Here I will relay the general rules for treating a Candida overgrowth, which I managed to come up with based on the available knowledge, my experiences and observations of other people. Generally the gist of the matter is to provide the body with B vitamins (which it needs for fighting Candida and functioning normally) without provoking the fungus with alkalization to increase the production of toxins. It is theoretically possible with natural products, but difficult and time-consuming, because the products that contain the most B vitamins are the most alkaline at the same time – meanwhile the right supplementation will have measurable effects quite quickly. I will consequently post specific examples of meals and supplements on my blog.
From the start I have to warn you, that in many areas my advice will differ from the standard theories about treating Candida.
Some of them focus on singular products and its properties, eliminating items with a high glycemic index, but forgetting about the pH, which is key. Carbohydrates from alkaline foods don’t benefit Candida, the proof of which is the millet groat fast (millet groats have a high glycemic index), which, because it’s alkaline, causes a noticeable limiting of the overgrowth (to the degree the body can afford, depending on its resources for neutralizing toxins produced by the fungus). If Candida could feed on the carbohydrates from millet groats, the result would be opposite, it would grow even larger, permanently intensifying the symptoms caused by its toxins. Another reservation I have relies on the fact, that we usually eat meals comprised of several products, and while the blood sugar level may rise significantly after a serving of sweet fruit, this will not happen if these fruits are eaten in small amounts with something that slows digestion down (such as nuts or oats) and precious nutrients will be delivered to the body, which are scarce in a restrictive diet and without which the body will not overcome Candida.
Other theories focus solely on the pH, advising alkalization, which means switching to a healthy natural diet, because this is what healthy people eat and it benefits them. These theories in turn don’t account for the fact that Candida overgrowth reprograms the body to a degree where it is not capable of dealing with this kind of diet and what is worse, alkalizing provokes Candida to fight, which results solely in a larger B vitamin deficiency and the consequent worsening of the state of the body. In any case, all theories about curing Candida that I’m aware of rely on fighting the fungus, attacking and killing it, but not supported by what the body needs to clean up after that battle and remain victorious. Meanwhile, delivering precisely the thing the lack of which caused Candida overgrowth causes the body to heal itself – it eliminates Candida progressively, without setting off its defense mechanisms and restores itself to normal functioning.
So what should and shouldn’t you do then to optimize this process?
1. Compose all of your meals to have a pH close to neutral, which means avoid eating meals that are entirely acidogenic (coffee, a sandwich with cheese or ham, pizza etc.) in rotation with ones that are entirely alkaline (just fruits or vegetables with alkaline goats). This way of eating is good for healthy people, but a body with Candida overgrowth only grows more acidic and thus runs out of resources twice as fast; sandwiches and pizza aren’t excluded completely, but I recommend having a large side of vegetables or supplementing B vitamins with them. Similarly, never eat fruits by themselves, but with oats or nuts and vegetables should be accompanied for example by meat.
2. Definitely avoid eating meals that intensify alkalization by themselves (such as fruits, sprouts, cranberry and citrus juice, fruit and vegetable smoothies, large doses of vitamin C).
3. Avoid meals with a high glycemic index (like millet groats with beets or banana or mango, potatoes on their own or with other products with a high glycemic index). You can eat products with a high glycemic index, but you should eat them together with products with a low glycemic index, to avoid the sugar levels in your blood rising – for example beets with meat, millet groats with meat.
4. Use as little highly processed products as possible and as many natural products as possible to keep the balance between nutrients. Pick first and foremost green vegetables, otherwise you could end up with a surplus of beta-caroten in relation to B vitamins which take part in processing it, which causes the insides of your palms and feet to turn yellow – this is a sign that the proportions of vitamins in your diet aren’t appropriate.
5. Don’t eat too much protein or fats (rather eat flaxseed itself than flaxseed oil, sunflower seeds rather than sunflower oil etc.). Their amount should be regulated according to the body’s ability to digest them and the need for them – if there isn’t enough, the body will cleanse itself too rapidly, attacking Candida; if there is too much, they will be stored in the form of stomach fat and cellulite – this is when you should increase B6 supplementation.
6. Dose products rich in magnesium carefully, such as nuts, cocoa, buckwheat. If you feel tension in the evening, you should eat less of them or increase B6 supplementation.
7. Introduce as many sources of B vitamins as possible – acidogenic ones like chickpeas, meat, rice or seafood with alkaline ones like millet groats or fresh vegetables. In the case of a B vitamin deficiency that produces severe symptoms, fruits and vegetables should be processed (boiled, stewed, steamed) to make them easier to digest and the amount of vitamin C should be reduced, as it is a strong alkalizer.
