As a holistic nutritionist and someone who values my relationship with food, I try my hardest to steer clear of fad diets. I believe in listening to your body, eating foods that fuel you, and indulging on occasion without guilt. When I discovered that I had to go on the candida diet for health reasons, I was wasn't thrilled.
Candida albicans are a type of yeast and fungus that can live and proliferate in our bodies, instigating a cascade of health imbalances. The overgrowth of candida can mimic IBS symptoms, cause skin issues such as acne or eczema, allergies, PMS symptoms, yeast infections, UTIs, anxiety, depression, hormone imbalances, joint pain, and a weakened immune system...just to name a few.
Worst of all, the process to rid your body of these can be quite a taxing experience. It involves a restrictive diet that aims to "starve" the pathogens along with antifungal supplements. The diet requires you to eat no sugar of any kind (or things that act like sugar in the body, like carbohydrates). This means no grains, fruit, soy, legumes, or starchy veggies. Goodbye, my glorious sweet potato…
The antifungal supplements can create what we refer to as a "healing crisis" or "die-off effect," which essentially means you get worse before you get better. Candida albicans can produce up to 79 different toxins in your body—including neurotoxins. As these pathogens die, you may feel a variety of symptoms including increased brain fog, nausea, skin breakouts, irritability, and fatigue. I had heard from multiple people that when you do the candida diet, you’d better send yourself out into the woods alone…and, well, they weren't kidding.
Here are the seven most important things I learned from following this diet for two full months: