Vegan Candida Diet Buddha Bowl

Vegan Candida Diet

I’d been thinking of starting vegan Candida diet (the cleanse) for already 2-3 years. However, only four weeks ago did I finally decide to give it a go and began my journey on the diet.

Editor’s note: in July 2017 (11 months after starting my journey) I posted 2 new articles:

My Experience and Results After 11 Months on Vegan Candida Diet 

Vegan Candida Diet – Staying Candida Free After The Cleanse

Why did I need to go on vegan Candida diet?

Fortunately my Candida over-growth symptoms have not been too severe, so that I’d been able to postpone starting the diet. However, they were inconvenient enough to finally take the critical step. Firstly, I could feel the candida symptoms where most women with candida over-growth do. Secondly, there were other concerns (especially within the past 10 months) – cracks on the corners of my mouth that just would not heal, bloating, sinusitis, frequent upper respiratory infections, and hay fever.

Furthermore, I’ve had problems with my blood sugar fluctuations for years. I needed to eat at least in every 1-2 hours not to feel fainted – I could almost never wait for the real hunger, but needed to eat because my blood sugar dropped too low.

At some point I began to notice that when I managed to keep my blood sugar stable for a day or two the corners of my mouth started to heal. I had been trying all kinds of salves to spread on the corners, but nothing really helped. Then I found one that also had anti-fungal properties and noticed straight away that things got better. So, I guess this was the final trigger to jump on board.

Why was I so reluctant to start with vegan Candida Diet?

I hadn’t done much research yet, but I knew that all fruits, especially dried fruits would be off the list. And there I was having fruit smoothies for first breakfast, muffins that were sweetened with bananas and dried fruits, snacking on fruits, and of course banana ice-creams as after dinner dessert. Not thinking about it too deeply, it felt like everything would be taken away from me. It all just seamed to overwhelming and too much to deal with.

However, then I thought that this was exactly what I felt when I changed my diet to whole food plant-based 4,5 years ago. Back then the change also seemed crazy and overwhelming. However, I did it nevertheless because my health was more important than any short-term inconvenience.

The key is to concentrate on what you CAN eat rather than waisting your time on thinking about things you’d miss. Overcrowd your menu!

How did I get started on vegan Candida Diet?

Firstly, I did my research. I read many related websites and found quite informative and very well structured. I was also looking for plant-based Candida Diet Plans, but failed to find any. So, I did the same as with switching to plant-based diet 4,5 years ago – I created my own balanced plant-based meal plans using the help of an online nutritional program. I’d insert every food I ate and recipe I created making sure I was getting all the necessary nutrients. By the way, I’m still doing that as my Candida Diet isn’t over yet and I start to re-introduce some foods soon.

The Three Principals of vegan Candida Diet (The Cleanse)

There are three main principals to follow if you want your Candida diet to work:

1. Eat foods that don’t feed Candida and don’t eat those that do feed Candida.

Foods to Avoid

  • Fruits – all fruits, including dried, fresh and canned + fruit juices.
  • Starchy vegetables – potatoes, beet, yams, sweet potato, corn, peas, parsnips, carrots
  • Legumes – all beans, chickpeas and GMO soy products. Non-GMO, unsweetened soy products are fine.
  • Mushrooms and molds – mushrooms can cause inflammatory reactions, if you have Candida. Medicinal mushrooms such as Reishi and Maitake are Ok to consume.
  • Some nuts – cashews, peanuts and Pistachios as they may contain mold.
  • Grains that contain gluten and glutinous foods – rye, wheat, spelt, barley, oats (except oat bran and gluten-free oats), anything with corn, white rice.
  • Alcohol
  • Sugars – all syrups and artificial sweeteners, except stevia and xylitol
  • Additives and preservatives – citric acid, anything you don’t know.
  • Some beverages – coffee, black and green tea, any drinks that contains sugars, i.e. any drinks other than plain water, herbal tea or chicory.
  • Condiments – read the labels really carefully and look for sugars or any other additives that you don’t know. As a rule, it’s not possible to find a suitable condiment from a store when on Candida Diet. You can check from organic stores for natural products or make your own.
  • Vinegar – all vinegars except apple cider vinegar.

Foods to Eat

  • Non-starchy vegetables – asparagus, avocado, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbages, cauliflower, celery, cucumber, eggplant, green beans, raw garlic, kale, lettuce, olives, onions, rutabaga, spinach, summer squashes, swiss chard, tomatoes, turnips.
  • Gluten-free grains – millet, buckwheat, quinoa, brown rice, gluten-free oats and oat bran.
  • Nuts and seeds – almonds, coconut meat and milk, flax seeds, chia seeds, sunflower seeds, hazelnuts, pecans, pumpkin seeds, walnuts, hemp seeds, poppy seeds.
  • Legumes – non-GMO and unsweetened soy products (milk, tofu, tempeh) without any unwanted additives.
  • Yogurts and plant-based milks – anything unsweetened based on non-GMO soy, coconut, hazelnuts, almonds, quinoa, millet.
  • Seaweed – nori, kelp, wakame, dulse, sea lettuce.
  • Herbs, spices and seasoning – apple cider vinegar (organic), basil, black pepper, cardamom, cayenne pepper, cinnamon, cloves, cumin, dill, garlic, ginger, lemon and lime, juice, oregano, paprika, parsley, rosemary, sea salt, thyme, turmeric.
  • Beverages – water, chicory root coffee, herbal teas.
  • Sweeteners – stevia and xylitol.

