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Vegetarian Candida Diet, Food Lists & Benefits & Risks

Updated 12/29/2023

Written by Dan Jackowiak HHP, NC and Dr. Vibhuti Rana PhD

The Vegetarian Candida Diet plan is referred to as a low-sugar, anti-inflammatory diet that supports good gut flora and avoids the sugars that support Candida overgrowth. When you are on a Candida diet, it can be simpler to focus on what to avoid eating. A Candida diet, in essence, excludes sugar, white flour, and yeast in an effort to lessen the amount of Candida in the gastrointestinal tract.

Being a vegetarian or vegan frequently has its own difficulties, particularly when eating out. And you might discover that organizing your regular meals and snacks becomes a little more difficult when you add the Candida Diet to those difficulties.

The vegetarian diet has already been associated with a lower risk of developing numerous chronic diseases and is frequently seen to be healthier than a diet rich in animal products. Your options for protein are set to plant-based foods like nuts and beans, but you'll discover that there are a ton of other items that will give your meals diversity every day.

However, being vegan while treating Candida can be dangerous since one of the biggest pitfalls is that vegans frequently experience extreme hunger. Their diet isn't necessarily as filling as someone who eats meat. This is especially true for someone who recently converted to veganism. Be mindful when your energy levels decline to avoid grabbing chocolate or other sugary high carbohydrate items.

Vegetarian diets also have an effect on the gut microbiota and immune system that you need to be aware of. Some of these effects are good and some are bad. Both can have long term consequences to your health.

Foods to Avoid on the Vegetarian Candida Diet

  • High sugar fruits, includes fresh, canned, dried and all sweet fruits, as well as fruit juices.
  • Potatoes, maize, yams, beets, parsnips, sweet potatoes, and cooked carrots are examples of starchy vegetables.
  • Refined grains and corn, including any items derived from white rice and white flour.
  • GM soy products should be avoided. Unsweetened, non-GMO soy products are permitted. Pick fermented varieties like miso, natto, and tempeh for their probiotic activity.
  • Some nuts, such as cashews, and pistachios, peanuts, may be contaminated with mould.
  • Any alcoholic beverages.

Foods to Eat on The Vegetarian Candida Diet

  • Asparagus, broccoli, tomatoes, lettuce, eggplant, cabbage, cauliflower, celery, cucumber, raw garlic, rutabaga, spinach, olives, summer squashes, and turnips are examples of non-starchy vegetables. Basically, just about any vegetable that grows above ground is allowed.
  • Grain varieties free of gluten include quinoa, millet, buckwheat, brown rice, oat bran, and gluten-free oats.
  • Almonds, flax, chia, sunflower, coconut meat and milk, hazelnut, pecan, walnut, and poppy seeds are examples of nuts and seeds.
  • Legumes - products produced from non-GMO, unsweetened, soy free, an free of any unnecessary additives.
  • Anything made from non-GMO soy, hazelnuts, almonds, coconut, quinoa, millet, or yoghurt that isn't sweetened.

Herbs, Spices, and Seasonings

Herbs, spices, and seasonings include organic apple cider vinegar, ginger, lemon, black pepper, cardamom, cumin, dill, basil, garlic, and lime juice. Other ingredients include sea salt, oregano, paprika, parsley, rosemary, thyme, and turmeric.


Originally, mushrooms were on the "avoid" list. Scientific facts have, however, been recently found. Sugar and processed, simple carbs are preffered foods of Candida. Both of them are not in mushrooms. Moulds are the only item you need to watch out for. So go ahead and enjoy your mushrooms just make sure they're mould free.

Protein Sources

If you're a vegetarian, you can easily omit meat and fish from your diet. The typical Candida diet does, however, include these foods. It does, however, raise the issue of where you will obtain your protein, particularly given that consuming a lot of beans is not advised due to their carbohydrate level.

Throughout the course of the treatment, researchers strongly advise eating eggs if you are able to do so. However, we would advise you to take some nuts and seeds as well because getting all of your protein from a single source is never a smart idea. You can either snack on them or include them in your salads.

Walnuts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, and almonds are all excellent choices; however, there are many more listed on the list of foods to eat. During your therapy, it's crucial that you avoid eating any foods that have mould on them. Soaking the almonds overnight or misting them with grapefruit seed extract may be a good idea.

Fat Sources

Fat is essential for producing energy and for feeding your cell membranes. Every individual cell in your body needs fat to function, and your brain alone is composed of 60% fat. However, animal fats are not as appealing, therefore as a vegetarian, you will really be obtaining healthier fats. You'll be slaying two birds with one stone because fats like cold-pressed virgin coconut oil have potent antifungal qualities. Organic extra virgin olive oil and avocado oils are also good fat sources.

Vegetarian Diet & The Gut Microbiota

Nutritional quality seems to have both chronic and immediate effects on the ecosystem of the gut bacteria. The composition of the gut microbiota is significantly influenced by various long-term eating practices, such as vegetarian/vegan versus omnivore diets (1).

