What is the candida diet? It might be more accurate to call it the anti-candida diet because it’s main intention is to starve the Candida albicans microorganisms and eliminate overgrowth. It may also be referred to as the candida albicans diet, yeast diet, or anti-yeast diet.
No matter the name, the diet focuses on eliminating foods that Candida needs to survive. Depending on the severity of the candida symptoms, individuals might need to stay on the candida diet for 3-20 weeks. Once symptoms diminish, you can slowly reintroduce non-sugar foods.
It’s not uncommon for people who are prone to Candida overgrowth to make the candida diet their regular way of eating. It’s nutritionally balanced so extended adherence generally doesn’t pose a health risk. But always discuss any significant change to your diet with a healthcare professional.
Candida Diet Food List
The key to the candida diet is enjoying a variety of whole foods, non-starchy vegetables, and plant-based protein foods. It’s also recommended to eat small meals, which allows for faster digestion and absorption of nutrients. Below, is the full list of candida diet foods to eat:
- Bell pepper
- Brussels sprouts
- Garlic (raw)
- Green bean
- Lettuce (all kinds)
- Salad greens (e.g. arugula, endive, spinach, watercress)
- Snap pea
- Swiss chard
- Lean cuts of antibiotic-free, grain-fed:
- Wild, small fish:
- Sockeye salmon
- Antibiotic-free eggs
- Raw nuts (unsalted and unroasted)
- Raw seeds:
- Flax (ground)
- Brown rice*
- Oat bran (unprocessed, gluten-free)
- Wild rice*
Oils & Fats
- Butter (grain-fed) *
- Coconut oil (Candida studies show coconut has antimicrobial properties.1)
- Flax (linseed) oil
- Olive oil
- Sesame oil
Herbs, Spices & Flavoring (Fresh, whenever possible)
- Apple cider vinegar (Candida-fighting properties scientifically researched.2)
- Black pepper
- Nutritional yeast
- Coconut sugar*
- Chicory coffee
- Decaf coffee*
- Filtered water
- Green tea*
- Herbal tea
- Vegetable juice*
* Small amounts, infrequently
Candida Diet Breakfast
Avoid bread. This includes any made with non-glutinous grains unless each portion contains less than 1g of sugar.
Candida Diet Dinner
Make sure at least half of the food on your plate is vegetables. Use homemade dressings and sauces to enhance flavor without unwanted calories or sugar.
Candida Diet Snacks
Don’t eat fruit alone. Pair it with yogurt, kefir, nuts, or non-glutinous grains to slow down sugar absorption.
Candida Diet Desserts
The most widely available non-sugar sweetener is stevia. On candida diet plans, many people use this natural sugar substitute to satisfy cravings. Many gluten-free dessert recipes also include stevia instead of sugar.
Vegan Candida Diet
The candida diet is easily adapted to a vegan diet. But taking probiotic supplements can help accelerate restoration of a healthy gut in the absence of yogurt and kefir.
Candida Diet Foods to Avoid
The goal of the candida diet is to prevent C. albicans from getting the food it needs to grow. According to the majority of candida diet testimonials, avoiding the following foods helps decrease or eliminate candida symptoms.
- Green peas
- Processed meat
- Chick peas
- Kidney beans
- Pinto beans
- Soy beans (including tofu)
Grains (including in bread, baked goods, gravies, and sauces)
- White rice
- Cheese (all kinds)
- Sour cream
- Whey isolate
Oils & Fats
- Canola oil
- Imitation butter
- Soybean oil
- Sunflower oil
- Barbecue sauce
- Soy sauce
- White vinegar
- Cane sugar
- Corn syrup
- Maple syrup
- Black tea
- Energy drinks
- Fruit juices
- Soy milk
Candida Diet Recipes
Sometimes, not knowing how to use or combine foods causes people to ‘fall off’ a diet. To help make it easier to follow the candida diet, here are a few simple recipes:
Candida Diet Lunch/Dinner Recipe
- 4-6 ounces wild salmon, grilled or baked
- 6-8 asparagus spears, steamed
- 1 cup kale, sliced and steamed
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- 1/8 cup fresh dill, finely chopped
- 2 tbsp. lemon juice
- 1 tsp. cold water
- Salt, to taste
Whisk together olive oil, dill, lemon juice, water, and salt. Drizzle over salmon, asparagus, and kale.
Candida Diet Snacks
- Chia Pudding Recipe:
- ½ cup chia seeds
- 2 cups unsweetened almond milk
- 2 tsp. stevia
Mix all ingredients well in a bowl. Let stand for 15 minutes then mix again. Cover and chill for 3-12 hours. Stir before serving.
- Candida Diet Ice Cream Recipe:
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 3 tbsp. coconut oil
- ½ – 1 tsp. stevia, depending on taste preference
- ½ tsp. cardamom (or ½ tsp. vanilla or 1 tbsp. lemon zest)
Put all ingredients in a blender or food processor. Blend until creamy. Pour into a freezer-safe dish for 3-5 hours.
