THE CANDIDA DIET

Everything you need to know

This is a complete guide to your Candida diet.

If you want to know how to use nutrition as a tool for better health and appearance, this article will guide you through the steps and answer all of your questions.

Let’s help you find your balance.

ultimate candida diet guide

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Contents

what is candida

Chapter 1

What is Candida?

what is the candida diet

Chapter 2

What is the Candida Diet?

pros-and-cons

Chapter 3

Pros and Cons

Candida diet plate

Chapter 4

Foods to eat & Foods to avoid

Chapter 5

Daily menu, 3 Days Detox Plan & Recipes

bodybilding

Chapter 6

Bodybuilding & Weight Loss

scale

Chapter 7

Diet Results and Key Takeaways

CHAPTER 1

What is Candida?

Before diving into the Candida diet, we must understand what candida is.

Trillions of microorganisms and their genetic material live in your intestinal tract and altogether they make up the gut microbiome. There are hundreds of species of Candida yeasts and the most common is Candida albicans. These bacteria exist in your gut and their presence is generally benign.

However, in some circumstances their growth can go out of control.

what is candida

 

There is usually a healthy balance between Candida albicans and the rest of your microbiome. A number of different factors might cause high level of Candida colonization, such as a course of antibiotics, too much stress, or a poor diet, that is high in sugar and refined carbs.

Whatever the reason is, an overgrowth of Candida quickly dominates the flora in your gut, which can lead to the following unpleasant conditions: (1)

  • Numerous GI tract diseases
  • Athlete’s foot
  • Oral thrush
  • Vaginal yeast infection 
  • Nail fungus
  • Diaper rash 

There are usually symptoms warning you that something is not okay, before being diagnosed with a certain disease.

How do you know if you have Candida overgrowth?

The symptoms of Candida overgrowth could be very diverse and lead to a cascade of imbalances in the body. 

organism

11 common candida overgrowth symptoms

  • Chronic fatigue, feeling tired and worn down
  • Brain fog, poor memory, difficulty concentrating
  • Recurring vaginal and urinary tract infections
  • Digestive issues such as bloating, constipation, or diarrhea
  • Severe seasonal allergies 
  • Strong sugar and refined carbohydrate cravings
  • Mood swings, anxiety or depression
  • Joint pain
  • Nails infections
  • A weak immune system
  • Skin issues including eczema, psoriasis, hives, and rashes

*If you experience other digestive issues, such as difficulty swallowing, frequent heartburn, chest pain, consider taking a look at our GERD diet plan.

There are also a few common false beliefs that often confuse people. If there is anything you are not completely sure about, it is always a good idea to ask your doctor. 

4 Candida myths

  • Only people with weak immune system can get fungal candida. You do not need to be immunosuppressed to be affected by candida. Even slightly decreased immune system can lead to gut imbalance. 
  • Only women get candida infections. This is a very common misconception, because it is a lot more likely for women to get yeast infection. However, one of the most common reasons for candida overgrowth is antibiotics treatment, so men are at risk too. 
  • Candida needs an acidic pH to survive. This pathogenic organism is really adaptable, so it can survive in both acidic and alkaline environment. 
  • Candida must be eliminated completely to relieve symptoms. We all have various types of yeast in the GI tract. Not the presence of candida causes unpleasant conditions, but the high levels of candida colonization. 

 

Can a healthy diet contribute significantly to Candida treatment?

healthy-diet

We believe that food is a lot more than just fuel and the right nutrition is often the missing piece of the puzzle of wellbeing. A healthy diet, which is tailored to your personal needs and goals, can be used as a tool that helps you cope with various different health issues. 

Check chapter 7 to find out what your favorite celebrities say about the importance of balanced nutrition. 

If you have ever experienced some of the conditions above, your gut flora might have the tendency to go out of balance from time to time. Fortunately, a Candida Diet can help you keep your gastrointestinal tract healthy, which has a positive impact on your metabolism, immune system, inclination to illness, body weight, appetite and mood. 

Bottom line: Candida is a genus of yeasts that exist in your gut, and it is the most common cause of fungal infections, when the growth of the bacteria goes out of control.

This might lead to serious unpleasant health conditions, which is why a balanced gut flora is so important. Following the right diet could play a key role in maintaining a healthy GI tract. 

Keep on reading if you want to know how to heal your body and recover your gut balance with food, how to follow the Candida Diet safely, detox meal plan, recipes, and much, much more… 

CHAPTER 2

What is the Candida Diet?

The Candida diet is an anti-inflammatory diet that promotes healthy gut flora by eliminating foods, which are known to feed Candida overgrowth. 

The Candida Diet is designed to cleanse the body from toxins, improve the gut health and boost the immune system. Your daily menu on Candida diet should contain healthy fats, high-quality protein, low-sugar fruit, non-starchy vegetables and probiotics.  A full list of the foods to avoid and foods to eat is provided later in this article.

what is the candida diet

How do you starve Candida?

Research studies answers

If you want to stop something from growing, you must get rid of its helpers. The number one fuel for fungal overgrowth and gut dysbiosis is highly processed, sugary junk food. According to a 2017 in vitro study, higher glucose concentration might promote Candida overgrowth. (2) The same study also suggests that fructose prevents from Candida growth in the mouth, so fruit with low to moderate glycemic index should be taken daily. 

