Candida, what is it?
In terms of this post, we are referring to candida as a yeast overgrowth in the gut.
Candida Overgrowth Symptoms:
- Anxiety, depression, and mood swings
- Nail or skin fungus, athlete’s foot, or vaginal yeast infection
- Chronic sinus or ear infections
- Sore muscles and joints
- Food sensitivities
- Feeling chronically fatigued
- Poor memory and brain fog
- Constipation or diarrhea
- Frequent bloating and gas
- Environmental sensitivities
- Feeling worse on damp or humid days
- Low blood sugar
- Ringing in the ears
- Sensitivities to strong chemical smells
- Cravings for bread, cookies, sugar, other carbohydrates, or alcohol
Diet: Weed, seed and feed: an effective anti-candida strategy when done correctly.
- Weed – must starve the weeds (candida) and simultaneously poison it.
- Seed – must throw down the grass seeds (probiotics) so they are ready to go when the binding sites and food supply is available. Therefore, once we initiate a candida protocol, we will omit probiotic to begin with – this also aligns w/ the MRT protocol. We remove all supplements in Phase 1.
- Feed – Once the candida is killed off and probiotics are starting to grow, we can feed them with a good carbs (prebiotics) so they can grow and effectively compete with the candida to not return.
How do I starve candida?
Candida feeds on glycogen in membranes and sugar in foods and your bloodstream. The only way to starve candida is to improve blood sugar control and avoiding foods that are direct forms of sugar (honey, corn, carb sources that have no fiber). The diet includes non-starchy vegetables, low sugar fruits, non-glutinous grains, fermented foods, avoiding food sensitivities, and healthy proteins.
Before jumping into an elimination diet, you will need to look at what is causing the Candida to get out of control in the first place. Were you on antibiotics that killed off the healthy bacteria that were keeping the yeast at bay? How is your stress level? If it’s out of control it can be one trigger of candidiasis. Maybe what you really need is some stress management, like yoga or meditation, to help lower your Candida levels. If you don’t address the underlying cause of the imbalance, it will likely just come back.
- Added sugars
- Nuts (high mold) – if you use them soak them overnight and store them in a cool place, such as the refrigerator. Pistachios, peanuts (legume), and cashews are typical higher mold nuts. Safer/better nuts include almonds, walnuts, pecans, and hazelnuts.
- Dairy Products (unless ghee or if fermented and dairy is tolerated)
- Junk food
- Glutinous grains (wheat, barley, rye, non-certified gluten-free oats)
- Starchy vegetables that spike your blood sugar levels, this is a list of food, unique to you
- High sugar fruits (like dried fruit and fruit juice)
- Food sensitivities (MRT Testing)
- Low-sugar fruits
- High-quality animal protein, eggs, and seafood
- Minimize caffeine
- Use lots of healthy fats and oils
- Non-starchy vegetables
- Fermented Foods
- MCT oil
- Chicory coffee and herbal teas (make sure the tea does not have gluten in it)
- Garlic, onion, capsicum, zucchini, chili, tomato, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, red radish and daikon radish.
- Parsley, lettuce, rocket, sage, mint, thyme, oregano, Vietnamese mint, Dorrigo pepper, mountain pepper, cardamom, cinnamon, coriander, radishes*
- Coconut products, coconut milk and cream (full fat NOT light), coconut
- Olive oil, linseed (flax) oil, coconut oil,
- Homemade mayonnaise, aioli.
- Cranberry, raspberry, strawberry, and kiwi fruit
*Use Essential oils.
Although they are not food, they have been extensively studied for their benefit in fighting candidiasis. Helpful ones include lemon, eucalyptus, pine, tea tree oil, and cinnamon, all of which contain anti-fungal properties. I proudly supply clients with shopping links to order from doTERRA. Please email me if you are interested in such.
Potential Targeted Foods:
- Apple Cider Vinegar helps “kill and get rid of yeast in the body” – there is scientific backing
- Fermented foods help improve immunity and make the body less hospitable for candida
- Chlorophyll and other nutrients in leafy greens help alkalize the body and detox.
- Coconut Oil (the lauric and caprylic acid helps kill candida via ingestion and topical application)
- Raw garlic – broad spectrum anti-fungal (as well as ginger, parsley, cilantro)
- Ground flax and chia supports the growth of probiotics in the gut and help remove yeast/candida in the gut
- Unsweetened Cranberry Juice – to improve pH levels of urine and prevent overgrowth
- Cultured Dairy – same support as a fermented food, but should only be consumed if an individual does not have a dairy intolerance.
- Spices like Turmeric and Cinnamon – have curcumin in them that inhibits growth of candida
- Cooked vegetables
- Organic Meat – unlike commercial, protects against candida as commercial animal protein can contain antibiotics and throw off good gut bugs.
- Bone Broth – protects the body and has a positive effect on the gut – should be avoided if an individual has a sensitivity to high histamine foods.
