When following the Candida diet, many of our favorite fruits get put on hold. Keep reading to find out how I switched it up and what I do to keep it fun!
Avoiding sugar of any kind is important for killing yeast. In the beginning, especially, this means saying good bye to our favorites: berries, melons, bananas, apples etc. So are there any low sugar fruits we can consume? Although the number is few, there are in fact some fruits we can eat in moderation.
What is in your Fruit Bowl?
I have always been the kind of person who loves to have a bowl of apples out all of the time -not only for the esthetic appeal, but also the easy grab and go snack it provided on a busy day. When I started treating Candida I had to make a mental shift. I still buy apples and sweet fruits for my family, but instead of having them out on the counter, I keep them in the refrigerator. Doing this helps me stay focused on things I can have! My fruit bowl is now full of these fruits: Avocados, Tomatoes, Limes and Lemons!
Avocados are not only nutritious but they are versatile and taste delicious in many recipes! As far as contributing to our health, Avocados provide us with fiber we need in our diet, as well as vitamins E, C, D and B6, and minerals such as iron and potassium. Avocado's are considered a healthy fat, but as such, are also high in calories. For example, 100g of avocado contains about 19g of fat. So, if you are watching your weight, I suggest consuming no more than two per week. The benefits of Avocado's healthy fat, however, lend towards protecting our bodies against high blood pressure, heart disease, and high cholesterol. They are good for our skin and Avocados have high antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. You can find out more about the nutritional break down in an article by, Meenakshi Nagdeve, 19 Proven Health Benefits of Avocado Nutrition.
What are my favorite ways to eat avocado? Here is my list:
Slice it up as a topping on seed crackers with a little salt and pepper
Mash them up with some garlic salt as a condiment for burgers or chicken
Guacamole! One of my absolute favorite things!! This can be used as a side for just about anything including tacos or fajita bowls
Cube it and add as a topping for salads
Ripe Avocados should feel slightly soft to the touch and appear green on the inside. A firm Avocado that is hard to cut indicates it is under ripe, where as an Avocado that is mushy and contains brown flesh, is over ripe and rotten. Overall, leaving Avocados at room temperature will help you achieve the perfect timing when it comes to eating them perfectly ripe.
There is some debate as to whether or not tomatoes are allowed on a Candida diet becuase they are higher in sugar. I have chosen to keep them in my diet but I limit my consumption to small amounts and only once every other week or so. Tomatoes have a lot to offer when it comes to providing our bodies with vitamins A and C, (one tomatoe containes 40% of our daily recommended dose!) which contributes to health skin, bones, and heart. There is also a compound in tomatoes called, lycopene, which studies have shown can help prevent certain cancers. Tomatoes are high in antioxidants and are healthy for our digestion. You can find out more about the nutritional break down in an article by, Meenakshi Nagdeve,11 Impressive Benefits of Tomatoes.
What are my favorite ways to eat tomatoes? Here is a list:
Sliced with salt and pepper as a side with breakfast
Salsa! Chop and add cucumber, cilantro, onion, garlic and lime juice for an amazing Pico de gallo garnish!
Blend them into tomato sauce or a hot soup
Roast a few cherry tomatoes in the oven with olive oil, salt, and pepper - use as a topping on steak or chicken
There are so many different varieties of tomatoes to choose from! I like to experiment with various varieties when I'm cooking. My favorite ones to use for salsa are Roma tomatoes, but I prefer Beef Steak tomatoes when eating it sliced on its own. Eventually, I would like to try growing my own tomatoes -but unfortunately, I seem to have a brown thumb so far! I'd love to hear from you about your favorite varieties, and any tips or tricks you have for growing them!
Lemons and Limes
It seems fitting that one of the only fruits allowed on a Candida diet is a lemon! Add some lime in there and you have two fruits that have a lot to offer. Lemons and Limes, although not the same, are both in the citrus fruit family and offer similar benefits such as high levels of vitamin C, which is good for our immune system, and high levels of citric acid, which helps our body absorb iron. These fruits contain collagen which is good for our skin and they both have excellent antiviral and antiinflamatory properties. You can find out more about These fruits in articles written by Meenakshi Nagdeve, 15 Evidence Based Benefits of Lemon, and, 21 Impressive Benefits of Lime Water.
So what are my favorite ways to eat Lemons and Limes? Here is a list:
Slice it up and put into a pitcher of water or carbonated water with some fresh mint as a delicious drink
Use preserved or fresh lemons as a garnish for roasted chicken or fish
Lemon juice, freshly squeezed, is the primary flavor boosters in one of my favorite coconut lemon cookie recipes!
Use a slice with fresh ginger in a cup of hot tea when fighting a cold
Squeeze fresh lime juice over tomatoes, onions and cucumber, add garlic to make a delicious fresh salsa (recipe to come soon!)
Slice up a lime and use as a garnish in water or carbonated water
Limes make a delicious addition to Thai or curry dishes.
Overall, the Candida friendly fruit bowl looks vastly different than most! While this can be somewhat disheartening at first, it helps to be positive about what we can eat and to find recipes we love. Eventually, the hope is to have fruit that are higher in sugar, slowly integrated back into our diet. It has been almost a year on this journey for me and I am still unable to tolerate anything more. The good news? I am feeling great! I am rarely sick, my chronic pain is much less chronic, and I have so much energy and mental clarity. The cure is worth it friends! Switch up your fruit bowl and see how it makes you feel.
Live Laugh Lemons