Whatever your reasons are for having a Candida overgrowth, the Candida diet has been designed to reduce and eliminate foods and beverages that have contributed to the growth. By eliminating sugars for the main part and heavily proceesed food and to add targeted supplements, your body will be able to readdress the imbalance that has occurred. More importantly, you will learn (if you have not done so already) a huge amount about the difference between healthy foods, nutrition, a new way of eating that you can keep for the rest of your life, so as to make sure Candida doesn’t come back. It’s important to note that although is restrictive initially as it needs to be, you will soon start feeling the benefits of the diet as you start to rid the body of the overgrowth. There are countless books and articles on Candida and it makes it difficult for a person to truly know what to really eat. The Candida diet should be fairly common sense. Eating roast potates just because they are a vegetable is not going to help. Mostly you will have to avoid foods you crave on a daily basis. These are the foods you need to avoid. You won’t get a green superfood smoothie or a spinach salad calling your name. The diet is not for ever and you will thank yourself later for it. If you do happen to break the diet with a few cheats, don’t berate yourself, we have all been there. Just move on and try and keep it to an absolute minimum.
Cautonary Advice about different diets
There is so much conflicting advice on the internet from well know publications and sites, that this itself can be a major stressor on what not to eat and what to avoid. Some websites claim not to eat any grains for 3-6 months, others say all fruit is ok, while others say avoid all fruit. Some say that all nuts should be avoided because of issues with leaky gut. Peanuts should be avoided admittedly but saying not to eat any nuts for 3 months is just silly. The other point to remember is that some advice relating to the diet is just too restrictive for the time needed to get rid of Candida and this tends to cause high failure rates with most. Avoiding grains for 3 months is virtually imposible and that’s a big reason why people just don’t stick to the diet. Obviously not restricted enough and you won’t get the desired results. It should ieally be done in stages, so you can see light at the end of the tunnel and any foods you introduce, you should be able to see if they agree with you or not.
Tips with the diet
To help with the diet and to try and make sure it doesn’t come back I would look at these helpful tips which can be a lifelong adoption. Some of these small steps can have a huge impact on your ability to eliminate Candida and can be incorporated into a more healthy lifestyle going forward.
- Eat slower and chew your foods well. Be mindful and in the moment when you are eating. Digestion starts with your saliva and chewing your food. The practice of mindfullness at mealtimes should be a priority and just for those who have gut issues.
- Slow down when eating. You have only 3 meals and these should be some of the most important times of the day. Take time with each meal and your body will thank you for it.
- Try and have a meal without any distractions. That is no mobile, TV or any other e-device. You can’t concentrate on two things at once. If your concentrating on your phone, your digestion system isn’t being given the focus it needs.
- Eat smaller portions. We tend to overeat in the Western world which puts undue pressure on our digestive system. How many times have we fallen asleep after a meal. That is our digestive system shutting down. The Japanese use a great technique at mealtimes by stopping eating at 80% full. This is a great indicator of showing when our optimal digestion at mealtimes should be.
- Go meatless a few times a week. Having vegetarian/vegan days will give your digestive system a break from the process of digesting meat. You will feel lighter, more energetic and will not feel so bloated after a meal. Or, if not, try and go meatless a few times a week at dinner times and you will be able to improve your sleep patterns by not having undigested meat when you go to bed.
- Buy more organic food. If you cant afford this, try at least to get your fruit and veg from an organic source. Most supermarkets have organic sections and not that much more expensive than non-organic.
- Eat smaller portions as they day progresses. The saying eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a pauper. Going to bed on a full stomach does not help our digestion and makes for all sorts of problems with getting a good nights rest. You should try and have your last meal at the very least 2 hours before going to bed but ideally 3 hours.
- Eat fruits away from meals or before as they go through the digestion process quicker.
- Take digestive enzymes with food. The more our food gets broken down, the more nutrients our body absorbs which can only be a good thing. Also, it leaves us less likely for for some of the undigested food particles to break the gut barrier and set off inflammatory immune responses. What we present to the gut wall will have an impact on whether it sees it as a foreign invader or a benefit to our body. We need thorough digest the food and it will look more of a good food. Try 20 mins instead of 5 and you will see a world of difference