2. Taking Antifungals

Antifungals help kill candida. Start antifungal therapy at least a week after the beginning of Candida Diet, otherwise you can experience severe candida die-off symptoms.

I took the following antifungal: Garden of Life Fungal Defence (, (

Natural and more commonly found antifungals are aloe vera, cinnamon, cloves, coconut oil/meat/milk, garlic, ginger, grapefruit seed extract, olive leaf extract, oregano oil, turmeric.

Candida-fighting foods – coconut oil/meat/milk, garlic (2-4 raw cloves a day), onions, seaweed, ginger, olive oil/olives, lemon and lime juice, pumpkin seeds, rutabaga, and cayenne pepper.

3. Taking Probiotics

Probiotics help maintain healthy balance of gut flora and therefore support your immune system. They also help restore correct acidity in your gut after antibiotic treatment. Antibiotics make your gut too alkaline because they kill the acid-producing bacteria.

It’s important to fill your gut with healthy bacteria, like Lactobacillus Acidophilus and Bifidobacteria Bifidum, so that there is no room left for Candida yeast.

I took the following probiotic: Garden of Life Primal Defence Probiotic (, (

Again, it is advised to wait at least one week after you start your course of antifungals to avoid severe die-off symptoms.

Probiotic foods – yogurt (non-GMO soy or coconut), fermented foods such as sauerkraut and kimchi. You need to make sure that it is raw and not pasteurized as pasteurizing kills all the good bacteria.

Prebiotic foods don’t contain any good bacteria, but they help the good bacteria to survive and grow. Chicory root contains an excellent prebiotic named Inulin – so, have chicory root coffee with almond milk or non-GMO unsweetened soy milk and sweeten it with stevia or xylitol.

I’d actually add a fourth one to the list and that’s EXERCISE. Your body won’t get better if you sit in an armchair all day. So, get out and at least do your 8 000 – 10 000 steps a day.

What did I experience during my first week on vegan Candida diet?

Although I did not start with antifungals and probiotics straight away, I still experienced Candida die-off symptoms:

  • Headaches for 4 days starting from the second day. It was quite bad for the first two days, but I still managed to do without any painkillers. On the third and fourth day it already got milder and was quite bearable.
  • Dizziness and lack of energy. Part of it was certainly due to the fact that I just couldn’t eat as many calories as I was supposed to. Starches and fruits give a lot of energy, but as these were taken away I needed to get used to new quantities and eating habits. Being already quite thin, I even lost a kilo in the beginning, but gained it back pretty quickly.

On my third week I thought it’d be safe to have some red beans with my lunch, but I was wrong. I experienced some itching the next day, which went away pretty quickly as I didn’t try to re-introduce any new foods. To be safe, I’m going to wait until six weeks are up before trying to bring something back onto my plate (I’m on my fifth week at the moment).

In my next post I’m going to share with you how I did my vegan Candida diet meal planning and what exactly, how often and in what order I’ve been eating. In the meanwhile follow me on Instagram for daily Candida meal photos and subscribe to my newsletter or follow me on Facebook not to miss the next posts.


  1. I loved the sentence: to concentrate on what you CAN eat rather than waisting your time on thinking about things you’d miss.
    I think it is really well said!
    This post is definitely instructive and nice, thank you!

  2. Hi Nele. I’m on the plant-based candida diet too. I know only Ricky Heller and her recipes. I’m very happy I found your site.

    • Nele Liivlaid

      Hi Maria!

      I’m so glad that you can make use of my recipes! Not all of the recipes on my blog are Candida diet friendly though as I only started the diet in August.

      Good luck to you!


  3. Jean-Marc Le Dorze

    Hi Nele.

    Thanks for the info. I am thinking of starting a plant based candida diet. I eat a whole plant based food diet as well. Are lentils fine, or perhaps they are too starchy?

    I am sure your recipes will be super helpful when the time comes.

    • Nele Liivlaid

      Hello Jean-Marc!

      I’m so glad you found my recipes 🙂
      The suitability of lentils depends on how severe your case is. I diminished the quantity of grains and legumes severely when switching to Candida diet. I’m having a max of 100 grams of dry weight of legumes per day (same goes for grains). I bought this book on Candida and found it super helpful finding answers to questions that weren’t covered online.

      I wish you good luck with the diet and a very merry Christmas!


  4. Hi Nele!
    I just wonder how is your candida diet… I am thinking about starting candida fight but I am quite sceptical, as long as I have tried 2 anti-candida programs in past that did not work for me..
    many thanks for your recipes! I had your porridge for breakfast and it was very nice 🙂

    • Nele Liivlaid

      Hello Eva!

      I’m so glad you like my recipes! 🙂

      The diet is working very well for me –I’ve only had setbacks when I ate something I was not supposed to. This book helped me a lot to understand the dos and don’ts when getting rid of Candida infection

      I hope you’ll find a way to beat it!

