Our 4-Step Candida Support Protocol: How To Help Your Body Overcome Candida Naturally
Dr. Todd Watts
Dr. Jay Davidson
Candida infection is a growing health problem and has increased significantly over the past 20 years. People with compromised immune systems are especially susceptible to Candida overgrowth. (1)
Candidiasis is an even more severe form where Candida has infected the bloodstream. It's critical to recognize and engage in Candida treatment before the overgrowth gets to such a serious point. That, combined with the fact that Candida has grown resistant to treatment with drugs, may make someone with Candida wonder, “How do I get rid of Candida naturally?”
Candida can be a stubborn fungal infection, but that doesn’t mean we can’t treat it and regain our health. Taking diligent action with a Candida Support Protocol will help you reestablish your gut health as well as any other body system that has been negatively affected by Candida.
Step 1: Stop Feeding the Candida
A fire cannot spread or even maintain its heat without fuel. Remove the fuel, and the fire will naturally die down.
Here's a quick snapshot of food categories to avoid as part of this process:
- Grains and starches
As we revealed in 8 Signs you Have A Candida Infection, Candida absolutely loves sugar. If you are familiar with how bread is made, you know that adding sugar is a must for the yeast to eat and grow; otherwise, your bread will not rise at all. Candida yeast is no different. If it senses sugar, it thinks it is time to grow and multiply. Don’t give it any reason to believe you want it to grow! (2)
Be honest with yourself, and examine your eating habits. Eliminate all simple sugars. If you’ve been suffering from Candida for a long time, it is also wise to avoid fruit during a Candida cleanse. Fruit can be a valuable source of nutrients. But in the beginning, we are extinguishing the fire, not rebuilding the house. Fruit has a high sugar content, so avoiding it until you’ve gotten control over the Candida is best. Doing this will help starve the Candida while giving your gut microbiome the advantage to take back territory it lost to the Candida over time.
Avoid grains and starchy foods like potatoes. These are too quickly digested and can act like sugar in the body and to the Candida. Also avoid beans, soy, and legumes. These can be gut-irritating foods, and we do not want to add any extra stress to the digestive tract.
Remove or severely limit dairy products. Dairy is still a source of easy sugar fuel for Candida. A cup of milk has approximately 13 grams of lactose, the naturally occurring sugar in milk. Besides the sugar issue, it is estimated that 3 out of 4 adults can’t digest lactose. In fact, in some populations, it is as high as 90%! Due to this, dairy is often a source of inflammation in the gut. (3)
Candida thrives in environments with inflammation as well as producing their inflammation. So removal of dairy, especially at the beginning of any Candida Support Protocol, is essential. Dairy can also be a source of residual antibiotics which weaken your gut flora, but Candida is resistant to. The exception to this would possibly be some organic butter. It has properties that could help kill Candida, which we will discuss later.
Avoidance of alcohol is also imperative to any Candida Support Protocol. Candida also uses ethanol as a quick fuel source, and they create toxic metabolites when they use it.
Remember, you want to put out the fire, not fuel it.
Step 2: Support Drainage, Support Drainage, Support Drainage!
As a Candida cleanse progresses, the dying Candida organisms have to go somewhere. If you do not detox them from your body quickly, you can experience what is known as a healing crisis or Herxheimer reaction.
A Herxheimer reaction (or more commonly known as just Herx reaction) is when microorganisms release toxins when they die, and the body reacts to this sudden release of toxins. This release of toxins causes the host to feel ill. The symptoms can be flu-like, ranging from a slight fever with alternating chills, fatigue, and brain fog. If the die-off process is faster than the body can properly dispose of these toxins, the symptoms can spread to a congested nose, headaches, and skin eruptions.
Making sure all drainage pathways are flowing well before and during the die-off process is critical in avoiding and lessening the chance of Herx reactions. If the Herx symptoms get too severe, you may have the urge to quit your Candida cleanse. So you must aggressively support drainage to avoid the negative Herx symptoms!
During your Candida Support Protocol, be sure to include products that help liver and kidney drainage. Candida damages the liver and suppresses it from functioning normally. The liver plays a big role in toxin removal. If it isn’t operating well, these endotoxins will get backed up and stagnate, causing the Herx reaction. You may consider TUDCA, which has strong bile- and liver-supportive properties. (4, 5, 6)
In addition to the liver and kidney drainage pathways, look to herbs and supplements to assist your lymphatic drainage. Candida can block your lymph pathways, as well as lead to swelling in your lymph nodes. Look to support your lymphatic system to also lessen die-off symptoms. (7)
Finally, make sure that your intestines are moving and you have regular bowel movements. The rule to go by here is you should have one bowel movement per meal you eat minimum. Intestinal-moving herbs can come in handy if you are not having consistent bowel movements.
