Okay, you're ready to start the candida cleanse diet. Let's do it.
As you use these grocery guidelines, please remember that it's impossible to make one shopping list that is perfect for everybody, since every body is different. One person may do well eating lemons and limes, while another will feel better avoiding them. Beef liver may be on the menu for one person, halibut for someone else and lentil-spinach soup for yet another person. Use this list as a guideline to help you make healthy choices for your own grocery basket.
Make an effort to buy locally produced foods when feasible. Look for produce that's in season. Spend your food money consciously, and wisely.
It will be nearly impossible to go 100% local unless you're willing to make some serious effort and give up some of your favorite foods (I personally LOVE avocados, olives, yerba mate tea and coconut oil but they aren't coming from my neck of the woods). If we all make efforts to do what we can when we can, we're on the right track.
Buy local and organic whenever possible. And make these items the majority of your menus. Nothing is better for us than an abundance of fresh plant foods.
Fresh Berries - especially blackberries, raspberries, mulberries (in moderation please, not always tolerated well by people on a candida cleanse diet)
Fresh Lemons and Limes
Fresh Garlic and Ginger
Fresh Coconut – ask the grocer when they arrived. Pick ones that are heavier, with a lot of liquid sloshing around in them. Keep your receipt in case they are old, it's hard to tell until you open them.
Sprouts (in moderation, if you enjoy them) - Clover sprouts, radish sprouts, lentil sprouts, pea sprouts, mung bean sprouts, sunflower sprouts, broccoli sprouts. These are easy to make at home and much more economical than buying at the grocery store. Use sprouts as a garnish, not a whole salad made of them. Soaking and sprouting legumes, seeds, and grains helps reduce naturally occurring phytates, which block mineral absorption in the body, but not completely.
Low carb vegetables - asparagus, arugula, bok choy, beet greens, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, celery, chard, cucumber, endive, fennel bulb, lettuce, nappa cabbage, mustard greens, radish, romanesco, salad greens, spinach, tomato, watercress.
Medium carb vegetables - avocado, artichoke, brussels sprouts, burdock root, celeriac, chives, collards, coconut, dandelion greens, green beans, eggplant, horseradish root, kale, kohlrabi, leeks, okra, onion, parsley, peppers (green, sweet, hot), rutabagas, sno pea pods, spaghetti squash, turnip, yellow wax beans, yellow and/or green summer squash, zucchini.
Higher carb vegetables - carrots, winter squash, sweet potatoes, regular potatoes (the sweet and regular potatoes are high in carbohydrates, use less occasionally than the other vegetables, some avoid them altogether for a while doing a candida diet)
Fresh Herbs – basil, cilantro, chervil, dill, lemongrass, mint, oregano, parsley, sage, thyme, rosemary, tarragon.
Shiitake Mushrooms - yes! Shiitakes are indeed beneficial for boosting immune function and will not aggravate candida symptoms. We keep button, crimini and portobellas.
Maitake Mushrooms - also called Hen of the Woods Mushroom. Available in gourmet stores and larger chain natural foods retailers.
More info on beneficial mushrooms for candida
Raw Lacto-fermented Veggies, Sauerkraut and Kim Chi - look for naturally fermented, raw varieties, no preservatives of artificial additives. You can also enjoy the non-refrigerated varieties occasionally as a condiment (again, all natural, no preservatives or other additives), but as a daily staple you'll want the nutrients and enzymes only found in the raw varieties. They're especially helpful in repopulating the gut with good flora, great for anyone on a candida cleanse diet.
Raw Lacto-fermented Pickles - Bubbies is one kind, or any brand of naturally brined, raw, unpasteurized pickles with no sugars or preservatives. You can also enjoy the non-refrigerated varieties occasionally as a condiment (again, all natural, no preservatives or other additives), but as a daily staple you'll want the nutrients and enzymes only found in the raw varieties. Again, great for folks on a candida cleanse diet.
Prepared Horseradish – look for a brand with no sugars, natural flavors or preservatives added.
Raw Coconut Butter - slowly ground at low temps to create a creamy, dreamy spread. Does not actually require refrigeration, so you might find it in another part of the store.
Cold Pressed Flax Oil – sold in the refrigerated section.
Organic Tofu - from small batch producers. Tofu can be enjoyed in small amounts occasionally, but I wouldn't recommend it as a daily staple. (I'm a fan of tempeh, as opposed to tofu, but since tempeh is fermented using a mold spore, similar to how bleu cheeses are made, you might want to avoid tempeh until you get the yeast under control)
Some people need plenty of animal proteins on a regular basis to feel strong and able, others feel more weighted down by any more than occasional servings. You know your body best, as to how often you'll be eating these foods throughout the week.
Organic Eggs or at least from free Free Roaming Hens with access to the outdoors
Raw Butter from Pastured Cows or Organic Butter, Ghee and/or Clarified Butter
Free Roaming or Pastured Chicken, Turkey, Duck, Pheasant, etc.