Other research studies reveal that dairy products that are very high in lactose and refined sugars lower the pH levels in the digestive tract, which leads to yeast growth. (3) High intake of sugar allows the bacteria to bind to cells in the mouth, while xylitol generates the opposite effect, making it harder for yeast to bind to cells. (4) 

The findings from different studies unanimously lead to the conclusion that eliminating sugar from the diet can prevent Candida growth.  

Furthermore, the candida diet eliminates gluten because it leads to a reaction, which destroys the lining of the small intestines. This could be a reason for imbalance of the gut microbiota, but only for people with celiac disease or gluten intolerance. There is no evidence that people, who are not gluten intolerant, would benefit from gluten-free diet. (5) (6) 

Note: It is not recommended to follow the diet for more than 4-6 weeks. Find out more information about how to follow the diet safely in chapter 5.

6 Candida diet FAQs

  • Why do I need the detox period? Starting your candida diet with detox will clean out your digestive tract by making it work harder. This would weaken the candida biofilm and expel large quantities of candida’s toxic byproducts. In chapter 5 you will find more information about the detox and  our 3 days plan to get you ready for the candida diet. 
  • Is the diet a treatment? The diet is not a complete treatment and if you have yeast overgrowth symptoms, you should consult with your doctor. However, the diet can contribute significantly to your betterment. 
  • Should I take probiotics during the diet? This is not necessary, unless you have taken antibiotics before you start the diet. In both cases, probiotics would be beneficial to your gut health.  
  • Can I do the Candida diet while pregnant or nursing? No, it is not safe to start the diet while being pregnant, or nursing your baby. However, you can minimize the processed foods and avoid sugar and artificial sweeteners, which is still very  good for your health and gut balance. 
  • How often can I eat meat or fish? You can consume animal sources of protein everyday in adequate amounts. In fact, they contribute to a more balanced plan. You should still avoid red meat and toxic fish during your treatment, so switch to organic white meat and organic wild caught fish. 
  • I want to try a detox diet but the candida diet is not for me. Which other plan can I try? There are a few other plans, which can act as a detox diet. Check out our guides for plant-based diet and paleo diet.

Bottom line: The diet plays a key role in treating diseases. More research is needed to absolutely validate the correlation between certain foods and Candida overgrowth but the information so far is enough to assume improvement in symptoms, if the diet is followed correctly.

 Based on the current research, our advice for everyone, who wants to try the Candida diet is to completely eliminate the refined sugars and processed foods and lower their gluten intake. For people that have gluten intolerance, gluten must be excluded from their menu. 

refined-sugars

Curious about the pros and cons of the diet? Let’s find out what they are!

CHAPTER 3

Pros and Cons of Candida Diet

Sugary and heavily processed foods are very low in healthy nutrients (if there are any) and are well known for their harmful effects.

Consuming such foods too often leads to serious health issues like obesity, high blood pressure, heart disease and diabetes. The candida diet eliminates these foods completely, which makes it a good option for anyone, who wants to give their body a break from heavily processed food.

pros-and-cons

Proven benefits: 

  • Improvements in insulin secretion; (7)
  • Lowering the risk of health issues caused by high processed foods;
  • Contributes to maintaining the balance in the gut flora;
  • Decreases the symptoms of Candida overgrowth.

Potential benefits:

  • Prevents yeast infection;
  • Eliminates harmful bacteria overgrowth;
  • Cleanse the body from toxins;
  • Suitable for weight loss.

What are the cons?

  • Highly restrictive diet;
  • Eliminates many nutritious foods;
  • Difficult to achieve muscle building goals;
  • Can cause fatigue, dizziness, brain fog, headaches, sugar cravings (you might experience these conditions in the first 2 weeks, because the carbohydrates intake is very low)
Pros and Cons

Bottom line: Every diet has its pros and cons. When you decide to follow one, you must be aware of them and be prepared how to handle the disadvantages with minimum harm. The diet has a positive impact on restoring the balance in the body and decreasing the symptoms of yeast overgrowth.

You are probably wondering which foods you must avoid and which ones you should include in your candida meal plan. There are very detailed lists on the subject in the next chapter!

CHAPTER 4

Foods to eat & Foods to avoid

 

Now that you know what the candida diet is and how you can benefit from it, it’s time to find out what you can eat. 

The following detailed lists provide you with the information you need to start your candida cleanse.

Candida diet plate

Candida Diet Foods to Avoid

Foods to Avoid

During the whole diet

  • Sugars and sugar substitutes

– Sucrose

– Aspartame

– Corn syrup

– Maple syrup

– Cane sugar

– Honey

– Agave

– Molasses 

  • High sugar fruit

– Bananas 

– Mango

– Figs

– Dates

– Grapes

– Raisins

  • Dairy products high in lactose

– Cheese

– Milk

– Cream

  • Certain meats and fish

-Processed meat

-Shellfish

-Swordfish

-Tuna

 
  • Grains that contain gluten

-Barley

-Rye

-Spelt

-Wheat

  • Refined fats and oils

-Canola oil

-Fake ‘butter’ spreads

-Margarine

-Soybean oil

-Sunflower oil

  • Drinks

-Beer

-Cider

-Liquors

-Spirits

-Wine

-Diet & regular soft drinks

-Fruit juices

-Energy drinks

  • Condiments

-Barbecue sauce

-Horseradish

-Ketchup

-Mayonnaise

-Soy sauce

-White vinegar

 

