Kick Candida to the Curb (2023)

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It’s one of those conditions—like hemorrhoids or body odor—that we’re reluctant to discuss. But yeast infections are a common problem that affect men as well as women. Candida albicans, the fungus responsible for vaginal yeast infections, can also multiply in the intestines, leading to a variety of unpleasant symptoms and potentially increasing the risk of illness and autoimmune conditions.

It’s normal to have some candida in the gut, but it’s usually kept in check by the immune system and beneficial bacteria that live in the intestines. But if antibiotic use, a high-sugar diet, or other lifestyle factors cause probiotic counts to dwindle—or if the immune system becomes weakened for any reason—candida can grow unchecked, a condition known as candidiasis. Symptoms include bloating, gas, constipation, diarrhea, joint pain, fatigue, headaches, sinus problems, depression, and anxiety.

Once it gains a foothold in the body, yeast is tenacious and difficult to eliminate. But you can kick candida overgrowth. It just takes a little perseverance and a few sensible steps.

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Step 1: Cut Carbs and Other Yeast Promoters

Decreasing your carbohydrate intake is the foundation of any anti-candida diet. Yeast organisms use sugar for growth and reproduction, and sugar in any form also allows candida yeast to grow faster and become more virulent, which can damage the intestines. On the flip side, cutting sugars and starches from your diet will slow and/or reverse candida growth.

For at least two weeks—and preferably three—cut out as many carbs from your diet as you can and eliminate sugar in all forms, including fresh fruits, dried fruits, starchy vegetables, legumes, and grains. Search for hidden sugar in crackers, soups, sauces, and other processed foods. Avoid artificial sweeteners and sugar alcohols (e.g., sorbitol and mannitol), as they encourage candida growth, too. Some say xylitol is an exception, since studies show that it can combat yeast infections. However, like other sugar alcohols, xylitol can upset beneficial bacteria in the gut and exacerbate yeast problems. Err on the side of caution, and stick to small amounts of stevia as a transitional sweetener.

Other foods are thought to exacerbate candidiasis by compromising immunity, producing toxins, or damaging intestinal flora, or because they contain molds. Foods to avoid include alcohol, yeast, aged or processed cheeses, processed or smoked meats, peanuts, pistachios, black tea, coffee, and vinegar (except apple cider vinegar).

Additionally, there has been some controversy over mushrooms. On the one hand, they’re fungi, which some experts believe can worsen symptoms. But many mushroom varieties—such as reishi and maitake—boost immunity and may improve symptoms.

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Check supplement labels, too. Many contain fillers or additives that can worsen symptoms. Cellulase, found in many digestive enzymes and other supplements, can exacerbate candida. Maltodextrin promotes yeast growth even more than white sugar does. And alcohol is found in many tinctures. Look for alcohol-free versions, or choose capsules or loose tea over tinctures.

Step 2: Heal Your Gut with Supplements

An overgrowth of candida can create inflammation in the gut and damage intestinal walls. This diminishes the absorption of nutrients and further imbalances beneficial bacteria. If the intestinal barrier is damaged enough to become permeable—a condition known as leaky gut syndrome—undigested protein can escape into the bloodstream and initiate an immune response. Over time, this may play a role in the development of autoimmune diseases.

Supplements can help repair this damage. Omega-3 fats calm inflammation and boost immunity. Slippery elm soothes inflamed stomach and intestinal walls. And L-glutamine helps heal the intestinal lining—look for it in powder form, and try 2,000–4,000 mg once or twice a day.

Many studies show that probiotics, or beneficial bacteria, discourage yeast overgrowth by “crowding out” candida in the gut and improving immunity. Lactobacillus acidophilus, one of the most common strains, prevents candida overgrowth and also improves digestion. Bifidobacteria also boost immunity, repair intestinal damage, and increase the acidity of the intestines, which discourages the growth of yeast and other pathogens. Try a formula that contains a variety of strains for a broader effect. Start with a smaller dose-usually 1-2 billion CFUs twice a day. Then increase your dosage by 1 billion CFUs every two days to avoid yeast die-off symptoms (e.g., headache, fatigue, muscle pain, skin breakouts, and other symptoms caused when yeast cells die off rapidly).

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Step 3: Eat These Two Foods

Antifungal foods can also help you kick candida. Two of the best: garlic and coconut oil. Studies show that garlic is an anti-fungal that significantly reduces candida. For maximum effectiveness, eat it raw, as cooking garlic damages allicin, the compound that’s responsible for its antimicrobial effects. Add minced garlic to salad dressings, or put a clove through a garlic press and stir into steamed veggies. If you can’t stomach it raw, try a garlic supplement. Start with 600–900 mg taken in regular doses throughout the day. Try Wakunaga Kyolic Candida Cleanse & Digestion Formula 102, which contains Aged Garlic Extract.

