If your doctor’s ever diagnosed you with candida overgrowth—a condition in which a type of yeast called Candida albicans is said to grow abnormally in the body, causing symptoms such as bloating, fatigue, vaginal infections, and brain fog—you’re likely well aware of how limiting a diet aimed at restoring balance can be. Sugary sweets and fruits are out. Gluten is gone. Dairy is done. Alcohol? Not a chance. And the list goes on.
“[The] key is ensuring the digestive system is functioning properly,” says naturopath Sarah Cimperman, ND. Still, it’s not all bad news, as everything you can eat on the candida diet is beneficial to your health in other ways, too. (Think low-starch veggies, lean animal proteins, and fermented foods.) Plus, there are a number of tried-and-true hacks which can help you dupe the foods you love without feeding your fungus.
Below, find a collection of recipes from top food bloggers that follow all the rules of the candida diet without making you feel like you’re actually on a diet. (Nachos, anyone?)
Keep reading for 12 gut-friendly recipes that are candida diet-approved.
These pancakes from health coach Christina Rice work for just about every type of eater—they’re permissible for the candida diet and are also low-FODMAP, Paleo, gluten-free, nut-free, dairy-free, and soy-free. Plus, they manage to sneak in some gut-healthy collagen. To comply with anti-candida protocol, top them with almond butter instead of syrup. (But check the ingredient label first to ensure your brand isn’t sneaking in anything suspicious!)
You may not be able to enjoy oats on a candida diet, but you can eat all the oat bran you want. This recipe from Nutriplanet mixes it with buckwheat flakes and beta carotene-packed carrots, which are optimal in small quantities. (And they can actually make you appear more attractive to the opposite sex—weird, but true!).
Load up on nutrient-dense veggies to boost your immunity, which will help your body stay balanced. Using this recipe from candida diet expert Lisa Richards as a guideline, add any non-starchy vegetables you love into the mix. (Protein’s a-ok, too).
Mix Christina Rice’s creamy eggplant spread into a veggie bowl, use it as a dip for cucumber slices, or just eat it with a spoon at snack time—it’s that good.
Unlike most starchy vegetables, the root veggie rutabaga is approved for those on a candida diet thanks to its anti-fungal properties. In Lisa Richards’ nacho recipe, it replaces traditional corn tortilla chips—a no-no for candida sufferers. You can also make oven-baked rutabaga fries using coconut oil and salt.
The apple cider vinegar used in this simple salad recipe by Natural Tasty Chef is said to be beneficial for gut health. Plus, the pumpkin seeds tossed into this mix are purported to have anti-fungal properties, too.
Cruciferous vegetables, including Brussels sprouts, are said to have anti-fungal properties. In this recipe by Lisa Richards, they’re mixed with buckwheat in a super-filling salad that can be eaten hot or cold.
This salmon burger recipe from Elana’s Pantry is so flavorful, you won’t miss the bread. But if you happen to be craving a carb, whip up Lisa Richards’ gluten-free caraway seed buns or serve alongside rutabaga fries.
Fermented foods like kimchi offer big benefits—probiotics!—to candida sufferers. Here, fermented cabbage adds flavor to standard meatballs, which Lisa Richards recommends serving with a side of probiotic-packed plain yogurt.
On sick days, cold days, or pretty much any day, few things can beat a steaming bowl of chicken soup. Luckily most versions, including this stew by Lisa Richards, are candida diet-friendly. You can also go for Brand New Vegan’s meatless version if you’re vegetarian—it’s made with cauliflower taco meat instead.
Sometimes on a no-sugar diet, all you want to do is hit up a drive-thru and slurp down a frosty shake. Dupes can help take the edge off—this one, from Oh, The Things We’ll Make, utilizes avocado, spinach, coconut milk, cucumber, and fresh mint in place of sugar, dairy, and more sugar.
Cookies and candida generally don’t mix, but this kind from Natural Sweet Recipes utilizes anti-fungal xylitol as a sweetener instead of sugar. Its use of anti-inflammatory cinnamon is a wellness bonus, too. Candida caveat: Make sure your vanilla extract doesn’t have added sugar in it—believe it or not, some do.
Loading More Posts...