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Candida, IBS, colonitis, Crohn’s disease, constipation and other bowel problems

Gut Feeling

The incidence of people with bowel troubles is on the rise in the western world. Though the afflictions bear several names it is my belief that all of them are fungus-based. Various species of candida, most notably candida albicans, are at the root of these problems. How do they enter into your system? Well, for the most part they’re already there. Like all natural fungi they serve a useful purpose and candida are therefore a natural part of your intestinal flora. Problems arise when these yeast fungi lead to overgrowth as a result of three different triggers: sugary foods, antibiotics and stress. Compare that to the western lifestyle and you can see why so many people have bowel problems today. It’s a wonder some people still don’t have yeast overgrowth!

Yeast bacteria can also enter your system through eating molded bread or being exposed to molds at home or elsewhere. As soon as the environment is favorable to these bacteria they will immediately increase their numbers and colonize their living environment, starting with the intestines and then moving on to other parts of the body by developing spores and traveling through the bloodstream. Antibiotics and other ‘medicines’ are the worst culprits. ‘Antibiotic’ means ‘anti-life’. Antibiotics are designed to kill any bacteria in their path and that includes good dextro-lactic, probiotic gut bacteria who, contrary to candida, are not resistant. Other promoters of yeast overgrowth include cortisone-based hormonal drugs (including skin applications) and painkillers (yes, Paracetemol and Ibuprofen too!). Stress and sugary foods are also detrimental to probiotic gut bacteria.

This clears the path for yeast colonization. They seem to favor mucus membranes particularly and will damage them wherever they decide to settle. They can damage the mucosal lining of the gastro-intestinal tract by making it porous. As a result, food particles can enter the bloodstream undigested and cause toxic and allergic reactions. This is known as a ‘leaky gut’. Candida fungi can also slip through these pores and enter the bloodstream. By dwelling in various other parts of the body they can then cause allergic symptoms in the weirdest places. Hence fungal toenails, thrush, sinusitus, etc. They are very clever and adaptable and the more they spread and grow in number, the more they will inhibit the immune system, causing anything from chronic nosecolds, flus and hayfever to psoriasis, hypoglycemia, arthritis, diabetes and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome - even depression. Candida thrive on sugary foods and by eating and drinking them people will actually feed the candida. People developing various allergic symptoms will rarely trace back these symptoms to their foods and lifestyle, however.

To make the problem worse, family doctors hardly ever take candida seriously and will often dismiss it outright when you bring it up. However, there are more and more voices in the medical world now saying that fungi and cancer are actually one and the same! One of these people is an Italian oncologist named Dr Tullio Simoncini. He noticed that all cancer patients have candida. The traditional view is that because of the weakening of the immune system as a result of the cancer itself as well as the medication (including chemotherapy) the candida are allowed to grow and are therefore secondary. Dr Simoncini is saying it is actually primary and that tumors are not unlimited cell growth but an attempt on the part of the immune system to encapsulate a candida colony. He noticed that when cancer patients are put on anti-fungal medication the cancer also retreats. In his book Cancer Is A Fungus he puts forward a pretty strong case that cancer is indeed a fungus. More about Dr Simoncini’s views here:


Fatal and Vital Foods

The Candida Diet


Bad foods can either cause a fungal problem or help exascerbate it, or both. Good foods, on the other hand, can help cure fungal overgrowth. So what’s good and what’s bad? Candida love a sweet environment. Thus all sugars are bad. Dietitians will often say only fast sugars are bad and slow sugars are good. Thus they will advise against white sugar and white flour and will advocate the use of raw cane sugar and whole-grain products. Sorry if you’re a sweettooth and carboholic, but all sugars are out if you really want to starve candida.

This means you will have to wean yourself off:

        white sugar;

        cane sugar;

        any natural sweetener such as honey, maple syrup, agave nectar, rice syrup, date syrup, corn syrup, wheat syrup, etc.;

        white rice;

        white flour and white-flour products;

        whole-grain yeast bread and other whole-grain products;

        starchy products such as chips, crisps, potatoes, corn, etc.;

        commercial fruit juice from a pack;

        pasteurized milk products;

        sweet fruits;




Instead, use:

        only stevia as a sweetener;

        sourdough or sprouted grain bread;

        daily salads made up of organic green leafy vegetables, sprouts, and carrots with a dressing of freshly squeezed lemon juice and omega-3 rich oils, such as flaxseed, olive, walnut, sesame, rapeseed and coconut oil;

        lightly cooked or steamed food;

        kelp, such as kombu, nori, wakame, etc.

        freshly squeezed or blended fruit juices including the pulp and seeds and even some of the rinds of only sour and bitter organically grown fruits, such as lemons, limes, pomegrenades, berries, grapefruit and Braeburn, Roman Beauty and Granny Smith apples;

        raw milk dairy, particularly raw milk and whole-milk live yoghurt;

        organic green tea;

        organic chicory coffee.           