What is a candida cleanse? It’s a short-term, intensified version of the candida diet. The goal is to jumpstart the starvation of Candida microorganisms.
Also known as a candida yeast cleanse, a candida cleanse involves eating only the vegetables and fermented foods on the candida diet food list for 3-7 days. Small amounts of low-sugar fruits and eggs are also acceptable. Liberal amounts of accepted herbs and oils can be added for flavor and to help satisfy hunger.
Taking supplements to enhance nutrition, immune support, and detoxification is a popular way to get the most from a candida cleanse/diet.
While candida cleanse results will vary from individual to individual, most notice a reduction in symptoms within 3-4 days. Immediately after completing a cleanse, follow the candida diet to further eliminate Candida overgrowth.
Candida Cleanse Side Effects
Rapidly reducing Candida overgrowth is the purpose of a candida cleanse. Weight loss may naturally occur during a candida cleanse because of the absence of meat, processed foods, and starchy vegetables.
During a candida cleanse, individuals may experience symptoms of candida die off which include:
- Headache, light-headedness
- Muscle and joint pain
- Bloating, gas, constipation, or diarrhea
- Rapid pulse
- Hives or rashes
If symptoms become debilitating, stop the cleanse and follow the more moderate candida diet. If symptoms persist, seek medical attention since they may not be a result of candida die off.
Some of the most popular candida supplements include:
- McCombs Candida Cleanse
- Kyolic Candida Cleanse
- NOW Candida Cleanse
- Rainbow Light Candida Cleanse
- RAW Candida Cleanse
- Renew Candida Cleanse
- Solaray Candida Cleanse
- Zand Candida Quick Cleanse
Candida cleanse pills are supplements that can improve the outcome of the cleanse. They’re easy to use and can help your body restore a healthy balance of gut flora.
Many consider oil of oregano candida diet-friendly and one of the top natural candida cleanse ingredients. In studies, oil of oregano has demonstrated strong antimicrobial and anti-parasitic properties which have been shown to inhibit growth of pathogenic bacteria and yeast.3,5
To gain the benefits of oregano oil candida-fighting properties, add a few drops to a glass of water or take in pill format.
With citrus extracts, such as grapefruit seed extract, Candida growth has also been inhibited in both in vitro and in vivo studies.4
Candida supplements often combine these ingredients to deliver comprehensive candida support. Candida cleanse pills are conveniently offered online from major online retailers and in stores.
Some also believe that using diatomaceous earth for candida accelerates recovery. Diatomaceous earth is essentially silica from the fossilized skeletons of diatoms. When ingested, it’s believed to cut through organisms, including Candida.
There are limited studies to demonstrate the acceptable dosage, benefits or risks of using diatomaceous earth to treat candida. Talk to your healthcare provider before using any supplements containing diatomaceous earth.
Scientific Research Referenced in this Article
- Ogbolu, D.O., Oni, A.A., Daini, O.A., Oloko, A.P. (2007). In vitro antimicrobial properties of coconut oil on Candida species in Ibadan, Nigeria. Journal of Medicinal Food. 10(2).384-7. DOI https://doi.org/10.1089/jmf.2006.1209
- Mota, A., de Castro, R., de Araújo Oliveira, J., de Oliveira Lima, E. (2015). Antifungal Activity of Apple Cider Vinegar on Candida Species Involved in Denture Stomatitis. Journal of Prosthodontics. Abstract. 24(4). 296-302. doi http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jopr.12207
- Bejaoui, A., Haabane, H., Jemli, M., Boulila, A., & Boussaid, M. M. (2013) Essential Oil Composition and Antibacterial Activity of Origanum vulgare subsp. glandulosum Desf. at Different Phenological Stages. Journal of Medicinal Food. 16(12), 1115–1120. doi:1089/jmf.2013.0079
- Ionescu, G., Kiehl, R., Wichmann-Kunz, F., Williams, Ch., Ba, L., Levine, S. (1990). Oral Citrus Seed Extract in Atopic Eczema: In Vitro and In Vivo Studies on Intestinal Microflor. Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine. 5(3). 155-157. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/242775943_Oral_Citrus_Seed_Extract_in_Atopic_Eczema_In_Vitro_and_In_Vivo_Studies_on_Intestinal_Microflor
- Force, M., Sparks, W. S., & Ronzio, R. A. (2000). Inhibition of enteric parasites by emulsified oil of oregano in vivo. Phytotherapy Research, 14(3), 213-214. Retrieved September 13, 2017 from https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Mark_Force/publication/12502938_Inhibition_of_enteric_parasites_by_emulsified_oil_of_oregano_in_vivo/links/58a63be3aca27206d9a79c93/Inhibition-of-enteric-parasites-by-emulsified-oil-of-oregano-in-vivo.pdf