Coconut oil is rich in caprylic acid, an anti-fungal compound that combats yeast while leaving beneficial bacteria intact. In studies, coconut oil significantly reduced or eliminated candida. Use it for cooking or as a replacement for butter on steamed vegetables and other foods. Unrefined is preferable to refined, but there’s no real difference between “virgin” or “extra-virgin” varieties. You can also swap coconut milk for cow’s milk, but avoid varieties that contain added sugars.Caprylic acid is also available as a single supplement at health food stores.

Try these Helpful Herbs

Many herbs also have powerful yeast-fighting activities. Some of the best:

Kick Candida to the Curb (1)

Pau d’arco, a South American rainforest herb, has been used for thousands of years for its antimicrobial effects, and modern studies prove its effectiveness in combatting candida. You’ll find it sold as a tea (which has a pleasant, earthy flavor), or in capsule or extract form. Drink 2–4 cups of tea per day, or take capsules as recommended. If you use tinctures, look for alcohol-free versions.

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Kick Candida to the Curb (2)

Olive leaf contains oleuropein, a powerful antifungal that prevents candida overgrowth. It’s also full of antioxidants that support immune function. Look for capsules, or liquid formulations that combine olive leaf extract with other powerful antioxidants. Start by taking moderate doses to avoid die-off symptoms, and gradually increase your dosage.

Kick Candida to the Curb (3)

Oregano oil is rich in concentrated phenols that prevent fungal infection. It also has antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and antiviral properties. In one study, oregano oil completely inhibited the growth of candida. Additionally, candida doesn’t develop resistance to oregano oil as it does to other antifungal agents. Take 2–4 drops daily of oregano oil in a glass of water, slowly increasing to 5–6 drops per day. Or buy softgel capsules for a more convenient dosage.

Naturally Clean

Commercial household cleaners, laundry detergent, dishwashing liquid, and other products can exacerbate candida, especially if you’re also experiencing chemical sensitivities, which are common in people with candidiasis. The same goes for fragrances, including perfume, air fresheners, and other chemically scented products. So switch to natural cleaners in unscented varieties.

Kick Candida to the Curb (4)

It’s also crucial to determine if you have hidden sources of mold in your home. Long-term or regular exposure to mold, even at low levels, suppresses immune function and leads to fungal overgrowth in the body. Look for areas of visible mold in your house, repair leaking pipes or water damage, and if you have any questions, hire a reputable testing firm.

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FAQs

What kills Candida quickly? ›

Top 7 Strongest Candida Killers To Fight Candida Overgrowth
  • Caprylic Acid. Coconut oil is made up of three fatty acids: caprylic acid capric acid and lauric. ...
  • Undecylenic Acid. ...
  • Oregano Leaf Extract. ...
  • Berberine. ...
  • Betaine HCl. ...
  • Garlic Extract. ...
  • Olive Leaf Extract.

How do you permanently cure Candida? ›

An effective Candida treatment includes:
  1. Cutting back on unhelpful foods. As we've already seen, eating refined, high-sugar foods allows Candida to thrive. ...
  2. Focusing on sleep, exercise, and stress reduction. ...
  3. Using supplements. ...
  4. Adding medication when needed.
2 Feb 2020

How do you cleanse your body of Candida? ›

There are many ways to do a cleanse, but two common ways are:
  1. Drinking only fluids, such as lemon water or bone broth.
  2. Eating mainly vegetables, such as salads and steamed vegetables, alongside a small amount of protein throughout the day.
21 Oct 2018

What gets rid of Candida naturally? ›

COCONUT OIL: Contains caprylic acid (mentioned above), which kills yeast cells. OLIVE OIL: The antioxidants in olive oil help your body get rid of Candida. GARLIC: Contains allicin, a sulphur-containing compound with specific-to-Candida anti-fungal properties. CINNAMON: Has anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory benefits.

What drink kills Candida? ›

Apple cider vinegar has long been used as a home remedy to treat candida overgrowth and protect against yeast infections and thrush. Studies show apple cider vinegar has powerful antimicrobial activities and can inhibit the growth of C.

How long does it take to starve Candida? ›

Using diet alone it could take three to six months before the candida is back under control. Your doctor may also suggest the use of an anti-fungal medication such as Diflucan or Nyastatin for a month or longer to speed up the process.

