candida diet



PHASE 1: Detox – 1 week fast
PHASE 2: Diet & Kill Candida with Antifungals – Avoid sugar & yeast    – 2 weeks strict diet
PHASE 3: Strengthen Immune System & Friendly Bacteria – 4 weeks – several months/ years
PHASE 4: Transition to Normal Diet – Re-introduce some yeasty foods – 1 year

What is the Candida Diet for?

Unlike most diets the candida diet is geared to help you recover from illness rather than lose weight, although that is an added bonus.

Your immune system can only operate properly when the right balance of friendly organisms is present in your guts.

If there are too many of the bad guys your body’s defences go down and you become ill. Classic example: You catch a cold.

The Candida Diet is a strict diet for re-balancing your digestive system.

If your immune system continues to be compromised then you tend to develop chronic illnesses and your overall health deteriorates.

You might develop food intolerances and/ or other allergy symptoms.

Unfortunately your body can’t re-establish the required healthy balance on its own. It needs your help.

The Candida Diet is specifically designed to aid you with this.

Why Is There Conflicting Information On Different Sites About The Candida Diet?

You might have already noticed that there are a few different Candida Diet websites out there.

All with a slightly different take on what you are allowed to eat, what supplements to take and when.

Don’t let this confuse you.

Each “Candida Diet” was written by a different person, generally a former candida sufferer.

As they all have experienced unique symptoms and followed different life-styles they are bound to believe different things.

You only need to ask your friends what the best way is to lose weight and you probably get 3 conflicting opinions back.

Some might swear lots of exercise did it for them. Others might claim you need to starve yourself and then you might hear that Weightwatchers, the Atkins Diet, Paleo or whatever the latest trendy diet happens to be, is the only way to lose weight…

Now with candida causing such a multitude of diseases and complications no 2 candida sufferers’ experiences are ever the same. Naturally everyone’s ideas what constitutes the ideal candida diet will differ, too.

You might encounter some Candida Diet thought leaders who perhaps favour a predominantly vegetarian diet, others might be passionate meat eaters and others again favour an approach that encompasses every vitamin and remedy under the sun to nuke the yeast overgrowth.

What I am getting at is, don’t search for “The Perfect Candida Diet” – it doesn’t exist.

  • Just look at a few candida diet advocates, compare their different diet guidelines and look at their motives for adopting this approach.
  • Then simply ask yourself “Is there any evidence that this approach will lead to success? And does this candida diet fit in with my beliefs and life-style?”
  • If you can answer these questions with yes, then you are onto a winner.
  • If you only like aspects of a candida diet, but don’t approve of others then by all means develop your own “Candida Diet”. That’s basically what I have done myself. And this worked well for me.

So, I hope this has clarified a few things. Now read on to find out a bit more about the general Candida Diet aspects that everyone agrees on:

The Candida Diet’s purpose is twofold:

  1. To kill the excess baddies that have made you ill through fast, strict diet and special medication – antifungals.
  2. To encourage the growth of friendly organisms by boosting your immune system and taking probiotics.

Who is the Candida Diet for?

  1. The candida diet is for people who have a candida infection and wish to get rid off their candida symptoms.
  2. The diet is for people who are ill a lot.
  3. The candida diet is also for people who suffer from food intolerances.
  4. And it’s for people who have hayfever and/ or other allergies.

Is the Candida Diet for You?

If you can agree to one or more of the following statements then the candida diet is for you. Do you want to….?

  • Find out what food doesn’t agree with you
  • Have less headaches and fewer colds
  • Get rid off your hay fever & dust mite allergy
  • Heal skin inflammations/ ecczema
  • Alleviate any digestive complaints
  • Cure cystitis and thrush
  • Lose a few pounds and feel energetic

The candida diet can do all those things for you.

Do I need to have a Candida problem to start the Candida Diet?

No, you don’t need to have ALL the problems listed above to benefit from the candida diet.

In fact even if you don’t think you have Candida but you just want to boost your immune system and get into better shape then the Candida diet can benefit you.

  • It’s a diet high in nutrition and wholesome goodness.
  • A diet high in protein and veg but low in carbs (carbohydrates=sugar, bread, cakes).
  • In other words a diet that makes you slim and toned.