During the detox period

  • All of the sweet fruits
  • Starchy vegetables

    -Potatoes

    -Beans

    -Beets

    -Carrots

    -Corn 

    -Peas

  • Grains

     

    -Venison

    -Amaranth

    -Rice

  • Nuts, peanuts and nut milks
  • Coffee, black tea
  • Red meat

Candida Diet Foods to Eat

salad
  • Vegetables

-Artichokes

-Asparagus

-Broccoli

-Brussels sprouts

-Cabbage

-Celery

-Cucumber

-Eggplant

-Garlic (raw)

-Kale

-Onions

-Rutabaga

-Spinach

-Tomatoes

-Zucchini

  • Fruit

-Avocado

-Lemon

-Lime

-Olives

-Coconut and coconut products

  • Seeds

-Chia seeds

-Pumpkin seeds

-Sunflower seeds

-Flaxseeds 

  • Condiments

-Apple Cider Vinegar

-Coconut oil

-Herbs and spices

-Lemon juice

-Olive oil

-Salt

-Pepper

  • Protein sources

-Organic Greek yogurt

-Organic eggs

-Organic white meat or fish

-Kefir

-Tofu

What foods kill Candida?

foods-kill-candida

To enhance the effect of the diet you might want to focus on the foods that have proven anti-inflammatory and antifungal effect to fight candida.

17 foods and condiments that kill Candida

  • Garlic
  • Onion
  • Greek yogurt
  • Kefir
  • Coconut oil
  • Ginger
  • Turmeric (curcumin)
  • Bone broth
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Kimchi
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Cinnamon
  • Cayenne Pepper
  • Seaweed
  • Lemon and lime juice
  • Pau D’arco Tea
  • Oregano

 Bottom line: There is still a wide range of foods you can consume on candida diet. After all, eating more vegetables, healthy fats and protein from organic sources is never a bad thing and can boost your immune system significantly. The foods and spices that kill candida have tons of other health benefits as well. 

Now that you know what you can eat and what you cannot, how do you create your plan? Everything you need to know about it is in the next chapter!

CHAPTER 5

Daily menu, 3 Days Detox Period & Recipes

food-menu

In case you are wondering if there are any tips to advance in sticking to your diet, here are some hints…

advice

5 Tips for a Successful Diet

  • Prepare your own food for work or school. If you are always in a rush in the morning, do this the night before.
  • Avoid eating out. With such restrictive diet, it would be very difficult to find a proper meal for you in a restaurant, and you might experience sugar cravings because of the menu card’s pictures and/or the food around you. 
  • Do not skip meals. This might lead to overeating later or eating something different then what you have planned.
  • Stay hydrated. This would help you if you get dizzy or fatigued. Do not just drink more water because this can lead to fluid imbalance. If you increase your water consumption, you must increase your electrolytes consumption as well. The easiest way to do this is to add salt to your meals or in your water with ½ squeezed lemon, when you need a quick replenishment. 
  • Remember why you started. Every time you have food cravings and you want to give up on your plan, remember your reasons and motivations. The food is not going anywhere and you will still be able to eat your favorite meals. Your health comes first, so take care of that first!

Your Daily Menu in a nutshell

take-notes

After the detox period of 3-7 days, which we will discuss later in this chapter, the rest of the meals during your candida cleanse, should look like this:

Breakfast

Source of protein + healthy fats

-Coffee (optional)

-Water with ½ squeezed lemon (and salt, if necessary) or tea

Lunch

-Carbohydrates from raw or steamed vegetables + source of protein + healthy fats

-Water with ½ squeezed lemon (and salt, if necessary) or tea

Snack

-Carbohydrates from a low sugar fruit + protein source

-Herbal tea

Dinner

-Source of protein + healthy fats + vegetables

 

3 Days Detox Plan

water jar

The first 3 days of the diet are meant to be more restrictive and aim to cleanse your body, and prepare it for the treatment. Depending on your symptoms, you can exceed the detox period to up to 7 days but this is rarely necessary. 3 days are usually the most optimal time frame. 

Shopping list for the Detox period

  • Vegetables, especially those that are packed with electrolytes, such as leafy greens, celery and broccoli
  • Organic eggs
  • Organic Greek yogurt
  • Tofu
  • Lemon or lime
  • Avocado
  • Olives
day1-detox

Breakfast

-2 scrambled eggs with salt and ground paprika

-½ a cucumber with a pinch of salt ,½ an avocado ,6 olives

-A glass of water with ½ squeezed lemon (and salt, if necessary) or herbal tea

Nutrition facts: Serving 1

Calories 406 kcal | Total Carbohydrates 17g | Fiber 9.1g | Protein 15.1g | Total Fat 31.5g | Cholesterol 327mg | Sodium 2303mg | Vitamin D 31mcg | Calcium 131mg |Iron 4mg | Potassium 1049mg

Lunch

-Salad bowl of spinach, cherry tomatoes, ½ avocado, ½ onion, dried oregano, 1 tsp apple cider vinegar, 1 tbsp olive oil, one boiled egg, 2 tbsp pumpkin seeds

-A glass of water with ½ squeezed lemon (and salt, if necessary) or herbal tea

Nutrition facts: Serving 1

Calories 615 kcal | Total Carbohydrates 31g | Fiber 14.7g | Protein 20.7g | Total Fat 50.5g | Cholesterol 164 mg | Sodium 224 mg | Vitamin D 15 mcg | Calcium 252 mg |Iron 11 mg | Potassium 2192mg

Snack

-300 grams of Greek yogurt with 2 tbsp chia seeds

-A glass of water with ½ squeezed lemon (and salt, if necessary) or herbal tea

Nutrition Facts: Serving 1

Calories 406 kcal | Total Carbohydrates 17g | Fiber 9.1g | Protein 15.1g | Total Fat 31.5g | Cholesterol 327 mg | Sodium 2303 mg | Vitamin D 31 mcg | Calcium 131 mg |Iron 4mg | Potassium 1049 mg

Dinner

-Steamed vegetables with tofu and dressing. 

