- Candida is a naturally occurring yeast that lives on your skin and inside your body. An overgrowth can cause itchy and painful symptoms that can disrupt your quality of life.
- Medication is recommended to reduce candida overgrowth back to normal levels, and dietary changes may help further.
- A registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN) can help you with candida overgrowth. You can connect with an RDN through Nourish and start feeling better.
Your body relies on a delicate balance of microbes, bacteria, and yeast to function. When the balance changes and too much yeast develops, it can lead to unpleasant symptoms and possible infection. Dietary and lifestyle changes, as well as medications, can help restore candida to normal levels.
Keep reading to learn more about candida, treatment options, and how a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN) can help.
Book your first virtual appointment with an RDN through Nourish. We provide individualized nutrition counseling and accept insurance from most major carriers.
What is Candida?
Candida is a type of yeast that lives on the skin and other warm and moist body areas. Sometimes, yeast can overgrow and cause an infection called candidiasis. These unpleasant infections can affect the mouth, gastrointestinal tract, vagina, and penis.
Candida overgrowth may occur if your immune system weakens. People at high risk include anyone with cancer or HIV, people with an existing bacterial infection, those taking certain medications, or those with poorly controlled diabetes.
For some reason, candida overgrowth can occur in healthy people, too. More research is needed to understand better why this happens.
Symptoms of Candida Overgrowth
An increase of candida yeast in the mouth and esophagus is called thrush. Symptoms include white, itchy patches on the tongue, throat, and other areas close to the mouth. It can be painful to swallow, depending on how far the thrush has spread. Other symptoms include:
- Loss of taste.
- Cottonmouth (an unpleasant dryness).
- Cracking and redness in the corners of the mouth.
- Redness or irritation under dentures.
- General itching.
The Link Between Food and Candida
Food fuels bacteria and microbes in the body, including yeasty candida. 2023 literature suggests a diversified diet rich in fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, and vitamins D and E can help you manage your candida levels.
Foods rich in fiber include:
- All vegetables.
- All fruits.
- Nuts and seeds, including nut butter.
- Legumes such as kidney beans, chickpeas, lentils, and black beans.
- Whole grains, including cereals, pasta, crackers, and breads.
Scientists believe decreasing your intake of highly sugary foods may help with candida, but there isn’t much evidence to show this change will drastically improve your candida levels. This is true for foods rich in naturally occurring sugars, such as dairy and fruits.
Instead of eliminating foods, consider focusing on what you can add: fiber-rich foods, foods with healthy omega-3 fatty acids, and possibly taking a vitamin D supplement.
Benefits of Working with a Nutritionist for Candida Overgrowth
An RDN is a licensed healthcare provider and expert in human nutrition. They have completed advanced scientific training and can teach you how to manage your health and improve symptoms linked to candida overgrowth.
Working with a dietitian allows you to create a nutrition care plan customized to your health needs and goals. They can make suggestions that accommodate your holistic health and will work with you to create actionable steps that fit into your lifestyle.
Here are some questions you may ask an RDN during your first appointment:
- What causes candida overgrowth?
- Do I need to eliminate gluten from my diet?
- Will I need medications?
- Should I do a candida cleanse or detox?
- I have a few other health conditions - can we find foods that fit all my needs?
Book your first appointment with a Nourish dietitian specializing in gut health and candida overgrowth. All visits are virtual and covered by insurance.
Nutrition Plans For Candida Overgrowth
Here is a sample meal plan you could follow to improve candida overgrowth. You may see better results if you make these changes while taking prescribed medication. Ask your dietitian for serving size recommendations.
Sourdough toast with slices of avocado, cherry tomato, lemon juice, and a poached egg.
Plain yogurt with a handful of mixed nuts and fresh (or frozen) berries.
Tuna salad with olive oil, sundried tomato, green onions, garlic powder, and crumbled feta cheese. Serve with whole-grain baked crackers and a side of fresh fruit.
Sliced oranges and a piece of cheese.
Stir-fried cabbage, zucchini, onions, tofu, and eggplant. Dress with your go-to oil, garlic powder, and lime juice, and serve over brown rice.
Plain oats decorated with berries, cinnamon, hemp hearts, and a dollop of plain yogurt.
Whole grain crackers with nut butter and fresh fruit.
Shredded kale salad with chicken, sliced apple, walnuts, and a homemade lemon dressing with oil, mustard, shallots, and garlic powder.
A hard-boiled egg with a slice of whole-grain toast or baked crackers.
Sheet pan dinner with baked trout, asparagus, broccoli, and sliced sweet potato. Season with your favorite herbs.
Spinach and egg scramble with crumbled feta and fresh herbs. Serve over whole-grain toast.
Plain yogurt with a handful of mixed nuts and fresh (or frozen) berries.
Chicken lettuce wraps with avocado, tomato, a dollop of sour cream, and salsa.
Fresh-cut vegetables with hummus.
Baked pork loin with a fresh green salad and herbed quinoa (add fresh chives and parsley).
Tips For Finding The Right Registered Dietitian Nutritionist
Finding the right dietitian to help you meet your goals is easy through Nourish. We have many providers with different specialties, backgrounds, and communication styles that could be an excellent match for you.
During your initial consultation with an RDN, you can ask questions about their approach to nutrition and see if it will be a good fit. If, for any reason, you prefer a different provider, you can easily switch to someone else.
Inviting someone into your world is a big decision, and finding the right RD for you can help you feel at ease during appointments and motivated to make changes.
Other Treatments For Candida Overgrowth
Excessive alcohol consumption can exacerbate candida overgrowth. While recovering, consider decreasing your intake or abstaining from alcoholic beverages entirely. Once you feel better, you can slowly reintroduce them.
There is a small amount of evidence to support using natural supplements for candida overgrowth in the mouth. Popular products include extracts from antimicrobial foods such as garlic, ginger, berberine, and oregano. These products are considered safe for most people but don’t rely on them to cure candida overgrowth.
Always ask your doctor if starting a new supplement is appropriate for you.
Candida is always present, but lifestyle and dietary changes can sometimes trigger overgrowth, leading to unpleasant symptoms. Following a combined approach of medication and lifestyle modifications can help reduce the symptoms and help you get back to your normal.
Although natural remedies exist, little evidence shows they are effective; therefore, they should not be relied on for a cure.
Managing Candida Overgrowth with an RDN
Seeking help from a nutrition expert is the safest way to change your diet. A registered dietitian nutritionist is a leading nutrition expert with the education and skills to help you.
An RDN can help you manage candida overgrowth. Book an online appointment to start receiving exceptional nutrition care.
Frequently Asked Questions
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