The candida diet will work just in those areas in your body where your immune system is weak and could do with a bit of help.

Therefore what exact shape the candida diet takes is individually different depending on your constitution to begin of the diet.

Never the less the candida diet is first and foremost for people who suffer from Candida as these poor people can’t recover if they don’t follow the Candida Diet.

However, as most people aren’t actually aware they have this condition the candida diet is also very well suited as a diet to generally boost your immune system after you’ve been ill.

A Word of Warning About the Candida Diet

The Candida Diet is not for the faint hearted.

You need to become very disciplined and prepared to put your life on the back-burner for how ever long your recovery takes.

Your whole life must be centred around health and healing.

This is not a “lose 5 kilos in a fortnight” kind of affair, where you just nibble a few salad leaves and 2 weeks later magically appear 3 dress sizes smaller.

This is a seriously hard endeavour. Think army boot camp and you’re half-way there.

You’ll sweat blood and tears. And you’ll be forced to change habits that have defined you as a person over the years.

But its not all bad. You can use the Candida Diet as a catalyst for what you really want in life.

The Candida Diet gives you the opportunity to re-evaluate who you surround yourself with and what you spend your time doing.

Are these people and things that do you good? Or do they cause you stress that is constantly undermining your immune system?

Hand on heart. Think about it.

What are the Core Rules of the Candida Diet?

candida diet food pyramid


Food related rules of the candida diet:

  • No sugar, white pasta, pizza or bread
  • No cake, bagels, chocolates or puddings
  • No fruit, dried fruit, juices, coke or alcohol
  • No cheese, sauces, milk
  • Eat light and early
  • Eat a lot of greens
  • Eat some protein
  • Eat minimal carbs

If you are curious what exactly you can eat on the candida diet check out this candida diet food list as well as this list of foods to avoid.

Life-style rules of the candida diet:

  • Relax more
  • Reduce stress
  • Do things that make you happy
  • Go to bed early
  • Drink more water
  • Get some fresh air
  • Get movement (at least 15 mins brisk walk twice a day)

JUST TO RECAP: Breakdown of the individual Phases of the Candida Diet

  • Preparation (1 week – 6 weeks)
  • Phase 1: Detox (1 week fast)
  • Phase 2: Diet & Kill Candida with Antifungals – Avoid sugar & yeast (2 weeks strict diet)
  • Phase 3: Strengthen Immune System & Friendly Bacteria (4 weeks +)
  • Transition to Normal Diet (Re-introduce some yeasty food) (1 year)


The first phase clears your system of toxins and waste products that were a strain on your immune system. Read more about it here.


The second phase of the candida diet encompasses an elimination diet that takes the burden of your digestive system. This will allow your body to heal. This is where lots of Candida gets killed!

  • During this phase your diet should consist mainly of vegetable soups, light fish, egg and chicken dishes. Always accompanied with fresh salads and organic steamed vegetables.
  • If only this part of the candida diet wasn’t so strict. Imagine, even vegetables like carrots and potatoes and all grains and beans are off the books for you during this time.
  • As a rule of thumb – the greener the better. So stick to leek, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage & kale. Sadly, you’re also not allowed to eat bread yet.
  • To kill as much Candida as possible you need to start taking antifungal supplements now.

TOP CANDIDA DIET TIP: If you are very ill to start with try a gentle antifungal like Caprylic Acid first.

  • Strong antifungals like Olive leaf capsules can cause severe die off reactions, making you even more ill.
  • Your body can only get rid off a small amount of Candida toxins each day.

WARNING! You cannot speed the process up by taking more antifungal medication!

The dead Candida toxins would only be rushing through your blood stream making you feel nauseous and headachy – causing you harsh die-off symptoms.

I know how hard it is to control the urge to take strong antifungals to nuke the yeasty armada. Don’t do it!
Start slowly and work your way up to a higher dosage as you’re getting better.


The third phase is all about re-building your immune system. You’ll still have to follow the general candida diet rules, but it’s not quite as strict. You can eat all the foods on the candida diet food list.

  • Now you can also start taking probiotic supplements (friendly microbes that live in your intestines – keeping the naturally remaining Candida in check).
  • You can slowly introduce yeast-free bread and small amounts of different grains and potatoes back into your diet. Even a bowl of wholewheat pasta can pop up in your menu again – if combined with a green salad.
  • Lentil, bean and veggy dishes should be staple items on your diet during this phase.

