Candida, Diet & Natural Treatments

What is Candida?

Candida is a short name of Candidiasis, to describe having yeast-Candida Albicans-overgrowth in the body. Candida Albicans is a kind of fungus that lives in all our mucus membranes. Its function is to recognize and destroy harmful bacteria and toxins for us. However, if they get out of control and overgrow in our body, a large number of symptoms, diseases and malfunctions can happen.

Almost any kind of symptoms and diseases can be related to Candida. Some of the examples would be feeling sick all over, cold hand and feet, headache, muscle aches and pain, rheumatoid arthritis, joint pain, kidney & bladder infection, sinus inflammation, respiratory problems, thyroid diseases, digestive problems, allergies or intolerances, Celiac Disease, skin diseases, hair loss, body odour, fatigue, panic attack, insomnia……

In short, the immune system is severely depressed:-
When Candida gets out of control, it starts raising large families called colonies. These colonies can put out 79 different types of toxins into the body and weaken the immune system, thus the results of numerous symptoms and malfunctions. These toxins make all the cells in the body become rigid, which means nutrients and hormones cannot go in the cells freely and neither can waste go out. This does not sound good at all. Moreover, Candida has very long root-like structures that can damage the walls of the intestines causing leaky gut, which leads to poor digestion and mal-absorption of nutrients.


So, what causes Candida?

Generally speaking, a good healthy immune system can keep Candida in balance with other micro-organisms in the body. However, there are a lot of factors that can contribute to the overgrowth of Candida. Some major ones are overuse of antibiotics (even it’s been years ago), poor nutrition, vaccinations, stress, exposure to toxins, virus, bacteria, yeast, and parasites, stress……….

If you want to find out whether the symptoms that you are having is Candida related, you can try taking Dr William Crook’s Questionnaire, or just go ahead and try the Candida Diet for a few weeks to see if the symptoms disappear. Most laboratory tests cannot really prove that you are having Candidiasis.


Candida Diet

If you search through books and the internet, you will find that there are many different versions of Candida Diet. In my opinion, go through several of them and try to understand the reasons behind them. Then pick one that fits your personality and life style. A Candida Diet can be real tough and challenging, you need to know what you are doing and stick with it in order to succeed. Researching for lots of Candida diet recipes would help, as you would enjoy a lot of new dishes. In my case, I do need to constantly ask God for strength to resist the temptation of eating th food that I used to love in front of my eyes. A wonderful opportunity for training self-discipline and perseverance indeed!

The basic ideas of all the versions of Candida Diet are the same though: to starve the yeast, to aid digestion, and to build up the immune system.


1) To Starve the Yeast

In order to starve the yeast, one needs to avoid sugar of any kind. Whether it is refined sugar, natural sugar, fruits, and even some vegetables that are high in sugar, it’s best to avoid them for a month or two. After that, one can try to add those sweet vegetables and fruits back to the diet. However, it’s better to be done gradually one by one and just one kind a week. For refined sugar, i.e. white sugar, brown sugar, molasses etc, one might need to avoid them for years. There’s nothing good in refined sugar anyway, therefore, don’t get too upset about this! By the way, our body sees white sugar and white flour (that includes enriched flour, unbleached flour and even store bought whole wheat flour-which is basically white flour with wheat germs and bran added) as the same thing.

Another thing that feeds the yeast is high carbohydrate foods such as grains, beans and some vegetables like potatoes, yams, carrots, etc. Some suggest to avoid them completely for the first few weeks, and others suggest to eat these food less than 15% of your total intake. So, at least eat them cautiously.

Mold, bacteria, alcohol, caffeine, and yeast also feed the yeast. Therefore, food like dried fruit, hard cheese, mushroom, leftover, walnuts, yeast bread, soya sauce, smoked and processed meats like sausages etc, should be avoided too.


2) To Aid Digestion

Efficient digestion is very important for Candida sufferers, as if food is not properly digested in time in the intestines, mold and bacteria grow and yeast will then multiply. Also, as Candida sufferers are having leaky gut, food that is not fully digested will also be absorbed into the bloodstream causing a lot of allergic reactions. Therefore, it’s also suggested that during the first few weeks of carrying out the diet, one should also avoid common allergy causing food like gluten, wheat, dairy products, corn, etc, to avoid upsetting our digestive system and immune system. For grains, go for rice, millet, buckwheat, quinoa and amaranth seed. Also, in order to avoid developing new food allergies/intolerances, one should rotate the food eaten every 4 days. That is, if you eat rice on Monday, it’s better to eat it again on Friday!

To aid digestion, one can :-

  • eat less red meat as they need more energy and time to digest.
  • have at least two tablespoons of fermented vegetables like sauerkraut or kimchi with each meal.
  • soak the grains and beans for 24 hours in acidic fluid before cooking.
  • avoid eating store bought roasted nuts and seeds. Instead, buy them raw and soak them in sea salt water for at least 7 hours, then dehydrate them.
  • have good fats with each meal like unsalted butter and coconut oil.
  • avoid over cooking meats.
  • avoid eating more than one kind of meat and grain each meal.
  • eat less dairy products if they are not made from raw milk except unsweetened yogurt with real probiotics, as pasteurized milk basically contains no enzymes to digest the milk protein, thus creating a lot of stress for our digestive system.

    3) To Build Up the Immune System

    When our immune system is strengthened, it will be harder for Candida Yeast to get control. Several things to do would be eliminating all processed food and oils, soy products, chemicals, antibiotics, i.e. choosing food that is as fresh and natural as possible. Also, supplement with good quality natural supplements of vitamins, cod liver oil, fish oils, minerals and probiotics. Probiotics are very important, they counteract the growth of Candida yeast, and also aid in recolonization of good intestinal bacteria, thus keeping our digestive system healthy. Moreover, drink GOOD & CLEAN water, and EXERCISE. Last but not least, HAVE JOY!


    Candida Natural Treatments

    The diet alone cannot solve the yeast overgrowth problem. One has to also use an effective antifungal. There are antifungal drugs out there to kill the yeast. However, it is wise to see them as last resort. Besides, there are a lot of natural antifungal treatments to choose from. Pick one or two at a time to see if they work for you. Do not overdo with too many different kinds to confuse our body. Some people would first starting the diet for two weeks to starve a good proportion of yeast then adding the antifungal treatments gradually, as it would lessen the die-off symptoms. Die-off symptoms are reaction caused by the rapid killing of candida and other harmful pathogens. When large quantities of pathogens die at the same time, a large amount of toxin will be released into the bloodstream and thus the entire body. This would produce “flu-like” symptoms, making the person feeling very sick and tired. Any symptoms one has before because of Candida will also intensify for awhile. If you choose to do the “killing” gradually, although it takes a longer time, you will experience less dramatic reactions.

    Some of the natural antifungal treatments are garlic, coconut oil (caprylic acid), clove oil, cayenne pepper, aloe vera juice, biotin, citrus seed extracts, Pau D’Arco tea……etc.


    Resources to Start for More Details


    “The Yeast Connection” by Dr William Crook
    “Complete Candida Yeast Guidebook” by Jeanne Marie Martin

    Leave a Reply