Everyone’s body is host to candida (Candida Albicans). Candida is a type of yeast that is normally kept in balance and under control by good health and probiotics. If you haven’t read my blog - What is Candida + How To Fight Candida Overgrowth With Food you can read more about what contributes to an overgrowth of candida, what symptoms you need to look out for, which foods are best avoided if you have a candida overgrowth, testing options, candida and detoxification + so much more.
Because candida is one of the most asked about topics I get, I decided to write this blog and focus on some of the candida fighting foods that have worked well for myself and for many of my clients. By focusing on incorporating the following foods into your diet, they will help boost your immune system, re-balance candida and restore balance to your microbiome.
30 FOODS TO HELP FIGHT CANDIDA
Ginger contains anti-inflammatory and anti-fungal components. While ginger isn’t the most powerful anti-fungal food in this list, it does provide significant liver support while your body tries to fight off the excess candida. Ginger also boosts the immune system and helps to fight off invading pathogens. Its anti-inflammatory effects help to soothe irritation caused by Candida overgrowth in your intestinal tract. Try drinking ginger tea, add fresh ginger root to green juices, sugar free brownies, cookies or even soups, stir fries, curries and more.
2. OLIVE OIL
Olive oil contains a powerful chemical called Oleuropein which has powerful anti-fungal properties that have been shown to stimulate your immune system’s own response to effectively fight off Candida overgrowth. Oleuropein has also been shown to help stabilise blood sugar levels which is a really important benefit for Candida sufferers as elevated blood sugar levels can increase candidas ability to spread. Use cold pressed olive oil in pestos, homemade mayonnaise, cashew cheese and dressings.
Cloves naturally contain eugenol which is a powerful anti-fungal when taken internally. I love adding clove powder to curries, a little to brownies, smoothies, hot chocolates, turmeric lattes or chai tea. Clove oil can also be used as an effective topical aid for toe nail or finger nail fungal infections.
4. COCONUT OIL + MCT OIL
Coconut oil, Brain Octane Oil or MCT Oil all contain potent anti-microbial effects that help to support healthy digestion and immune function. Brain Octane Oil or MCT Oil in particular are rich in caprylic acid and is 18x stronger than coconut oil. These oils contain potent anti-fungal properties that kill candida, as well as helping to restore our stomach acid to normal levels. I add Brain Octane Oil to my morning bulletproof coffee, I use this MCT oil in Bulletproof Ice Cream, slices and more; it's incredible for removing any brain fog you have + it provides you with sustained energy. I use coconut oil when cooking as it’s highly heat stable.
Cinnamon contains anti-fungal properties that appear to damage yeast cells, causing them to denature and eventually die off. It’s also fantastic for helping to balance blood sugar levels. I’ll often add cinnamon into my hot chocolates, on top of probiotics smoothie bowls, into smoothies, slices, chocolate ice-cream and more.
6. FERMENTED FOODS
Fermented foods are pretty controversial when it comes to candida overgrowth. Many practitioners recommend NOT to consume them if you’re battling candida, and I agree with this somewhat. I recommend you avoid ‘wild’ fermented foods. I think it’s perfectly fine, in fact I encourage the consumption of fermented foods when a therapeutic probiotic starter culture is used. I recommend Kultured Wellness Probiotic Starter Cultures as they contain incredible health benefits, therapeutic grade probiotics + anti-candida properties. These probiotics contained in these starter cultures are essential to help re-balance candida levels, boost the immune system, aid digestion, regulate the PH in the intestinal tract, prevent infections from spreading and loads more.
You can begin to include the following fermented foods in your diet; coconut water kefir, coconut yoghurt and fermented veggies these will all make the body less hospitable for candida. I particularly encourage you consume this coconut water kefir as it’s loaded with lactobacillus probiotics which are capable of keeping candida under control in all areas of the body. You can also use coconut water to ferment fruits, this is fantastic to not only eliminate sugar so it’s not feeding candida further, it will also help to rebalance your microbiome.
You can read my blog - An Indepth Look At How To Ferment Fruit & Why for more information on this.
The below fermented fruits are particularly beneficial for re-balancing candida.
7. FERMENTED APRICOTS
When you eat fermented apricots, the skin collects and destroys mould, yeast, unneeded candida and other detrimental fungus in the body. The apricot flesh reduces the guts production of ammonia which is a destructive gas that can leach through the walls of the intestinal tract and cause symptoms such as foggy brain, difficulty concentrating and more. You can enjoy fermented apricots as a snack, with yoghurt, add to smoothies, probiotic nice-cream and more.
8. FERMENTED BANANAS
Fermented bananas are the ultimate fungus destroyers, removing unproductive bacteria while feeding beneficial microorganisms in the intestinal tract. Once you've made your cultured bananas you can store them in the fridge ‘as-is’ or freeze them like I do and use them in smoothies, smoothie bowls and probiotic ice-cream. Blend or mix them into coconut yoghurt, or you can make my Keto Banana Pancakes from our cookbook GUTALICIOUS.