Grass-Fed & Finished Pastured Beef, Bison, Buffalo, Venison, Lamb, Pork, etc.
Fresh Sustainably Produced Fish and Seafood
All Natural Deli Meats – no preservatives, sugars or artificial ingredients
Whole Grains OPTIONAL, as a transitional food, the goal is to eat as few grains as possible (non gluten grains are a safer bet) - you may do well with whole grains or you might feel better avoiding them altogether while doing a candida cleanse diet. Buy small amounts more often instead of large quantities from a bulk bin, you'll have a better chance that they're actually fresh. If you buy them from the bulk bins, be sure that the store is turning over product at a pretty rapid rate.
Dried Beans and Legumes - again, OPTIONAL, as a transitional food, the goal is to eat as few legumes as possible. Some people feel fine eating legumes while on a candida cleanse diet, most get better results avoiding them. Buy small amounts more often instead of large quantities from a bulk bin, you'll have a better chance that they're actually fresh. If you buy them from the bulk bins, be sure that the store is turning over product at a pretty rapid rate.
Nuts & Seeds - buy small amounts more often instead of large quantities from a bulk bin, you'll have a better chance that they're actually fresh. If you buy them from the bulk bins, be sure that the store is turning over product at a pretty rapid rate.
Nut Butters, Seed Butters - great for a quick snack, but don't overdo them.
Dried Vegetables – dehydrated vegetables are a good quick fix for adding flavor and color to soups and stews (but you'll be using fresh, fresh, fresh as much as possible, right? Right!).
Olives - Oil cured are the first choice, but you can enjoy the kind packed in vinegar brine occasionally as well.
Capers - Salt cured are the first choice, but the ones in vinegar can be used occasionally as well.
Sun Dried Tomatoes (dry or packed in olive oil)
Dried Seaweeds - dulse, nori, wakame, hijiki, and arame.
Virgin Coconut Oil, Virgin Palm Oil, Cold Pressed Olive Oil, Cold Pressed Sesame Oil, Macadamia Oil, Almond Oil. Look for Cold Pressed Flax Oil in the refrigerated section.
Raw Unfiltered Apple Cider Vinegar, other high quality raw, unpasteurized vinegars, organic if you can find them, including Balsamic Vinegar & Red Wine Vinegar
Umeboshi Vinegar, Umeboshi Plums or Paste
Sea Salt – I often call my sea salt "good grey sea salt", many know this form of salt as Celtic Sea Salt, but any moist grey sea salt is good. Himalayan Sea Salt (which is pink in color), and Solar Dried Pacific Sea Salt are also good choices.
Dried Herbs and Spices – buy organic to be assured they haven’t been irradiated.
Stevia Dried Ground Leaves
Liquid Stevia Extract
Pure Extract Flavorings – vanilla, almond, lemon, etc.
Thai Chile Paste / Thai Fish Sauce – (great for authentic flavor in Thai style soups, salads and curries) Look for fish sauce with no flavorings or sugars added, the only ingredients should be anchovies and salt.
Fish packed in water - sardines, herring fillets, mackerel fillets, skipjack tuna and wild salmon are good choices.
Anchovies packed in olive oil are great to have around too.
Tomatoes and Tomato Paste – look for an organic or natural brand with the least ingredients, hopefully one that just says “tomatoes”. Avoid ones with preservatives.
Organic Broth – making your own and freezing it in small containers is best, but a few cans in the pantry are great in a pinch. Look for the ones with the least ingredients, and no funny stuff added.
Coconut Milk, Coconut Cream – unsweetened, organic if you can find it. Coconut has been shown especially effective for a candida cleanse diet.
Creamed Coconut, Dried Shredded Coconut, Coconut Flakes – unsweetened, organic if you can get it.
Canned or Jarred Sauerkraut - with nothing on the label but cabbage and salt, no preservatives.
Canned or Jarred Vegetables - look for ones that have nothing else added including green beans, carrots, pumpkin, spinach or sweet potatoes with no salt added. These are for a quick pinch, when you need to eat but have no time to hit the farmers market or grocery store.
Vegetables - (for convenience, in a pinch). Onions, asparagus, green beans, broccoli, peppers, spinach, collards, chopped herbs.
Berries - if they agree with you and don't aggravate your yeast symptoms
High Quality Meats, Poultry or Seafood
Pure Spring Water
Best Bottled Water Review
Seltzer Water – plain or with flavor essences (no sugars) - in moderation
Sugar free Stevia Sodas - in moderation
Organic Herbal Teas, Yerba Mate Tea or Green Tea
Swiss Water Process Decaf Coffee (some are fine drinking caffeinated coffee too)
Original Recipe or Salt Free Varieties of Tomato Juice or Tomato Vegetable Blend (to be enjoyed in small portions, the carbohydrates are concentrated in these drinks.)