- Pau D’arco Tea – antimicrobial
Supportive Supplements – but should be considered on an individual basis:
- Oregano oil
- Vitamin C
- Grapefruit seed extract
- Olive leaf
- Balcal skullcap
- Licorice root
Supplement Protocol for 4 months:
- Zymex – 6 pills/day,
- Gymnema 3 pills/day
- Turmeric 1/day – longer-term
The specifics supplements bulleted above are from Standard Process. Please email me and let me know if you’d like me to place an order.
Additional Tools for Clearance:
- Liquid cleanse – bone broths and water (1-3 days depending on severity – this also might not be necessary depending on the severity)
- Removed problem foods (MRT Testing) – which are processed foods, sugar, poor quality fats and protein, starchy vegetables.
- Add in candida killers – fermented vegetables, flaxseeds, turmeric, green veggies/drinks, coconut oil, manuka honey, ground chia and flaxseeds, cultured dairy, cinnamon.
- Reintroduce off-limit foods and assess triggers
Candida “die-off” Symptoms:
The process of killing candida can release lots of toxins, triggering an immune reaction, and add a burden to the elimination processes, known as the “Herxheimer reaction,” and can make you feel worse before you feel better. This may last from hours to weeks and symptoms may include:
- flu-like symptoms
- joint and muscle pain,
- body aches,
- sore throat,
- general malaise,
- sweating, chills,
- burping, flatulence and bloating
Self-Testing: The Spittle Test
Here’s a simple test that some people claim will diagnose your Candida overgrowth. The science behind this is a little suspect. Feel free to try the test, but take the info with a grain of salt.
- When you get up in the morning, and before you brush your teeth, eat or drink anything, fill a glass with bottled water at room temperature.
- Spit some saliva gently into the glass.
- Come back every 20 minutes for the next hour and check for some of these ‘tell-tale signs’ of Candida:
– ‘Strings’ coming down through the water from the saliva at the top
– Cloudy saliva sitting at the bottom of the glass
– Opaque specks of saliva suspended in the water
What might lead to a false positive? If you have allergies or have recently eaten some dairy products, you will likely test ‘positive’ on the spittle test. Dehydration can also lead to a positive reading, which in practice means that you are far more likely to test ‘positive’ after you wake in the morning.
Once a healthy balance of gut flora has been established we need to feed the healthy microbes by reintroducing carbs. Continue to avoid or restrict refined sugars, sweets, and sugary drinks, white bread, white rice, white pasta, yams, big starchy potato and sweet potato. Reintroduce healthy cereals and grains including millet, buckwheat, rye, oats and barley, if tolerated. Legumes are better tolerated and easier to digest if they are sprouted.
Take into consideration to fast 12-14 hours overnight. Fasting has various benefits to healing the gut and synching circadian rhythms. However, if dealing with adrenal fatigue do not push fasting and in fact, plan to eat more frequently throughout the day.
Additionally, by all means I am a fan of eating simple meals, and while it’s easy to make some basic meals, I have included a number of links below to show you some of the really fun meals that can come together and heal you at the same time.
- Breakfast: Vegetable omelette with 3 eggs
- Lunch: Sian steak kabobs
- Snack: kale chips
- Dinner: Easiest baked salmon in tomato sauce
- Breakfast: Coconut pancakes (you can modify this recipe to fit within the foods on a candida list)- if you don’t tolerate eggs, use a flax egg
- Lunch: Bigass salad made of non-starchy vegetables and ½ cup of lentils
- Snack: Bone broth with sea salt
- Breakfast: Candida friendly yogurt with nuts and cocoa nibs and collagen powder or protein powder
- Lunch: Broccoli soup and gluten free crackers like Jilz
- Snack: Avocado fries
- Dinner: If you don’t prefer animal protein, you can make these Rutabaga patties or these Cauliflower patties
- Breakfast: Cinnamon Chia Seed Pudding
- 2 cup almond milk or hemp milk
- 6 tbsp chia seeds
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 2 scoop collagen
- stevia to taste
- Mix the above and let it sit overnight in a jar and enjoy half a cup for breakfast topped with cocoa nibs and save the rest for day 3 breakfast
- Lunch: Zucchini Noodles + stir-fried veggies and beef
- Snack: Celery sticks dipped in blended avocado + sea salt + 1 garlic clove
- Dinner: Stuffed chicken + eggs (or flax egg if you can’t tolerate egg) onion + fajita seasoning in half of bell pepper (save half of bell pepper for lunch on day 3)
- Breakfast: Vegetable omelet with 3 eggs
- Lunch: chicken breast + roasted cauliflower and broccoli
- Snack: bone broth + sea salt
- Dinner: coconut curry without quinoa
- Breakfast: Carrot Cake Porridge: add ½ tsp turmeric, ¼ cup shredded carrots, 2 tbsp walnuts, 1 tbsp shredded coconut, and extra cinnamon to taste to leftover chia seed pudding from day 1 and enjoy.
- Lunch: Stuffed bell pepper from day 1 dinner – top with avocado to switch things up a bit
- Snack: collagen fat bomb
- Dinner: stir-fried non-starchy vegetables and cubed steak (made with coconut aminos) served on fried cauliflower rice