Step 3: Eat In A Way that Supports You But Kills Candida
In step 1, we looked at foods to avoid, and now it's time to look at foods you should add to your diet. The good news is there are some tasty foods that will support your body and immune system that will also help kill Candida!
First, eat organic fresh meats and vegetables. Residual pesticides and herbicides sprayed on non-organic foods can clog up your drainage pathways. This creates toxic stagnation, a great place for Candida to still thrive and derive fuel from.
Second, choose foods that are high in nutrients since Candida can lead to several nutrient deficiencies. Avoid processed foods and instead choose whole foods that are high in omega 3, such as grass-fed beef or wild salmon. Look for organic vegetables like leafy greens, and cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage. Cruciferous vegetables have been shown to inhibit Candida growth. (8)
Third, make sure you reach your daily fiber intake. Fiber will help to remove toxins and Candida in your stools. Fiber helps your good gut microbes produce short-chain fatty acids, which also helps to lower inflammation and kill Candida.
When you do eat, eat at a comfortable pace, without stress. Eating fast does not allow food to be digested properly and generates stomach and intestinal issues, which favor Candida. Consider digestive enzymes or HCL to raise stomach acid to ensure your food is well digested.
What Foods Kill Candida?
Apple Cider Vinegar has significant anti-Candida properties. Use it in your salad dressing or if you marinade meat as a delicious Candida fighter. (9)
Coconut oil is a potent Candida killer and should be used liberally during your Candida treatment. It contains the short-chain fatty acids that are extremely effective fungal killers. When tested against 52 kinds of Candida, coconut oil showed antifungal activity against all of them. Consider making coconut oil a regular pantry item to not only help you kill Candida now but to keep it from coming back. MCT oil can do this as well. Just be sure to start with MCT oil slowly, as it can create digestive discomfort at first for some people. (10, 11)
Garlic is another delicious fungal fighter. Not only does garlic have antifungal properties, but it also inhibits biofilm formation. This is an incredibly important attribute. If the Candida is hiding behind a shield of biofilm, our immune system won't recognize it and step in to get rid of it. Onions are in the same family of savory foods and have also shown to be a useful ally against Candida. (12, 13)
Omega 3 fatty acids have long been known to reduce inflammation in the body. But they have also shown to have antifungal properties and prevent the formation of biofilm by Candida. Loading up on omega 3-rich foods — such as anchovies, sardines, and wild-caught salmon — is important in any Candida Support Protocol. If these foods are not an option for you, consider adding a high-quality omega 3 supplement to your Candida cleanse. (14, 15)
Organic clarified butter (ghee), as previously mentioned, can be a healthy and tasty addition to your Candida Support Protocol. This is because it's a source of short-chain fatty acids called butyrate. Butyrate is typically produced by our healthy gut bacteria, keeping Candida at bay. But if Candida has grown out of control, you may not be producing enough of this valuable short-chain fatty acid. Butyrate strongly inhibits the growth of Candida and also its ability to form biofilm. (16)
Pumpkin seeds are an excellent source of easily digested protein and healthy fats. They also have shown to have antifungal activity against Candida. Sprinkle them on salads, or eat them by the handful as a snack. There are also delicious pumpkin seed butters available in health food stores. Plus, the oil from pumpkin seeds makes an excellent addition to any savory salad dressing. (17)
Tomatoes contain lycpoene, which is shown to cause damage to the cell wall of Candida. So if tomatoes are a food that you tolerate well, eat them liberally. (18)
There is no need for food to be boring during your Candida treatment! Several spices and herbs have terrific antifungal benefits:
- Cinnamon and olive oil also help you fight Candida. (19)
- Clove suppresses the growth of Candida. (20)
- Curcumin or turmeric was tested against 14 strains of Candida and had significant activity against all of them. (21)
- Oregano is an excellent fungicide. (22)
- Rosemary was found to be effective against drug-resistant Candida. (23)
Almost all spices and herbs have anti-inflammatory properties that will increase your health, so use them liberally when preparing your food. You can also consume these as high-quality essential oils.
