The first few weeks of my candida cleanse have been very positive and beneficial. When I say “cleanse”, I mean a commitment to understanding the dis-ease and taking steps towards wellness on a regular basis. Check out this article to find out more about My Struggle with Candida. Everyone has a unique body and spirit, we all require a unique style. Here I will share with you the elements of candida and what I have learned about treatment.
What is Candida?
Candida is a fungus that thrives in a warm, moist environment like that in your digestive system and intestines. They live in mucus membranes and feed off of enzymes and undigested food. Most of us naturally have candida, but our digestive enzymes normally keep them in a balance. When things are out of balance in your body, the candida can grow to radical amounts and cause serious health problems.
Candida excretes ethanol, a toxic waste in your body, and causes symptoms like oral thrush, yeast infection, vaginal thrush, back pain, bloating, constipation, heartburn, sores in the mouth and anus, dental problems, migraines, panic attacks, and the list goes on… It contaminates the tissues of the immune system, lungs, kidneys, gallbladder, liver, and brain.
There are many foods that are restricted and many that are praised for those suffering candida. I recommend trying various things and see what works for you.
- Gluten – I’m sure you’ve heard of the gluten-free craze and I think candida is a main reason for it. The gluten of wheat and other grains like spelt, kamut, etc. can be very hard to digest for people, especially those with weakened digestive systems. It is very sticky and candida LOVES to eat it so it can grow wild where gluten is present. I have eliminated most gluten from my diet, but I do eat a slice of sourdough bread occasionally and I ate a cookie yesterday. Since seriously cutting back on my gluten intake, I have had a SIGNIFICANT improvement with my candida.
- Refined Sugar – Candida loves to eat sugar, especially refined sugars like high fructose corn syrup, cane sugar, beet sugar, and all those super sweet processed sugars. Many people eliminate ALL sugar, even the natural fructose you find in fruits, when they are on a candida diet. This is a good idea for people who have serious problems and want to detox their body. If you are like me and just can’t picture yourself without eating any fruit, then limit the very sweet fruits and do your best to eliminate all the processed, refined garbage.
- “Conventional” Dairy Products – I’m talking about the stuff you buy in the grocery store like pasteurized milk, cheese, ice cream, etc. This stuff is all loaded with hormones and antibiotics that are totally harmful to our bodies. Now when it comes to RAW dairy products and the stuff you can make yourself at home, I’m a HUGE advocate for it even during candida crisis. I have not limited my raw milk, kefir, and yogurt consumption one bit since I’ve began my candida cleanse. I drink 3-5 cups of raw GOAT’s milk a day, usually have a glass of kefir, local cheese, sometimes a bowl of homemade yogurt. None of this causes problems for me. I must tell you though, I decided to splurge a few days ago and ordered a Gluten-Free pizza from Dominos. I was in a hell of vaginal thrush and yeast infections for the next two days and I’m certain it was all that hormone cheese I ate! Stay away from conventional dairy. It HURTS!
- Refined Grains – All refined grains like white flour, white rice, puffed cereals, etc. have lost most of their nutrients because they were peeled out of their skins. They create something like a sticky glue and clog up your digestive tract making a perfect home for candida. Eat WHOLE grains instead of these refined grains. Things like buckwheat, quinoa, or brown rice are great for most people (especially when you soak them first!).
- Hydrogenated Oils – These are oils that have mechanically altered so they have a synthetic structure that our bodies don’t even recognize. You’ll find them in things like margarine, muffins, salad dressing, fried food, cakes, soups, vegetable oil, and pretty much any processed food on the supermarket shelf. They clog your liver, spleen, muscles and kidneys creating toxic deposits that contribute to yeast infection. Instead of these oils, use real organic butter, cold pressed coconut oil, ghee, homemade lard, or extra virgin olive oil. But don’t heat up that olive oil because it will go rancid!
- Processed Foods – Most processed foods are filled with artificial ingredients, fillers, sugars, refined flours, hormones, chemicals, etc etc… Make a habit of looking at the ingredients of everything you buy and stick to a simple diet that you can understand. Know what you are putting into your body. If you don’t recognize it, don’t eat it.
- Alcohol and Caffeine – Alcohol is generally toxic to the body. Caffeine is known to overstimulate hormone production and contribute to Candida.
- Fruits – They are fabulous at cleansing the body and have tons of vitamins and minerals that are easily absorbed and digested. Eat them raw and separately from other food to get their full benefit. Cooking fruits makes the sugar more dangerous to the system. Like I said before, limit very sweet fruits like banana, melons, oranges, and tropical fruits. Some people experience problems with fruit contributing to candida so if this is the case, eliminate it completely. Stay away from canned fruit.
