Table of Contents:
Chapter 1: In the Beginning: Preparation
Chapter 2: Hunger and Weight Loss
Chapter 3: The Detox
Chapter 4: The Diet, Stage 1
Chapter 5: The Antifungals
Chapter 6: Vitamins, Minerals, and Herbs
Chapter 7: Digestion, Indigestion, and Depression
Chapter 8: Natural & Commercial Probiotics
Chapter 9: Candida’s Connection to Food Allergies
Chapter 10: Candida albicans: Immunity and Stress
Chapter 11: The Diet, Stage 2 and 3
Chapter 12: Recipes and Making a Change
The information offered here is a Candida treatment diet and treatment protocol consisting of specific foods that have been tested for use on a Candida diet and supplements. This is not part of a medical procedure which includes any treatments other than a diet and supplements. If you have specific problems which may require the assistance of a medical professional, then it is up to you to seek these treatments as they are not a part of this diet. We are not medical professionals, and therefore we do not have the authority to advise anyone on a treatment which is defined as a medical procedure. All we can do is to offer our own individual experiences and the research and experiments that we’ve conducted or bothered to research. If you know or believe that you need medical help, then please seek the consultation of a registered medical professional.
Candida Albicans: Immunity and Stress
By now we’ve probably all seen the commercial about our beneficial bacteria making up a certain percentage of the immune system, and some may think it’s only a lavish amount of hype used to sell whatever product they’re pushing, but there are facts behind the hype. According to research, it is true that a healthy immune system is composed of 70-80% beneficial bacteria, the same beneficial bacteria that we talk about so much here on the forum. So what does it mean if your immune system doesn’t have the needed percentage of beneficial bacteria? Obviously, if the number of bacteria is low enough, the immune system would be in distress and would not function properly.
Have you ever wondered if your immune system was low and therefore caused your Candida overgrowth? Or did the overgrowth cause your immune system to lose its flora and therefore become a malfunctioning part of your body? The answer is, both.
It’s impossible to contract a Candida overgrowth when your immune system is operating at its top performance; this is because the beneficial bacteria population would prevent the Candida yeast from turning to the fungal form and taking over the intestines; the bacteria’s environment is simply not conducive for the survival of a Candida albicans infestation. But once your immune system has dropped to a lower performance level because of improper foods and/or too many antibiotics, and the Candida begin to inhibit the intestines in the ultra billions, and you’re not even aware of this fact because it’s so difficult to diagnose, even then people normally continue to feed the fungi their favorite foods such as refined carbohydrates, sugar, soft drinks, starches, and wheat; and then there are the substances consumed on a daily basis which benefit the Candida’s survival; alcohol, caffeine, medications, nicotine, animal protein such as red meat and pork among others. These substances benefit the environment of the Candida in some way or else they damage the immune system further, and the more of these substances and food you ingest, the more your flora diminishes, and at a certain point the Candida fungi are literally crowding the beneficial bacteria out of the intestines or destroying them or both.
So once we eventually discover that our problem is a Candida albicans overgrowth (sometimes years after the fact), it seems that simply reestablishing the flora to its healthy population should be simple enough, but, unfortunately, it isn’t that easy.
Have you heard of mycotoxins? Mycotoxins are secondary metabolites produced by fungi like Candida albicans. Mycotoxins are harmful to other micro-organisms such as your beneficial bacteria. Penicillin is one example of mycotoxins. Each Candida albicans cell is capable of producing at least 75 different strains of these mycotoxins – and they’re producing them in the billions. So now those billions and billions of Candida albicans in your body are producing a substance much like penicillin which is destroying more of your beneficial bacteria.
Now try to imagine this ratio; 1,000,000 cells, that’s a million cells of beneficial bacteria to 1 single cell of Candida albicans. That’s where you need to be in order to stop the process of destroying your immune system. Does all of this help you to understand why it’s so important to stop feeding the Candida and reduce their huge population in the very beginning of the treatment with strong antifungals, and only after this begin to concentrate on reestablishing the flora in the intestines and rebuild the immune system so that you can eventually heal your infestation?
But back to the immune system; reestablishing the beneficial bacteria isn’t the only work needed when there are other factors at play that are affecting the immune system. Those factors are the other 20 to 30% of the immune system. So what exactly does this percentage consist of? You may be surprised by some of the components.
- Thymus Gland/T-Cells
- Lymph Nodes
- White Blood Cells
- Bone Morrow
The functions of each of these parts of the immune system are below.
