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.