Did you know that our colon and intestines are about thirty feet long? That is a lot of space for bad bacteria, parasites, yeast, and mold to hide out, and they’re all there, leaking toxins into your system, impairing your immune functions, and causing your body and brain to do all sorts of weird things. So this is where the candida cleanse comes in.
The purpose of a candida cleanse is to eliminate a large portion of bad “candida”—a type of yeast that lives in your gut—and to strengthen the good microorganisms that you rely on for optimal functions—“probiotics.”
Let’s take a closer look at our disruptive and unwelcome little guests. Candida albicans is the scientific name given to the parasitic fungus that lives inside our colon and intestines. Sounds gross, right? Well, candida is gross, and we need to keep its presence in our guts to a minimum. Remember, the human body is a host to a wide range of microorganisms—some good and some not so good. Maintaining a proper balance among these microorganisms is one of the keys to good health.
It’s completely normal to have a small amount of candida in our gastrointestinal (GI) tract. Candida also lives in and around our mouth and genitals—all in very trace amounts. A strong immune system and the natural defenses of our “good” bacteria keep this candida in check.
But candida thrives on sugar, and because modern diets are full of processed foods and tons of sugars and other high-glycemic-index carbohydrates, candida runs rampant through our systems. It wears down our immune systems and leads to a host of illnesses and uncomfortable conditions all throughout our bodies.
Candida overgrowth in our gut is a major reason that people get sugar cravings. Those critters mess up our digestive track, bloat our stomachs, create brain fog, and compromise our immune system… and now, they demand we feed them sugar? Sorry, you little candida freaks, but you are no longer welcome here, and it’s past time for you to leave.
To get those little bugs to completely evacuate, you will starve them out. You’ll deny them of the thing they want most: sugar.
The Basic Candida Detox
A basic anti-candida diet protocol is essentially as simple as this: say no to sugar for ten to fourteen days, take a few drops of natural oils, and eliminate all yeast-containing foods (listed below).
Saying “no” to sugar means you have to part ways with all foods that contain sugar or that the body breaks down too easily into sugar (simple carbohydrates). This includes refined flour and grains, most legumes, starchy vegetables like potatoes, and fruit—yes, fruit!
You also need to eliminate dairy products during your ten-day candida cleanse. Dairy contains lactose (which is a form of sugar), but worse: non-organic milk contains antibiotics that kill the healthy bacteria in your gut and escalate the candida overgrowth. The one exception is dairy-based probiotics: these are actually beneficial for intestinal health (though I still prefer the vegan-based coconut kefir as a probiotic).
The only appropriate sweeteners during this candida detox are stevia and Xylitol. Stevia is a natural, plant-based sweetener, and Xylitol is a 5-carbon sugar alcohol with different chemical properties than 6-carbon sugars like glucose—which means it can’t be digested by the yeast.
You’ll also need to skip all yeast-containing foods, such as bread, alcohol, and peanuts, and any foods that promote the growth of fungus—like mushrooms.
After having completed ten days on this diet and supplement program, you will have greatly reduced your body’s level of bad candida. Getting your intestinal environment back into a healthy state will boost your immune system, improve your digestion, and enhance your nutrient assimilation. This means you will finally be absorbing all the good nutrients from the foods you eat. Vitamin and mineral deficiencies can now be repaired, and in many cases, food allergies and skin irritations are cured.
On the ego side of things, you will have a flatter stomach due to less bloating and less water retention. Pretty awesome, hey?
And aside from the amazing benefits that you will enjoy from reducing your harmful stomach parasites, I encourage you to consider this quick cleanse as a personal challenge to prove to yourself that you are in control of your habits. This is a zero-sugar, ten-day diet, and I know that you can do it! YOU know that you can do it, and this is your chance to really make a drastic improvement in your health in under two weeks.
I know that you’ll be so impressed with the way you look and feel after temporarily removing sugar from your diet that you’ll probably want to continue the sugar-free lifestyle for even longer! And, in fact, if you want to get even more benefit out of the cleanse, try to keep it going a bit longer, for a total of two weeks. Inevitably, there will be a time when temptation arises (in the form of a pastry, bagel, cookie, or ice cream, or whatever happens to be your carbohydrate kryptonite), but during the detox, just try to remind yourself that your intestines are the center of your immune system, and if you want to look and feel amazing, you need to starve the little critters that are living in your stomach and causing you to operate at a lower level of performance.
I realise that when a task sounds unreasonable, or too complicated, or simply too time-consuming, people are less likely to follow through. So, let me be clear: I really want you to follow this candida detox for at least ten days and follow it perfectly.