What vitamins are good for Candida? ›

Vitamin C can boost your immune system

Taking a good Vitamin C supplement will restore your adrenal glands to health, build up your immune system and allow your body to fight off the Candida.

How do you feel when you have Candida? ›

A Candida infection on or inside the vagina is called a vaginal yeast infection or “vaginal candidiasis.” These infections are common. Some possible symptoms of vaginal candidiasis include: white, clumpy vaginal discharge. vaginal itching or soreness.

Is apple cider vinegar good for Candida? ›

According to research ACV has benefits as an antibacterial and antifungal agent. A 2018 study found that undiluted (or mildly diluted) ACV can prevent the growth of candida.

What food kills Candida? ›

Cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli, Brussels sprouts, arugula, cabbage, and radishes, are among the most powerful foods that kill Candida. They contain isothiocyanates, which are sulfur- and nitrogen-containing compounds that inhibit the growth of Candida.

What foods make Candida worse? ›

The candida diet requires people to avoid foods and drinks that could increase the risk of Candida overgrowth. These include gluten, sugar, alcohol products, and certain types of dairy. The diet focuses instead on eating lean proteins, healthful fats, nonstarchy vegetables, and probiotics.

What does Candida detox feel like? ›

The reaction usually occurs a few hours after antibiotics are given and symptoms include headaches, fever, fatigue and low blood pressure. It is essentially a short-term response, that takes place over a few days to a couple of weeks, as the body detoxifies.

What kills fungus in the body? ›

Antifungal medications work to treat fungal infections. They can either kill fungi directly or prevent them from growing and thriving. Antifungal drugs are available as OTC treatments or prescription medications, and come in a variety of forms, including: creams or ointments.

Is lemon water good for Candida? ›

Warm water with lemon in the morning can fight candida and ramp up digestion. Add a splash or two of ACV into your water bottle or over a salad and you'll be good to go.

Does caffeine worsen Candida? ›

Firstly, caffeine's detrimental effect on your immune system reduces your ability to fight Candida overgrowth. This will not only worsen your Candida symptoms; it will compromise your health in the long run. Secondly, caffeine can cause spikes in your blood sugar that feed your Candida overgrowth.

Does coffee feed Candida? ›

Coffee, or specifically caffeine, complicates the dependence on sugar you're trying to break. First & most importantly, caffeine can cause spikes in your blood sugar that feed the Candida overgrowth.

Where does Candida go when it dies? ›

Increasing your daily water intake will help to keep those toxins being moved out of your body. All those Candida by-products that are being released as the yeast cells die will be floating around in your bloodstream and lymph.

How long does it take to heal your gut from Candida? ›

Most mild to moderate cases of candidiasis will clear up in two to three days after you complete treatment. More severe cases of candidiasis may take a couple of weeks to clear up completely after treatment.

What happens when Candida is leaving your body? ›

Candida die-off may cause symptoms of a yeast infection to temporarily worsen, or it may even cause new symptoms, such as a fever or stomach pain. Treatment of viruses, bacteria, and fungi such as candida can cause temporary inflammation in the body.

What probiotic kills Candida? ›

Certain probiotic strains, such as Lactobacillus rhamnosus and lactobacillus acidophilus have the ability to fight Candida. A high quality probiotic also helps restore the healthy diversity of good bacteria in your intestine.

How do I get rid of Candida once and for all? ›

From changes in diet and lifestyle to taking certain fungicides, it is possible to stop candida overgrowth and return your body to a state of balance.
  1. Eliminate your sugar intake. ...
  2. Cut down on carbs. ...
  3. Stay away from high-lactose dairy products. ...
  4. Go for gluten-free products. ...
  5. Reduce alcohol intake.
4 Nov 2019

Does Zinc Fight Candida? ›

Zinc status has been shown to influence various cell-mediated immunologic mechanisms. These cell-mediated mechanisms are important in preventing mucocutaneous infections caused by Candida albicans.

What triggers Candida overgrowth? ›

Overgrowth is caused by the introduction of a foreign chemical into a patient's body. Steroids, antibiotics, and alcohol have all been known to cause candida syndrome. Other causes include birth control pills, estrogen replacement therapy, acute and chronic stress, recreational drugs, chemotherapy, and a poor diet.

What causes Candida flare ups? ›

Triggers for Candida Flare-ups

You may be more susceptible to a Candida flare-up if you are taking birth control pills, under a lot of stress, ingesting too much alcohol, carbohydrates, and sugars, or taking antibiotics, which kill the bacteria that combat the Candida in our systems.

How do I know if I have Candida in my gut? ›

symptoms of candida overgrowth in the gut include:
  1. Stomach pain.
  2. Diarrhea.
  3. Constipation.
  4. Bloating.
  5. Gas.
  6. Nausea.

