The Curse of Candida!



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When I first began my healing journey, I felt fantastic! Within four months I lost 18 nagging pounds, my nails and hair grew stronger, and my monthly cystic acne cleared up. And, by the end of two years I transformed my thyroid disease. I was simply glowing with good health.

Then an interesting thing happened. I began having odd reactions to the healthy food I was eating. I felt gassy and bloated all the time, and my mouth, cheeks, forehead and chin broke out with a weird red rash. It wasn’t as bad as the kid’s face on this blog, but it was still pretty traumatizing. Some days, it was so bad that I didn’t want to leave the house or be seen by other people. I also remember that after eating, my stomach would make the LOUDEST sounds as if something was alive and growing in there.  The worst part about it was… the healthier I ate, the more I experienced these annoying symptoms. What the heck was going on inside me??

That’s when I learned about Candida overgrowth. Ugh! I was cursed with it! I couldn’t even eat one little tiny champagne grape without having an uncomfortable flare up both inside, and outside, my body.

Candida Albicans is the helpful yeast that lives in a healthy human gut assisting in the digestion and absorption of nutrients. Unfortunately, for millions of Americans (including me), sometimes this normally cooperative fungus surges out of control, traveling into the small intestine, organs and blood where it digests ALL of our nutrients for it’s own survival, leaving the host filled with toxic waste, exhausted and susceptible to many ailments (poor immunity, skin rashes, digestive disorders, brain fog, etc.).

I tried everything to rid myself of the curse of candida: specially formulated teas, essential oils, food combining, supplements, colonics, and candida cleanses and diets. I even ate raw garlic, by the handful, hoping that would help. And, it might have… if I had a vampire living inside my digestive system.

It seemed every time I got on a candida “curing” protocol things would go well for a period of time, but as soon as I stepped off the program, my body would have a horrible reaction. I was an emotional wreck – how the heck could I eat the healthiest diet ever and still be suffering?

Something was obviously missing from the healing puzzle, but I couldn’t figure it out. I thought I was doomed to remain on a Candida diet for the rest of my life – no bread, no grains, no fruit, no sweets, no anything, not ever, nothing, nada, zippo, zilch… arggghh!

Finally, after months of misery I found a missing piece. I read a book called, Eating Alive, by naturopathic doctor, Jonn Matsen. According to his book, candida can escape and wreak havoc in our system from eating too many foods rich in potassium (vegetables and fruits), without adequate protein (animal products) and salt, causing the ileocecal valve to weaken, allowing yeast to migrate from the large intestine to the small intestine, and other parts of the body.

That’s why I felt worse the “healthier” I ate. It made perfect sense! My candida overgrowth never really healed because it wasn’t enough to simply eliminate the food candida thrived on (carbohydrates, fruit, starchy vegetables, sweets) I had to simultaneously strengthen my ileocecal valve.

My systemic candidiasis took time to heal. Patience and persistence are the keys to dealing with this or any other chronic illness. Curing candida overgrowth is generally a two-fold process. First, we need to weaken the yeast by not feeding it sugar, starches and excess carbohydrates. Secondly, we need to strengthen the ileocecal valve by eating seasonally and locally.

Here are my top ten tips for healing candida overgrowth:

  • Eliminate sugar, including fruit and refined carbohydrates (bread, cookies, cakes), for three months to one year
  • Substitute non-gluten grains like quinoa, buckwheat and millet when you have bread/carb cravings
  • Use traditionally cultured foods like sauerkraut, kimchi, kefir and yogurt to re-colonize intestinal flora
  • Eat high quality saturated fats (butter, coconut oil, schmaltz, lard – in small quantities) to help strengthen the integrity of your cells
  • Eat a nutrient dense diet that includes bones stocks, animal proteins and organ meats (rich in vitamin B12)
  • Use herbs & spices that have anti-yeast & anti-inflammatory properties, (and because they are delicious!): oregano, rosemary, thyme, savory, cumin, garlic, ginger, paprika.
  • Chew food thoroughly – digestion begins in the mouth NOT in the stomach
  • Do NOT overeat – overeating makes this condition worse because it weakens the digestive system as a whole
  • Use non-chlorinated water and non-flouridated water
  • Eat seasonally and Locally to help strengthen the ileocecal valve

It’s time to kick candida to the curb! And, while you’re kicking Candida’s butt, go out for a run and get some cardiovascular activity to help dry out a damp condition you may have in your body. Candida thrives in a damp environment. If you alter the internal environment, candida cannot survive… and you can successfully dispel the curse of candida!

You can do it!


  • Jessica Leigh Isnardi

    You are amazing! You share the most valuable information, and I am so grateful to follow you! Thank you Andrea. Your health is a blessing to our human community! <3

  • Sheena Furnace

    This was one of the most easy-to-understand yet very informative articles on healing candida. Thanks!