Simply put, the anti-candida diet is about avoiding all sugars, including: 

  • sugar, refined or unrefined;
  • natural sweeteners, other than stevia
  • grains, refined or unrefined;
  • starchy foods;
  • sweet fruits;
  • pasteurized milk products;
  • alcohol;
  • coffee.

You will be amazed at how many products contain sugar and/or grains. In fact, you will find that many so-called ‘health products’ are also loaded with sugars and grains. Life will become a little bit more difficult when shopping for food items and you will have to learn to read the list of ingredients instead of the nutritional information. Forget calories and, whatever you do, don’t fall into the trap of buying anything that is labeled ‘diet’ or ‘light’, particularly if these products contain artificial sweeteners such as the very dangerous neurotoxin and carcinogen  aspartame and other related additives such as sucralose (Splenda), which are all made in a lab instead of a kitchen. These include flavor enhancers such as MSG (mono sodium glutamate) and other neurotoxins. The supermarket is not the best place to get food items, so this is a good reason to buy organic and to do it from local farms, if you care about avoiding food additives, pesticides and growth hormones. 

Alhough honey and maple and agave syrup can and have been proven very beneficial to people’s health they are a definite no-no if you have candida. The same is true for corn, pineapple, bananas, papaya and other sweet fruits – even caffeine and alcohol in small amounts. The point is not to feed the candida any sugars, period. The only exception is stevia, which is a plant that is 300 times sweeter than sugar, yet it is perfectly healthy for you. You can buy it as a tincture with alcohol (not recommended), diluted in water, or in its pure form as a powder. I recommend getting the latter but be very careful when using it as it is extremely sweet. You can get stevia on the web, just Google for it.

Starchy foods are not necessarily bad for you. Jacket potatoes are better than peeled ones. That is because you are refining the potato by removing the fiber (peel), leaving only the sugar (starch). Sweet potatoes and yams are very good foods indeed, but not if you have candida. Once again, the idea is to starve candida by not giving them sugars.  

Unpasteurized, raw milk is very beneficial to your guts and liver. It naturally contains all the probiotic bacteria present in yoghurt. Why raw milk is banned and yoghurt isn’t is beyond me. Think about it, dairy farmers are obliged to use pasteurized milk as a basis for yoghurt and then reintroduce the same bacteria they killed when they heated the milk to make the yoghurt! Although commercially available yoghurt, including organic yoghurt, is all made from pasteurized milk it is still a product I highly recommend. The reintroduction of probiotic bacteria largely undoes the damage caused by pasteurization. Also, in order to make thick, smooth and creamy yoghurt it is unavoidable to heat milk beyond the pasteurization point (roughly 70 Celcius).

We owe it to the French and Italians that raw-milk cheeses are still allowed under EU law. Raw milk is of course not available in the supermarket or even health-food stores, but there are farmers that sell it directly from the farm. A list of sellers can be found here:

The reason why raw milk is better than pasteurized milk is not only because probiotic bacteria are destroyed in the heating process but also because the lactose in the milk is converted into beta-lactose as a result of pasteurization. Beta-lactose is a fast sugar and it is in fact this ingredient which gives people lactose allergies and intolerances and causes mucus buildup (a sign of candida). In other words, give these people real milk and their allergies disappear!

Really interesting is green tea, which does contain caffein but which is not a fast sugar in green tea as it is in coffee. It gets even better: although I have said that even slow sugars are bad for you when not taken in moderation, there’s a substance in green tea which ‘eats’ excess glucose in your blood. This way you get all the health benefits from caffein without the glucose-elevating properties of caffein in coffee.

As you can see, the truth is sometimes somewhere in the middle. Simple sugars are bad, complex sugars are not. Milk lactose is one such complex sugar. The sugars in, for example, cabbage and green leafy vegetables are all complex sugars, or polysaccharides. They are complex because chemically they consist of a longer chain than simple sugars. Basically, the shorter the chain the faster the sugar and the worse they are for your health. Some natural foods contain very long-chain sugars. These foods, interestingly enough, taste bitter! A good example of these are mushrooms such as reishi, shiitake and maitake, all of which are non-destructive and healing fungi. Which brings me to the next subject.


Just like there are good sugars, there are also good fungi. Eating ordinary mushrooms is not a good idea if you have candida because you’re feeding it its own kind. There are medicinal mushrooms which are actually a great idea to consume, either raw or as a tea or stock or even as a supplement. Asian cuisine, most notably Japanese cuisine, has a long history of eating and preparing medicinal mushrooms. Bear in mind that the longer you cook these mushrooms the more you are converting the complex sugars into simple sugars (carbohydrates), just the way pasteurization changes the chemical structure of milk and other foods.

Eating blue cheeses is also not a good idea if you have candida. These fungi are introduced into the cheese and, though they are tasty, are harmful to your health if you have a fungal problem. In the same vein, Brie and Camembert are also out.


Another aspect of the anti-candida diet is avoiding products containing yeast and yeast extract. This means you will once again have to learn to read the labels. Once more, you will be amazed to see how many products contain yeast extract. In fact, yeast extract is very often a hidden source of MSG!

