Natural Gut Health: What to Eat with Candida Overgrowth
Candida is a fungus and form of yeast that is naturally present in the body and is typically kept under control by the body’s healthy bacteria. However, when your immune system or healthy bacteria become compromised, candida can begin to overproduce and trigger a host of health problems. Knowing what to eat with candida overgrowth – and what not to eat – is crucial to restoring a healthy balance to your gut.
What to Eat with Candida Overgrowth
- Garlic – Garlic contains a compound called allicin which has natural antifungal properties and is particularly effective against candida. Consuming garlic raw provides the most antifungal benefits.
- Ginger – Ginger root contains gingerols and shogaols, which are anti-inflammatory and antifungal components, respectively. While ginger is not the most powerful antifungal food on this list, it does provide significant liver support which is key while your body is detoxing from candida overgrowth.
- Olive oil – Olive, flax, avocado, and primrose oils all contain antioxidants known as polyphenols. These antioxidants aid your body in the fight against candida.
- Cloves – Cloves contain eugenol, an essential oil that is extremely effective as an antifungal when taken internally. (Clove oil is also an effective topical aid for fungal infections of the toe and fingernails.)
- Lemon juice – Lemons have mild antifungal properties, but – just like ginger – their main role is to help support and detoxify the liver through the process.
- Cruciferous vegetables – Broccoli, cabbage, arugula, radishes, and Brussels sprouts all contain isothiocyanates: sulphur- and nitrogen-containing compounds that attack candida.
- Cinnamon – This anti-inflammatory spice also has antifungal properties. It appears to damage yeast cells, causing them to denature and die off. However, cinnamon should not be used while pregnant or in the presence of stomach or intestinal ulcers.
- Wild salmon – Wild salmon (not farm raised) is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids which help fight fungal infections.
- Turmeric – Also known as curcumin, turmeric has natural antifungal properties that target and destroy candida.
- Apple cider vinegar – The only type of vinegar recommended during candida overgrowth, ACV appears to have enzymes that help break down candida.
- Coconut oil – Coconut oil contains antifungal and antimicrobial properties that have been proven to kill all yeasts, including candida. It interferes with candida growth and replication by poking holes in the walls of yeast cells, causing them to die off.
- Probiotics – Probiotics – such as Lactobacillus – can reduce candida growth and protect against infections. Infections can require antibiotics, which can further upset your gut’s microbiome and make for a longer recovery. Probiotics help regulate digestion, support the immune system, and restore a healthy gut balance by crowding out candida with good bacteria. You can take probiotics in pill form or ingest high-probiotic foods such as yogurt, kombucha, and kefir.
What NOT to Eat with Candida Overgrowth
It’s not enough just to eat foods that inhibit candida growth; you must also remove the foods that feed candida from your diet until balance is restored. Candida lives on sugar, but it also needs an acidic environment to survive (which is why vinegar and foods that contain vinegar should be avoided).
Processed and refined foods, as well as those high in gluten and sugar (even natural sugar), provide the ideal environment for candida to grow and replicate. You should avoid sugar in the form of: straight sugar, fruit, milk (contains sugar in the form of lactose). Yeast is found in alcohol, peanuts, melons, and most baked goods. You should also be checked for food sensitivities: removing foods you are sensitive to reduces strain on the gastrointestinal tract so that it is better able to repair itself.
Restore a Healthy Gut with Anchor Wellness Center
Dr. Minni Malhotra, MD, FAARM, ABAARM can help you treat candida overgrowth and restore balance to your gut. Board Certified in Family Medicine as well as Board Certified with the American Board of Anti-Aging and Regenerative Medicine, Dr. Malhotra is committed to helping each patient achieve optimal health. To schedule a consultation, call us today at (832) 246-8437.