The past year and a half has been intense, and my family and I haven’t had very much time to really consider our health and well-being in a long-term, consistent way. For as long as I can remember, my mom has worked hard to keep our family healthy and happy in various ways. When I was younger the rules were much different, but we did what we could with the information we had at the time; we didn’t cut out dairy, wheat and sugar officially until 2014! But, as my mom and I work on an eBook regarding alternative cancer treatment, we’ve discovered a lot more information regarding general health and wellness in addition to specific treatments for afflictions such as autism, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s, and the subject of this post, candida overgrowth.
Contrary to what you might think, candida infections are a common and serious problem in both men and women that can cause symptoms including (but definitely not limited to) fatigue, bloating, depression, tinnitus, acne, prostatitis, and severe PMS symptoms. Candida overgrowth is also a culprit in the cause of cancer, leaky gut, diabetes, adrenal/thyroid failure, lupus, and hives among many other afflictions. I was surprised when I uncovered this information, but after the research I’d done on alternative cancer treatments (there’s a shocking amount of crossover) and my personal experiences with diet and alternative healing, I felt like I finally found a handful of missing puzzle pieces and the picture was clearer than it had ever been before.
I’m using the book “The Candida Cure” by Ann Boroch as a base for the development of the diet that our family will follow for the next three months, along with a variety of other diet principles that I find crucial to a healthy diet. I will reference any other books/websites in the resources section of this article.
Basic Guidelines of the Candida Diet:
Diet is a word that carries a lot of meaning for most of us. Depending on who you are, a “diet” may be something that involves severe deprivation and elimination of important nutrients (carbs, sugars, etc.), or it may be something that only celebrities do to get the “perfect body,” which by the way, there is no such thing. In my experience, “diet” is a scary word to a lot of people. But in a world where the general population isn’t afraid to eat synthetic food colorings and highly processed foods that are practically plastic, diet should be the most important thing to change in our lives; it’s one of the most dramatic and crucial treatments. We instinctually look to our food as being a crucial aspect of our health and appearance, but many people don’t follow this instinct. With the curing of candida, food is everything.
Here are the basic principles that we always follow in our diet:
- No dairy, wheat, refined sugar, and trans fats. No meat except chicken, and only when travelling and there’s little else to eat. We also avoid barley, spelt, rye, farro, and kamut since they’re members of the wheat family.
- Lots of fruits and vegetables. We try to “eat the rainbow,” which is an ayurvedic diet principle.
- We use “live” oils when cooking. These are cold-pressed, unrefined, organic oils. Right now, we cook everything in coconut oil and use unrefined extra virgin olive oil; we also use cold-pressed linseed oil as professed by the Budwig Diet. The book “The Conquest of Cancer” by Virginia Livingston-Wheeler describes the concept of live oils more in depth.
- We steam our vegetables frequently to preserve the nutritive value in the food. We also sauté and bake vegetables, but during our candida diet we’ll be doing primarily steaming.
- We do juicing often for similar reasons that we do steaming. Juicing is an integral part of the Gerson Diet for cancer, and is an effective way to get nutrients to your body.
- Soy products are kept to a minimum, although we do still incorporate them in from time to time.
- No peanuts, peanut butter, or peanut oil. If we’re travelling and a food item has something peanut-derived, we do consider it. However, in our daily, at-home lives we don’t eat peanuts.
- We don’t eat any artificial sweeteners, such as erythritol, sorbitol, aspartame, saccharin, etc.
- We incorporate in super foods and nutrient-rich foods as much as possible; examples of such foods include chia seeds, flax seeds, and goji berries among others.
On the candida diet/cleanse, we will also be avoiding the following foods:
|Pineapple||Maple syrup||White rice||Cashews||Vinegar|
|Mango||Honey||Corn||Peanuts||Most fermented foods|
Note how most of the foods we’ll be avoiding are in the Fruits and Sweeteners columns. This is because one of the most crucial aspects of diet when it comes to killing yeast is sugar. Corn and white rice (we’ll be avoiding derivatives of these as well) may at first glance seem unique in the list, but white rice actually contains a high sugar content. Corn is to be avoided because it quickly turns into sugar in the body. Also, fermented foods fuel the growth of yeast, which why they’re to be avoided.
