How To Do A Candida Cleanse: Beginner’s Guide, Food List, Meal Plans
You might be surprised to know that it is normal to have candida albicans in your body. Almost all of us have it in one form or another. It can become a problem if you have too much candida albicans. This is known as candida overgrowth.
A candida cleanse is a treatment that uses a low-sugar, anti- inflammatory diet and other supplements to reverse the growth of candida.
In this article, we will take a look at the causes of Candida overgrowth, list the foods to eat and avoid, share a sample meal plan, and examine the supplements you might need to complete your candida cleanse.
What Is Candida Overgrowth?
Candida is a species of yeast that lives naturally on and in your body. It’s a normal component of the microorganisms that live in your gastrointestinal tract. Small amounts of Candida albicans live in the warm, moist areas of your body, such as on your skin, in your gut and mouth, and in your rectum and vagina. Candida albicans even plays a part in digestion and nutrient absorption.
The majority of the population of Candida albicans is kept under control by your good gut bacteria. The balance of good and bad is kept in check by these microbes. Problems begin if candida albicans becomes out of control. This can lead to yeast infections, also known as candidiasis, or thrush.
Candida overgrowth can lead to infections that cause pain and inflammation throughout the body, usually on the skin, in the gut and the genitals. If left untreated, Candida microbes can even break down the walls of the intestine and release toxic by-products into your body, which may lead to many different health issues, from digestive disorders to depression. (1)
Skin, mouth, and vaginal infections are some of the symptoms of candida overgrowth. A common cause of diaper rash is candida over growth. These skin infections are a sign of an unbalanced gut. If the yeast overgrowth in the gut is not treated, the other Candida infections are likely to recur.
The symptoms of Candida include:
- Brain Fog
- Digestive Issues
- There are recurring yeast infections.
- Oral Thrush
- Sinus Infections
- Food Sensitivities
- There are infections on the skin and nails.
- Weak Immunity
- Joint Pain
- Low Mood
What Causes Candida Overgrowth?
It is the job of your good gut bacteria to keep your candida levels under control, but sometimes they aren’t able to do that as effectively as they should. If thesebacteria are weakened in any way, like through antibiotics, illness, or poor diet, they may not be able to fight off the pathogens like Candida.
People who eat a lot of sugar and refined sugars are more likely to have a yeast overgrowth.
Antibiotics, the oral contraceptive pill, and other medications can cause your body to be lacking in beneficial bacteria. A healthy gut can also be upset by chronic stress.
In these cases, the population of candida yeast may quickly get out of hand and become harder and harder to treat.
The really tricky thing about Candida is that it can adapt quite quickly to spread and protect itself from your immune system. It transforms from a rounded yeast cell into an elongated hyphal cell, which allows it to cope with a change in temperature or varying acidity levels. An elongated cell is also better able to break through the gut lining. (2)
A health problem known as Leaky Gut Syndrome can be caused by this ability to penetrate the intestinal wall. If candida succeeds in breaking through the gut lining, it could allow toxins and food particles from the gut to enter the bloodstream.
The causes of Candida overgrowth include:
- A High-Sugar Diet
- Chronic Stress
- The contraceptive pill can be taken during menstruation.
- Heavy Metal Exposure
- Chemical Exposure
The Benefits Of Doing A Candida Cleanse
It is not surprising that many health practitioners recommend a cleanse for candida overgrowth. This is not as difficult as it might sound.
There are lots of different ways to do a Candida cleanse, but the most effective result will be achieved through targeting all areas of your body that may have been affected by the overgrowth. This includes your gut, which is often colonized by Candida albicans, and your liver, which has to process and eliminate the toxins produced by the yeast overgrowth.
Some of the benefits of a candida cleanse are listed here.
- There is a rebalanced gut microbiome.
- The immune function is improved.
- Improved digestion
- Lower inflammation
- Improved mood
- Higher energy levels
Foods To Eat On Your Candida Cleanse
During your Candida cleanse diet, you should eat healthy, nutritious foods that are easy to digest.
Avoid foods that are high in sugars or hard to digest. You can fill your diet with non-starchy vegetables, low-sugar fruits, non-glutenous grains, and healthy fats.
While this may be more limited than your usual diet, you can include a variety of herbs, spices, oils, and other cooking ingredients to create some delicious meals with lots of nutritional benefits! What’s more, these foods will begin the process of healing your gut, reducing inflammation, boosting nutrient absorption, and rebalancing your gut flora.