That being said, even if you slip up—like, maybe you trip and fall into a plate of cookies and a few somehow end up in your mouth—well, accidents happen. With this in mind, just re-commit to staying away from the “Foods to Avoid” (listed below) and consuming the “Essential Foods.” Do this, and you will be doing great things for your health. Isn’t that great? Life does not have to be so extreme. Sure, if you want perfection, you are going to have to put in a perfect effort. But if you just want to be a little better, then that is absolutely fine, too! Just put in a better effort, and that is all there is to it.
Foods to AVOID on Candida Detox
- All forms of sugar (including honey)
- All fruit (except lemon and lime, which are always fine)
- Beans and legumes
Essential Foods to Include
Each of the foods listed below has unique health benefits that will greatly assist in the elimination of candida.
Apple cider vinegar (ACV): Raw ACV is loaded with enzymes that assist digestion and encourage the growth of good bacteria. Because ACV is alkaline-forming, it directly helps in our fight against candida.
Coconut oil: Different fatty acids in coconut oil are responsible for a variety of anti-fungal and anti-bacterial activity. With so many different health benefits, coconut truly is one of nature’s medicines.
Garlic: Garlic is a potent antifungal and antiviral food. Great for eliminating our bad candida.
Ginger: Ginger is an ancient detox food with numerous health benefits.
Lemon and lime juice: Alkalinising and purifying, the juice of lemons and limes are amazing cleansers in many different situations.
Onions: Similar to the effects of garlic, onions are a powerful cleanser for the body.
Seaweed: High in iodine, seaweed helps your thyroid functions, assists with oestrogen and candida detoxification, and it can help eliminate toxins and heavy metals from the body.
Spirulina: Spirulina is a type of algae that occurs naturally in some freshwater lakes and rivers around the world. It is an interesting nutrient, containing a complex protein that is very unique in its composition, and it is enhanced with a dense vitamin and mineral profile, offering to us a plethora of potential health and performance-enhancing benefits. It has the ability to help us increase the good bacteria in our stomach, making spirulina a very useful natural supplement to add to our anti-candida diet. Although spirulina sounds like a new super-food, it has actually been used for thousands of years as a source of nutrition and healing remedy. There are other health properties to this miracle of nature. It contains phytochemicals and other health-promoting micronutrients, which have been proven to lower cholesterol, improve blood sugar issues, and boost the immune system. Spirulina is well documented to have anti-ageing (cellular regenerating) and anti-cancer benefits as well.
Chlorella is another super-food that I recommend, mostly due to its ability to detoxify heavy metals and environmental toxins from your body, but it’s also helpful in removing candida. It is important to understand: chlorella in its natural form is completely indigestible to the human body. We must purchase chlorella in its broken cell wall form, which enables our body to metabolise and access the benefits of this single cell organism. When we ingest broken cell wall chlorella, it will effectively absorb and eliminate a variety of heavy metals, pesticides, and other environmental toxins that have been accumulating in our system. It can also help to detoxify your liver. It is the perfect super-food for this time in history, when our bodies can use all the detox assistance that it can get. Once again, allow me to express the need to practice moderation, and please remember that more is not always better. Chlorella contains high levels of iron, which can cause issues in certain individuals. I like to promote self-research, so please do a little homework on informing yourself of the benefits and potential contraindications to the supplements that you add to your diet, and dose accordingly. As always, start with a very low dose to assess your personal tolerance, and progress up to a standard dose if you feel positive effects, and experiment with your dose until you feel confident that you are in the “sweet spot.” As with all nutritional items and fitness protocols - be informed, be responsible, and remember—there is no SINGLE super-food or supplement, nor is there a single magic workout that is going to revolutionise human health and performance. It is balance and consistency that provide the best results for a sustainable healthy lifestyle.
Adding these super-foods to your diet will provide benefits to your health that you are sure to enjoy, but don’t expect miracles from any one nutrient, and be aware that when we take the time to inform ourselves on the potential ups or downs of the foods that we eat on a regular basis, we put ourselves in a much more positive position to create both a healthy lifestyle and a desirable and satisfying physique. The best part is that by informing yourself, you accept responsibility and put yourself in control, and with self-control comes self-awareness and self-appreciation, which ultimately leads to a healthy mind and body.
Don’t forget that an anti-candida diet is a great base for any weight-loss and longevity diet! Each of the items that could potentially feed and amplify candida are products that I mostly avoid on all of my clients’ diets, for a multitude of reasons, and all of the foods that help fight candida are also super-healthy for various other beneficial functions.
After following a strict, ten-day candida detox diet, you can safely begin to re-introduce starches such as root vegetables and selected grains (Including black and brown rice, oats, and sprouted buckwheat or quinoa). Be sure to continue to take probiotics each morning on an empty stomach for at least two weeks after the ten-day candida detox, and continue to include candida-fighting “essential foods” in your regular diet. As weeks and months go by, if ever you feel like you have “fallen off the wagon” regarding your healthy nutritional intake, a new ten-day candida diet is a great way to kick-start fat loss and upgrade your digestive health.