Combat Candida

Candida Albicans is just another name for yeast, and this exists naturally in every healthy digestive system. Yeast is ok in it’s place but when it begins to take control of the digestive system, the likelihood is that nothing short of nutritional warfare will put it back where it belongs. For this reason it is best to seek the diagnosis and advise of a qualified nutritionist before you set out.

Canny stuff this Candida. Did you know, for instance, that left unchecked – a local infection of Candida Albicans can spread to a systemic invasion in which the Candida cells convert to an invasive fungal form sprouting roots and branches? Armed in this way it can penetrate the digestive tract causing more serious damage leading to an increased array of symptoms such as Chronic Fatigue, poor digestion, severe itching, poor concentration, feeling sick all over, headaches, reactions to strong aromas and depression. Not pleasant.

If you don’t want to get pushed around by this leggy invader, be prepared for some proper dietary changes. With some time and effort you can get this thing domesticated!

Candida Killers

The strategy
Starve it. Exterminate it. Make sure it never wants to come back

Starve it…
Candida likes: Sugar, honey, syrups, malt etc, yeast, mushrooms, peanuts, pistachios, fruit, fruit juice, dried fruit, refined carbohydrates, processed food, vinegar, some fermented and smoked foods.

You will probably be advised to avoid most of the foods on this list, certainly sugar in all forms, including fruit for anything from 4 weeks to a year. Dont panic. A candida killing diet does not have to be boring, your taste buds just need a bit fine-tuning. Once the initial phase of withdrawal has passed, you will soon start to get a taste for food which is less intensively flavoured. Honestly. An excellent book for recipes and menus is Erica Whites ‘Beat Candida Cookbook’. NB: Lemon juice is usually permitted.

If you really must sweeten your food, the best way to do this is with Xylitol. This does seem to be a sweetener with a difference. However, it may be better even to do without this as it may just serve to perpetuate your sugar craving.

Some practitioners recommend certain fermented foods but you should only go for those that contain lactic bacteria (lactobacillus) as these can prevent the development of yeasts e.g sauerkraut, kefir and light miso (e.g Clearspring marukura white miso).
Exterminate it…
Candida dislikes: Grapefruit Seed Extract Caprylic Acid, Garlic, Pau dArco, oregano and coconut oil..

These are your heavy artillery. Take as directed. Usually this involves alternating courses of two or three of these fungus busters after first completing a month on your strict anti-candida diet plan.

Expect to experience some die-back effect when you start to make all these changes. You may feel rough, perhaps worse at times than you did before starting the plan. This is a sign that the candida is dying off and your body is detoxing. For this reason, you may need to make the changes slowly, certainly not all in one go. Your nutritionist will be able to advise in more detail on this

Make sure it doesn’t want to come back…

Arm your immune system.

Your nutritionist may advise you to wait until you have finished your course of anti fungals before embarking on a supplement programme to strengthen your immune system but you can make dietary changes to this end at any time. Getting rid of sugar will help enormously. Eating foods rich in EFA’s (fish, nuts, seeds, avocadoes, olive oil) or supplementing with fish, flax or hemp oil will help. As a rule, fats are only good for you if they are unrefined and uncooked. If you want to cook with fats, use the ones that will not produce nasty trans fats in the process e.g: coconut oil, macadamia nut oil (or butter in moderation. It’s better than using a less stable vegetable oil).

Get plenty of vitamin C and other natural antioxidants, especially from fresh vegetables but, when the time is right, low sugar fruits (such as berries) will be fine. Other helpful antioxidants include Selenium found in Brazil nuts (supplement e.g Bio Selenium) and vitamin E. Propolis is good too and the Bee Health Propolis throat spray a wonderful defence when you get the very first signs of infection in your throat – see full anti-oxidant selection

A very worthy natural food supplement is Spirulina, Blue Green Algae – naturally rich in vitamins, minerals, amino acids and enzymes. A brilliant way of getting the extra nutrients you need and supporting your immune system while detoxing on this diet. You would probably benefit from a 6 month course of the powder or tablets.

Take Probiotics and Fructo Oligosaccharides to bolster the good bacterial environment.

The candida will be literally crowded out. This will be a very important part of your recovery.

Repair the damage

It would also be worth considering a course of Glutamine powder especially if you suspect that the Candida tendril invasion has caused a compromising of your gut wall integrity, resulting in leaky gut syndrome. Glutamine helps to repair and strengthen the gut lining.

Stay healthy

If you maintain a healthy internal environment, that nasty form of candida is unlikely to return. This means that you will be eating health giving food and that this will be digested well and that your bowel movements will be regular and easy. If waste is not moving through your system easily it will stagnate, providing an attractive environment for candida. Don’t look first to laxatives, but to your diet. Are you getting enough fresh vegetables (at least 5 portions a day)and are you eating enough of it raw? Are you consuming too much wheat or dairy? These are sticky food groups, so reduce them to a functional minimum. Live plain yoghurt (yogurt) is the most useful and least damaging dairy food, it may be ok for you eliminate or reduce all.