We’re doing a variety of things to try and combat yeast, which I’ll try to outline in a different post, so we won’t be following Ann Boroch’s candida diet exactly. For example, she suggests avoiding potatoes and bananas, but because we’re working with sodium bicarbonate and need the extra potassium that comes from potatoes and bananas, we’ll continue eating them. I would definitely recommend Boroch’s candida diet though, especially for people who are suffering from severe candida infections, since it does follow good principles and she’s had a lot of success with her treatments.
Below I’ve outlined some of the foods we’ll continue eating or that we can consider adding into our meals during the diet:
|Sweet potatoes||Guava||Monk fruit||Amaranth||Almonds||Cocoa powder|
|Dark leafy greens||Kiwi||Chicory root||Quinoa||Walnuts||Garbanzo beans|
At first this may seem limiting, but once you start experimenting you’ll find that it’s actually liberating to try out new foods and work with a different way of cooking and thinking about food. The goal is to nourish your body and starve the yeast.
Out of the above “approved” foods, people following the candida diet should aim to eat dark leafy greens every day for their high nutrient value (specifically B6, magnesium, and iron) along with cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, etc.) to improve liver function and flaxseed to aid detox.
The fruits that I have on the list either support another aspect of the treatment we’re doing (banana for potassium, for example) or have seeds. The seeds in fruit often contain B17 (laetrile), which is a known (though suppressed) cancer treatment. Most westerners and individuals living in developed countries have a deficiency in this B vitamin, and in order to improve my family’s nutrition I saw it necessary to include these fruits to continue getting this important vitamin. Avocado, lemon, lime, and berries were permitted in the original candida diet in Ann Boroch’s book.
I have included garbanzo beans because they have high levels of B15, another vitamin that is rarely talked about but that is extremely important to normal body functioning. A vitamin B15 deficiency can often lead to fatigue and brain fog, among other common symptoms. Plus, I generally use garbanzo beans to make hummus, which also uses tahini; tahini is a parasite-killing food, which goes hand-in-hand with they killing of yeast because yeast and parasites can perpetuate each other in certain circumstances.
Below I’ve listed some spices and herbs that provide the body with different nutrients and help different aspect of body functioning:
- Cilantro – This herb contains vitamin K. It supports bone and blood health and can reduce the possibility of blood clotting. It also assists in the removal of heavy metals.
- Rosemary – This contains antioxidants and specifically works with inflammation and fungal infections, making it particularly good for the candida diet. It is high in vitamins A and C.
- Parsley – This herb is high in B1, B3, and vitamin C.
- Oregano – This is antibacterial and antifungal, again making it good for the candida diet.
- Thyme – This herb has antioxidant, antiseptic, and antifungal properties.
- Basil – This herb is high in flavonoids and antioxidants. It is also high in vitamins A and K and in the mineral calcium.
- Dill – It is high in antioxidants, calcium, and niacin (B3).
- Mint – This is a good detox aid, since it helps digestive issues and headaches. If you’re experiencing detox problems, consider having some mint and/or chamomile tea.
- Tarragon – This is particularly high in antioxidants. It is also an appetite stimulant and it inhibits blood clotting. Tarragon is high in all the B vitamins.
- Marjoram – This herb is high in beta-carotenes and vitamin A. It is antibacterial and anti-inflammatory, which is good for detoxing.
- Sage – This herb is high in antioxidants, B vitamins, calcium, and vitamins A and C.
Nutritional supplements are currently a large part of our anti-candida diet. I’ll post a different article detailing the supplements we’re taking and why we’re taking them soon.
For those of you who are interested in a copy of our eBook on alternative cancer treatments, send me a message on Facebook or leave a comment with your email address.