Sesame, linseed, oat, and olive oil can be used for cooking.
- Drinking water, herbal teas, fresh vegetable juices is also suggested.
- Low-fat cottage cheese can be eaten as it does not contain sugar.
- Berries like strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries have less amounts of sugar. But these can be consumed only after the yeast overgrowth is under control.
In all, your Candida diet should be low in sugar and carbohydrates, and high in proteins. Even though it seems challenging to adhere to this diet, it will be easier, once you begin to see the results. The main objective is to focus on the foodstuffs which you can eat instead of the ones that should be avoided. This way, you will really start enjoying your diet.
Disclaimer: This article is purely for informative purposes, and should not be treated as a replacement for professional medical advice.