Candida Diet: Foods To Eat
Greetings. It’s Eric Bakker, naturopath from New Zealand and author of Candida Crusher. Thanks for checking out my video today. As you can imagine, I get an incredible amount of emails from patients from all around the world from many different countries, particularly from the United States of America. I get lots of frequently asked questions. I’ve got a question here from a guy called Tom Rutherford in Texas, and Tom is asking me, Eric, what are the best foods to eat if I have a yeast infection? The best foods to eat with Candida.
Well, Tom, this is going to be quite an interesting reply to your question because it’s not just about what foods are the best foods to eat with Candida. There are many different ways we can answer the question and, unfortunately, many Candida diet websites, base a lot of their information around foods. Foods do form a very important consideration with yeast infections. But unfortunately, a lot of these websites and sources of information don’t contain the full picture. In fact, I’m absolutely stunned the longer I see patients, the more I realize that so many people can, in fact eat fruit, can eat gluten, and can eat lots of bread. Even some patients can drink alcohol and still recover from a yeast infection. So there is no one law that comes down like a hammer that says, “You shall not eat this. You shall not eat that.” But the guidelines I’m going to give you now, Tom, will be based on my experiences on many thousands of different patients. What I think works best for the general population. And I’ll throw some more information in along the line as we speak on situations other than foods.
Let’s just start by explaining a little bit about what is currently the whole idea with the Candida diet. Most people will be quick to tell you that you’ve got to avoid anything containing sugar or refined carbohydrates. That you’ve got to eat a diet that is quite high in proteins, preferably lean sources of protein and focus more on the green leafy vegetables. The general consensus is to avoid all forms of fruit and most forms of grain. In fact, it almost sounds a bit like a specific carbohydrate kind of diet, doesn’t it? It’s a paleo/SCD diet combined. That’s almost what this sounds like. There are no hard and fast rules, and I wrote about this extensively in Candida Crusher.
However, when you’re starting off with a Candida diet approach, the first thing I always get people to do is to do what I call a big clean up. So a big clean up means an assessment of what you’re currently eating, particularly if you haven’t already made the changes toward these types of foods, is to slowly wind down all your eating over a 14-day period. By that, I mean cut out all forms of alcohol over a 14-day period. Stop eating takeaway or refined foods, and start incorporating good foods into the diet.
What are the good foods? What are the best foods to eat when you’ve got a Candida yeast infection? Well, the best foods are foods that support good digestion, that support good immune function, and that support the proliferation of beneficial bacteria in the digestive system. They discourage dysbiotic bacteria and Candida, and they also discourage the ability to the challenge the immune system. Because nearly all people with Candida have leaky gut syndrome. They have intestinal permeability. Nearly all people I see with Candida have SIBO or small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, and all patients I see with Candida have got stress, which increases permeability umpteen times.
Focus on high quality proteins in your diet. Proteins are important to eat, particularly if you chew them really well. Chew them well. And also, I believe it’s important at this stage to recommend that you take a good digestive enzyme/probiotic supplement at least twice, if not three times per day. When you’ve gone through the big clean up and you’re going into the initial stages of a good Candida diet is to support your digestion with a very good quality enzyme dietary supplement. Because the enzyme is going to help your stomach, the pancreas, and the small intestine. It’s going to facilitate proper breakdown. It’s going to supply the body with some enzymes that it might be lacking.
A lot of doctors at this point will say, “What a load of bologna. You don’t need any supplements. You can get everything in diet alone.” Yes, you can, but you can’t fast track your results and you will not get a swift recovery and a full complete recovery without some kind of supplement aid when taken at the right time. You don’t need a whole bunch of supplements with Candida. You just need to take the right kind of stuff.