Not all fermented products are bad for you, though. Naturally fermented products are in fact good for you because they contain wild yeast which makes its way into the product from the air and consists of natural probiotic bacteria which are also present in our guts. For that reason, even whole-grain yeast bread is bad for you because it contains baker’s yeast, but sourdough bread is good for you because it is naturally fermented bread and the yeast bacteria use the sugar from the starch as food (hence the sourness). For the same reason, bio live yoghurt is good. In fact, any naturally fermented product, as long as it doesn’t contain alcohol, is permitted because these are natural probiotics. Sauerkraut is fine, for example.     


Try the above no-sugar-no-yeast-no-fungi diet for four weeks. You will find yourself going through a detoxification period which can last the whole four weeks or end after one or two weeks, depending on how much detoxing you have to do. The first week is the worst. You will feel absolutely miserable, have cravings for sweets and junk foods, experience moodiness, near-depression, everything is possible. This is because the candida are demanding their nutrition. You must be strong at this stage and not give in. You will also experience windiness of a very smelly kind, a sign of detoxification of the intestines. You may have a ‘brick-in-your-stomach’ feeling for some time, diarrhea, headaches, dizziness – even vomiting is possible. Do not despair, as there will be a turning point where you will increasingly start to feel better.

After the first four weeks, you can then slowly reintroduce healthy foods which were forbidden before such as honey, maple syrup, dark, unfiltered agave syrup (the lighter variety will still give you a sugar hit), corn, (sweet) potatoes, yams, and various sweet fruits back into your diet. Because of the detoxing you have done you will now get a pure, unbiased and more or less immediate reaction from your body. If the food feels good, continue eating it but don’t overdo it. If it feels bad, stop eating it straight away. It’s that simple.

These food choices are very easy on the liver and guts, which means they not only help battle candida, but they are powerful immune boosters as well.They will help you lose weight as well as help maintain your natural weight, ward off diabetes, arthritis, viruses, parasitic and bacterial infections, and promote overall good health of skin, bones, tissue, cartilage, etc.

The great news is you don’t have to sacrifice a thing taste-wise. In fact, by freeing yourself from the sweet and salty carb-rich foods our toxic food environment provides us with you are making use of all four tastes nature has provided you with. Once you discover that whole, living foods give you more energy and need not cost more both money-wise and health-wise, you won’t be able to go back to fish and chips, burgers, cookies and other empty junk foods. You will find that your appetite will go down and you will need less food to keep you going for a longer time. And even if you do end up spending more money on good-quality foods, my question to you is: which would your rather pay with, your wallet or your health?

Supplements and herbs and spices

Supplements and herbs and spices to take before, during and after the candida diet, in no particular order:

Goji berries
Acerola berries
Raw chocolate
Milk thistle
Cat’s Claw
Cayenne pepper
Black pepper

Ascorbic acid (cheaper than vitamin-C tablets, without the added substances to make the caspules or tablets)

Vitamin-B complex 


Wheat grass juice and/or barley greens



Alpha Lipoic Acid

Ginkgo Biloba

There are other healthy supplements and herbs and spices, but this is my personal choice. Sole deserves a special mention. Here’s how to make your own:

Take a glass container (bottle or jar) with a lid on it so you can screw the container tight and shake the contents without spilling. Cover the bottom with good quality sea salt (the greyish kind) or Himalaya salt. Fill the container with good quality water, either spring water or filtered tap water. Shake the contents until the salt has completely dissolved. If you have coarse salt this could take up to 24 hours and you may have to shake several times. Once the salt has dissolved repeat the process, adding more and more salt until the water is completely saturated and there are salt crystals at the bottom which will no longer dissolve.

You now have concentrated sea salt water or Himalaya water, otherwise known as Sole, referring to water and sunlight, ‘liquid sunlight’. Take a teaspoon of Sole and dilute in water, freshly squeezed fruit juice, or raw milk and drink half an hour before or after breakfast and  dinner. By taking it with a meal you avoid getting diarrhea or gas. In the event of that still happening, build up slowly with half a teaspoon. Sole contains 84 minerals. Mineral shortage is considered by many to be the primary cause of disease. Some say all diseases come from mineral shortage. This is a great way to mineralize your body on a daily basis and it’s cheap and easy to do.

Keep the Sole out of direct sunlight and do not refrigerate but keep in a cool place. There is no sell-by date, it will remain forever. You can also use Sole as a mouthwash. If you have bad breath as a result of oral candidiasis (candida on the tongue and mouth) a few teaspoons of Sole diluted in water will help clear up the problem as candida does not like the salt. Flushing your sinuses and nasal cavities with Sole using a Neti Pot is also a great way to maintain your health on a daily basis, particularly if you’re prone to sinusitis and mucus buildup in that area. I find the Rhino Horn to be the best one. Get it here:

Last but not least, don’t forget all the riches of the sea. I have already mentioned sea vegetables such as kelp. Fatty sea fish of course are also well worth mentioning. Basically, what’s good for life in and around the sea is also good for you!

If you have any more questions, don’t hesitate to email me at:

Mike Donkers


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