- Non-Starchy Vegetables – A great source of energy and complex carbohydrates, easily digested, and also have lots of vitamins and minerals. There is no limit on how much of this stuff you eat so dig in! You can enjoy peppers, broccoli, brussels sprouts, celery, cucumber, spinach, lettuce, and so much more!
- Non-gluten Grains – Great source of protein and fiber, also have lots of vitamins and minerals. I’m talking WHOLE grains like buckwheat, brown rice, quinoa, amaranth, etc. I recommend soaking ALL grains before you eat them to break down the phytic acid and make them more digestible. Also, they can be acid forming so it is best to limit their consumption to maybe 2 servings a day or see what works for you.
- Beans – Another great source of protein, vitamins and minerals. They should be thoughtfully prepared by soaking, sprouting, and cooking for a long time to increase digestion.
- Garlic – Garlic is amazing! I could write an article solely about the benefits of this medicinal food… It cleanses the blood and acts as an antibiotic, but in harmony with your body. Crush or chop it to release it’s healing bounty and eat it RAW. The anti-microbial effects of garlic can eliminate bacteria and fungi overgrowth like candida. You can also use garlic directly on your yeast infection. I use a clove as a vaginal suppository. Some folks wrap it in qauze before sticking it up there because it can sting a little.
- Free Range or Wild Meat – Consume local meat that is fed on pastures, free of chemicals, antibiotics, hormones, fungicides.
- Wheatgrass, Barley Juice, Aloe Vera – Wheatgrass is a super food that does so many great things for your body! Purifies blood, detoxes the liver, cleanses the colon. Chlorophyll is anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant, it helps re-grow tissues and kills bacteria and fungus. I take powdered raw wheat grass in a glass of milk or juice every day. If you have a wheatgrass juicer or can afford one, I highly recommend it!
- Water – Drink enough of it!!! That means about half your body weight in ounces. If you weigh 150 lbs, drink 75 ounces of water a day. Drink filtered or mineral water. One day I would love to live somewhere with a well or spring..
Aside from eating beneficial foods, make sure you are keeping it simple and combining them well. Eating raw veggies in combination with more concentrated foods is a very good practice because raw foods have enzymes that will help your body digest the other foods. Raw veggies also have a lot of fiber and low sugar. Also, chew your food well! Digestion begins in your mouth. Avoid microwaves and don’t overcook your foods either.
This system is a very important defense against infection, toxins, and diseases. It’s complex and powerful so build it up and make it strong!
- Good Diet – Eat well-balance healthy foods like those discussed above.
- Lifestyle, Mood, and Stress – Surround yourself with positive things that you love. Try meditation, yoga, hiking, or gardening. Get plenty of rest every night. Do things that make you happy and control that anger and stress.
- Essential Fatty Acids – These support the immune system and are found in flax oil, cold water fish like salmon and tuna, sun flower seeds, borage, and walnut oil. Some folks highly recommend taking fermented cod liver oil. You may want to look into it.
- Probiotics – These are the intestinal flora that greatly help you digest and assimilate nutrients from your food. I love to take them in the form of real foods like sauerkraut, kefir, and kombucha. Others prefer using supplements.
- Milk Thistle – This goddess herb will literally regenerate liver cells, cleanses and regenerates the liver. Having a strong liver will enable it to effectively cleanse your blood. I make tinctures at home. See how to make your own tinctures here – DIY: How to Brew a Tincture or let me know if you are interested in buying from me.
- Coconut Oil – This can stabilize blood sugar and improve liver function. It is also said to directly fight against candida and other blood pollutants. It helps the absorption of essential fatty acids when taken together.
- Dandelion Root – You can drink this as a tea or take as a tincture or encapsulated. It strengthens the body and empowers the liver and gallbladder, also aids digestion.
- Pau D’ Arco – This herb is incredibly powerful in relieving candida specifically! I take it in the form of a tincture and it has amazing benefits after just a few days of use. I offer it in my shop here – Pau d’ Arco tincture by Roots Apothecary
You may experience some severe flare ups and discomforts while you are cleansing your system of candida. This can come from the simplest changes to your diet, herbal supplements, or doing an extreme 3 day fast. When our bodies begin to eliminate, symptoms of die off can manifest. Don’t be discouraged, this is completely normal! That is why it’s good to take on things little by little and don’t plunge right into total detox from one day to the next. Take your time. Be gentle. The more intense you cleanse, the faster all those toxins are released into your bloodstream and therefore you may feel worse.
It may seem difficult to overcome candida, but you can do it. The only way to truly rid yourself of the dis-ease is naturally from the inside out. There is no magic pill for any dis-ease, no miracle cure. Nature holds the cure and it takes time, patience, and dedication. You can do it! I believe in you!
If you are suffering from candida, please share your stories with us. Let’s help eachother!