9 Foods That Fight Candida (and 1 That Doesn’t)

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Are you struggling with candida overgrowth? Well, good news–you can fight this problem with candida fighting foods! Here are 9 Candida Fighting Foods to help you knock this beast out (and one mythical candida fighting food that doesn’t work at all. Learn from an MD who knows!

oregano, apple cider vinegar, garlic, and coconut oil collage with text overlay

You’ve probably heard by now that we all have candida, and that’s true.

Candida is a naturally occurring yeast that lives in your body in harmony with beneficial bacteria and other necessary microorganisms, primarily in your gut. When your body is healthy, these little micro-creatures play well with each other and perform important tasks for maintaining gut health, which has a direct effect on overall body health. In fact, candida is actually a food source for good bacteria, which is crucial for helping the intricate process of digestion and nutrient absorption.

However, when candida is allowed to grow out of control, things can get messy in the gut environment. It’s estimated that around 70% of the population suffers from candida overgrowth, known as candidiasis, though the mainstream medical community rarely addresses this problem.

Instead, many doctors are prone to just prescribe a pill or three to give temporary relief to the symptoms that brought the patient to their office in the first place. This “bandaid-fix” approach is might work temporarily, but it’s important to address diet as well to get to the root of the problem.

Some common symptoms of candida are:

  • Fatigue, general malaise
  • Bloating, flatulence
  • Food allergies
  • Itching skin, especially scalp, ear, groin, armpit or vagina
  • Carbohydrate craving, desire for sweets or alcohol
  • Vaginitis (vaginal thrush) often with vaginal discharge
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Impaired memory, poor concentration, foggy brain

If you suspect you may have candidiasis and are looking for ways to fight it naturally AND effectively, you’re not alone. The good news is that you CAN eliminate candida overgrowth on your own with a three-pronged combination of dietary changes, lifestyle adjustments and certain natural supplements.

Keep in mind, however, that just one of these “prongs” on their own will not do the trick.

For example, if you switch to a healthy diet, yet maintain a stressful lifestyle, candida will continue to flourish because stress has an enormous impact on gut health and microflora activity. Similarly, if you just take a dietary supplement, but continue to eat junk food or drink your favorite alcoholic beverages, the candida will ignore the beneficial properties of the supplement and carry on with its rogue overgrowth.

A holistic, balanced approach is essential to regaining proper microflora balance, and thus overall good health and that includes incorporating candida fighting foods into your diet.

For now, I’d like to discuss the dietary aspect of fdiighting candida. With all the varying information available online about what foods are good or bad for a candida diet, many people come away confused and frustrated. In fact, even after reading about candida diet tips, you might still have some pressing questions.

Please note, that though many of the foods on this list should be of help to fight candida, you might find it necessary to reduce your intake of candida-fighting foods to avoid too much candida die-off.

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9 Foods That Fight Candida

coconut oil, garlic, apple cider vinegar, and oregano collage with text overlay

Apple Cider Vinegar

According to research by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), “Apple cider vinegar showed antifungal properties against Candida spp.,,”

High-quality organic apple cider vinegar mixed with clean water is an excellent natural douche for eliminating vaginal yeast infections. A study conducted in 2011 by The Qua Medical University showed that apple cider vinegar is more effective against vaginal infections than fluconazole. The primary reason is acetic acid, which balances the vaginal pH and also possesses antifungal properties.

Mix between two to three tablespoons of vinegar per several cups of water for this highly effective douche.


Garlic is my #1 favorite out of all the candida fighting foods, as it suppresses, inhibits and destroys most every single form of detrimental fungi, bacteria, protozoan and viruses. People who eat garlic regularly see much better results in candidiasis elimination more quickly. For over 7,000 years, garlic has been incorporated into diets because it made people feel better.

What our ancestors didn’t realize was that garlic possesses powerful anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties that several scientific studies have found to be as effective as the popular anti-fungal pharmaceutical drugs Ketoconazole and Nystatin in destroying candida albicans. As opposed to taking drugs like antibiotics and anti-fungals, ingesting garlic wins because bacteria and fungi are not likely to develop a resistance to garlic.

According to NIH, “Garlic is considered a rich source of many compounds, which shows antimicrobial effects.”

