Candida is basically a yeast that naturally exists in the human body. It generally coexists with other microflora and does its job of keeping the gut healthy. However, due to stressful and rushed lifestyle, candida overgrowth, a condition when candida spreads outside its usual bodily parameters and enters the bloodstream, can occur. The liver then has to fight off the toxins which can consequently cause tremendous health issues, high level of inflammation being just one of them.
Basically, it’s essential to completely change one’s diet in order to repair the state of one’s microflora and reverse the process of candida overgrowth. However, this diet is far from easy, especially if you’re also a vegan. Well, it’s not easy at the beginning, but if you find a way to actually prepare your meals properly, a vegan diet can help you speed up the process of recovery. So, when suffering from candida overgrowth, all fruits, some veggies, legumes, mushrooms, nuts, sugars and all yeast have to be avoided (see how that could be an issue for vegans?) But what’s left for you to eat then, you may wonder. Well, plenty of things actually, and a vegan diet can only help you reach your goal easier and quicker.
What can you eat on a vegan diet if you have candida overgrowth?
This is very serious – it’s not just about following a diet for weight loss but following a diet that can actually help you heal from a serious health issue. In that respect, all fruits, even dried and canned ones, as well as fruit juices are forbidden. When veggies are concerned, avoid starchy ones such as potatoes, carrots, corn and peas, to name the most common ones. This also includes legumes such as beans, chickpeas and soy. All mushrooms (except Reishi and Maitake) are out of bounds just like alcohol, sugar, coffee, black and green tea, vinegar, yeast and some nuts (cashews, peanuts and pistachios). Sounds really challenging, doesn’t it?
But now is the time to see what you actually can consume. You can enjoy non-starchy veggies to your heart’s content. These include asparagus, avocado, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, celery, cucumber, eggplant, green beans, raw garlic, kale, lettuce, olives, onions, rutabaga, spinach, summer squashes, tomatoes and turnips, so you do have quite a solid choice there. Buckwheat, quinoa, brown rice and gluten-free oats are your go-to grains on a vegan candida-fighting diet as well. When it comes to nuts, seeds and legumes, you can freely enjoy almonds, coconut meat and milk, flax, chia and sunflower seeds, hazelnuts, pecans, pumpkin seeds, walnuts, hemp and poppy seeds, as well as unsweetened soy products. Of course, you can also drink plant-based GMO-free milk and yogurt. Seaweed is also an option. Drinks-wise, herbal teas, water and chicory root coffee are all allowed. You can use stevia or xylitol as a sweetener.
Issue of protein
For vegans, mushrooms and legumes are usually the main sources of protein. However, when you’re fighting against candida overgrowth, you should definitely get the most out of unsweetened soy products and non-starchy vegetables.
Monitor your intake
No one says that your diet has to be 100% perfect in order for you to heal. It doesn’t have to be, and it’s normal that you eat something you’re not supposed to from time to time. But this is why it’s also important to keep track of your food/drink intake in order to know how to meal plan next.
Starve it the good old way
Fasting shouldn’t last longer than 2 days without you consulting with your doctor first. However, fasting can be an excellent way to aid your candida overgrowth recovery as it boosts the detoxifying liver function. This is especially true for when your body reaches the state of ketosis. In general, a vegan diet combined with effective weight loss drops (or other natural appetite-repellants) can help you lose weight, boost your metabolism and improve your gut flora and liver function. In that respect, you may want to seriously discuss the fasting option and vegan diet with your doctor.
Don’t forget to exercise
Regular physical activity also helps your body solve the issue of candida overgrowth more efficiently. While you should stick to some light exercises, you should definitely engage in them on a regular basis. After all, physical activity will boost detoxification and your immune system, which is essential for this fight. It will also reduce your stress levels and balance your blood sugar!
Should you take antifungals?
Definitely yes. Antifungals assist in killing candida. If you’re already on a vegan diet and you just need to adjust it to deal with candida, you may not experience a huge shock. But if you didn’t follow any specific food regime before going on a candida diet, make sure to start taking antifungals at least one week after you start the diet. There are natural supplements for antifungals as well, so don’t hesitate to explore your options.
What about probiotics?
Just like protein, probiotics also present an issue when suffering from candida overgrowth. So, that means that you simply have to find vegan and candida-fighting probiotics in order to help your gut flora and liver. You may not have known, but there are several vegan options when it comes to probiotics. Obviously, forget about sauerkraut and anything containing vinegar. Probiotics boost the immune system, protect the gut flora, improve digestion, manage IBS symptoms and even help with some skin and cardiovascular issues. This is why it’s important to look for the best vegan probiotic that won’t aggravate candida further.
Be generous with spices
You can freely use spices while following a vegan candida diet. In that respect, don’t hesitate to experiment in order to boost the taste of your meals and actually enjoy every dish that you make. And make sure to poison yourself with garlic, even if it means having to avoid social interactions. It’s the antifungal sure to salvage any food from blandness. Curcumin is another spice you better add to your repertoire. You can use this as a great opportunity to experiment with food and make your own recipes based on brown rice, exotic spices, and safe veggies.
If the exotic spices are not that appetizing for you, at least consider some natural curcumin tablets or supplements, as this spice is really famous for its antifungal properties you wouldn’t want to miss out on.
Say farewell to coffee (and embrace herbal teas)
As mentioned, coffee is to be avoided… but do indulge in teas that contain caffeine such as black and green tea. These are both beneficial to your gut flora, with black tea having a proven adverse effect on candida species. You can also truly enjoy herbal teas and explore the world of flavors and health benefits that these offer.
With just a bit of effort and research, you can make wonders for your daily meals even when following a vegan candida diet. Actually, the list of things you’re allowed to eat is quite straightforward, which makes the whole preparation and diet a lot simpler as well. Don’t hesitate to spice things up, both metaphorically and literally, in order to truly enjoy your food and your lifestyle change.