Make sure you chew your food. I haven’t even mentioned foods and I’m already talking about chewing food. Unless you chew your food properly, you’re not going to stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system. Your pancreas – I’ve mentioned this many times before in previous videos – your pancreas only has parasympathetic domination and not sympathetic domination. If you don’t know what that means, go and look up what sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems are. So rest and digest is the stress part of the autonomic function. If you really want to digest foods properly, you’ve got to chew them properly. No point in taking pills. I don’t give a toss what kind of food you eat. If you don’t chew it properly, you’re not going to digest it properly. If you don’t relax when you eat, you’re never going to digest it.
Eggs, especially good quality free-range eggs. Chicken, clean fish, if you can get a nice ocean caught fish. We’ve got plenty of beautiful fish down here in New Zealand. A good quality fish. You guys in the States call it “grass fed” beef. We don’t have anything but grass fed beef here in New Zealand. Everything is grass all around us, so all our sheep and cattle all eat beautiful green lush grass. As far as I know, no cattle are fed with grains down here. Grass fed beef. These sorts of proteins are going to help improve your digestion. Try and eat them at least twice per day, if you can.
If you’re a vegetarian watching this, make sure that you incorporate good quality nuts, seeds, and legumes into your diet. There are many different kinds of legumes you can eat, different beans, and peas. I’m also a fan of soy and tofu. I know a lot of people out there think it’s almost like toxic nuclear waste going into the digestive system because it’s so maligned, but a lot of my patients have successfully eaten organic tofu now for as long as I’ve been a practitioner. I’ve eaten tofu for over 30 years and I haven’t grown breasts or become retarded or anything out of it yet. And a lot of my clients do have soy products. That’s your call. I think soy does form an okay part of the diet.
Let’s look at the vegetable sources. I can do a whole video on vegetables alone. There are so many different vegetables that are great with Candida and SIBO, particularly the vegetables that have got plenty of starches in them. We call them resistant starches. Vegetables contain different kinds of oligosaccharides, particularly sugars that they get broken down to and feed up the beneficial bacterial. I think I’ve done some videos on FOS and GOS foods with the SIBO videos that I’ve completed. Fructooligosaccharide and galactooligosaccharide. You’re going to get these out of a lot of foods. Globe artichokes, asparagus, many different foods contain these beneficial sugars.
See, not all sugars are bad with Candida. The sugars that we don’t want you to have are Mars bars or Coca-Cola. These sorts of sugars are not good. Confectionary, candy, chocolate bars, chewing gum with artificial sugar in it, processed foods, a lot of boxed cereals; these are all junk foods. You shouldn’t really be eating these if you want to recover from any kind of illness. Proteins, many different kinds of vegetables. Leafy greens are my favorite. I like broccoli, spinach. Carrots, celery, there are many of them. There is a lot of debate about can I eat carrots, squash, pumpkin, and the cucurbitaceae family with Candida. Yes, you can, but you need to avoid them if you’ve got a seriously bad yeast infection. In the first three to four weeks, you probably want to avoid things like pumpkin and squash. In America now, you guys are going into fall, going into winter, so a lot of people will probably be eating things like sweet potatoes, pumpkins, squash, and those sort of things. Sweet corn also falls into that category. You need to be careful with sweet corn. When it’s first picked, it contains a lot of sugar. But after three days of it being picked, a lot of that sugar converts to starch, so it’s not quite so sweet anymore.
If you look at bananas when they’re green as opposed to yellow, corn when it’s very fresh, just picked versus a day or two or three old, there’s a big difference how that can affect your gut. You may want to experiment with half green/half yellow bananas. If you like bananas and you don’t want to avoid them, don’t eat them yellow. Eat them green or half-green. The safest bananas are the plantain or the deep green bananas because you can cook them in coconut milk, which is very nice. As you can see, you can modify food and it may be okay by looking at the ripening of that food.
Most vegetables I’m quite happy with you having with Candida, providing you chew them well. I don’t like raw vegetables too much unless we look at salads. Steamed and stir fried are a very good way of eating vegetables. A lunch for me will often mean a small piece of fish or two free-range eggs or a piece of chicken and some vegetables out of the garden, like some steamed broccoli or some steamed spinach, and then there might be a little bit of quinoa with that, a grain like that. I tend to eat very light lunches, light dinners. I tend to eat smaller meals frequently. Vegetables are generally fine. Just be careful of the starchy ones when you start. Leafy greens, proteins are fine.