A small clove every day is recommended. Just crush or cut it, then swallow it like a capsule if you like, or use it in your food. Fresh garlic is best, rather than capsules or tablets. If you’re concerned about “garlic breath”, simply chew on a sprig of fresh parsley or sprig of fresh mint, which neutralizes the smell of garlic.

Grape Seed Extract (GSE)

GSE is a remarkably powerful natural product for eradicating candida yeast infections, as well as treating various other health conditions, including colds, flu, immunodeficiencies and more. The American Research Institute has found GSE to be an effective treatment for over 800 different bacteria and viruses and over 100 yeast and fungi species, as well as inhibiting and killing many different species of parasites on contact.

NIH research says, “Our results showed that the GSE alone inhibited growth of C. albicans yeast cells…”

I’ve been using GSE in my practice over the past ten years, and consider it to be in my “top three” when it comes to fighting candida overgrowth. Why? Because it works consistently and reliably time after time.

Coconut Oil

Coconut is an amazing superfood that happens to be one of the most effective candida fighting foods. Coconut oil is excellent for treating candida overgrowth while offering many other health benefits in the process. The oil is exceptionally effective in inhibiting the reproduction and killing of excess candida due to its extraordinary antibacterial, antiviral and anti-fungal properties. Be sure to use cold or expeller-pressed, high-grade organic coconut oil for best results. Start with small amounts, like a teaspoon per day to let your digestive system acclimate, and increase the amount over time.

According to NIH, “It is noteworthy that coconut oil was active against species of Candida at 100% concentration compared to fluconazole. Coconut oil should be used in the treatment of fungal infections in view of emerging drug-resistant Candida species.”


Oregano is an incredibly potent herb for fighting candida overgrowth for multiple reasons. Oregano oil possesses excellent antibacterial, antiviral, anti-parasitic and antifungal qualities that are very effective against the majority of pathogenic bacteria and yeasts. In addition, oregano is a powerful antioxidant with anti-inflammatory properties and is wonderful for improving digestive health, reducing gas and bloating, boosting immunity and fighting various infections.

NIH studies found “Both the oregano and Mexican oregano essential oils showed high levels of antifungal activity against the fluconazole-susceptible C. glabrata group…”


Clove is another one of my favorite candida-fighting foods because of its highly effective antibacterial, antimicrobial, anti-fungal and anti-parasitic properties. This aromatic spice is rich in eugenol, the compound most responsible for the strong medicinal effects that have been recognized for centuries. Clove oil even kills yeast and fungal strains that have become resistant to antifungal drugs, as well as relieves toothache pain on contact due to its analgesic properties.

An NIH study on the anti-fungal activities of plants used in traditional Chinese and folk medicines, including eugenol, concluded, “Since Candida species represent the most common fungal pathogen of humans, these results provide more scientific evidence supporting the clinical application of these plants, and can serve as a starting point for new drug discovery from TCM and Chinese folk medicine.”

Use clove oil sparingly, and never in concentrations higher than 1%, as it’s very strong and can cause skin irritations in some people. The best ways to ingest clove are drinking clove tea, ingesting one drop of clove oil in a large tablespoon of olive oil or coconut oil, or in capsule form.

For Adrienne’s recommendations, read this series on where to buy quality essential oils, or skip to the end here.


Despite some misinformation currently circulating the web, kefir is very beneficial in fighting candida overgrowth, as well as SIBO, intestinal permeability, constipation and diarrhea, to name a few. Kefir is a fermented probiotic food loaded with health benefits such as improving digestive function, regulating cholesterol, blood pressure, blood sugar, immune-building, improving liver and gallbladder function, etc.

It’s also very effective in treating acne and other skin disorders, and contains anti-aging properties due to its abundance of antioxidants.

According to an NIH study, “Kefir grains originate from the Caucasus region and are used for preparing beverages using sugar solution, milk, and fruit juice. As long as they are formed by a microbial consortium useful in the intestine, the produced drinks can be called probiotics.”

As such, it follows that other fermented foods should have the same action.

Baking Soda

While baking soda might be beneficial on rare occasion for neutralizing over-acidity in the gut, I don’t recommend using it for anything other than scrubbing cooking pots or as a deodorizer for your fridge.

People have the weird notion that if you simply neutralize the acidity in the body and adjust the pH, you can eradicate candida. It’s not going to work. A multi-stage approach including good diet, lifestyle adjustments and taking a good anti-candida supplement is the only way. Just swallowing some bizarre concoction is not going to work – there’s no “magic bullet” or “instant” cure.