8. Be careful with eating bread on its own. I can’t explain why, but through trial and error I found out that bread and products made from flour (any flour) seem hard to digest and rather weigh the body down instead of nourishing it. At least that’s how my body reacted to it. I also stumbled upon other people’s observations that they can’t eat bread before bed, otherwise they can’t sleep and are tired and look awful in the morning. So it could be that bread consumes more B vitamin to be digested than it contains and that would mean a diet in the case of a B vitamin deficiency shouldn’t be based on it or every meal containing flour-based product should be accompanied by supplementing B vitamins.
9. Don’t do harsh detox. Any alkalizing products kill Candida, even if you don’t feel it. It often accumulates and the crisis comes later, even as late as a month or a month and a half later. So if you maintain a lighter diet, drink alkaline water, take probiotics, vitamin C, garlic or a different supplement after a period of time you can aspect a very strong cumulative acidification in your body coming from the dead Candida. Your body will try to deal with it, using up all available resources and leading to a deep deficiency of B vitamins and the substances dependent on them, which can result in strong reactions to almost any food or inflammation.
10. Don’t introduce new, strongly alkalizing products in large doses from the start, but rather build up the amount systematically; this is especially important when it comes to herbs and alkaline water (for example from an ionizer) – they have a tendency to cause cumulative effects (a gradually increasing acidification, which causes severe symptoms to appear only after a period of time).
11. Be cautious of any change, even small – if it used to be good and is suddenly worse, it means that you have either overencumbered the digestive system with fat and protein or increased alkalization and it often turns out to be both in rotation. In the case of the former, you need to eat more lightly (less fat and protein), when it comes to the latter – decrease the amount of whatever you’re using for alkalization (supplements) and if you don’t use anything but food, you should increase the amount of fat and protein in your meals. You should also take into consideration that a decrease in your overall health could be caused by other B vitamin consuming factors, such as an infection, physical exertion, stress, sleep deprivation etc.
12. Supplement B vitamins, but remember that the body uses them up immediately, which means that by eating a light meal with B vitamins and then a heavier one without them could worsen your condition, because every surplus portion of B vitamins from the first meal that was not used for its digestion will intensify alkalization and Candida – being under attack – responds with the production of toxins, acidifying the body again and increasing the deficiencies of vitamins and elements. Another heavy meal requires a lot of B vitamins to be digested and in addition, magnesium needs vitamin B6 in the evening, so as you see, despite supplementation, the B vitamin deficiency will continue to increase; this is why it’s best to provide B vitamins in small portions with each meal, proportionally to the “heaviness” (amount of protein and fat) of the meal.
13. To make the absorption of magnesium easier, which happens in the evening, don’t eat dairy at that time (calcium is antagonistic to magnesium) or heavy meals, which would increase the need for vitamin B6 for their digestion – at that moment it’s necessary for magnesium to be absorbed.
14. Pay attention to the degree of fragmentation and temperature of the meal – in the case of a large B vitamin deficiency and the inefficiency of the digestive system, it helps a lot for the meal to be processed beforehand (ground, like meat or blended, like soup) and warm. It’s always worth to take the effort to chew thoroughly, because the first enzymes involved in digesting the food are found in saliva.
15. You could additionally help increase the amount of B vitamins available for current needs by aiding digestion, thermoregulation and activity by taking enzymes with meals, drinking herbal teas after heavy meals, keeping your body temperature stable (don’t overheat or get cold), sleeping enough and avoiding excessive physical exertion and stress – taking care of yourself as if you were ill. Because in reality, the overgrowth of Candida is like multiple diseases in different stages…
16. Remember to help your body get rid of the toxins – bathing in water with baking soda, moderate physical activity and fresh air are all good. With a large B vitamin deficiency you should be careful with sauna and hot baths since they can cause you to feel worse, because precious elements – magnesium included – are removed with sweat.
17. Remember to stay hydrated – good water is necessary for transporting nutrients and getting rid of toxins, but it shouldn’t be drunk with meals, right before or after them, because it diffuses the gastric juices, making digestion slower and harder.
18. You need to listen to your body and observe. We all work according to the same mechanisms, but different bodies react differently. Symptoms will vary between athletes, people who sleep a lot, people who eat two meals, people who eat five meals, people who work physically and people who work mentally, different for those who take medicine. The body modifies priorities, and consequently symptoms, depending on our habits, activities, meals, lifestyle and needs.
See more in the category Practical guide (The Plan)