Concerned about calcium?

Dairy products are only arguably rich in absorbable calcium, but if you are worried that your levels are falling too low, make sure you get plenty of other calcium rich foods such as leafy green veg, especially kale and cabbage (we have a great fresh selection), seeds, nuts, tofu, dried fruit and fish (where the bones can be eaten). Dairy alternatives are often calcium enriched – or you could take a calcium supplement. Its also worth remembering that caffeine, alcohol and a lack of exercise will deplete the system of calcium too. As you decrease wheat consumption start to increase your intake of soluble fibre found in vegetables oats, linseeds, and beans.

Make sure you are getting enough to drink. Quitting caffeine will only be of benefit to you (when the withdrawal symptoms subside!). Have water on hand to sip throughout the day, it’s better than trying to guzzle down huge quantities in one go.

If your digestion really is a problem, food combining can be a great help. I’ll write more about this sometime but the basic rule with this is to avoid mixing proteins and carbohydrate foods in one meal. Most vegetables mix well with either of these food groups (except the super starchy ones like potatoes or corn). As soon as you are able to eat fruit again you may well notice that this doesn’t mix well with any other food group (but seems to sit well with natural live yogurt if you need a bit of variety). Here is a typical days eating, the food combined way:

Fresh fruit – when this is appropriate (any type – but melons digest at a super fast pace, so may need to be eaten alone). If fruit isn’t an option yet, cereal with rice or oat milk is a good combination.

Chicken, fish or tofu with fresh raw mixed vegetables. Seeds may be eaten too as these mix well with proteins or carbohydrates

Evening meal
Brown rice, potato, corn, beans pulses or bread with vegetables. Nuts should be classed as a protein food but can mix with either protein or carbs when eaten in moderation and Wheat free pastas.

And don’t forget your snacks (as if you would!)

So what can I have?

Here are some suggestions
Drink: barley cup, herb teas (especially fennel, nettle, dandelion leaf), pau d’arco tea (as part of your anti fungal programme), pure dandelion coffee root to grind (Cotswold), rooibos, kukicha (this has a very low caffeine content).

Milk substitutes: Alpro unsweetened}, calcium enriched soya (without maltodextrin or any sweetener, unsweetened rice milk – e.g Rice Dream (this is naturally high in fast releasing carbohydrates, so must be used in some moderation), Oatley oat milk

Wheat and bread substitutes: Sprouted {wheat and rye bread is easier to digest e.g. Sunnyvale range. Biona buckwheat, millet and rice bread. Nairn’s Oatcakes, Rice cakes, corn cakes and unsweetened Soda bread which can be can be made at home. Wheat free pasta can give many meal options for quick and easy, but “safe” food.

Cereal: Just look out for the hidden sugars and dried fruit content. Try to vary grains and avoid too much wheat. Oats (or a mixture of oats, jumbo oats, oat groats and oatbran) are great. Pearl barley can be soaked overnight for a nice porridge alternative too.

Spreads: Tahini, cashew, hazel, brazil and almond nut butters, Granovia tomato pate, olive pates. All used as a spread or as ingredients for sauces are ideal.

Condiments stocks and sauces: Kallo yeast free stock cubes, Marigold yeast free bouillon (green) – but does contain lactose) Orgran gravy mix, Free & Easy Gluten Free Cheese Flavour Sauce Mix, San Amvrosia Hummus, Allergycare stuffing mix, orgran all purpose crumbs, Orgran falafel mix

2 thoughts on “Combat Candida

  1. Hi guys – great post.

    It’s interesting that you suggest that omega acids can have a positive impact on building up the body’s immune system.

    In my experience, the intake of Omega-6 and Omega-3 is primarily associated with a decreased risk of cardiovascular disease – something which is obviously a massive problem worldwide and especially in the UK.

    Natural sources of essential fatty acids are good at giving us a helping hand to reduce high cholesterol concentrations.

    Cold-pressed hemp seed oil such as GOOD OIL is a great source of Omegas and when consumed in even small amounts (10ml) per day it will make a substantial contribution to the intake of essential fatty acids which are required for good health. Compared with other culinary oils it is also low in saturated fatty acids.

    You may also know that current national and international dietary recommendations for the prevention of cardiovascular disease recommend decreasing the intake of saturated fatty acids in order to lower blood cholesterol concentrations.

    If you want to find out more about the nutritional attributes of Cold Pressed Hemp Seed Oil, a recent study by Professor Tom Sanders and Dr Fiona Lewis of the Nutritional Sciences Division at King’s College, London can be found here:

    I should disclose that GOOD OIL is a client of mine and so if you’d like to sample some of their product, drop me an email and I’ll send you some over to try.

    Keep up the good work!


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