While sugar needs to be avoided during your Candida cleanse, some natural sweeteners are allowed. Stevia and xylitol are safe sweeteners, with xylitol even helping to fight Candida. (24)
Step 4: Incorporate Additional Strategies
Add aloe vera
Explore taking aloe vera during your Candida cleanse. Not only would aloe vera help to bring healing to the gut as the Candida move out, but it has shown antifungal and anti-inflammatory properties specifically when it comes to Candida. It also helps to stimulate your natural defenses and keep bowel movements regular to support drainage pathways. (25)
Add Candida-killing herbs
Look to add candida-killing herbs, including berberine, oregano oil, and Pau D’arco. Berberine has strong antifungal properties, as well as helps prevent biofilm formation. Oregano oil is another powerful Candida killer. A word of caution: this is a strong oil. Use only a few drops and take with food. Oregano can also disrupt good bacteria, so although this is a great natural remedy for Candida, it should not be taken long term. Pau D’arco has also been a traditional herb to support people going through a Candida cleanse. (27)
Add oxygen supplementation
Candida thrive in an anaerobic or oxygen-deprived environment, but your good bacteria need oxygen. Adding an oxygen supplement to your Candida Support Protocol may elevate your good gut microbiome bacteria and hamper the Candida. The good bugs will then be strong enough to take over the Candida and not let it overgrow again. (28)
Once Candida has started to die, there is “space for rent” so to speak in your gut microbiome. We do not want to leave this open to other opportunistic bacteria or pathogens! During the first few weeks of your Candida Support Protocol, this may not be needed since at first. But if you have been eating Candida-fighting foods and supporting drainage, enough of the Candida will have died to create room in your microbiome for healthy bacteria. Healthy bacteria will help ensure the Candida doesn't have room to return.
Some specific strains of probiotics to look for are B. Longum, Rhamnosus GG, and Saccharomyces boulardii. Saccharomyces boulardii is a species of yeast that are antagonistic to Candida but safe to you. They prevent the Candida from adhering to the intestinal wall, as well as preventing them from creating biofilm. This can be a valuable addition to your Candida treatment. (28, 29, 30)
Consider intermittent fasting
Intermittent fasting, or time-restricted eating, involves shortening the window in which you consume calories. You may start eating later in the day and end earlier at night. Or some people choose to do this by skipping a meal altogether, either breakfast or dinner.
This shortens the time frame in which we demand our digestive system to work, allowing our bodies to focus on other processes. In this case, those bodily processes would be to clean house from the Candida. It also can help to support stable blood sugar levels. Roller coaster blood sugar levels can contribute to Candida growth, so fewer spikes in blood sugar work in your favor. (31, 32)
Drink plenty of fresh water, preferably water free of chlorine and fluoride since those chemicals create an extra burden on your drainage pathways. They also weaken your immune system, but the Candida are resistant, allowing the Candida to still thrive. (33)
Lastly, consider BioActive Carbon-based binders. When Candida start to die off, they can release dangerous endotoxins. BioActive Carbon can work to grab and pull these unwanted toxins out of the body through your stools. This may help mitigate die-off symptoms and reactions during the Candida Support Protocol, plus help you avoid reabsorbing toxins. (34, 35)
How Long Does It Take to Get Rid of Candida?
This is not an easy question, and the answer will be different for everyone. It depends on how long you’ve had Candida overgrowth, how much it has spread throughout the body, and how aggressively you choose to treat it.
For example, if you stick to a no sugar diet during the week but eat anything on the weekends, it will be difficult to ever get the upper hand on Candida. If you don’t diligently support drainage, any Candida that do die during your Candida cleanse will not be quickly removed, creating a Herx reaction. This will clog drainage pathways and slow your progress.
If you faithfully follow the diet and actively support drainage, most people with only a moderate case of Candida can start to feel relief in less than a month. Some can feel better in as little as two weeks.
However, feeling a lessening of symptoms does not mean to stop the Candida treatment! Candida can hide anywhere in the body, and thrive on toxins and inflammation. True healing from Candida can take 3-6 months, and for some, it can take a year. Be patient. Your body can heal itself if you give it the right tools and time to do so.
After removing the toxins from the die-off, consider targeting heavy metals. Heavy metals are the upstream source of toxins and inflammation that contribute to the conditions for Candida overgrowth in the first place. Clearing heavy metals is the final phase in eliminating Candida.
Candida can be a frustrating health problem generating many other health issues as it grows. But it can be treated, no matter how long you have suffered. With diligent adherence to this Candida Support Protocol and patience to persevere, you can eliminate Candida. You can regain your health, establish new habits, and be Candida free.
The good news is, many herbs can also help you fight Candida and are typically gentler on your system.
Are you ready to tackle the critters at the root of your health issues and do a Candida cleanse? Many herbs detox parasites naturally, and they often have several other health benefits.
Five top parasite-detoxing herbs you should have in your arsenal:
Dr. Jay Davidson and Dr. Todd Watts have developed a unique powerful formula that contains all of these herbs - Formula 1.
Formula 1 include five top Candida-detoxing herbs you should
have in your arsenal
For added benefit, Formula 1 also contains extracts of fulvic acid, a BioActive Carbon. It can help protect the herbs from your stomach acid so they can get where they need to go to help your body fight candida. It could also help minimize side effects from the Candida/parasite die-off.
Here’s a quick video discussing the 5 herbs available in a powerful combination formula: