Jo Coffey has suffered from Candida for far too long. She is a customer of GoodnessDirect and has been helping us with the flagging of certain of our products to help point others with candida problems in the right direction.
The eating plan detailed here is a personal list and highlights only part of the really effective approach featured in Erica White’s Beat Candida Cookbook (which is more than a cookbook and has a 4 point plan of attack to get really well again after candida infection).
Note: Jo hates celery even though its fine for candidiasis sufferers!!
The diet summary: Anti-Candida Diet:
FOODS TO AVOID Argh! No! The evil candida-aliens are coming!
SUGAR in all it’s forms, and all foods containing sugar, INCLUDING FRUIT – it’s still sugar after all. This includes brown or white sugar, demerara, molasses, syrup, honey, malt, chocolate, all forms of confectionery, icing, marzipan, ice-creams, deserts, puddings, cakes, biscuits, soft drinks, including squash and all canned drinks, tinned fruit in syrup etc. Check ALL packets for hidden sugar – it’s even in some frozen or canned vegetables! Types of sugar also include Fructose, Lactose, Maltose, Sucrose and Dextrose. So malted grains, even spices with added sugar are all out.
YEAST All foods containing or derived from it. This includes Bread, food coated in breadcrumbs or rusk, marmite, vecon, bovril, Bisto, Oxo (even vegetarian oxo cubes have sugar and yeast!), citric acid, monosodium glutomate, vitamin tablets (unless the label specifically states “yeast free”). Pizza bases and most makes of pitta bread (I’ve found naan breads are the same). Also beware of commercially wrapped bread which claims to have no added yeast if it has been made with sourdough, or sprouted grains because these products have been fermented and contain their own naturally produced yeasts.
REFINED GRAINS White flour, granary flour (which is white flour with added malt and whole grains), white rice, white pasta, cornflour (cornstarch), custard powder, cornflakes, most other produced cereals, unless “whole grain” or “wholemeal” is stated.
MALTED PRODUCTS some cereals (eg: weetabix), some crispbreads, granary bread, malted drinks like ovaltine, horlicks and caro.
ANYTHING FERMENTED: Vinegar and foods containing it (ketchups, pickles, salad creams, mayonnaise, baked beans), soy sauce, sourdough bread, ginger beer, cider, beer and wine. In fact all alcohol, including spirits, act as a stimulant which triggers the release of your blood sugar stores thus making sugar for the yeasts.
COWS MILK and most milk products including cream and most cheeses. (See foods to enjoy for yoghurt and other details)
FRESH FRUIT Raw, stewed, made into jam or juice. Pure fruit juice is virtually straight fructose and often also very high in moulds. Fresh squeezed lemon juice is allowed in salad dressings, mineral water etc (nice extra for fruit teas too!)
DRIED FRUIT including prunes and figs and mueslis.
NB: Figs or dates are used to sweeten some health drinks eg: caro, bambu and nocaff. (Plain instant chicory powder is seldom sweetened and is also good for you).
NUTS Unless freshly cracked, because of mould. Avoid peanuts completely, even in their shells(monkey nuts) because they are very high in mould. Avoid peanut butter for this reason too.
GROUND PEPPER One of the highest mould contents of the kitchen – the pepper pot, however freshly ground it’s okay.
SALT It is important not to overload the body with sodium at this time. If you must use it use LO-salt which supplements the sodium with potassium. Craving for salt is most likely to be due to ZINC deficiency consider zinc supplementation read optimum nutrition bible and/or see a nutritionist first though! Zinc is essential to libido too.
SMOKED OR CURED FISH and MEAT including ham, bacon, (even unsmoked is still cured) smoked salmon, smoked mackerel, smoked haddock.
MUSHROOMS which are a fungus. So are truffles.
TEA AND COFFEE – even decaf as they still contain other stimulants. Also avoid hot chocolate and all malted drinks.
COLA DRINKS AND LUCOZADE – they both contain caffeine (as well as sugars) as do Beechams powders and many painkillers (eg: anadin, phensic, panadol extra)
ARTIFICIAL SWEETNERS. These have been found to feed candida just as well as sugar and also keep a persons sweet tooth alive.
PRESERVATIVES including citric acid which are frequently derived from yeasts and in any case introduce unnecessary chemicals into the body. Citric acid is commonly found in supermarket tomatos. Healthfood shop organic tomatoes are normally just in tomato juice alone.
HOT SPICES AND CURRIES – they destroy friendly bacteria in the gut and are an irritant.