How long does the Candida Diet take?

People tend to ask how long the candida diet takes. And the answer is always the same even if you don’t like to hear it.

It’s different for everyone, and it depends on how long you’ve had the candidiasis infection and how vigilant you stick to the candida diet.

For most people this third phase of the Candida Diet takes between 2 months and 1 year.

That might sound like a long time but you need to differentiate between three things here.

  • There’s the time it will take you to feel full of energy and happy again.
  • There’s the time it will take you to get rid off the candida symptoms itself so you don’t feel ill any more.
  • And then there’s the time it will take you to get used to a health conscious lifestyle so you don’t get a relapse after the Candida Diet.

You can expect to feel energetic and happy again after just a few weeks on the candida diet. This is truly amazing, because only then you’ll fully see how ill you’ve actually really been – without even realising.

“It’s shocking how you can get used to feeling low and think it’s normal”

You will very quickly get rid off a lot of your symptoms in the first few months into the Candida Diet.

If you have a stubborn systemic case of Candida then it will take a few more months to eliminate the rest of the Candida that is hiding somewhere in your body.

DANGER ZONE! By this point the hard earned new balance of healthy microbes in your intestines has not been established long enough to prevent a relapse – if you were to go back to your old diet.

Only if you stick to the Candida Diet for some more time you will ensure that your immune system is growing strong enough to keep Candida in check for the rest of your life.

How do you know when phase 3 of the Candida Diet is coming to an end?

  • You’ll know –  The tell-tale sign you are looking for is being able to take a high dosis of antifungals and not to experience any candida symptoms. It’s as simple as that.

As long as you are experiencing symptoms whilst taking antifungals you need to carry on with the Candida Diet.

  • You’ll also notice that you’ll be able to tolerate sweeter foods, bigger carb portions and small amounts of previously offending foods without getting an onset of new candida symptoms. This is another encouraging sign that the Candida Diet is nearing it’s end.

But as I said earlier this is the danger zone, where you will be tempted to take risks by eating sugary foods (thinking that you can get away with it…)

So you might be symptom-free yet you still shouldn’t gorge yourself on pizzas and gateaux cakes. Quite a sad outlook on the diet, isn’t it? Enough for anyone to feel misarable…

You are probably still hoping you can whiz through the Candida Diet and then carry on as before, aren’t you? I’m afraid it doesn’t work like that.

“Going back to the diet that made you ill in the first place and expecting a different outcome is madness.”

It has taken you years to get to this state. How can you realistically expect your body to heal in just a few weeks?

Allow yourself a generous grace period where you experiment with what foods agree best with you and what amounts. Finetune the diet until you find a balance that you can maintain easily – even permanently.

If at this stage in the Candida Diet you re-introduce too many things that are forbidden then you’ll be experiencing the usual Candida symptoms.

You can of course live with them. But if you want to get rid of them for good you need to make tabula rasa.

In with the old – out with the new. In ALL aspects of your life!


The fourth phase of the Candida diet is just a maintenance phase. You’ll still stick to the list of foods to avoid – simply to avoid a relapse. But you don’t need to take any more supplements.

  • It takes time for your body to get used to the newly restored balance in your digestive system. This might take a few months, possibly a year.
  • In phase 4 you can finally have the occasional “off-day”. So enjoy your family get togethers and holidays where you may indulge in a few chocolates and things. But just make sure not to fall back into old eating habits.


Get your health checked before the candida diet

  • It’s best to consult with a doctor to double-check that you are in a fit state to embark on such a strict health program as the Candida Diet.

If you don’t do this you risk becoming very, very ill and slowing down your overall recovery.

I learned this the hard way because I didn’t get a health check before I started on the Candida Diet and promptly developed a severe case of eczema. Simply because my liver was overburdened with the candida toxins in my blood stream.

  • Checking how depleted your mineral and vitamin levels are is also a very good idea. This enables you to take the correct dose of supplements later on in the diet, rather than tapping in the dark.

How to Prepare Yourself for The Candida Diet:

As the Candida Diet is a serious undertaking you’d feel utterly miserable if you launched yourself into it without easing yourself into it first.