  • Lisa m (Iin student)

    Awesome!! I am fighting a wicked recurrent oral thrush & as soon as it seems o subside, the Dang beast regroups and whips me down again —if the trick really is eating meat and I can’t stomach that—- what’s the best way to get around multiple intolerances (incl garlic & coconut) and finally be free of this roller coaster?

    • Andrea Beaman

      If you are a vegan or vegetarian and don’t want to eat red meat or land animals, I would incorporate eggs and fish, plus remember to salt your vegetables and eat seasonally.

      • lisa m

        Thanks. I’m egg allergic, but have started adding grilled or smoked salmon just because i’ve gotten so frustrated with this candida/as well as my 60 intolerances & 5 allergy foods. I fear my healthy diet allowed it to flourish. it started on and off 4+1/2 years ago when I quit smoking! don’t know the tie in, but really have lost control of it after going through a lot of stress after my mom passed away.

      • Nina Ross Frazier

        Wow, 60 intolerances! Hard to heal a leaky gut when you are restricted from eating so many things? My son had inolerances and RA and was not able to eat diary, gluten, eggs and brown rice. It can be a vicious circle. Added some supplements and once he did finally heal his gut he was then able to eat almost everything in moderation.

      • Andrea Beaman

        I’ve found that traditional bones stocks and saturated fats help to heal leaky gut and other digestive disorders. PLUS staying away from homogenized dairy.

      • Nina Ross Frazier

        Just ordered the Eating Alive book, thanks!! You are the absolute best :) Adding the bone broths too…

      • Lisa M CHHC

        Yep. still fighting it. about the same time each summer it gets worse. I found that SyntolAMD by Arthur Andrew Medical helps greatly. It’s a blend of probiotic & enzymes specifically tailored to help beat the beast!

  • Earharta

    THANK YOU-FAB ARTICLE-hope it helps others as much as it helped me-
    Candida overgrowth/leaky gut makes you feel like you are trapped inside a sticky spider web and you just can’t seem to get it all “off of you”or “out of you” -the harder you try the sticker it sticks… It’s been a constant battle for many years for myself-but I’m learning a lot and I’m going to conquer this thing and finally be able to enjoy all the foods I love!! Bless you Andrea

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  • Corrie Ann Gray

    Thank you Andrea – just what I needed. Question – when you stated “eat high quality saturated fats” I was curious to know what you consider “high quality.” Do you mean grassfed, etc., or something else? I’m totally making this a part of my personal experiment “The Clean Body Project.” It makes perfect sense!

    • Andrea Beaman

      Yes, I mean exactly that! Fats from grass-fed, naturally raised animals (full fat yogurt, butter, lard, duck fat, chicken fat, etc.).

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  • Rhonda

    Hi Andrea, I’m in Australia & IIN’er (-: I would love to know if you will have a link on Youtube or something where we can view your Cooking Classes? Cheers Rhonda

    • Andrea Beaman

      Hi Rhonda – Thanks for checking in about online classes. Yes, you can view some of my cooking classes online at Learn-it-live.
      I have a heart health cooking demo and a seasonal eating cooking demo: Plus, I have a youtube page that has many of my videos:

      Have a great summer!

  • Suzanne

    Fantastic article, Andrea. I do wonder what you suggest for vegetarians who do not eats eggs or fish, either? You mentioned those for vegetarians who do not eat red meat or land animals; but I don’t eat any animal/animal products except for some cheeses occasionally. Thank you so much!

    • Andrea Beaman

      Hi Suzanne – I don’t recommend a “vegetarian” or “vegan” diet for curing candida. The body is in a state of deficiency and needs to “build” up. I would highly recommend some bone stocks to help strengthen your body.

  • Me’shell

    Great article Andrea! I am an IIN student experiencing the same vicious cycle and believe that I’ve developed leaky gut, allergies, gerd, and now respiratory problems due to candida. This article is very encouraging and gives me some hope. Do you know where I can get grass fed/finished bones in los angeles?

    @Nina curious as to what supplements you added to aid your son’s digestion.

    Thank you all for the comments and posts. I learn so much from everyones experiences.

    • Andrea Beaman

      Yes, you can get grass-fed bones at Also, check in at your local Whole Foods Market. Sometimes they have grass-fed beef bones.

  • Debbie

    This is a terrific article! I didn’t realize that I could have kefir or yogurt until I was into the diet for three weeks. I wish I could attend your class. Will you have live streaming? Or, post video footage after?

  • Lunula Moon

    I had a flare up last fall when I started getting less sun exposure… It completely disappeared after tanning in an A/B bed.