Fruit. Be careful with fruit with Candida. The permissible fruits are green apple, kiwi – one kiwi fruit per day is usually okay – pomegranate if you can get it is quite a good fruit. Avocados are always fine to eat. Some of the nicest fruits to eat and healthy ones with Candida are blueberries. Any kind of berry is generally acceptable as long as you don’t have too much of it. Blueberries, strawberries, boysenberries, raspberries, huckleberries, any of those kind of things. Don’t buy them in cans with syrup or sugar in them. Make sure they’re fresh and raw. Raw berries put through smoothies are quite nice. I’m not a big fan of processed jams or berries like that. But if you grow them, they’re a fantastic food to eat. Quite a nice adjunct to add to your diet.
Grains, plenty of grains you can eat. It’s up to you to experiment with them. One of my favorites is sourdough rye bread. I’ve discovered that this food contains a lot of wild yeast like sourdough does, and generally, it’s quite acceptable to eat this with Candida. If you’ve got a phobia with gluten, then you want to avoid rye, of course. You can actually get gluten free rice bread. Rice doesn’t contain gluten. That might be a good option for you. Quinoa, buckwheat, amaranth, wild rice, I love wild rice, red rice. You can get brown basmati rice. There are about 50 different sorts of rice you can get. Try to avoid white rice, but stick more with the brown rice. For every cup of brown rice, I generally put in one to two teaspoons of the black wild rice. Try the red rice. It’s quite nice, too. How much rice? I just had an email saying Eric, how much rice can I eat per day. You probably want to stick with about half a cup of brown rice per day, but see what the digestive comfort is like, the bowel motions, the gas and the bloating.
Be sure to take a digestive enzyme/probiotic, particularly when you’re changing your diet and when you’re staying on the diet long term. Initially, you may want to take two or three of these enzyme/probiotics per day. As your bowels improve and the bowel motions really improve, you can cut back to one per day maintenance long term.
Check out my Canxida Restore. I worked a long time on this formula. I’ve put in it the best enzymes and probiotics. I’ve taken fructooligosaccharide out of this product. In my opinion, avoid dietary supplements containing prebiotics, inulin, and FOS. I found too many problems with these products with patients long term. I’ve used many of these products like Syntol and ThreeLac and Floracor-gi and the list goes on. There are many of them. Many companies now believe that you need to put a prebiotic with a probiotic. I think it’s a wrong move. I’ve been disappointed using these products time and again because I had too much feedback. That’s why I created my own product. But check it out. Go to Canxida.com and have a look at Canxida Restore. It’s a fantastic product. And it’s a particularly good product when you’re going to look at this kind of dietary approach. And it partners up absolutely perfectly with my Canxida Remove, an antifungal/anti-bacterial product.
Check out my next video. I’m going to do a video right now on foods to avoid with Candida. I hope you got a good picture on what to eat. There are lots you can eat. Now, remember, the diet is modifiable at any stage. I get so many emails from people saying, “Can I eat this? Can I eat that?” Try. See if it works for you. Some people can actually eat bananas, pineapples and apples every day, one or two, and have no problem at all. Other people can’t. How is that so? It’s got to do with the type of bugs that they’ve got in their gut at the time. It’s got to do with how well the pancreas is functioning, how much amylase it produces, for example. How effective their digestive organs are. How relaxed they are when they eat can make a big difference. It’s not just the foods you eat. It’s what your body does with the food you eat that makes all the difference with Candida. And that’s why there is no complete black and white, yes and no list. There never will be. It’s fluid. It’s modifiable. What suits you may not suit another person. And I know that after seeing now thousands of Candida patients. You need to experiment. What works for you, works for you. Make a note of that.
Catch up with me in the next video. Thanks for tuning in.