I recommend you take 4-6 weeks where you slowly get used to some of the candida diet foods and where you start the detox process.

Key things for you to bear in mind during this preparation phase are these:

  1. Eliminate everything from your diet that you suspect doesn’t agree with you.
  2. Reduce sugar, coffee and fast food intake as much as possible.
  3. Introduce one day in the week where you eat only light vegetable meals and soups or wholemeal rice with a bit of vegetable oil. You want to slowly prepare your body for the candida diet, particularly for the fast. This works best if you get into detox mode gradually.


  • Cook double the amounts for freezing. This will make your life easier on those days where you don’t feel like cooking.

You’ll be really grateful when you can quickly defrost lots of small portions of stews, roast chicken, fish, mild vegetable stir-frys and bean dishes before you start with the candida diet.

You’ll have enough else on your plates than having to cook full on meals.

Aim for preparing and freezing 1-2 meals per week. That should set you up with a nice selection of back up food to eat when the actual candida diet has started.

What next? What’s the first step to kick-start your Candida Diet?

That’s pretty much it. You’re ready to roll now. Head on over to the Candida diet food list page and make a list of the things you’re allowed to eat.

From then on it’s all about finding recipes with those ingredients that you love eating. Here are some candida diet recipes to get you started.

I’ll be posting a few more of my favourite recipes and tips here on my blog from time to time. You really don’t want to miss them ?

Health Disclaimer!

The info on this page is based on my personal experience with Candida – I am not a health care professional. So please take care when following any of my diet suggestions. And if in doubt, seek qualified advice from other sources before embarking on the Candida Diet.

Candida Diet: 5 Core Natural Remedies
Every Candida Sufferer Should Have! Get Your FREE Report Now


  • Kim

    Reply Reply March 24, 2012

    Very honest and to the point. Thank you! You’re right candida diet is not something to do half hearted. I have done a full cleanse years ago and felt great. Now I have a hubby and three boys who are not so agreeable of crazy eating ways! They too need to be doing this. I have decided again to do the cleanse and get back on the wagon! Please tell me what the initial cleanse consists of. I’ve been very good for a couple of days now(except a bite of cookie). Now it’s time to seriously clean out. Spring clean out for the body! Please let me know what you did. Thanks. Signed “on the way”
    ps what is your experience with grapefruit seed extract to kill off candida?

  • Sandra

    Reply Reply March 24, 2012

    Hi Kim – thank you so much for your kind words – I really appreciate the feedback!

    Awesome that you’ve decided to cleanse again, you’ll feel so much better for it!

    I’ve been meaning to do one myself since New Year, but have been led astray by my boyfriend’s yummy cooking (who is equally as keen to do a fast as your hubby and 3 gorgeousnesses by the sounds of it ?

    Before I started the candida diet I did a full on 7 day cleanse – no food (my family thought I had gone mad…)

    I basically lived off water, herbal teas and vegetable broth, which I had expected to be impossible to do. As a year before I had found just a 2 day fast very hard to do. I had felt insanely ravenous and really ill all throughout. It shows just how toxic I must have been.

    Last time thankfully it wasn’t that bad at all. I could imagine that the 2 colonic irrigations I had really made a difference; I’d highly recommend that.

    I also took a detox and a liver flush drink several times a day (in retrospect this is something I wouldn’t do again). I’m going to talk about this in a bit more detail in one of my next blog posts. If you’d like to get an email as soon as the post goes live just sign up to my newsletter (you can always unsubscribe afterwards ?

    In terms of antifungals – Grapefruit seed extract is one that I didn’t get on with so well. Simply because I had trouble taking the exact dosage (I rather too generously poured the drops into a glass of water). It tasted absolutely vile and made me feel nauseous.

    I definitely prefer to take antifungals in capsule form – at least then I’m less likely to accidently overdose… I have to say though that grapefruit seed extract is great value for money.

    The ones I personally got on with best are caprylic acid and olive leaf capsules. Pau d’arco tea is nice, too.

    I’d be interested to hear what you make of Grapefruitseed extract. Please share your findings back here if you like.