  • Marina

    This might be a silly question, but would a vaginal yeast infection be considered candida overgrowth?

    • Andrea Beaman

      That’s not a silly question. And yes, yeast infections can be considered candida overgrowth.

  • Meshell

    I feel silly asking this question too but I read Eating Alive and I noticed that fruit, natural sweeteners and beans are suggested in meals. Im a little confused cause I thought those foods have to be eliminated cause they turn into sugars and are not good for this’d like myself dealing w candida. Can you please help explain? Thank you for suggesting this book Andrea. It’s a gem and I have learned so much.

    • Deborah Miles

      I also was told to watch all those beans and I can only eat Granny Smith apples.

    • Andrea Beaman

      Hi Michelle – No, it’s not a silly question. Most folks suffering with Candida overgrowth cannot have ANY fruit or beans because of the sugars they contain. Depending on how serious the condition, the stricter the diet gets.
      I’ve found that for Candida it’s best to eat a high animal fat and animal protein diet (including bone stocks) for a while (1-3 months) to help strengthen the body and not feed the candida. Then begin eating normally again – but without excess sugar and fruits.
      It’s much more complicated than that, but that’s the simple version.

      • Me’shell Carranza

        Thank you so much Andrea for taking the time to clarify this info for me. I am dealing with systemic candida due to yrs of medications (antibiotics, steroids, chemo) and my circumstances are complicated by a an auto-immune illness that has left me in a power wheelchair, severely disabled since 7yrs old. Can you please tell me where I can get the detailed version and some support? I’m applying what I know and have learned so far but I believe there is so much more still that I need to know to continue my long journey to better health. Thank you

  • Christine Abrahamsen Grasso

    Andrea, when you say nonchlorinated water – would filtered water that has been filtered using a Nikken filter be appropriate? Thanks for this post. I like Jean Marie Martin’s book: The Complete Candida Yeast Guidebook.

  • Vicki

    I have culture-proven (sample taken from bottom of my esophagus)digestive candida yeast, which also migrated into my lungs, giving me shortness of breath. Suffered for years until it was discovered. I’ve been on an anti-yeast diet for seven years but have repeated flare-ups with rashes on my legs, interigo and bumps under the breast, rash between buttocks, confusion, dried flaky nipples (had to have an ultrasound to rule out Pagets Disease). I read NOT to eat anything fermented or cultured like sauerkraut, vinegar,soy, or cheese. I have found that coconut capsules and oil help keep the candida in check. I also drink highly diluted 35% food-grade hydrogen peroxide and a tiny scoop of Lauricidin which is a Monolaurin Supplement. I will have to try your recommendations and see if they work for me. Thank you.

    • Michelle

      I can so relate to you. I believe this is what is happening to me now. I’ve heard the same thing about cultured foods and I am also dairy intolerant so keifer and yogurt are not an option.

      • Daniel K

        Pickled food is very important. You need more than just acidophiles and bibliophiles which are in yogurt. They are good but you need all kinds of bacteria and real sauerkraut not vinegar sauerkraut will help a lot as well as real fermented pickles. Bacteria that can live in salt water is good for you as yeast cannot tolerate
        salt water very much.

  • Angela

    Andrea, I see that you recommend eating yogurt and kefir. After eating Fage plain lowfat yogurt, I frequently belch soon after eating eat and sometime get an acidic taste in my mouth. Could this reaction be to Candida die off or dairy intolerence?

    • Andrea Beaman

      I think that might be a dairy intolerance. Or you may be eating too much dairy in one sitting.
      When I eat yogurt or kefir, I use 2-3 tbsp. not an entire container. Adjust the amount you’re eating and see what happens.

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  • Eva

    another good book ( unfortunatly out of print but one is still able to find in a library) is ” who killed candida” what an eye opener that was!

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  • ageiiner

    What about non-GMO, organic soy? We are semi-vegetarians, eating eggs, fish and small amounts of dairy, but I do love my unsweetened non-GMO soymilk and tofu. My candida problem is not out of control, but I think I am experiencing some symptoms and don’t want it to get worse. Thank you for the info!

    • Andrea Beaman

      @271489161288b1ac03ee78caff05757a:disqus – If it’s naturally and traditionally fermented soy (miso, shoyu, natto, tempeh, tofu) I think it’s okay. Just don’t over do it. Everything in moderation.

  • Gee

    Hello, wonderful article.
    I have tried all sorts of probiotics. The ones you need to refrigerate, Bio-kult,
    Dr. Ohhira etc and none have helped. I was always bloated and had terrible gas. Kefir also makes me bloat. After 1 year I have just given up and stopped taking any. Should I carry on or admit defeat? Any advice greatly appreciated.

