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The Anti-Candida Diet: Foods to Include and Avoid

Yiwen Lu, MS, RD
January 6, 2024
January 8, 2024

Candida, a common yeast that naturally inhabits our bodies, typically resides in areas such as the mouth, skin, digestive tract, and toenails. While harmless in moderate amounts, it can become problematic when thriving in warm, moist environments. Candida overgrowth can lead to symptoms such as bloating, nail fungus, irritability, and infections. Although scientists can't precisely explain why candida overgrowth happens, we do know that stress, a sugary diet, and post-antibiotic treatments might be some of the triggers. Keep reading to learn how the anti-candida diet can help combat this issue.

5 Foods to Avoid on the Anti-Candida Diet:

Inflammatory, gluten-heavy, and high-sugar goodies feed candida, so eliminate them if you are dealing with candida overgrowth.

Here's a comprehensive breakdown:

  1. Foods and Drinks High in Sugar: Steer clear of desserts like cakes, chips and pretzels, and any sweetened beverages.
  2. Artificial Sweeteners: Exclude aspartame (Equal, NutraSweet), sucralose (Splenda, SucraPlus), saccharin (Sweet'N Low, Necta Sweet), etc.
  3. Hidden Sugar Sources: Be vigilant about sweetened condiments, including ketchup and BBQ Sauce, sweet salad dressings, and dried fruits.
  4. Gluten-Containing Grains: Eliminate wheat, barley, and rye from your meals.
  5. Inflammatory Drinks: Reduce alcohol and caffeine intake to minimize potential inflammation.

5 Foods to Include on the Anti-Candida Diet:

Apart from adopting a well-rounded diet based on MyPlate principle, focus your choices on anti-inflammatory, gluten-free, and low-sugar alternatives. You can also include probiotics for added benefits:

  1. Non-Starchy Vegetables: Load up on leafy greens like spinach and kale for that nutritious boost. Also, keep it colorful with veggies like bell peppers, eggplants, and tomatoes.
  2. Low-Sugar Fruits: Go for blueberries, strawberries, and peaches when the sugar cravings hit. 
  3. Probiotic-Rich Foods: Enhance gut health with yogurt, kefir, or fermented foods like kimchi, pickles, and sauerkraut. 
  4. Non-Caffeinated Beverages: Opt for water as your go-to sip. If you crave a bit more flavor, consider herbal teas like peppermint or chamomile and veggie juices. 
  5. Gluten-Free Grains: Use quinoa, brown rice, and millet for your main carbohydrate sources.


If candida overgrowth is a concern, your healthcare provider may suggest the Candida diet. It's crucial to understand that while dietary changes help manage it, a holistic approach is essential. This involves not only adjusting your diet but also incorporating medical guidance, lifestyle changes, and, if necessary, antifungal treatments. The collaboration between you and your healthcare professional is key for a comprehensive strategy in addressing Candida overgrowth.

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