I get loads of emails from people with wacky “cures” for candida. One guy even suggested using a little battery acid in water. Seriously?!

Brown Rice

Some online “experts” claim that all grains should be eliminated from a candida-fighting diet. However, many of these so-called experts have never seen patients or had any real-world experience to actually see what does and doesn’t work for reducing candida overgrowth.

Based on my experience with thousands of patients over nearly three decades, I’ve found that brown rice is definitely a good addition to any candida diet.

White rice, however, is not. Brown rice is high in fiber and quite filling, so I highly recommend it, but advise keeping it to reasonably small amounts. In addition to its beneficial digestive properties, this “good grain” also helps stabilize blood sugar, thus aiding the fight against candida overgrowth even further.

Capryllic Acid

Caprylic acid is primarily found in coconut, therefore is a fantastic approach for fighting candida for the same reasons listed above. It’s anti-fungal properties interfere with the cell wall of candida, thus inhibiting growth. If your candida is mild to moderate, caprylic acid is very effective.

However, since most patients also have unfriendly bacteria with their candida overgrowth, I recommend combining caprylic acid with grapefruit seed extract and other antifungals like garlic, clove, etc. for a more broad-spectrum “shotgun” effect that will insure you clean up the entire gut and restore proper balance of microflora.

Candida Quiz

Based on my extensive experience treating patients with candidiasis, I’ve created an online quiz to help you assess if you have candida overgrowth, and if so, how severe it is. Knowledge is power, so give it a go.

If you know where you stand, you’ll have a better chance of beating candidiasis and resuming a healthy, happier life.

Remember, there’s no “magic pill” or instant cure. Beating candida requires following the three-pronged diet/lifestyle/supplement approach with diligence and persistence, including the candida-fighting foods that I have outlined above. If you are serious about feeling good again, then you can, and now is the best time to start. It’s up to you.

More Candida Information

Now that you are armed with lots of great information about candida fighting foods, it’s time to really get serious.

Do you think you have candida? Or you know that you have it and want to know what to do about it?

This book, Candida Crusher – Permanent Yeast Infection Solution – is a great resource.

You can find out more and purchase it here.

I’ve heard very good things about the plan he lays out to take care of this horrible condition.

Do you eat these candida fighting foods?
What have you found to be effective in fighting it?

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  1. Wow, I had no idea we can eat brown rice when eliminating candida, yay. I was wondering if you know of any supplements kids can take to fight off Candida. My 12 year is going through a lot of the Candida symptoms but all I find is deworming supplements for kids. Wondering if you know of something?thank you so much

  2. Thank you. Very helpful. Always had trouble, getting older and need to attend to this problem. dee mccluskey

  3. I have at home oregaRESP wild source Mediterranean source P73 capsules: It has 450mg of proprietary blend of wild grown oregano herb, oregano extract powder, cumin oil extract powder,sage oil powder, cinnamon co2 extract and ginger herb powder. Can I use that until I run out. If so, how many capsules a day would I take until I can find food grade oregano oil. Also, you mention caprylic acid and grapeseed extract. What type of dosage of each would you recommend?

    Also, it seems to be a challenge finding food grade essential oils. Can you recommend companies that make food grade oils?

    1. Hi there. I don’t know anything about those products so I can’t speak to that but the company that I work with has pure essential oils that I think you would be pleased with re: efficacy and purity: https://wholenewmom.com/health-concerns/natural-remedies/announcing-the-best-essential-oils-company-and-a-great-sale/

      There is a freebie on this page as well. I need to update this post more but you can get that for sure…..https://wholenewmom.com/whole-new-mom-healthy-living-deals/

  4. Try 1-3 drops of Ceylon Cinnamon Bark Oil. in 8 oz. of hot water or tea. If you look at ncib (National Center for Biotechnology Information) there are 4 studies which show it effective against Candida albicans, Candida tropicalis, Candida krusei, Candida orthopsilosis. Make sure any Ceylon Cinnamon Bark has at least 60% Cinnamaldehyde which is the magic ingredient that is effective against these strains of Candida. I am confident it could be effective against all other strains too if they did the tests. This way you can have a little bit of those terrible foods like bread and dairy products too. Literally having your cake and eating it too. Ceylon Cinnamon Bark Oil is also extremely effective for diabetes caused at times by Candida and a sugar rich environment.