    • Andrea Beaman

      @36b315e0548cd461015b2535cb2308e4:disqus – sometimes candida flares because of too much mercury in the system. Do you have mercury fillings in your mouth? You may want to have them safely removed.

      • Gee

        Hi, thank you so very much for the reply. I don’t have any mercury fillings.

      • Andrea Beaman

        @Gee – have you tried natural probiotics like sauerkraut and kimchi?

      • Liz Enlig

        I had the mercury filling removed about six months ago, since then I have been having candida symptoms. Could be that I have some mercury left in my body from the removal.

      • Andrea Beaman

        @disqus_ci6EiDzXVx:disqus – yes, the candida flares when the mercury is present. If you had fillings removed you may have been exposed during extraction. Your body can heal, it’ll just take some time.

  • Alex Stampbach

    Firstly, great article, thanks for posting what helped you. Do you mind elaborating on “Eat seasonally to strengthen the ileocecal valve.” Truly appreciated!


  • Sharla

    Andrea: I would love for you to elaborate on your fermented foods recommendation. I’m a CHHC, have dealt with candida personally, and have also led a detox programs, helping people to get this under control. I have studied candida for years and how to manage it. Yet, the thing I find most inconsistent is the recommended to either eat or avoid fermented foods. The book “Candida Cure” by Ann Boroch is the program/book I recommend most. And, it concurs with everything you’ve stated – except the fermented foods. She says that you should avoid fermented foods. This has been the method that I’ve used, and it has worked well for me, and lots of other people. Logically, I understand the argument on both sides, but I’m really still unclear which to believe. Do you have any research or information on this topic that supports the position that fermented foods heal candida?

    • Yvonne

      I do not know if sauerkraut is good or bad for candida but I do know that some cans of sauerkraut labels list vinegar and sugar. The one I buy at Walmart lists only salt, water and kraut (Silver Floss brand). I eat sauerkraut sometimes. Ann Boroch’s book about candida has not helped me. I became a vegetarian 20 yrs ago, recently switched to Paleo to be able to follow the candida diet.

      • Andrea Beaman

        @Yvonne – when you’re eating kraut, you don’t want the ones that have been fermented with sugar and vinegar. Salt brine only, and these are usually found in refrigerated section.

    • Andrea Beaman

      @disqus_YKltG8KKUv:disqus – great question! Not all fermented foods work for all people. In both the Body Ecology Diet and GAPS, fermented foods are recommended for healing the gut. With candida, you need to heal the gut, it’s not enough to kill the candida in the digestive tract – you need to heal it as well. I don’t recommend fermented vegetables that are not naturally fermented with traditional salt brine (I don’t recommend and vinegar pickles or krauts). And, the amounts recommended vary from person to person.

  • Nikki

    Thank you for posting this ! I’ve been suffering from this for years and now my daughter is showing the signs of it . Great info and thank you for the book reference :)

  • Carla

    Andrea, how can you find out if you hace cándida??

    • Yvonne

      White coating of the tongue.

  • ella

    I’m not sure if using something strong like Nystatin is more beneficial. Surely it shouldn’t take years and years to recover from systemic candida infection. I know conventional medicine has turned a blind eye to the condition. I’ve read somewhere that sunbathing is good for killing off candida yeast on the skin.

  • Alla

    Hi Andrea, great article, thank you so much for sharing! I’ve had fungus in my nails for 3 years and they won’t go away, they’re very painful. I also get blurry vision, headaches, and yeast infections. I’ve been gluten free for 5 months, but the fngus did not change. Do you have any recommendations for that? Thanks very much!

    • Andrea Beaman

      @Alla – yes, it sounds like you have internal fungus. Check your area for mold. Also, the nail fungus combined with blurry, vision, headaches and yeast infections, may be showing a “damp” condition in your body, as well as liver stress. You may want to go to an acupuncturist and get some treatments.

  • Gloria

    Great info! I need this because I am going through the ups and downs and “wtf’s” of systemic Candida. Ileocecal valve issues make sense!! Were you ever told to not have black pepper or spicy foods or raw foods to keep your valve functioning correctly?

    • Andrea Beaman

      @Gloria – I was never told to not have black pepper or spicy foods or raw foods. For me, it’s a seasonal thing. And, raw foods are great, but not necessarily the best thing for someone suffering with any type of digestive disorder.

  • soliel67

    Why must it be meat? You CAN eat a lot of protein on a vegan diet…you just get it from high protein plant foods. You can also eat “nutritionally dense” as well…as I do. Most vegans who have explored food eat more nutrient dense foods than Omni’s. Will never eat meat again as it is the cause of suffering I don’t want to be a part of.

    • soliel67

      I also don’t have any gas, digest well, on a whole foods vegan diet. There is something more to this.