How does Candida overgrowth make you feel? ›

Perhaps the most well-known sign of candida overgrowth is a vaginal yeast infection. Vaginal yeast infections can cause intense itching in the area, along with burning or pain during urination and painful intercourse. Some patients with yeast overgrowth also experience urinary tract infections or rectal itching.

Does turmeric help Candida? ›

Turmeric

Contains curcumin, an anti-inflammatory and antifungal agent that inhibits the growth of candida and protects against yeast infections.

Are bananas OK for candida diet? ›

The Functional Medical Research Center says individuals on a candida diet may eat fruits like bananas as long as they are unprocessed, fresh or frozen whole and don't incorporate any added sweeteners.

Are eggs good for Candida? ›

Protein: Lean protein, such as eggs and skinless poultry, are usually allowed on the Candida diet, as are bone broth and certain fatty fish. Low-mold nuts and seeds are also approved. The Candida diet also excludes red, organ, and processed meats.

Can you starve Candida? ›

The intent of the Candida Diet is to starve off the Candida and nourish the good bacteria in your microbiome instead. We recommend omitting sugar, grains, dairy, fermented foods, and alcohol from your diet completely, as well as avoiding all fruit for the first 2-4 weeks.

Is Magnesium good for Candida? ›

A lack of Magnesium can worsen your Candida symptoms for one simple reason: Magnesium is needed to break down the toxic metabolites of Candida albicans. Without enough Magnesium, your body is simply unable to do the job of removing these substances from your body.

What foods feed fungus? ›

Foods that Feed Candida
  • Sugar and Sweeteners. ...
  • Wine and Beer. ...
  • Dried Fruit and Fruit Juices. ...
  • Gluten and Grains. ...
  • Beans and Other Legumes. ...
  • Starchy Vegetables. ...
  • GMO Foods. ...
  • Fermented Foods.
8 Jul 2016

What foods are naturally antifungal? ›

15 Antifungal Foods
  • Garlic. Garlic is one of the most well-researched natural antifungals, which isn't surprising considering it is used to flavor and preserve many recipes. ...
  • Ginger. ...
  • Onion. ...
  • Apple Cider Vinegar. ...
  • Coconut Oil. ...
  • Olive Oil. ...
  • Seaweed. ...
  • Rutabaga.

What foods starve Candida? ›

You may wonder what foods you can eat on a candida diet. Any foods that are low in sugar, free of gluten, and fight inflammation are ideal. Those foods include green vegetables, meat, fish, eggs, salad, almonds, walnuts, herbal tea, green juice, and unsweetened coconut water.

What foods destroy Candida? ›

Foods to Eat on the Candida Diet
  • Wild fish.
  • Grass-fed beef.
  • Pasture-raised poultry, including chicken.
  • Eggs.
  • Cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, Brussels sprouts)
  • Leafy greens (kale, dandelion, lettuces)
  • Nonstarchy vegetables (asparagus, zucchini, onions, shallots)
  • Spices (turmeric, cumin)
8 Feb 2022

Do bananas cause Candida? ›

While on the candida diet, people should avoid the following foods: Starchy vegetables, such as potatoes, corn, beans, and peas. High sugar fruits, which include bananas, mangoes, figs, and raisins.

What is the number one food to avoid Candida? ›

The Bottom Line

The foods to avoid on the Candida diet include anything that contains added sugars, glutenous grains, high-sugar fruits, alcohol, and refined vegetable oils. Most of the foods on this list are high in sugar, cause inflammation in the gut, or contain gluten.

Does apple cider vinegar help with Candida? ›

According to research ACV has benefits as an antibacterial and antifungal agent. A 2018 study found that undiluted (or mildly diluted) ACV can prevent the growth of candida.

Does turmeric fight Candida? ›

As an antifungal agent, turmeric boasts some surprising properties. A number of studies have pointed to turmeric's efficacy in fighting both Candida albicans and the biofilms that it forms. This makes it a very useful addition to an anti-Candida program.

Do eggs feed Candida? ›

Protein: Lean protein, such as eggs and skinless poultry, are usually allowed on the Candida diet, as are bone broth and certain fatty fish. Low-mold nuts and seeds are also approved. The Candida diet also excludes red, organ, and processed meats.

Does coffee increase Candida? ›

Firstly, caffeine's detrimental effect on your immune system reduces your ability to fight Candida overgrowth. This will not only worsen your Candida symptoms; it will compromise your health in the long run. Secondly, caffeine can cause spikes in your blood sugar that feed your Candida overgrowth.

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