    Did you know that you can also get hold of me through Twitter? In case you have a quick question or need some moral support with your candida diet :)

  • Kim

    Reply Reply March 26, 2012

    Well it’s been three days now and I already feel tonnes better. The bloating has disappeared. I still need to be more strict. I guess I’m easing into it. I do feel more hungary more often, good food goes through me faster! But increase energy. Grapefruit seed extract is awful tasting isn’t it? I’ve only taken it two days. No kill off bloating or nausea yet! I too “overdose” at times. Do you keep track of your ph while cleansing? I did the Litmus pee test this am and was surprised at how high my ph was. Hope to get that down too! The other hard part of all this is not getting resentful that I need to eat so strictly to maintain good health. Hopefully that cleansing high will take over soon! Be well, Kim :)

  • Sandra

    Reply Reply March 26, 2012

    Hiya, good to hear from you.

    Keeping track of your ph while cleansing or in general during the candida diet is a great idea. Candida thrives if your ph level is out of kilter. Don’t be alarmed by a high ph in the morning though – apparently the ph is always higher.

    I personally didn’t keep track of mine. I just tried to keep my acidity levels down by sipping apple cider vinegar throughout the day and eating mostly alkaline food. Be, well, too :)

  • Helen Smith

    Reply Reply April 22, 2013

    Hi Sandra,

    thanks for sharing your info. I came across candida as I was researching ‘leaky gut syndrome’ as a last ditch attempt to cure my eczema as I got no help or sympathy from my doctor. In England, the NHS does not recognise leaky gut or candida so I have had to sift the internet for info myself, and it’s an absolute minefield of bad alternative therapies like astrology and crystal healing. Anecdotal evidence such as yours is the most useful thing I have found. I initially came across leaky gut (increased intestinal permeability) as a possible cause of my eczema. Theoretically this condition can be cured inside a month as it requires resting of the digestive system (elimination diet) and supplementation to repair the small intestines. Unfortunately reading more into this it is commonly caused by the burrowing of candida into the walls of the small intestine. So the candida must be killed first.

    I wasn’t sure if I might have candida as other than some fairly localised, mild eczema and a few bouts of mild depression I am fairly asymptomatic. I was on the contraceptive pill for years, and had a few bouts of antibiotics, although my dad was very good and always insisted I took giant amounts of probiotics after a round of antibiotics. I did the ‘spit test’ and my spit quickly sank (supposedly indicative of candida) so I have been concerned since then. I did a 4 day vegetable juice fast and started taking probiotics and anti candida formula. I got mild die off symptoms (muscle aches, slight nausea) but these went after 2 days, I switched my anti candida formula after a few days and experienced no die off symptoms. My doctor refuses to test me for candida overgrowth so I’m not sure what to do now. My spit test still shows yeast, but the reliability of this test is widely disputed. Is it possible that I only had a small amount of candida that have now gone? Do you trust the spit test?

    I only came across your website today so my attempt so far has differed from yours, I did a ‘detox’ phase for four days and moved onto phase 2 which was very similar to yours. The problem is that during phase two I lost a large amount of weight (over 1lb a day) and my BMI is already quite low. I had incorporated nuts and goats yogurt into my diet as I felt i was wasting away. I also took both probiotics and anti fungals from the start (on the advice of a different website), I was encouraged that my ‘die off symptoms’ came and went all within the detox phase.

    Sorry for the rambling, but I am so unsure of how to proceed. If I have to do the detox again, or 2 weeks of phase 2, I am scared to lose any more weight (my BMI has already dropped to 17). As my die off symptoms came and went I’m unsure as to whether I actually have the condition or not… my spit test shows positive (is it reliable?) but my doctor refuses to test me. I am almost certain I have a leaky gut (which could be caused by many other things, although candida is listed as a common cause) but I’m reluctant to do the diet to fix this If I DO have candida as any attempt would be futile.

    I know you’re not a practitioner but you seem so well read I thought you might be able to give me some advice. I don’t really know where else to turn :(

    Thank you xx

    • Sandra

      Reply Reply April 22, 2013

      Hello Helen,

      many thanks for your kind comment – I totally understand how you are feeling right now.
      I have sent you a personal message with some tips for your skin and general advice what I think you could do in this situation.

