“What can I put in my green smoothies if I’m battling candida?”
The recommendations for which foods to eat and avoid on the so-called “candida diet” are all over the place. Experts can’t even agree as you’ll find websites with conflicting information.
The information in this post deals with candida overgrowth. I’m not necessarily referring to conditions like oral thrush (candida in the mouth) or a yeast infection which is easily treatable. What I am referring to is so-called “systemic candida overgrowth” which is frequently diagnosed in the natural health and the raw food movements.
Systemic candida overgrowth is said to be a condition where the naturally occurring candida albicans microorganism normally living in the human digestive tract undergoes a population bloom and moves into other parts of the body including the blood stream. Various candida diets, lifestyle protocols, supplements and cures are often prescribed to treat the problem.
Acceptable Fruits For The Candida Diet
The general consensus is that you want to limit fruits. Although some prominent natural health experts say that candida is not a fruit problem, but a fat problem, meaning that a diet that is too high in fat (typical raw food diet) leads to blood sugar problems and systemic candida overgrowth.
There are some people who clear up a candida problem with a high-fruit, low fat diet while others clear it up with a no or low fruit diet (5% or less of total calories).
One thing that most candida experts agree on is that citrus fruit is okay and may even help alleviate candida problems. So that means a green smoothie with oranges, grapefruits, lemons and limes are good.
Leafy green and other vegetables are on the list of okay foods as well. So it looks like our Orange-Kale smoothie may be candida diet approved.
Another general consensus among candida experts is that berries such as blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, strawberries and cranberries are acceptable on the candida diet because these berries have a higher fiber to sugar ratio.
Now here is where it gets tricky. On one candida website, it says to avoid all stemmed fruit including apples, cherries, pears, plums, peaches and grapes. Since stems can protrude into the flesh part of the fruit and contain microscopic yeasts, molds and fungi, they can complicate candida problems, they say.
Another website says that pears are actually okay.
One website says that high fructose fruits like bananas, mangoes, pineapples, apricots and apples should be avoided while another website says that pineapples are acceptable.
To complicate matters further, yet another website claims that oranges are actually to be avoided.
As far as how much fruit is okay to eat if you have candida, some experts advocate a low carbohydrate, fruit-avoidance diet (which results in a dramatic increase in fat consumption). Other experts advocate a fruit-based diet that is low in fat (they claim that fat is the root cause of candida overgrowth, not fruit sugar).
A Candida Epidemic Among Raw Foodists and Natural Health Enthusiasts
It is interesting to note that those who follow the raw food diet or have an interest in natural health tend to be the ones who are the most concerned about candida. It’s as if a systemic candida epidemic is running rampant among the raw food community while ignoring most everyone else.
Could it be that the typical raw food diet, being so high in fat, makes people more susceptible to the health problems and symptoms that are often attributed to candida?
Or it could be that the symptoms of systemic candida overgrowth are so vague and can apply to a lot of people who may or may not even have a candida problem. And such vague, common symptoms can be capitalized upon by those wishing to make a profit selling candida-related products to people who may not have a real candida outbreak.
No Evidence That Candida Overgrowth Is A Common Medical Condition
Systemic candida overgrowth is not widely accepted as an actual medical condition by most medical doctors. Naturopaths tend to diagnose it more frequently to treat vague health issues with no overt, underlying cause. Self diagnosis is common and encouraged online as people who think they have systemic candida overgrowth are more likely to buy supplements, e-books and other candida cures that are profitable.
There is no scientific evidence that support claims made by candida experts about how widespread this condition is said to be.
The symptoms of systemic candida overgrowth are so vague in that they can pertain to a variety of unrelated health problems, or stress, and such symptoms can be easily cleared up with a healthy change in diet and/or lifestyle…no candida cure necessary.
There is so much conflicting information about systemic candida overgrowth on the web and many sources supply only anecdotal evidence, no health studies and no information from peer reviewed journals.
The fact that most doctors and some natural health practitioners do not recognize systemic candida overgrowth as a common problem tells me that many people who think they have it probably do not.
Furthermore, it could be dangerous to follow strict fruit-avoidance candida-diet protocols found on the web if you do not actually have candida.
So before you go cutting all healthy fruit out of your diet, be sure that you do, indeed, have a systemic candida problem (an extremely rare condition if you do not have a severely compromised immune system). The only way to accurately test for it is to have your blood tested by a licensed, medical doctor. If the diagnosis is confirmed, then seek out qualified nutritional and diet advice by a licensed, medical professional for treatment.
If that “medical professional” tries to sell you on an herbal candida cure, I’d be skeptical that you actually have the condition.
Return to the Green Smoothie FAQ.
Tracy Russell is the creator of RESET 28: A 28-Day Program For Energy, Weight Loss & A Healthy Glow, and founder of Incredible Smoothies. She has been helping people take control of their health and well being with green smoothies, a whole foods diet, and fitness since 2009.