*This recipe is also great candida diet dinner or lunch for the time when you are not on the detox anymore.

Ingredients

-120 g broccoli

-120 g eggplant

-100 g zucchini

-½ onion

-150 g tofu

-1tsp dried oregano

-1 tbsp olive oil

-1tbsp apple cider vinegar

-1 tsp coconut oil

-Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Put the chopped vegetables in a pot or steamer basket, add the coconut oil and 120ml of water.
  2. Steam for 7-8 minutes and then add salt and pepper.
  3. Cook for 3 more minutes and move to a plate. 
  4. After you drain the tofu,you can add it the way it is, or you can cook it on a grill pan for a few minutes on each side with some coconut oil and spices of your choice. 
  5. Chop the tofu and add it to the vegetables. 
  6. Prepare the dressing with a 1tbsp of oregano, 1tbsp of apple cider vinegar and 1tbsp of olive oil. 
  7. Pour the dressing over the vegetables and tofu and mix well. 

Nutrition facts: Serving 1

Calories 566 kcal | Total Carbohydrates 31.7g | Fiber 13.7g | Protein 21.5g | Total Fat 44g | Cholesterol 0mg | Sodium 2404mg | Vitamin D 0mcg | Calcium 432mg |Iron 7mg | Potassium 1536mg

day2-detox

Breakfast

-300 grams of Greek yogurt with 2tbsp chia seeds, 1tbsp flaxseeds, 1tbsp sunflower seeds

-A glass of water with ½ squeezed lemon (and salt, if necessary) or herbal tea

Nutrition Facts: Serving 1

Calories 510 kcal | Total Carbohydrates 31.4g | Fiber 15.4g | Protein 42g | Total Fat 28.5g | Cholesterol 15mg | Sodium 104mg | Vitamin D 0mcg | Calcium 558mg |Iron 8mg | Potassium 840mg

Lunch

-A glass of water with ½ squeezed lemon (and salt, if necessary) or herbal tea

-Cream soup of kale, spinach, onion and carrot

Ingredients for 2 servings

-350 g kale

-250 g spinach

-½ onion

-1 carrot

-4tbsp of Greek yogurt

-2 tbsp olive oil

Instructions

  1. Cut the vegetables and put them in a pot.
  2. Pour a little bit of water, just enough to nearly cover the vegetables. 
  3. Boil for 15 minutes.
  4. Add the yogurt, olive oil, salt, and pepper to taste.  
  5. Blend everything well. 

Nutrition Facts: Serving 1

Calories 334 kcal | Total Carbohydrates 28g| Fiber 6.7g | Protein 19.4g | Total Fat 16g | Cholesterol 5mg | Sodium 1392mg | Vitamin D 0mcg | Calcium 477mg |Iron 6mg | Potassium 1836mg

Snack

-50 grams of pumpkin seeds

Nutrition Facts: Serving 1

Calories 271 kcal | Total Carbohydrates 22.9g | Fiber 2g | Protein 12.3g | Total Fat 22.9g | Cholesterol 0mg | Sodium 9mg | Vitamin D 0mcg | Calcium 22mg |Iron 7mg | Potassium 404mg

Dinner

-Salad bowl of 150 g lettuce, 100 g cucumber, 120 g cherry tomatoes, ½ avocado, ½ onion, dried oregano, 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar, 1 tbsp olive oil, 2 boiled eggs, 2 tbsp pumpkin seeds, salt to taste 

Nutrition Facts: Serving 1

Calories 626 kcal | Total Carbohydrates 30.5g | Fiber 11g | Protein 20.2g | Total Fat 50.9g | Cholesterol 327mg | Sodium 1314mg | Vitamin D 31mcg | Calcium 111mg |Iron 10mg | Potassium 1479mg

Day3-detox

Breakfast

-2 scrambled eggs with 80 grams of tofu, ground paprika and pepper to taste

-½ cucumber, 6 olives

A glass of water with ½ squeezed lemon (and salt, if necessary) or herbal tea

Nutrition Facts: Serving 1

Calories 235 kcal | Total Carbohydrates 9g | Fiber 2g | Protein 18.8g | Total Fat 15g | Cholesterol 327mg | Sodium 1529mg | Vitamin D 31mcg | Calcium 255mg |Iron 4mg | Potassium 460mg

Lunch

-Steamed vegetables with tofu

*you can choose different vegetables and prepare them the same way as the dinner in Day 1

-A glass of water with ½ squeezed lemon (and salt, if necessary) or herbal tea

Snack

-300 grams of Greek yogurt with 2 tbsp chia seeds, 1 tbsp flax seeds

Nutrition facts: Serving 1

Calories 380 kcal | Total Carbohydrates 26g | Fiber 11g | Protein 37g | Total Fat 18.3g | Cholesterol 15mg | Sodium 2303mg | Vitamin D 0mcg | Calcium 544mg |Iron 5mg | Potassium 678mg

Dinner

Carrot cream soup

Ingredients for 2 servings

-2 medium carrots

-1 onion

-2 sweet red peppers

-4 tbsp Greek yogurt

-1 tbsp olive oil

-Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Cut the vegetables and put them in a pot.
  2. Pour a little bit of water, just enough to nearly cover the vegetables. 
  3. Boil for 15 minutes.
  4. Add salt, paper and the Greek yogurt. 
  5. Blend everything well. 

 Nutrition Facts: Serving 1

Calories 220 kcal | Total Carbohydrates 24g | Fiber 4g | Protein 12.1g | Total Fat 9.5g | Cholesterol 5mg | Sodium 661mg | Vitamin D 0mcg | Calcium 141mg |Iron 1mg | Potassium 639mg

after detox

As we mentioned earlier, the detox period is highly restrictive and 3 days are completely enough to restart and cleanse the body. You can extent it up to 7 days by eating similar meals the next days, but only if you are not very physically active and you feel okay during this time.  

After the detox, it is time to start the real diet. Since now you can add a lot more foods, this is how your shopping list should look like: 

Candida diet shopping list

  • Non-starchy vegetables
  • Low sugar fruits
  • Organic meat
  • Organic eggs
  • Organic fish
  • Greek yogurt
  • Avocado
  • Olives
  • Tofu
  • Seeds
  • Canned unsweetened coconut milk
  • Shredded unsweetened coconut flakes
  • Condiments
  • Powdered stevia
  • Coconut oil
  • Turmeric
  • Oregano
  • Ginger

It is acceptable the detox meal plan to be similar for everyone, since it is only for a few days. However, this is not the case with the rest of the diet. The meal plan for the next 4-6 weeks must be created individually, according to the person’s age, weight, sex, physical activity, needs and goals. You can easily do that by following your guides in the beginning of this chapter. To make everything even easier for you, here are a few candida diet recipes to try. 

5 Quick Recipes

1. Rosemary Lemon Chicken

candida diet chicken

This chicken is great for when you need to add a source of protein to your soup or salad, and you don’t want to spend too much time cooking. Preparing chicken breast is practical, as it can last in the fridge for up to 4-5 days and it is suitable to eat from a box at work or school.

Ingredients for 3 portions 

-½ kilogram chicken breast, skinless and boneless

-2 cloves garlic

-½tbsp rosemary

-50ml freshly squeezed lemon juice

-3 tbsp olive oil or ghee 

-Salt and pepper 

Instructions

  1. Rinse the chicken breast, pat dry and cut into slices.
  2. Marinate the chicken with all of the ingredients for at least one hour in the fridge.
  3. Cook in a grill pan for 5-7 minutes per side until browned. 

Nutrition facts: Serving: 1

Calories 317 kcal | Total Carbohydrates 2g| Fiber 0.1g | Protein 35.6g | Total Fat 18.3| Cholesterol 107mg | Sodium 478mg | Vitamin D 0mcg | Calcium 13mg |Iron 1mg | Potassium 646mg

Tip: Eat this chicken with a salad, which is rich in healthy fats and fiber. Salads that contain greens, olives, seeds, and/or avocado are good options.

2. Apple Spinach Salad

candida diet salad

This salad can save you from your sugar cravings and deliver many healthy nutrients to your body. Tasting sweet and salty in one meal is very satisfying and keeps you full for longer.

Ingredients for one portion

-A handful of baby spinach

-150 grams cherry tomatoes 

-½ onion

-½ cucumber

-1 apple

-80 grams tofu

-1tbsp crushed flaxseeds

-Salt and basil 

-1 tbsp Olive oil

-1 tbsp Apple cider vinegar

Instructions

  1. Rinse the vegetables and the apple
  2. Chop the spinach, tomatoes, cucumber, onion and put them in a large bowl
  3. Add some salt, basil, vinegar and olive oil, and stir well.
  4. Grill the tofu in a non-stick pan with some salt, cut it in cubes and add it to the salad.
  5. Finally, add the chopped apple and sprinkle the salad the flaxseeds.

Nutrition facts: Serving 1

Calories 435 kcal | Total Carbohydrates 56g | Fiber 15g | Protein 15.1g | Total Fat 21.5g | Cholesterol 0mg | Sodium 1307mg | Vitamin D 0mcg | Calcium 365mg |Iron 9mg | Potassium 1908mg

Tip: If you want to make the meal richer in protein, add one or two boiled eggs to the salad. 

3. Raw Coconut Cookies

candida diet cookies

These 4 ingredients raw cookies make the candida diet much easier. Sweet cravings are real, especially when you have low carbohydrates intake, so make sure you are prepared with something healthy.

Ingredients for 20 cookies

-500 g shredded unsweetened coconut flakes 

-1 cup coconut oil, melted

-½  cup canned unsweetened coconut milk

-½ tsp powdered stevia

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients and mix very well. 
  2. With lightly wet hands, form small balls and place them 2-4 centimeters apart on a baking tray or large plate, lined with parchment paper.
  3. Using a fork, press down onto each cookie. 
  4. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours until firm.