    1. I’m not sure that eating cinnamon would offset the effects of eating candida foods and I do not recommend ingesting essential oils unless under the care of a practitioner and you can really really burn yourself with cinnamon oil. Please do not put that in water or tea. You will burn your mouth and throat. Take care.

  5. Hi, Is Doctor Eric’s candida program something that has to be done continuously/forever or is it a complete fix long term wise? Obviously if someone someone returns to their bad habits, the candida would probably return. However, I’ve read before that some individuals could not deviate at all from their restrictive diets without an awful candida repeat.

    1. I don’t know. I will see if he can answer. I am finding I need to address candida again. I was adding some “cheats” in but not tons.

    2. Hello Nancy,
      My actually candida diet is not restrictive at all, in fact I always advocate to IMPROVISE your diet, lifestyle and treatment protocol based on what works for you. The diet/protocol has to be followed for a while so you can’t go back to your old eating habits after a week or so. Please watch following videos they will answer further questions you might have:

      1. How Long Do I Have To Be On Candida Diet –> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HFCsjFvtrio
      2. 10 Candida Diet Mistakes People Make –> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2b90_MQCz60
      3. 25-27 minutes video I did on the topic of anti candida diet plan –> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R9327DEOWcc

      I am positive you will find these videos informative.

      Can you go back to your old diet once you got rid of candida? The answer to this question is also in the 10 candida diet mistakes people make.

      I just want to say that people take good health for GRANTED. If you got rid of candida then make small gradual changes and introduce foods slowly back to your diet. That is why I have an introduction and re-introduction phase in my diet approach.


    1. I would certainly not. You would have to look at other cultured beverages instead. Sorry about that. If goat’s milk works for you, you could try that, but it does cross-react with cow’s milk so please talk to your physician if you have any doubts. Take care.

    2. Hello Melissa,
      Are you allergic to all sorts of milk? I have done numerous videos on different types of milk which you can check on my channel however if you are allergic/sensitive then you can incorporate other great foods, check out my video on best foods to eat on candida diet for alternative solutions.


  6. I happened upon this blog through Pintrest and I’m so glad I did. Today’s email is a divine appointment. I’m almost in utter TEARS with SEVERE bacterial growth. In fact, the reason we lost our son preterm in 2009 was due to bacterial vaginosis and guess what? I have it yet again (though not pregnant thank God). Not only do I have this but my skin is itching all over. Especially on the side of my hands, my feet and my head. I’ve had a terrible red splotch under both my arms and they now have yellowish puss underneath them, and worse yet. I have a yeast infection under my toenail. Eeeew!! I’ve NEVER had anything this bad in my life! I’m uncomfortable and I’m utterly sick.

    I had NO IDEA that the fatty bloating was bacteria. I went to the OBGYN and yet again I get Flagyl and two doses of yeast pill prescriptions when the dose of flagyl is gone. It’s not doing a thing really. I’m just in utter despair!

    The first I learned of this diet was a few days ago when I saw a recipe on this blog that I liked. I’m in the middle of researching it now.

    I lost weight for my 2014 Iron Girl Triathlon and went plant-based eating. The thing is that the carbs, while healthy haven’t made me feel all that well. I am off the dairy so Kefir isn’t good and I cannot take Kombucha while on Flagyl because I’ll end up deathly sick from the alcohol in the fermentation. Since at least taking flagyl the belly bloat has gone but I can feel inflammation something awful in my body and it’s hard to get up.

    Thank you for this post. I’m waiting patiently for the next one as I try not to cry from the discomfort I’ve been feeling for MONTHS. I just can’t seem to get rid of it. I feel ugly, itchy and sad.

    1. Hi there. I am sorry that you are having such a horrible time. I hope you stay in close contact with medical and possibly alternative medical practitioners who can help you with this. I know when I went on a good anti-candida diet it was very very hard but it had to be done. Have you talked with anyone about it being candida? I so hope you are doing better since yesterday.