9. FERMENTED DATES
Fermented dates bind onto, destroy and sweep away parasites, yeast, mould and other fungus, heavy metals, unproductive bacteria, viruses and other poisonous pathogens from the gut. It makes them one of the most beneficial candida killing foods + they’re loaded with minerals that support the adrenal glands. Use them to make my Chocolate Caramel Cheesecake or 2 Ingredient Probiotic Bliss Balls or add them to smoothies or slices.
10. FERMENTED PEARS
Fermented pears help to soothe the linings of the stomach and intestinal tract, feed beneficial bacteria and starve and kill unproductive bacteria, parasites and fungus. They also help to restore the gut lining if it has become damaged and calloused from overgrown yeast and bacteria. Pear juice is also loaded with electrolytes and aids in blood sugar stabilisation. To ferment pears, simply follow this method (but swap the bananas for organic pears). You can drink the leftover probiotic, fizzy and pear flavour kefir and use the fermented fruit in smoothies, smoothie bowls, homemade crumble, enjoy it with yoghurt and more.
According to Medical Medium, celery is one of the most powerful anti-inflammatory foods out there. One of the best things about celery is that it starves unproductive bacteria, mould, yeast, viruses and fungus that are in the body, and flushes all of their toxins out of the liver and intestinal tract!!!! It’s fantastic for aiding in cleansing and healing the gut wall, improves kidney function, great for a sluggish liver and alkalises the gut. I use it as the base of my Kidney Cleansing Green Juice.
This amazing anti-fungal herb destroys harmful bacteria while leaving healthy bacteria in place. Garlic also boosts the function of the lymphatic system, helping it to rid the body of waste more efficiently. It also extracts heavy metals in the colon and gives you a powerful immune boost. Choose your garlic carefully and try to buy only good quality, organic garlic.
13. BONE BROTH
If you’ve been suffering from candida overgrowth, chances are that your gut needs some extra love and support. Candida has been shown to damage the gut lining, which can lead to further symptoms like food sensitivities, bloating, constipation and other digestive issues. Bone broth contains compounds like collagen, glutamine, glycine, and proline, all of which can help to restore the health of your gut. If you don’t have the time to make homemade bone broth, you can buy dehydrated bone broth powder. Add it to soups, stews, curries or drink as a hot drink. You can also add collagen powder into smoothies, slices, breads, muffins or bliss balls. As well as organic gelatin to create delicious panna cottas, gummies and cheesecakes. I love incorporating all three into my diet in different ways.
I love parsley because it's a pathogen fighter and it helps to keep bacteria, fungus and parasites at bay. It's a beautiful herb which helps to replenish and restore your energy when you're feeling exhausted. It also aids in pulling out herbicides and pesticides that may be hiding in the body. It's loaded with nutrition, it contains; Vitamins A, C, K, B, iron, zinc, selenium, magnesium, iodine, calcium and more. I add chopped parsley on top of spaghetti, curries, I’ll add some to my green juices, pesto and salads.
Seaweed is incredibly mineral rich and is recommended in helping your body to fight candida. Additionally, this nutrient-dense food can help flush toxic pollutants and heavy metals from the body, keeping the intestinal tract clean from fungus like candida. I love adding dulse flakes to scrambled eggs and savoury meals and I’ll also use kelp noodles as a low carb, nutrient dense option too.
16. PUMPKIN SEEDS
Pumpkin seeds are also known to have anti-fungal, antiviral and anti-parasitic properties. You can add them to slices, bliss balls, homemade muesli or trail mix or toast them for a savoury salad topper.
17. CAYENNE PEPPER
Cayenne pepper is a little-known anti-fungal solution that supports the immune system. Cayenne helps in the breakdown of food in the gut and speeds up bowel transit time, which reduces the incidence of constipation. Cayenne is an excellent circulatory booster, it also speeds the metabolism, providing an energy boost that helps to combat Candida-related fatigue.
18. PAPAYA SEEDS
Papaya seeds are also believed to be highly beneficial for detoxifying the body of harmful toxins, as well as reducing inflammation. They help to control bacteria, yeasts and parasitic organisms, which can help to improve the digestive system. You can also enjoy fermented papaya. A little trick I teach some of my clients is to dehydrate the papaya seeds in the oven (until completely dry). Then add them to your pepper grinder so you have a mix of dehydrated papaya seeds + pepper that you can easily grind and add to different dishes.
One of Mother Nature’s most important anti-inflammatory remedies, turmeric is best known for its use in cooking. It also contains mild anti-fungal properties, and has been shown to inhibit the growth and spread of candida in the gut. Turmeric is also antibacterial and antiviral, which makes it a very useful addition to any diet! I add turmeric into my Bulletproof Coffee, Gut Loving Chu Chu’s, curries, roast chicken spice rubs and more. If I need a little more liver support, or if I’m feeling inflamed, I’ll often take these Turmeric Capsules or these Curcumin Capsules.