Nutrition facts: Serving 1

Calories 224 kcal | Total Carbohydrates 7g | Fiber 3.5g | Protein 1.8g | Total Fat 22.5g | Cholesterol 0mg | Sodium 1mg | Vitamin D 0mcg | Calcium 1mg |Iron 0mg | Potassium 16mg

Tip: You might want to make more of those cookies, because they can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 weeks, or frozen for up to 2 months! This makes them the perfect candida diet breakfast or snack, when you want to have something ready, filling and tasty. 

4. Candida Diet Salad Dressing

candida diet dressing

This creamy dressing fits any salad or meat and it brings thickness to the meal. 

Ingredients for 4 servings

-100 g sunflower seeds

-2 tbsp olive oil

-50 g fresh dill

-Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Add all of the ingredients in a blender.
  2. Blend until smooth and creamy.

Nutrition facts: Serving 1

Calories 190 kcal | Total Carbohydrates 9.6g | Fiber 3.5g | Protein 6.2g | Total Fat16.5g | Cholesterol 0mg | Sodium 56mg | Vitamin D 0mcg | Calcium 194mg |Iron 6mg | Potassium 460mg

Tip: Add 2 cloves of garlic, if you need the dressing for meat dishes.

5. The Famous Indidan Golden Milk

When healing from candida overgrowth, this tea is very helpful because of its anti-inflammatory effect. It is also delicious and it boosts your immune system. 

Ingredients

-180 ml canned unsweetened coconut milk (light)

-1 tsp coconut oil

-½ tsp ground turmeric 

-½ tsp ground black pepper 

-½ tsp cinnamon powder

-½ tsp ground ginger 

Instructions

Whisk to combine all of the ingredients and warm over medium heat. Heat until hot to the touch but not boiling.

Nutrition facts: Serving 1

Calories 178 kcal | Total Carbohydrates 4.5g | Fiber 0.5g | Protein 1.8g | Total Fat 17.5g | Cholesterol 0mg | Sodium 1mg | Vitamin D 0mcg | Calcium 4mg |Iron 1mg | Potassium 41mg

 

Can you follow a vegan candida diet?

The candida diet can be easily adjusted to a vegan candida diet, since so many foods are already excluded. If you are a vegan, you cannot consume any meat, fish, eggs or Greek yogurt, which are the main sources of protein in the diet. This makes the plan even harder to follow but it is still doable. 

vegan

3 tips for vegans on candida diet

  • If you are an athlete or just highly physically active, try to decrease your activity. This might sound controversial to everything you believe but vegan’s protein intake is very low on this diet and hard workouts could lead to exhaustion very fast. Slow down for a few weeks until you start eating again more diverse food.
  • Increase the consumption of the protein sources you can include. In chapter 5 we are going to explain why protein is so important for everyone, not only for athletes. For now, remember that the vegan protein sources on candida diet are tofu, chia seeds, pumpkin and sunflower seeds, and organic vegan protein powder. When you are choosing a vegan protein powder, pick the one without added sugars, artificial sweeteners, or protein from foods that are not allowed in the candida diet. Chia seeds protein powder is an example of such product.
  • Make more time for sleep or take short naps during the day. You are going to need extra energy to keep your organism working properly. The importance of sleep is also explained further in the next chapter.

Bottom line: The Daily menu on the Candida diet might look boring at first glance but with a little bit of imagination and willingness to cook, you will be surprised how easy it is to handle the program. If you stack your fridge with enough ingredients and prepare your meals in advance, there is no reason to worry about not sticking to your diet. 

It is slightly more difficult for vegans or vegetarians but with extra preparation, the candida diet is an option for them as well.

It is now clear that the Candida diet is a challenge that cleanse the body and reliefs Candida overgrowth symptoms. But can you take the challenge further and achieve bodybuilding and weight loss goals, while following the diet? We are about to find out in the next chapter.

CHAPTER 6

Bodybuilding & Weight Loss

bodybilding

How to build muscle on Candida Diet?

flex

The Candida diet is not the best option for your bulking phase but if it’s necessary to go through it to relieve candida symptoms, you should put your health first. Your muscles are not going anywhere for a month, so it can all work out, if you stay focused. 

Your number one goal, as a bodybuilder during the diet, should be to improve your gut balance and to prevent muscle loss. If your calorie intake is high enough, you might even be able to gain some muscle mass for that period too, but this is very relative and depends on too many factors. 

7 Tips for Bodybuilders on Candida Diet

  • Adjust your workouts according to your diet. Lower the frequency of your workouts to 3-4 times per week and the duration to 40-45 minutes per session. In your weight trainings, focus on keeping the ability to work with the same weights as before, even if that means to do less reps. If you also do cardio workouts, decrease their frequency as well, or do not do them at all until you finish the diet. 
  • Supplement BCAAs. Your muscles require all the essential amino acids but BCAAs (Branched-Chain-Amino-Acids) stimulate muscle protein synthesis, which is the process of building muscle. Furthermore, BCAAs reduce damage in exercised muscles and exercise-induced fatigue, and prevent muscle wasting or breakdown.  
  • Consume two low-sugar fruits right after your workout. During exercise, your body uses stored glucose for energy, which is called glycogen, and its levels become depleted. After a workout, you need a quick replenishment, such as fast-acting carbohydrates from fruits. 30-40 minutes after your fruit snack, you can move on to your post-workout meal. 
  • Make all of your meals rich in protein.  Besides water and fat, the human body is made almost entirely of protein. Muscles are made of nearly 80% of protein and the protein we eat provide the basic building blocks – amino acids. Consuming adequate amounts of protein helps repair tissues damaged by exercise, promotes muscle growth and maintains your muscle mass. 
  • Supplement organic low FODMAP protein powder. If you feel like you cannot get enough protein from your diet, search for a good organic protein powder that is free from lactose, sugars and artificial sweeteners. Usually, the low FODMAP formulas claim to be the purest products on the market, but always research the brand before purchasing and chose carefully. 
  • Get enough quality sleep. Sleep is often neglected as a factor for muscle growth, but recovery is just as important as your workout and diet. Sleep promotes protein synthesis and human growth hormone release, which makes it essential for muscle recovery, and therefore, for building muscle. Make sure you sleep for 7-9 hours every night and that you fall asleep at the right time. 
  • Have breakfast soon after you get up. People consider breakfast to be the most important meal of the day and there are many reasons for that. Breakfast keeps you energized for the rest of the day, helps you concentrate, boosts your metabolism and improves your memory. For bodybuilders, keeping up with the protein intake throughout the day  is very important, so the sooner – the better.