CHEMICAL ADDITIVES If you don’t know what it is on the ingredients list then DON’T eat it!!! (Jo: rather makes sense to me about all food, yet apparently most people eat lots of meals filled with chemicals they don’t even know a thing about!!) Also avoid non organic meat or eggs, even free range, because of medicine residues. OTHERS: Also avoid any prescribed medicines such as: antibiotics, steroids, including creams and inhalers, the contraceptive pill, HRT, NSAIDs. Also moulds from house plants and build-up of moulds in any double glazing can be a trigger/problem. Often people are sensitive to gas fumes too, but that’s pushing it for here!
FOODS TO ENJOY Yum ! Scrum ! Fill my tum !
YEAST-FREE SODA BREAD Made with wholewheat flour, or other whole grains. See book for good recipes (most bought ones have added sugar or dairy or both)
RICE CAKES (may be lightly toasted), oatcakes (malt free) original or sesame ryvita, wholewheat crispbreads. Read all labels carefully. Nairn’s organic oatcakes are on the diet and very good with hummus.
PASTRY made with wholewheat flour, oatmeal and sunflower or olive oil in proportions of 3:2:2 Make very moist with water then dust well with flour before rolling.
UNSWEETENED SOYA OR RICE MILK as milk alternatives. Different makes of soya milk have drastically different flavours (some taste creamy and nutty, most taste of cardboard and water), and rice milk also comes in Vanilla flavour which is delicious and makes even better porridge than cows milk! Oat milk is surprisingly good.
BUTTER– unsalted for spreading and cooking, otherwise for all cooking use extra virgin olive oil.
UNHYDROGENATED MARGARINE read all labels carefully, make sure it is dairy free, and unhydrogenated AND avoid those with citric acid, (it’s mould extract remember), (and in Jo’s case dairy-free too!) Pure organic or SO olive oil are the only spreads we’ve found that are safe.
COLD PRESSED OILS sunflower, safflower, linseed – only as salad dressing (or jacket potato softner), with lemon or with egg in mayonnaise. DO NOT HEAT as they release free radicals!
NATURAL YOGHURT – low fat, natural, unflavoured. Have it as a dessert or breakfast with lecethin granules or mixed seeds, or with cereal such as whole puffed rice. Spread on top of lasagne before baking or flavour with mint as a dip. (Jo: Even though it’s not low fat we both love Rachels Organic Greek style yoghurt. You can do lots with it too; with a little carob powder mixed in makes a tangy chocolate mousse like mix – a little of this is the nearest I get to a dessert, vanilla and cinammon are great too … but I’ve always prefered savoury things to puddings anyway so that’s okay – sadly now eliminated by dairy allergy taking hold). Milled dark linseeds add nice flavour and texture too.
COTTAGE CHEESE as a spread or filler for jacket potato or with salad. (Jo: I’ve never been too keen on cottage cheese, and combined with the dairy intolerance history I can’t see a really good reason for me to eat cottage cheese ever. I don’t think Cliff thinks much of it either and as a person who suffers in the sinuses most dairy is best avoided too)
BREAKFASTS home made muesli with oat flakes (organic) And other whole grains, mixed with seeds, soaked in water and eaten with oat milk, rice milk or natural yoghurt. Shredded wheat with soya or rice milk. Puffed oats, wheat or rice or kashi (mixed whole grains) with soya or rice milk. Porridge made with soya or rice milk (see rice milk note – vanilla is excellent) sprinkled with cinammon or nutmeg and eaten with yoghurt.
Egg, boiled, poached or scrambled, eaten with wholewheat soda bread, or toast and butter, rice cakes with cottage cheese (yuk!) and sliced tomato, or slices of tinned pease pudding (help – I’ll take the rice cakes after all!) with tomato, grilled or microwaved, and many more besides.
MAIN MEALS Try to find a butcher (or farm shop) selling free-range chickens, and organic lean meat to avoid hormones and antibiotics. Rabbit and lamb are less likely to be affected. Do not forget though that all red meat has inflammatory qualities!
Enjoy any type of fish (except smoked) but oily fish is particularly beneficial (herrings, sardines, mackerel, pilchards, salmon tuna and trout.)
Combine a grain with a pulse for more complete protein from vegetarian sources. Eg: bean and vegetable pie, crumble, rice or bulgar wheat with chickpeas in tomato sauce or soya milk and herb sauce, wholewheat spaghetti, brown rice pasta twirls with brown lentils, tomatos and onions. Though even without combining you still get some reasonable protein from pulses.