Bone Marrow: Red bone marrow is the origin of all types of immune system cells. The marrow tissue use hematopoiesis to manipulate its own stem cells into B cells and are the foundational pieces of T-cells as well as other immune cells.
Thymus Gland: The T-cells that are produced in the bone marrow leave the marrow and travel to the thymus gland for completion. The thymus gland then chooses which T-cells are best suited for the immune system and literally ‘trains’ them to attack antigens in the body. The cells which are not strong enough to provide immune support are destroyed and absorbed by the thymus gland.
Spleen: The spleen acts as a filter for the blood. Its job is to catch foreign material and activate the different types of immune system cells that are needed. The older red blood cells are recycled by the spleen. The spleen also stores platelets as well as white blood cells, plus it aids in fighting specific bacteria which cause pneumonia and meningitis.
Lymph Nodes: The lymph nodes filter foreign material from the lymph fluid which passes through the tissues in the body and collects in the lymph system. The nodes are filled with various forms of white blood cells which clean the lymph fluid. When any type of infection attacks the body, white blood cells can use the lymphatic vessels to communicate with other parts of the immune system. Your body really does talk to itself.
White Blood Cells: White blood cells are a collection of different cells that work together to destroy bacteria, parasites, tumors, and viruses. They’re also responsible for activating as well as communicating with other types of blood cells before destroying the ‘enemy’.
So this is the immune system, all of which must be put into a condition of high performance in order to bring a Candida infestation under control, but, unfortunately there are still even more factors which can affect the efficiency of the immune system.
One of these factors is the connection between the adrenal glands and the immune system. The adrenals produce hormones that are vital to several metabolic functions, including DHEA, progesterone, testosterone, cortisol, and epinephrine. A malfunctioning adrenal gland isn’t producing the proper amount of estrogen, progesterone and testosterone, and these imbalances can literally suppress the immune system’s response, therefore causing a low-functioning immune system. In fact, the body relies on both the thyroid and the adrenal glands to stimulate various immune-activating functions. Without these simulations, the immune system couldn’t do its job efficiently no matter how much work we put into rebuilding it; so you can see how something like adrenal fatigue can affect the operation of the immune system.
Unfortunately, adrenal fatigue is a fairly common symptom of a Candida overgrowth. If you’re wondering how a Candida overgrowth causes adrenal fatigue, the following is the simplest way I know of to explain it.
A Candida infestation causes ongoing immune responses in your body. This creates a constant barrage of responses from the adrenals. The end result of this abuse brings about the exhaustion of the adrenals, better known as adrenal fatigue.
There are symptoms of adrenal fatigue, but unfortunately these symptoms mimic the symptoms of a Candida albicans infestation. My theory is, if you’re suffering from an actual Candida overgrowth in your body, and you have most of the symptoms below, then you can probably assume that you also are suffering from at least mild adrenal fatigue.
Symptoms of Adrenal Fatigue
Excessive fatigue and exhaustion, chronic fatigue
Lack of sleep
Unable to cope
Craving salty or sweet foods
Slow to recover from injury and illness
Low blood pressure
Sensitive to cold
Feeling of fear
Low to zero libido
No interest in life or food
Lack of appetite
Panic and/or anxiety
Irritability and/or impatience
For correcting adrenal fatigue, the following supplements along with a healthy lifestyle and diet can help.
At least 4000 mg of vitamin C every day: For the adrenals, you should try to find a vitamin C supplement which also contains bioflavonoid. The ratio should be 1 mg of bioflavonoid for every 2 mg of vitamin C, or twice as much vitamin C as bioflavonoid.
Pantothenic acid (B5) is important for healing the adrenals. 750 to 1,200 milligrams a day is advised for this purpose. Some of the best natural sources are in the strict diet, namely, rice bran, oat bran, nettle leaf, and kelp.
Adaptogenic herbs; there are several, but my favorite is Ashwagandha which is a part of the protocol, and Nettle leaf is an excellent supplement for the adrenals as well, but for this purpose I would use the pure herb in place of the tea or along with the tea; using both is not a bad idea. Nettle leaf also acts as an excellent antioxidant and protects the copper supply. Two other useful adaptogenic herbs are Chinese licorice root and Siberian ginseng.
Stress is the most dangerous enemy of the adrenal glands. If you have too much stress in your life, you can take a product called SAM-e and the Ashwagandha mentioned above. You might consider doing some research on stress control and do anything that you can to reduce your daily stress. 5HTP can be used if you have a problem sleeping because of stress.