      All my best,
      Sandra xx

  • Angela Knight

    Reply Reply October 8, 2013

    how important do you think it is to have Candida confirmed by one of the many various tests that are available? I would be interested if the tests could show you how much Candida is in your system so you could possibly track progress, expensive though. My spit test is not looking any better 5 months into this journey … sigh . My list of supplements is as long as my arm and pricey, I know it will be worth it and try to keep positive , hoping to turn a corner and see and feel some better results too. Isnt it an emotional roller coaster, I am sure we will all come out the other side shinier and brighter people for it , Angela

  • Sandra

    Reply Reply October 8, 2013

    Hi Angela,
    personally I think if you have a specialist near you who can test you and perhaps even work with you in beating the yeasties then I would always say go for it. On the flipside if you don’t have a doctor or clinic who has a good track record of testing and curing candida or money is tight then I would not get a test done.

    At your heart of heart you can normally tell whether you have Candida and whether it gets better from following the diet and taking supplements.

    I don’t have much faith in localized tests, because I know that the fungus can travel in your body and even lay dormant. I think the best bench mark is if your symptoms are getting less, and I hope that they are for you, even if the spit test says otherwise.

    Have you tried oil pulling? It helped me get rid of oral thrush. Perhaps it would help you, too. Hang in there, Angela. It is indeed an emotional roller coaster. Nobody can understand what it’s like, if they haven’t experienced it themselves. It does get better though. So chin up, you’ve done great – 5 months is a solid foundation. Onwards and upwards!

  • Danni

    Reply Reply April 2, 2014

    Hi Sandra – I’m just wondering at which stage can I add in coconut products (minus the water – I know that’s a no-go!)

    Thanks for all your info – truly lifesaving!

    Danni xx

    • Sandra

      Reply Reply April 3, 2014

      Thanks so much Danni – how kind of you :)
      I’m not so sure about the coconut water you know. I view it a little bit like rice milk in that it is quite sweet and shouldn’t be allowed, but it seems to be ok. My take on it is that in stage 1 I wouldn’t have any coconut products or rice milk. In stage two I might have a sip of coconut water if I was out and about and under a lot of stress, it’s very nutritious. I wouldn’t drink it in big amounts or regularly though. You can have other coconut products in stage two already but I would not go overboard. Focus should still be on healing and easy digestion. Coconut is acidic and can be hard to digest, so it’s better to enjoy more of it from stage three onwards and tone consumption down whenever you feel a bit under the weather or achy. And I’d be cautious with rice milk, too. Right up until weeks into stage three I was still diluting rice milk with water whenever I ate oatmeal porridge (to take the edge of the sweetness). Later I had it pure, and these days I add two drops of vanilla stevia and a sprinkle of Xylitol ? Hope you’ll heal super quickly. All my best, Sandra xx

  • Lorraine Klutz

    Reply Reply January 15, 2015

    Have been on probiotics and digestive enzymes for 30 years,so during a cleanse do I continue with these, plus have taken Vit.D &C. Magnesium, B-Complex, CoQ10 and natural hormone therapy pills as long. Take Homeopathic remedies as well. I am very sensitive to medications and natural supplements so am very scared as to which antifungal or detoxifier items to try. Have been on a restricted diet for years-no dairy, limited red meat, gluten free,no citrus fruits(can not tolerate). I am extremely sensitive not only with my digestive system but also skin. Any help you can give me I will appreciate this very much. Have just spent a week eating suggested vegetables, brown rice or millet and turkey, chicken, fish. Now what to do?

    • Sandra

      Reply Reply January 15, 2015

      Hi Lorraine,
      well done for eating so healthily, that’s great. I heard hormone therapy pills encourage Candida, but maybe the natural ones you take are different? Might be worth checking. Same with the exact cleanse protocol, which I can’t say much to, not being a nutritionist myself. I always viewed a fast as a time of taking a break of everything, so I took no supplements other than colon cleanse pills. I envisaged it as doing my body some good not to have to digest any pills with fillers…. it’s great for the mind as well, not to have to remember to take something or do something – just be and recharge your batteries. If you decide not to do a fast, then I’d carry on with your current way of eating but would add some healthy olis like flax oil and coconut oil. If you feel bloated or suspect you might have a gluten intolerance I’d give grains a break for 2 weeks.
      Happy cleansing.

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