1. Salonen, A. and de Vos, W.M., 2014. Impact of diet on human intestinal microbiota and health. Annu Rev Food Sci Technol, 5(1), pp.239-262.

It is commonly known that those who eat omnivorously or vegan/vegetarian have different gut microbiota compositions. According to research, vegans and vegetarians have a discernible change in their microbiome when compared to omnivores.

Different bacteria that are directly consumed through food, different substrates consumed, different transit times through the digestive organs, variations in pH, host secretion effected by dietary patterns, as well as the regulation of gene expression of the host and his or her microbiota can all lead to changes in the microbiota composition.

By encouraging the growth of a more diversified gut microbial ecology or even the spread of various species, a plant-based diet seems to be good for human health.

The modifications to the intestinal bacteria in the digestive tract from vegan diets are the ones that have received the most study attention. According to research, there is a boost in the defensive species of bacteria and a decrease in the inflammatory gut bacteria (2). This can be a good thing when dealing with Candida yeast infections.

2. Wong, M.W., Yi, C.H., Liu, T.T., Lei, W.Y., Hung, J.S., Lin, C.L., Lin, S.Z. and Chen, C.L., 2018. Impact of vegan diets on gut microbiota: An update on the clinical implications. Tzu-Chi Medical Journal, 30(4), p.200.

This is probably because the typical vegan diet contains more fibre. Although all forms of fibre are advantageous, certain of them, known as prebiotics, provide greater food for the healthy bacteria in the gut. Plant-based foods like apples, pears, lentils, whole grains and fresh vegetables contain prebiotics. Prebiotics assist your healthy intestinal balance by supplying the friendly bacteria in your stomach with energy. It is important to eat these foods in order to prevent the onset of any inflammation or gut-related conditions (3).

3. Tomova, A., Bukovsky, I., Rembert, E., Yonas, W., Alwarith, J., Barnard, N.D. and Kahleova, H., 2019. The effects of vegetarian and vegan diets on gut microbiota. Frontiers in nutrition, 6, p.47.

Vegetarian Diet Effects on The Immune System

Dr. Vibhuti Rana, PhD says...

Although there is published medical research highlighting the benefits of a vegetarian diet, you need to be aware of the research that suggests otherwise.

A recent study published in the journal Epidemiology analyzed a group of women, who were either vegetarians or omnivores. (1)

The researchers evaluated the women’s blood, analyzing how efficiently their bodies made two types of “lymphocytes” (white blood cells) that are important to the immune system: T cells and B cells. They also looked at how effectively these immune cells could attack and engulf foreign invaders (a process called phagocytosis).

The researchers found significant differences in the immune function of vegetarians vs. omnivores:

  • All vegetarians in the group had lower white blood cell counts, compared to omnivores.
  • All vegetarians showed lower levels of phagocytosis than omnivores, implying a weaker ability to neutralize pathogenic microbes.
  • All vegetarians showed decreased “respiratory burst” of phagocytic cells compared to omnivores. This is the rapid increase in reactive oxygen required to kill microbes.
  • The older vegetarians in the group exhibited significantly suppressed “proliferative response” of T-lymphocytes. This refers to the ability to rapidly produce T cells in quantities sufficient to squelch a microbial threat.

It is easy to see how a reduced ability to produce white blood cells, coupled with an inability for those cells to extinguish a pathogen, could result in more frequent and more serious illnesses including Candida infections.

1. Neubauerova, E; Tulinska, J; Kuricova, M; Liskova, A; Volkovova, K; Kudlackova, Met al The Effect of Vegetarian Diet on Immune Response, Epidemiology: September 2007 – Volume 18 – Issue 5 – p S196 doi: 10.1097/01.ede.0000289012.66211.45

In addition, another study that was published in the Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research in 2017, looked at the incidence of Candida in the mouth on 238 participants who were either omnivores or vegetarians.

Among the 238 participants, 127 (53.3%) were positive for Candida. The candidal prevalence in vegetarians (68.5%) was higher than non-vegetarians (40.7%). C. albicans was the most common species to be isolated in both vegetarians (35.1%) and non-vegetarians (39.2%). Candida glabrata and Candida tropicalis showed a higher prevalence in vegetarians (30.5% and 10.1%, respectively) in comparison to non-vegetarians (8.4% and 2.3%, respectively). Candida krusei was isolated only in the vegetarians (4.6%).

The study concluded that diet plays a major role in oral candidal prevalence and species specificity, which in turn may predispose the vegetarians toward these pathogenic organisms. (2)

2. Patil S, Rao RS, Raj AT, Sanketh DS, Sarode S, Sarode G. Oral Candidal Carriage in Subjects with Pure Vegetarian and Mixed Dietary Habits. J Clin Diagn Res. 2017;11(7):ZC22-ZC24. doi:10.7860/JCDR/2017/27717.10161

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