Caffeine causes stress. And believe it or not, what we commonly call ‘junk food’ such as simple carbohydrates and sugar all contain stress-inducing properties.
Research all your prescription medications or review them with a pharmacist or your doctor to see if they or a combination of any of them may be causing more stress for you.
You must sleep and get sufficient rest: Just as important as anything I’ve mentioned is sleep and rest. Get at least 7 to 8 hours of sleep every night, and 8 to 9 is even better if you actually have adrenal fatigue. You should also take rest breaks during the day if you’re working, and let’s face it, everyone works at something, whether it’s a job or a family or whatever.
The Diet, Stage 2 and 3
Stage 2 of the Diet
Foods that can be introduced once the Candida symptoms and die-off symptoms have completely vanished, usually between 6 and 12 months into stage 1 of the diet, are below.
- Home-cooked Dried Beans
- 1/2 Granny Smith apple per day
- Cashews or almonds (preferably soaked in water for several hours to remove any possible mold)
Once a week you could test organic beef, but still no pork.
The foods on phase 2 should be introduced one at a time, never together and not within 2 to 3 weeks of each other. It’s of ultimate importance that each one should be started very slowly; 2 to 3 bites at the most, because it will still be possible to experience symptoms from these foods. If you receive even a small negative reaction, then you should stop eating that food for at least two weeks before testing it again.
Stage 3 of the Diet
Once you start stage 3 of the treatment you should slowly change over to what is referred to as a “health-sustaining diet.” This means that from this point on you should avoid sugar as much as possible because it is not a health-sustaining food, also simple carbohydrates are not health-sustaining foods.
In addition, only 25% of your diet should be wheat products, corn, pasta and rice. However, your health will continue to be much better if you never ingest corn again. The reason for only 25% is, these are not health-sustaining foods because their molecules break apart and release sugar in your body once they begin to break down.
If you feel that you must eat beef or pork you should have it only once a day but only 2 days week, and chicken or fish may be eaten once a day up to 4 days a week. The less meat, chicken and fish you eat, and the more dried beans, eggs and other forms of protein that you eat, the better off you’re going to be in the long run. You’ll still need to eliminate as much ammonia as possible, therefore eliminating as much animal protein as possible from your diet will be beneficial. Eggs are acceptable 7 days a week. Dairy should be limited to a few times a week; almond milk and/or coconut milk can be substituted every day in place of animal milk.
Important Note: If you were eating a typical, high-sugar and high-carb “American” diet before contracting your Candida overgrowth and you choose to go back to your original diet after your treatment is over, with the typical American diet you will be working towards reducing the performance of your immune system and adrenal glands and gradually changing the environment of your intestines once again, therefore you will be inviting another Candida infestation to take over your body again.
Recipes and Making a Change
Recipes: When you finish the cleanse and start cooking again, be sure to pay close attention to the ingredients in each and every recipe you make to be certain that the items are acceptable on the strict diet.
Coconut flour/oat bran/buckwheat breads are the most useful food you can probably add to the diet at any time and will prove to be very filling for you and usually will help you to prevent further weight loss.
There are many recipes for Coconut Bread on the internet, but when you find a recipe, remember that you can also substitute something that is on the Candida diet for a food that is not. For example, if a recipe calls for butter, then you know that you can use ghee in place of the butter.
Below is the recipe I used throughout my treatment.
- 9 eggs (organic only)
- 1/2 cup of olive oil, coconut oil, or ghee
- 1 ½ tsp Bob’s Red Mill Baking Powder.
- 3/4 tsp Sea salt, preferably Himalayan Salt
- Bob’s Red Mill Oat Bran and/or Bob’s Red Mill coconut flour, all of which should equal about 2 cups. You can add more or less flour or oat bran depending on whether or not it is too thick or too runny, and the amount you use of each of these will decide the thickness.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and stir the ingredients together until the lumps have disappeared and the mixture is uniform. Grease a glass loaf pan with ghee or olive oil. Bake for 48 to 50 minutes depending on your oven.
Making a Change during your treatment: An important note to keep in mind throughout your treatment period is, no matter how long it may last; the exact time that you make a change in your treatment will always depend on your specific progress up to that point. A generic timeline with a Candida treatment should never be used by anyone, and just because someone else made a specific change exactly three weeks or three months into their treatment does not necessarily mean that you should as well.
Remember that each one of us is an individual; no one else is exactly like you.
It’s important that each of you devise your own personal and flexible timeline.
Your timeline should depend on your symptoms at any given time. Be well.
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