We recommend that you eat three types of foods while on the cleanse.
1. Low-Sugar Foods
Reducing your sugar intake is the first thing you can do to beat Candida. It makes sense to keep sugar out of your diet because sugar is important to the growth and reproduction of candida albicans, and it protects your immune cells.
While it may sound impossible to avoid all sugar, it’s important that you at least begin investigating the sugar content of the foods you do eat. You’ll soon find that there are lots of hidden sugars in foods you wouldn’t consider to be treats, such as condiments, fruit and processed snacks.
Non-starchy vegetables, some fruits, non-glutenous grains, lean oils, and herbs are all acceptable on a Candida cleanse.
The good news is that once you cut down your sugar intake, you’ll actually find that you crave sugar less! That’s partly because you’ll be starving the Candida yeast of its main source of fuel.
2. Non-Glutenous Grains
It’s possible to improve your gut health, reduce inflammation, and reduce the symptoms of your candida overgrowth if you keep your diet free of thegluten.
White breads, white pasta, and most cereals contain wheat, which can cause chronic inflammation in the gut and destroy the bonds between the cells.
The list of Candida diet foods contains only grains that are free of wheat, corn, and other wheat-derived ingredients.
Non-starchy vegetables are naturally gluten-free, and can be substituted for some grains in recipes where they provide a similar texture. For example, it’s possible to make a pasta substitute out of zucchini!
Most flours can be replaced with chickpea flour, almond flour, or buckwheat flour.
3. Anti-Inflammatory Foods
Reducing inflammation is one of the main objectives of the candida cleanse diet. It is vital that you avoid processed foods, minimize sugar, and reduce yourcaffeinated drinks, but also that you include lots of anti- inflammatory foods in your daily diet.
Many of the best-known anti- inflammatory foods are safe to eat on the candida cleanse. One of the most effective ways to combat inflammation is from what you put on your plate, according to the nutritionists.
Many studies show that certain components of food and beverages can have anti- inflammatory effects. Your body will recover faster from candida.
Some of the best anti-inflammatory foods include olive oil, green leafy vegetables (such as spinach, kale, and collards), raw nuts and seeds (such as almonds and walnuts), fatty fish (salmon, mackerel, and sardines) and low-sugar fruits (blueberries, cherries and raspberries). (3)
Foods To Avoid On Your Candida Cleanse
As you may have already realized, it’s what you DON’T eat that matters most on a Candida cleanse! Improving the health of your gut means eliminating the foods that ‘feed’ the Candida yeast or worsen inflammation.
The following categories of foods should be avoided on the Candida Cleanse for one of three very important factors – sugar, gluten, and inflammation.
1. Foods That Are High In Sugar
Most of us like a sugar fix, but Candida does too. Sugar provides the energy that Candida needs to grow and spread throughout your body.
Sugar also allows Candida to build special protective biofilms that function as a kind of protective shield for the yeast cells, so they can ‘hide’ from your immune cells. These biofilms are actually composed of 32% glucose. (4)
Extra sugar in the bloodstream can allow yeast to colonize more quickly.
Extra sugar can be released into your mucus, sweat and urine if you have high blood sugar levels. The areas of your body where you thrive are the ones where the bodily fluids are released.
Unless you cut it out completely, there is a higher chance that the yeast will come back.
Fruit juices, candy, desserts, cereals, and dried fruit are some of the foods that are high in sugar. Check the ingredients label carefully and be sure to understand exactly what you are eating because there are many forms of sugar in our foods.
2. Foods That Contain Gluten
Even if you don’t suffer from any of the diseases, you should still avoid wheat on your candida cleanse.
Research shows that gluten has the tendency to cause inflammation in the gut and increase the risk of intestinal permeability. It can also worsen the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome and Candida overgrowth. (5)
Gluten stimulates the release of a protein called zonulin, which damages the gut lining by loosening the junctions between cells in the gut. (6)
It’s been found that people who don’t appear to be sensitive to gluten may still suffer from inflammation when they eat wheat, due to the amylase trypsin inhibitors (ATIs) in wheat. These can cause an inflammatory immune response in the GI tract by provoking immune cells. (7)
All grains are not included in the cleanse. You should not eat wheat, barley, or rye. There are many breads, cereals, and other foods that also contain added gluten.
3. Pro-Inflammatory Foods
A number of foods found in the Western diet are known to cause inflammation in the gut, including wheat and sugar.