But not just any butter! To get the full benefit of butter in the fight against Candida, the butter has to be organic and grass-fed. Only grass-fed animals produce lauric acid, a powerful anti-fungal and contain higher amounts of butyric acid which is a source of energy for your intestines and reduces inflammation.
Oregano is undoubtedly one of the most potent and powerful natural anti-fungal agents. An advantage that oregano possesses against candida is that the yeast doesn’t develop resistance against this particular anti-fungal. You can add oregano to a variety of savoury meals as well as take it in an oil form, however it’s best taken under guidance from your chosen healthcare practitioner as it’s not suitable for everyone (ie; pregnant or breastfeeding women) and is incredibly powerful stuff.
In addition to it’s anti-fungal properties, broccoli is also a great source of fibre and prebiotics. Prebiotics have a lot of health benefits and lacking them in your diet can lead to things like inflammation and indigestion and consequently, candida albicans too. So if you’re dealing with candida, try and incorporate more broccoli into your diet.
23. GREEN TEA
Green tea contains tannins, a powerful anti-fungal substance. It also has strong antioxidant properties that re very effective in boosting the immune system and guarding vaginas against yeast overgrowth.
24. APPLE CIDER VINEGAR
Contains acid, enzymes and anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties and also aids digestion. Take 1 Tbsp of ACV and mix it into half a glass of water and drink before every meal. The apple cider vinegar helps to fight off the intestinal yeast overgrowth by actually killing candida while helping to create a good environment for friendly gut flora and rebalancing pH levels.
SUPPLEMENTS TO HELP FIGHT CANDIDA
If you want to experience good health and a balanced microbiome without candida overgrowth as you age, supplementation is essential because modern agricultural practices have severely depleted our soil. We must eat 5x the amount of vegetables our grandparents ate to obtain the same nutrient value. Our bodies must also cope with more environmental toxins from pesticides, herbicides, heavy metals, and synthetic chemicals than ever before. On top of that, increased stress levels have weakened our bodies, making supplementation necessary to offset the imbalances we have. Here are just a few supplements that particularly help with the fight against excess candida.
25. OLIVE LEAF EXTRACT
Evidence suggests that olive leaf extract has the power to kill Candida albicans and ward off future overgrowth. Olive Leaf contains an active ingredient named Oleuropein. Scientific research has shown oleuropein to harbour an incredible array of health properties, including antimicrobial, anti-fungal, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antiviral. Another important activity of olive leaf extract is its positive effect on your immune system. By stimulating the immune cells, olive leaf extract heightens your body’s defence mechanisms against harmful yeast overgrowth and other invaders.
26. CATS CLAW
Cat’s Claw is a great supplement to give your immune system a boost and keep the candida at bay. Your immune system is your first and best defence against Candida, so it’s important to do everything you can to make it stronger. It’s also contains anti-inflammatory properties and it has a detoxifying effect on the intestinal tract. Please note; Women who are pregnant, nursing or trying to conceive should not take Cat’s Claw.
27. BENTONITE CLAY
When ingested, it may help eliminate toxins, yeast and bacteria from the intestinal tract through the stool.
28. CHAGA MUSHROOM
Chaga is all about building immunity. It possesses immune system enhancing nutrients so that your body can battle invaders such as toxins, viruses, bacteria and fungi such as mould and yeast. It’s also wonderful for breaking down and dissolving biofilm and destroying unproductive fungus in the intestinal tract. Chaga is also a very powerful adaptogen, rich source of B-vitamins, promotes overall well being and is a strong source of energy. Try adding in a small amount to hot chocolates, chai, matcha or turmeric lattes, smoothies, slices, bliss balls and more.
29. OMEGA 3’S
Although they are vital to us, our bodies cannot produce omega-3 fatty acids. Besides supplementation, the only source of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids we have is through the food we eat. Consuming sufficient omega-3 fatty acids dramatically reduces inflammation and can help with a number of conditions, including candida and other digestive complaints. I (try) take Cod liver oil daily as it’s an excellent source.
30. PAU D’ARCO TEA
Pau d’arco has a powerful yeast-fighting active ingredient called lapachol. Studies suggest that this special compound is as effective against both Candida albicans and Candida tropicalis as pharmaceutical drugs. Pau d’arco tea can be consumed daily and can be sourced online or from most health food stores.
For more information about candida, please read my blog
‘What Is Candida + How To Fight It Naturally Through Food’
For more personalised guidance on how-to re-balance candida in your body, how-to integrate probiotics and anti-fungals into your treatment plan, without the stress and overwhelm, you can book in for a one-on-one nutrition consultation.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this blog post is not presented with the intention of diagnosing any condition or disease or prescribing any herbs as treatment. All the information is offered purely as information only and for use to maintain and promote good health. Always consult your chosen health care practitioner if you have chronic or unusually persistent candida infections. This could be a sign of an underlying illness or immune system dysfunction, which makes for an environment more conducive to the growth of candida.