  5. I’m SO GLAD I found your site / Instagram… I’ve done a lot of research on Candida (mainly because I’ve had all the symptoms for a while) but never found anything saying I would be able to combat them as a vegan. You proved me wrong. I’m currently working on the motivation to cut out a lot of the foods I love. Thank you for sharing your journey and knowledge! 🙂

    • Nele Liivlaid

      Thank you so much Kelsea! I know what you mean because when I started with Candida diet in August I also had to do a lot of research 🙂 I find motivation in my well-being, which is the most important thing! It’s just the matter of changing your habits, which actually comes quite easy and quickly — for me at least 🙂
      BTW — I’m about to launch vegan Candida diet meal plans as well. It is basically ready, but I don’t offer them publicly yet. Should you be interested, I can send you more information on email.

      All the best and good luck!


  6. Hi Nele,

    Thanks for all your excellent research and work that is making it easier for vegan plant based eaters to become fungal free 🙂

    I’m currently in the process of starting an eating plan to relieve me of my symptoms, but I’m concerned about how to make sure to get enough vitamins and minerals on such a limited diet? Is there a multivitamin/multi mineral that can be taken as well to assist? Would spirulina and maca powder be ok to take? Could you recommend other natural powders that might assist with vitamins/minerals?

    Many thanks, Emily 🙂

    • Nele Liivlaid

      Hi Emily,

      I’m so glad that you find my posts helpful!
      There is absolutely no need to take any extra vitamins (except vitamin C in the beginning) as you’d get more than enough from the grains and veggies you can eat. Spirulina and maca are OK to take though should you like to.
      I also offer vegan Candida diet meal plans (about to launch them soon as well), both the cleanse plan and plan for reintroducing starches. Should you be interested, I can send you more information on email.

      All the best!


  7. Hi It has been a good while since you did this post, and Id love to hear how it ended. Im about to embark on a vegan candida cleanse… after five weeks in you ended this blog so we don’t get to know what happened, and how long it was before you could re introduce beans etc without itching. Please reply… many thanks

    • Nele Liivlaid


      Indeed, I’ve been chatting about my progress on Instagram, but haven’t really had time to write a longer blog post 🙁 I started to reintroduce starchy veggies and legumes after 2 months on cleanse. Now I can even eat some fruits in the morning on an empty stomach. I still don’t have bananas and dried fruit. I know, I really ought to write a proper blog post about my progress as there is so much I have discovered on this journey!

  8. So you are saying that we should avoid legumes while simultaneously eating legumes?

  9. HI
    I have inflammatory issues and want a candida cleanse. I dont have any immediate, noticeable symptoms so I never know if Im doing it right; example: On your third week you introduced red beans and had itching; I never have digestive issues or itching with beans or anything else, so how will I know when I’ve given it long enough? I paid good money to go to a Nutritionalist who was willing to help me as a vegan, but we fell out because she was reluctant to do a candida cleanse. All she did was say ‘no gluten for six weeks’… and gave me a list of foods I can eat.
    I wanted to cleanse first, then re introduce later but she wouldnt. And there is NO ONE in my part of the country willing to help me on a plant based diet. Im overwhelmed by so much info online, been searching for months and read everything I can get my hands on… My main difficulty is breakfast… I wake up ravenous and cannot find what to eat. I can’t stand ‘milks’, I always had humous on toast before but the gluten free breads contain sugar. Im starving….. 🙁

    • Nele Liivlaid

      Hi Amber!

      Thank you for reaching out!
      I will send you an email regarding my Candida Cleanse and Re-Introduction Meal Plan!

    • For breakfast I like to have a green juice (celery, lemon, leafy greens, cucumber, cilantro, ginger) and/or yogurt that I make myself using a young coconut (coconut water & coconut meat) mixed with a nut ( I switch it up between almond, macadamia, hemp seeds). It’s good to soak the nuts first for a few hours & drain the water. I learned a lot from Lou Corona on youtube ( ) Cheers!

      • Nele Liivlaid

        That’s great Karl! Yes, it is best to soak all grains, legumes, nuts and seeds for better digestion and to enhance mineral absorption.

    • Nele Liivlaid

      Hi again Amber! I’ve sent you the email. Let me know if you didn’t get it!

      All the best!

  10. Hi Nele, I think I have candida eventho’ I’ve been so healthy my whole life. This year I started on my vegan journey but now I have chronic candida! I am very depressed. I am starting the cleanse today and was hoping on stage II what do you do? do you slowly introduce some foods while starting the probiotics? thank you

    • Nele Liivlaid

      Hi Andrea,

      Congrats on taking the journey! Well done!
      Yes, in reintroduction stage you introduce foods back one by one. You should start the probiotics already during the cleanse!

      I will send you detailed information on my cleanse and reintroduction plans on your email. Maybe you could benefit from one or both of them.

      All the best!

  11. Hi Nele, I am a bit confused. From this recipe it says brown rice is allowed but in the other article it says you re-introduced brown rice into your diet. Is brown rice allowed when you’re first starting out?

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