The worst offenders include refined vegetable oils, which contain high levels of pro-inflammatory omega-6 fatty acids. If these Omega 6 fatty acids get out of balance with anti-inflammatory Omega 3 fatty acids, they can cause an increase in inflammatory markers in the body. Unfortunately, many of the foods we eat are high in Omega 6. (8)
Inflammation in the body and irritation of the gut are promoted by alcohol and caffeine.
Processed foods that contain artificial additives should be avoided too. That includes processed meats, trans fats (commonly found in fried foods), white breads and pasta, soybean oil and processed snack foods such as chips. (9)
Sample Meal plan
Here is a 3-day, sample meal plan for the Candida cleanse. You can find lots more Candida recipes in our recipe section.
Breakfast: Avocado Baked Eggs with Vegetable Hash
Lunch: Chicken Piccata
Dinner: Vegan Cauliflower Curry
Breakfast: Turkey and Sage Breakfast Patties
Lunch: Cool Sardine Salad
Dinner: Mindful Veggie Bowl
Breakfast: Avocado Pancakes With Lemon Parsley Butter
Lunch: Mediterranean Zucchini Dip With Vegetables
Dinner: Green Chili Chicken Stew
Supplements To Take On Your Candida Cleanse
There are several supplements that can help you on your way to beating Candida. They help to eliminate candida toxin, restore your gut flora, and prevent the growth of candida albicans.
These are the supplements you need to cleanse your body of candida.
- A detox supplement
- A probiotic
- An antifungal
Let’s take a look at them in more detail.
1. A Detox Supplement To Reduce Your Candida Symptoms
The Candida cleanse involves eating a clean and healthy diet as well as removing harmful substances from your body. It is important that you support your body’s detoxification pathways in order to help flush out those Candida toxins, prevent a die-off reaction from occurring, and reduce your candida symptoms.
When the yeast is killed off, it can cause a lot of damage to your organs and immune system. You can experience fatigue, headaches, and nausea at this point.
These symptoms are known as Candida Die-Off, or alternatively the Herxheimer reaction, and will usually diminish within a week or two. In some cases, they can continue a little longer.
As Candida cells break down and release large amounts of their endotoxins, die-off happens. Die-off can cause a lot of stress on your liver, as well as causing unpleasant effects on your body.
The good news is that there are many natural supplements that can help with the processing and expelling of toxins.
It is possible to make a huge difference to your recovery with a liver support supplement. A high-quality supplement has a range of herbs that support the bile ducts.
Milk thistle, molybdenum, and NAC are some of the best-researched natural medicines for boosting your liver’s functioning capacity. They can also help to flush out Candida-related toxins.
Molybdenum helps your body to convert neurotoxin acetaldehyde into acetic acids, so it’s useful. If these acids are flushed out of the body, they can be converted into helpful digestive enzymes.
Milk thistle is one of the most plant-based sources of liver support. This powerful herb is known for its ability to support the body’s detoxification pathways.
Milk thistle’s seeds contain a powerful flavonoid called silymarin, which is a potent antioxidant and one of nature’s most potent liver purifiers. Silymarin has been found to optimize liver function and detoxification, while also helping to repair damage to liver cells from disease, alcohol, and drugs. (10)
One of the ways in which milk thistle works is by increasing production of glutathione, your body’s most important antioxidant. Glutathione helps to ward off damage from free radicals that are generated by our environment or from within the gut. (11)
NoneThe detox supplement that we recommend is Liver One by Balance ONE. It contains standardized European milk thistle extract, molybdenum, and a range of other liver-supportive ingredients.
The only supplement that we recommend is Liver One, which is specially formulated for sufferers of the candida yeast.
2. A Probiotic To Restore Your Gut Microbiome
Did you know that up to 70 percent of your immune tissue is in your gut? (12)
Your immunity can really suffer when your body is trying to fight off a gut infection like Candida overgrowth. Restoring your healthy gut bacteria should be a priority in order to get your immunity back up and running. The most effective way to do this is by taking a high-quality probiotic supplement.
There are two of the best strains for restoring the gut microbiome.
L. plantarum is a powerful strain of probiotic bacteria that has been shown to support immune health in a variety of ways. It is highly adhesive, which means it ‘clings’ to the intestinal wall and helps to promote gut healing. It’s also very good at fighting pathogenic bacteria and yeast that cause us problems, particularly E. coli and Candida albicans. (13)
L. plant works by protecting the gut’s membranes. If you have any irritation or damage to your gut lining, this makes it particularly helpful.
