It always trips me up when people say that you should not eat fermented foods on a candida diet. This is because I know how powerful fermented foods are and how amazing they are for clearing up candida infections and keeping candida at bay! Here is a list of the best fermented foods for candida.
You’ll notice a common thread that these foods should be fully fermented, made in an anaerobic fermenting vessel, and free from mold.
1. Milk Kefir
Milk kefir is a powerful agent for fighting candida infections. It works internally and externally to kill multiple candida strains, including the most common candida albicans. Milk kefir is amazing because it actually changes your gut microbiome instead of just offering transient bacteria that need to be replenished on a daily basis. It takes about 3-6 months of regular use to change the primary bacteria and yeast strains in your gut.
Milk also naturally contains lactoferrin, which disrupts candida’s ability to stay attached to your mucosal lining and fights it off in the small intenstines. Lactoferrin has antiviral properties and helps some strains of probiotics grow. When you make milk kefir first, you greatly reduce the milk sugar lactose so that it cannot feed the candida.
You will want to use milk kefir that was made in an anaerobic vessel. This is because when you put milk in a jar and cover with cheesecloth or something of the like, the milk can get contaminated with pathogens. You might notice films of a variety of colors growing on top of your milk kefir. Many are fine consuming with a powdery white film, but I personally avoid. I would definitely dump anything that grows pink, brown, or black films.
You can learn how to make milk kefir here.
2. Homemade Sauerkraut
Sauerkraut has truly become one of my favorite fermented foods. Aside from the many benefits of sauerkraut, including high vitamin C content, helping with iron absorption, and its powerful anti-inflammatory effects, it is a powerful agent against bacteria and yeast in the gut! There are also so endless flavor combinations. And I’m all about the different flavors!
Sauerkraut is best fermented for at least 2 months. It should have a pleasantly tart smell and taste. Before full fermentation, it will have off smells, which are normal. Remember the cabbage is fermenting in the jar and will let out gases while breaking down. These gases can be smelly, but do subside as the weeks go on.
Consider it this way, the jar is taking care of the gas so your belly doesn’t have to deal with it!
3. Coconut Water Kefir
Coconut water is a form of fermented coconut water. It is probably the most popular and best! It is used in diets such as Body Ecology because it it high in nutrients and electrolytes, low in sugar, and is a potent fighter against candida and other bacteria and yeast overgrowth.
There are several different types of coconut water kefir type beverages you can buy these days, but I will always and forever prefer homemade. For one, it is generally cheaper (although this can vary based on where you live). Second, I’ve tried some of the big brands out there and they tend to have off flavors, be over fermented, or just taste downright weird! Another benefit of making your own coconut water is freshness. I prefer to use my coconut water kefir within 2 weeks.
You can learn how to make coconut water kefir here, as well as where to source fresh coconut water that tastes great!
4. Homemade Kimchi
While Kimchi is mostly known as fermented Napa cabbage mix with Korean chili pepper, the truth is that there are many different types of kimchi!
I personally love Napa cabbage kimchi (tongbaechu kimchi), but I also love daikon kimchi (Kkakdugi)!
It is important to ferment kimchi for 2-3 months minimum when using it to help fight off candida. Before then, the ingredients (especially the cabbage) are not fully fermented, and any food not broken down well can negatively impact your body’s ability to heal.
There have been plenty of studies on kimchi, and here are are some of the findings:
- it improves intestinal health and reduces symptoms of IBS
- it improves the immune system
- reduces fasting blood glucose and may be great for diabetics
- reduces blood cholesterol and improves lipid profiles
Kimchi’s ability to reduce glucose levels is a positive for fighting candida, aside from its high lactobacilli content. Fluctuating blood glucose levels can promote candida growth, and it’s important to create an environment where candida does not thrive in order to beat it!
5. Beet Kvass
If you’ve heard of beet kvass before, you know that it is well respected as a potent liver and kidney cleanser! If you’ve never heard of it before, that’s OK. You can learn all about the benefits of beet kvass, as well as how to make it by clicking here. You’ll also find information on recommended dosages and flavor variations!
Now why does beet kvass make the cut for the best fermented foods for candida? That’s because using beet kvass for candida is a super smart decision. When candida dies off, it lets out toxins that can cause unwanted symptoms people typically refer to as “die off,” or “Herx reactions.” When you are having these negative symptoms, it’s generally because your body is having a hard time excreting the toxins as quickly as they’re being released.
These die off symptoms include symptoms like eczema, headaches, and nausea. And the good thing is that beet kvass helps your body to clear the toxins so can help reduce or eliminate these symptoms!