How to lose weight on Candida Diet?

scale

In contrast with building muscle during candida cleanse diet, losing weight can be much easier. A common misconception that should be clarified is that lowering your carbohydrates intake would not necessarily make you lose weight. If you want to get the fat loss process going, you need to create a calorie deficit, or in other words, you must consume less calories than you burn. 

As you can guess, you can meet or exceed your calorie needs without eating carbohydrates. The candida diet is rich in healthy fats, which are very high in calories. The upside of it is that fats keep you full for longer and this is very helpful, if you experience sugar cravings, or if you feel like you are always hungry. 

If you aim to cut some weight, you can easily combine it with your candida diet and the final result would be a win-win. Wouldn’t it be great to get rid of candida symptoms while accomplishing your weight goal? Let’s see how you can do that

7 tips how to lose weight on candida diet

  • Lower your calorie intake. Apparently, this is the most important step. If you don’t want to count calories and make complicated calculations, which is unpleasant and not necessary unless you are a professional bodybuilder, you can use a simpler way to decrease your calorie intake. When you prepare your usual meal, just stop when you eat 80% of it. Save the rest for later and practice doing that with each of your meals, until you are well familiar what your 80% portion is. Then, you can use this portion size in the first place, instead of your regular one. 
  • Practice intuitive eating. Sometimes we eat a certain amount of food just because we are used to eating that much, or we eat at a specific time because it is a habit. Try to be more intuitive and listen to your body. Are you actually hungry now or you are just bored? Do you want to have your lunch now or in one hour, when you are going to be  hungry? Ask yourself similar questions throughout the day to develop more awareness about the signals your body sends you. 
  • Recognize food behaviors and patterns. Food patterns often sabotage even the most experienced dieters. Observe yourself and find out how your emotions affect your eating. Do you eat more when you are stressed? Do you find yourself opening a chocolate bar when you are mad? Do you skip meals when you are sad? Try to unbound from your emotions when you are eating. Food should be a tool for living a healthy life, not a solution for dealing with emotions.
  • Practice slow, mindful eating. This is a very important habit you must adopt, especially if you often overeat when you are distracted. Eating in front of the TV for example might lead to eating a very large portion that you would not eat, if you were not distracted. Try to be present with the act of eating, enjoy every bite, eat slowly and mindfully. 
  • Add physical activity. It is no secret that being physically active is the best way to increase your energy expenditure. Joining a sports club or gym is beneficial for your health, weight and it would also lower your stress levels. In case sport is not your thing, there  are still many ways to increase your physical activity. Make time for walks in the park, go to work by bike or on foot, take the stairs instead of the elevator, or chose a longer route to your local supermarket. 
  • Make sure you keep your metabolic rate from slowing down. Having a fast metabolism means you burn fast the energy from the food. Boosting your metabolic rate is a result from a  combination of many factors, such as consuming enough protein and nutrient-dense foods, staying hydrated, physical activity, sleep, avoiding junk food. The candida diet is a metabolic booster, because it excludes alcohol and processed foods, which slow down your metabolism. 
  • Get enough quality sleep. Yes, sleep is important for your weight loss too. A sleep-deprived body produces more of the stress hormone cortisol, which triggers the reward center in your brain and makes you crave food. The growth hormone your body releases during sleep is also important for fat burn, so pay special attention to your sleep. 

Bottom line: Gaining muscle while following the candida diet might be difficult but it is definitely not impossible, when you create an action plan and stick to it. 

On the other hand, losing weight during candida cleanse is much easier, mostly because of the elimination of the processed foods and alcohol. Follow our guidelines and recommendations to achieve any weight goal, while improving your gut health as well. 

The candida diet is a tough challenge that claims to have many benefits and some research studies support them. But what are the results of people, who chose to eliminate from their diet the number one fuel for candida – sugar and processed foods? We are going to find out in the next chapter. 

CHAPTER 7

Results & Key Takeaways

scale

Saying Goodbuye to Sugar

What do celebreties say?

pros-and-cons

The celebrity chef Pete Evans shared his new diet plan on social media. It consist mostly of vegetables, eggs, seeds, superfoods, a little bit of fruit and meat. He eliminates sugar, wheat, refined foods, grains and legumes. The My Kitchen Rules judge says he’s lost that bloated and lethargic feeling and is more balanced, healthy and happy, ever since he made those changes. 

pete-evans

In 2013, the Sliding Doors actress Gwyneth Paltrow published a cookbook called It’s all good that was not only sugar-free, but also dairy and gluten-free. Three years before publishing the book, she dedicated one of her weekly newsletters to overcoming sugar addiction. In the newsletter, she explained the consequences of consuming sugar and heavily processed foods. 