Studies have shown that L. plantarum can survive the harsh environment of the gut and can be treated with antibiotics. If you want to avoid yeast growth, L. plantarum is a good choice.
Lactobacillus acidophilusis perhaps the most well-known and well-researched of probiotic bacteria. It displays remarkable potency in the battle against Candida and has been shown to significantly inhibit the rate at which the yeast grows. This is one of most effective probiotic bacteria against Candida albicans. (14,15)
Lactic acid is produced as a result of the metabolism of L. acidophilus. This helps to regulate acidity in your gut, boost your immune system, and prevent candida albicans from changing into its fungal form.
This remarkable microbe has been found to lower cholesterol, prevent and treat diarrhea, reduce the symptoms of colds and flu, promote weight loss, and is an excellent bacterium for improving gut health.
NoneOur recommended probiotic for Candida is the Balance ONE Probiotic. It uses time-release tablets to get 15 times as many probiotic bacteria past the stomach acid barrier and to your gut. It contains 15 billion CFUs of bacteria, has 12 probiotic strains, and is made in the USA. It’s the only probiotic that we recommend for Candida overgrowth.
3. An Antifungal To Fight The Candida Overgrowth
Candida is a virulent pathogen that is particularly difficult to dislodge from your intestinal walls. Antifungals help to break down the biofilms that it creates and give your immune system the best possible chance to eliminate it.
There are only a few prescription antifungals that can help with the overgrowth of candida. They tend to have some nasty side effects.
This is because yeast and fungal cells are quite similar to human cells, making it difficult to create a treatment that targets the ‘bad guys’ and not the ‘good guys’. For this reason, natural antifungals are often the best option for Candida sufferers.
Oregano leaf extract
Oregano oil is a powerful antifungal treatment that can help to inhibit and reverse a Candida overgrowth. Oregano oil is the concentrated extract of oregano leaf and has been used in natural medicine throughout history. Research shows it can inhibit a variety of pathogens including Candida yeast infections. (16)
Oregano’s antifungal properties are largely due to its active constituent, carvacrol. Carvacrol is rich in concentrated phenols that attack pathogenic fungi. (17)
Carvacrol can give your immune system the boost it needs while it deals with Candida yeast, and it has been found to inhibit a range of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, viruses, parasites, and fungi.
At the same time, carvacrol has the ability to prevent Candida toxins from releasing harmful substances and creating protective biofilms (18).
Most health stores carry capsule forms of Oregano oil supplements. Diluted oregano oil can be taken in pill form.
This supplement is a powerful antifungal that comes in capsule form. It’s one of the antifungals most often used in Candida treatment. It is derived from coconut oil, which contains caprylic acid and two other antifungal compounds.
Caprylic acid can help in two ways: its ability to kill Candida cells, and the way that it restores normal acidity levels in the gut. Taking caprylic acid during your treatment can get your intestinal tract back in shape and help to inhibit or reverse your intestinal Candidiasis. (19)
NoneOur recommended antifungal for Candida is Balance ONE CandAssist. It contains powerful natural antifungals, including oregano leaf extract and caprylic acid, and it uses delayed-release capsules to get those antifungals safely to your gut. It’s vegan, non-GMO, and made in the USA. It’s the best candida cleanse to fight Candida overgrowth.
Now It’s Time To Fight Your Candida!
One of the best ways to deal with candida overgrowth is to cleanse it. You will be on your way to beating that yeast with the right foods and supplements.
The most important steps in your cleanse are listed below.
- Follow a low-sugar, anti-inflammatory diet to boost your immunity and starve the Candida yeast.
- Take a detox supplement to support your liver and reduce your Candida symptoms.
- Use a high-quality probiotic supplement to restore your gut flora.
- Take a natural antifungal to inhibit and reverse the Candida overgrowth.
If you’d like to learn more about how to create your own Candida treatment plan, check out our Ultimate Candida Diet program. It contains more than 100 sugar-free, gluten-free recipes, as well as lots of detailed advice on the best foods and supplements to beat Candida.
Beat your candida in 60 days
This program has a detailed 5-step program.
The Ultimate Candida Diet program was written by Lisa Richards and Dr Eric Wood, and is a more comprehensive plan for treating candida. Everything you need to know to beat your Candida overgrowth is contained in this plan, based on the latest research.