Other things that greatly help with die off symptoms include lemon water, Epsom salt baths, and enemas!
The Best Fermented Foods For Candida Are:
- Fermented in anaerobic vessels
- Fully fermented to break down complex carbohydrates
- Fully fermented to reduce sugar content
- Fully fermented for easy digestion
- Packed with vitamins and minerals to support the immune system
- Filled with essential compounds that aid in the detoxification process
- Tasty and easy to include in your diet
After reading this post, I hope you will feel empowered to use fermented foods in your diet. These are the best fermented foods for candida, and you do not have to wait until you clear your overgrowth to begin consuming them. You do want to make sure you are using best practices and either make your ferments in an anaerobic vessel, or purchase from someone who does.
Caraway Sauerkraut Recipe: Why Add Caraway Seeds? | Nourishing Time
Sunday 20th of December 2020
[…] a very important part of the diet, and sauerkraut is one that should definitely be included. This short list of fermented foods for candida can also be helpful if you’re having trouble deciding which kinds of ferments to try […]
Saturday 14th of November 2020
Does anyone know how much sugar content is in a fermented drink? I made lacto- fermented apple cidar and wonder how much sugar is still in it?
Saturday 21st of November 2020
It is difficult to say how much is left without actually testing it. I do usually ferment my drinks until they are not very sweet. The tool to measure sugar content is a Brix Hydrometer, and you can click here to check it out on Amazon.
Natural Remedies For Yeast Infections | Nourishing Time
Tuesday 27th of October 2020
[…] Related Post: Best Fermented Foods For Candida […]
Thursday 24th of September 2020
Thanks for your help! I have a few crocks I usually use for sauerkraut. They work fine until 3-4 weeks the juice level drops and the sauerkraut begins to rot...is it permissible to add water to keep it it submerged?
Thursday 24th of September 2020
No problem! You can add a 1% brine (about 2.5g salt per cup of water), but I'd also recommend moving to smaller jars and refrigerating if at all possible, that way you are only working on a smaller portion at a time, and distributing the juice that's there more evenly. I usually move to fridge at about 2 weeks in, sometimes a little sooner, basically as soon as the bubbles start dying down.
1% brine is if you usually use 2% salt to ferment your cabbage. If you follow most recipes that use alot of salt then just water is likely best!
Some cabbage varieties are way more juicy than others, red/purple cabbage tends to make less juice from my experience.
And that's awesome you make several crock-fuls. Yummm ?
Tuesday 22nd of September 2020
This whole thing of fermenting vegetables anaerobically has me confused. From my understanding, hundreds of years ago sauerkraut and other vegetables were fermented in wooden barrels; would that have been anaerobic? We ferment gallons of vegetables at a time and buying jars or jugs with air locks are too expensive to be practical. Do you have any suggestions on what I could use???
Tuesday 5th of April 2022
@Jo, In regards to kefir, I'd say it's not exactly accurate. We do homemade kefir all.the time and never cover it with a lid while it's fermenting. We leave it out at room temperature for about 3 days with indeed a piece of cloth over it. In 3 days times is ready! After we seal it and put it in the fridge as otherwise will keep fermenting and becomes a waterry goo.
Tuesday 22nd of September 2020
Many traditional cultures used wood that they would prepare in a special way, cover with animal skin or under ground (or in special cellars), clay crocks, and aome things were fermented in animal skin directly (like milk kefir). These were all anaerobic and let fermentation gases out but didn't let oxygen in.
The least expensive airtight containers I've found are Fido jars, which come in up to 5L (approx 1 gallon). I've found great prices at stores like TJ Maxx, Ross, Marshall's and Homegoods. Also Crate & Barrel especially when they have a sale + free shipping. I do buy Pickl-It lids but have also in the past had a friend whose husband drilled holes in them for us. Some use the Fidos without airlocks, there is a small concern for not letting air out, it can affect flavor and can supposedly explode. I've never personally heard of a Fido jar exploding although I've heard of and personally experienced swing-top jars exploding (water kefir, ginger bug).
Larger than that crocks would work well but they are more expensive and very heavy.
I have also heard there are some non-leaching plastic buckets now with valves (available on Amazon) that are anaerobic and work very well. I have no personal experience.
I do want to note that many have had success in fermenting AND healing without airlocks, by keeping the jars mostly full and food under the brine fully. Some people require a more careful approach and I believe that to be the case for those fighting Candida infections.
Overall I'm in the camp of do the best you can, do what works for your family, and above all don't stress because stress robs us of health. ?
Tuesday 22nd of September 2020
Or wait. If my vegetables are submerged, is that anaerobic?