      1. Thank you. Much better than yesterday. I’m hoping to implement it. I have been given Flagyl and for vaginosis and diflucan for the yeast. I have it all and it’s yeast under my arm pits and yeast in my toenail. They took one look at it all and new it. Vaginosis also caused my preterm loss of our son. I seem to have a whole lot of bad bacteria in my body and they as the article says, keep giving me drugs but with each new outbreak it’s getting worse and worse. It’s horrible. I’m going to try this diet. I got rid of most meat and now it’s getting rid of dairy and processed sugars. So hopefully this week I’ll be implementing what I’m reading.

        Thanks again for sharing this.

        1. I’m glad to hear it. I can’t speak to your condition, but I was diagnosed w/ vaginosis and I have no idea, but I think it was really candida the whole time. I can’t remember how they diagnosed it. I am for sure not a physician, and maybe Dr. Bakker can respond, but for me, whenever I used antifungals, which wasn’t often, the yeast seemed to get resistant to it.

          I know that the yeast can mutate.

          Why did you think you needed to give up meat? I would look at the candida diet on Whole Approach. For me, the issue was that I was eating too many carbs. Meat was actually something that appeared to help me.

          1. We went plant-based as a family after my husband who has a family history of heart-disease was having fainting spells as well as high bp and cholesterol before he turned 40. His father had 8 stents and he is a cardiac nurse. He wanted to set an example so after seeing Forks Over Knives and reading Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn’s “Prevent and Reverse Heart disease” as well as seeing the documentary “The Last Heart Attack” which featured former President Clinton in Dr. Sanjay Gupta’s (from CNN) interview. It worked! He lost weight, got off his medications and his blood labs came back normal.

            I started it and trained for Iron Girl. I lost weight swimming, biking, and running as well as eating plant-based but I started feeling bloated and a little board. For the most part, getting rid of dairy and especially cheese which I find I’m addicted to has worked. It’s the sugar! I’ve never eaten red meat and pork while I love doesn’t agree with me. I also noticed a sensitivity to eggs but I’ve heard from chicken owners that it could be the difference between raising organic free range chickens verses those we find in the stores. So I purchase 8 hans recently and decided I’d reincorporate eggs into the diet of our 4 year old daughter and myself.

            I’m concerned for her because I am Type II diabetic. One reason I believe my body is filled with bad bacteria! If left to her own self, she’d eat only bread. She gets those at grandma and papas and she gets the veggies mostly here with nut milks. She too loves the cheeses but also has a family history from her fathers side where all the men have passed away at 40 years old from heart attacks and most of the women had heart disease as well. So eliminating most of the meat was due to that major risk. However, this isn’t working for me and MY body. I’m off my insulin pump now yes! But my body has been FILLED with bad bacteria. I’ve NEVER see it this bad. It’s BAD. I hadn’t even heard of this diet until I happened across one of your recipes on Pinterest. So now I’m on a new mission to figure it out and then to figure out how to balance both the plant-based lifestyle with this anti-Candida diet which I’m guessing will change things completely. I hope Dr. Bakker can give me some good input. Already your post has helped so much. Thank you both!

            1. I have looked at the vegan info and I don’t know what to think about it. I think my husband’s chol dropped after eating more meat, however. There are a lot of resources to look at and consider.

              I think that’s great about his meds – did you make any other changes?

              Sugar is just a horrid problem. Eggs are a problem for me. A big one – and it doesn’t matter if they are pastured or not.

              I hope you get some answers – blessings.

    2. Hi, I hope you are better.I came across your message here and I could not help but to respond. Fist of all the antibiotics are making your body weaker,and as a result you will continue to get more and more antibiotic resistant strains of bacteria. While they can be necessary,they do create other problems as well. Have to tried to recolonize your body with good bacteria in the form of prebiotics and probiotics? IF not try these minimum 50-100 billion CFU. Also, coffee enemas in the Gerson Protocol have helped alot of people clear these organism out of gut. They can be really huge they will even look like a big blob coming out. Nautral doctors will attest to this,most allopathic will not.
      AS you do the coffee enemas, preferably 2 held min 12-20 min each back to back, then follow right after with a fresh squeezed lemon juice 1/2 cup to 2 liters of warm water a( this is the cleansing enema that you need to do after coffee enemas) . You will see….. This is very therapeutic and it does make a huge difference in your health. You also have to find out what foods are bad for YOU. Some people can eat anything and seem to have no consequences ..other not so much. I would rather be my own guinea pig than someone else’s any day.