“You get anxious, moody and eventually you feel exhausted,” she said, “Sugar is also associated with many chronic problems that include decreased immunity, some chronic infections, autoimmune diseases, heart disease, diabetes, pain syndromes, irritable bowel syndrome, ADD, chronic fatigue, and candida.”

Paltrow healthy lunch.

The How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days actress Kate Hudson had the same problem with sugar addiction like Paltrow. Her life-changing diet excludes dairy, refined sugars, gluten and acidic foods like meat, in favor of tofu, low sugar fruit and vegetables. 

In her book Pretty Happy, the star explains, “The key to living well, and healthy, is to plug into what your body needs, understanding that one size does not fit all, all the time, and being truly honest with yourself about your goals and desires.”

In 2011, the 30 Rock actor Alec Baldwin was diagnosed with prediabetes, so he had to get his blood sugar levels under control. He cut out sugar from his diet and lost 13.5 kilograms in 4 months! 

“I just have to eat less. So, I’m very conscious of that. But sugar was the real killer for me, that was the problem,” he told Access Hollywood at the time.

His wife Hilaria, who is a yoga instructor, shared on instagram their favorite healthy ice-cream recipe.

Sugar free ice-cream.

The former Victoria’s Secrets angel Miranda Kerr shared that her diet contains mostly vegetables, meat, superfoods and low-sugar fruit. She shared with Vogue what she likes to eat in the morning.

 “I always start my day with hot water with lemon and then I’ll have a green juice – a cold pressed organic green juice. And then I’ll actually have eggs or avocado on a piece of gluten free toast. After that, an hour and a half later, I’ll have a smoothie with my chia seeds, goji berries, raw cacao.”

Idea for candida diet lunch.

How to have all the required nutrients from the diet?

The 7 factors for a balanced diet include carbohydrates, proteins, fats, fiber, vitamins, minerals, and water. The candida diet contains all of them, even though it lacks complex carbohydrates sources, such as potatoes, rice and oats. However, it is okay not to consume those type of carbs for a while.

7 Tips how to have nutrient-dense meals on candida diet

  • Consume different vegetables with each meal
  • Have 2-3 low-sugar fruits a day
  • Consume protein from at least two different sources everyday 
  • Drink enough water and herbal tea
  • Drink water with salt and ¼ squeezed lemon or lime, whenever you feel dehydrated 
  • Have enough healthy fats
  • Make time for cooking various meals

How to start eating everything again?

After your candida cleanse weeks are over, it is time to get back to eating starchy vegetables, red meat, dairy products and grains. You don’t need any special meal for this, but you cannot start eating big amounts of everything you haven’t eaten in over a month. In 4 simple steps, this is how you can do it:

  • Add one different thing every day. 

For example, if you have oatmeal in the morning, continue eating only candida diet friendly foods for the rest of the day. The next day you can have potatoes, and the day after you can add cheese, and so on. 

  • Start with smaller portions than before. If you are used to 50 grams of oats in the morning, have only 30 grams the first time you eat them again. 
  • Don’t eat more than one high sugar fruit per day for the first 7-10 days.
  • If you are still want to eat sugars and refined foods after the cleanse, give yourself 2 more weeks to adjust to the complex carbohydrates first. Don’t go for a burger or ice-cream before you have been consuming potatoes, grains and rice for at least two weeks.

Bottom line: The results from eliminating heavily processed foods, refined sugars, high-lactose dairy and gluten seem to be very promising. People report feeling more energized, overcoming sugar addiction, relieve from candida symptoms and digestive discomfort. 

It is also possible to have a well-balanced diet plan, while following the candida diet, if you are motivated, and follow the guidelines and recommendations. 

There you have it, your ultimate guide how to follow the candida cleanse diet safely! Do you have any questions? We would be more than happy to answer all of them in the comments below! If you have tried the diet, share your experience with us as well!

If you want to find out more about different diets and approaches, check out the rest of our ultimate guides!

Download a free PDF version of this Low-Fat Diet Guide today!

PDF version contains all of the content and resources found in the web-based guide. 

Margaret

Margaret

Nutritionist, PN Level 1. The puzzle of the right nutrition is complicated and impossible to be solved at the first attempt. It is naive to say that food is only fuel; it is a lot more than that. Food is packed with information and meaning, it can help us feel good and contribute to a better health. As a nutrition coach, my job is to help people recognize food behaviors and patterns, teach them how to make the right choices for themselves, and how to use food as tool for a fulfilling and meaningful life. I also love to write articles about nutrition and sports. After years of experience with fitness and healthy living, I believe that knowledge should be shared and presented simply to as many people as possible.

19 COMMENTS

    • I am happy you find the information interesting. I haven’t tried the complete diet myself but I have elimated refined sugars and fats from my diet, which turned out to be very beneficial for me.

  1. A very informative and detailed article about an extremely relevant topic!
    I would gladly recommend it to friends, who want to improve their health and methabolism performance as well as achive ambitious fitness goals.

  2. Thanks Magie for the helpful info. Great structured – easy to read 🙂 I would recommend it to girlfriends

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The Candida Diet Definitive Guide: 7 Chapters how to do it right
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