FRESH VEGETABLES – of all types, steamed. Aim to have a plate full of salad (UNCOOKED VEGETABLES) including TOMATOES every day – it should be a 1/3 of all anyone eats, uncooked veg. Do not salt when steaming, even with lo-salt. We also roast our vegetables in organic extra virgin olive oil – not strictly totally healthy but a very nice alternative.
AVOCADOS are very good filled with houmous, yoghurt with tomato puree, or home-made vinegar free mayonnaise. Apparently others enjoy cottage cheese, but then there’s no accounting for taste!
LEMONS – apart from avocados and tomatoes, the only other fruit allowed. If adding slices to drink then scrub the peel very well to ensure all traces of moulds are removed. Use lemon juice for salad dressing, for a yoghurt sauce with casseroled chicken and for squeezing over your fish, also to substitute for the vinegar in mayonnaise.
SEEDS AND FRESHLY CRACKED NUTS – not peanuts. (Jo: I still gag at the taste, even scent sometimes, of 90% of nuts so best to avoid them. Seeds I’m weaning myself onto still, but should be okay.) They make a nutritious snack. Choose seeds such as sunflower pumpkin, flax and sesame. Keep in the fridge. A mix of above seeds gives balanced amounts of omega 3 and 6 essential fatty oils.
NB shelled nuts have unseen moulds so they must be fresh nuts cracked as you eat them.
HERBS OF ALL KINDS fresh or dried add interesting variations in flavour.
MILD SPICES also add interest. Cinnamon, coriander, tumeric, cumin etc, though still avoid hot ones especially chilli (irritant). (Jo: lemon grass, coriander and ginger go excellently with coconut milk or cream as a thai style stir-fry sauce). FRESH ground black pepper, but not pre-ground. Be wary – many mixed spice mixes have added sugar as one of the spices! Schwarz Thai 7 spice doesn’t but their chinese 5 spice does so check very carefully.
HOT DRINKS barley cup (yukky stuff plain instant chicory is far nicer and less burnt tasting) and herb teas or fruit teas providing they have no citric acid or malt or artificial flavours or colourings. Rooibos tastes closest to normal tea (if rather like somewhat stewed normal tea to my taste buds). Hot tomato juice makes a nice winter warmer. Roasted dandelion coffee (avoid added lactose or sugar) tastes good and is a wonderful detox for the liver. (Jo: having checked the health food shops out for this one I think you have to make it yourself to have it without lactose, milk or sugar). Favourite packeted teas: Cliff is a gingko biloba fan – Ginseng Vitality Qi tea is a favorite, commonly known as lizards (from a conversation about gekkhos in boiling water) sadly it appears they’ve taken out the gingko and added cinnamon and licorice – shouldn’t be allowed to even pretend it’s the same tea!!!! Peppermint is always safe and welcome, most teas which don’t have actual lumps of fruit or sugar are okay.
COLD DRINKS filter or bottled water, still or sparkling with added ice and lemon is refreshing. (Use a filter jug and a soda syphon, as carbonated drinks aren’t generally very good for you as the excess carbon messes up the bodys balance (I think it steals oxygen from the blood if I remember rightly). Chilled tomato juice is good as a starter, no citric acid or vinegar though (and most of them now have added worcester sauce too). Iced fruit teas are good and are a good alternative to squash or fruit juice (don’t store too long though). Yoghurt can be mixed into sparkling mineral water with added mint leaves or vanilla essence too (so they tell me). According to the hospital’s list one can still get away with drinking Gin and Vodka. So there are two alcoholic drinks one can have. Vodka and “pure, citric acid and vinegar-free” tomato juice, (most tomato juices are full of stuff that isn’t tomatoes) or gin and soda, with a slice of lemon – you can hardly taste it’s not tonic, or straight vodka of course! I’m not sure how on diet vanilla vodka is but it’s one of my favorites and seems to do no more harm than regular vodka and doesn’t smell or taste sweet. However these really are to be saved for special occasions as whenever I’ve had more than one I’ve been somewhat less than well for the following day or two and I think it might not be as safe as the hospital thinks. And of course they are stimulants, releasing blood sugar, which is sugar for yeast to feed on as much as any other sugars are )so it’s a no most of the time).
Jo Coffey © Jo Coffey
(Article’s checklist constructed with reference to material from Erica White’s ‘Beat Candida Cookbook‘)