Should you be consuming juice on a candida cleanse?
This is a question that I receive often. But before I get into the juicing part, I want to talk about consuming vegetables that contain natural sugar on the cleanse first.
I see that a lot of candida food lists advise to remove vegetables that contain natural sugar, but I personally really disagree with removing foods like green apples, carrots, and beets on a candida cleanse.
Why? These foods contain antioxidants, which means they support liver detoxification and immune function, as well as function to reduce inflammation in the body. This is important because candida thrives in an inflammatory environment, so reducing inflammation is a key focus on a candida cleansing program.
Another reason being, if your candida diet is too strict (i.e if you are removing too many food groups and varieties of fiber) your body may be lacking in essential nutrients that are required to fight an infection. Remember that one of the reasons why candida gets an opportunity to thrive and become pathogenic in the human body is often due to poor immune function, so we want to support this system as much as possible in order to successfully rid the infection. This is why I advise keeping these foods in the diet while cleansing from candida, but being mindful of how they are consumed (i.e eating them raw more often than cooked and focusing on how much starch is consumed per serving/per day).
Something to consider about juicing is that all of the fiber has been removed and so if you are juicing fruits or vegetables that contain natural sugar and with the fiber being removed, you will be drinking a beverage that could potentially spike blood sugar (fiber is what helps to slow down glucose metabolism). When blood sugar gets spiked, there will be more blood glucose available to feed the candida, which we don’t want.
So to enjoy juice on the cleanse, these are my tips:
Firstly, I just want to point out that apples contain pectin, which is a prebiotic fiber that aids toxin removal, feeds healthy gut bacteria, and strengthens the gut lining. So I highly recommend consuming the full green apple as opposed to having it in juice as I think you’d get more nutritional benefits from it. However, if you did decide to add a green apple, carrot, or beet to a juice, you could either consume something with fiber first, such as a flax muffin or you could add fiber back into the juice. Examples include ground flax, chia seeds, or Nutracleanse fiber.
The reason why we would want to do this is because fiber lines your small intestine so that when starches come down later, they will have a harder time being transferred into the bloodstream where they would spike glucose levels. Whereas, if you have the juice first, this would increase blood glucose levels immediately, creating more food for the candida.
Another thing to consider is that, when carrots and beets are raw they contain less sugar than when they are cooked (cooking increases the starch content). So if you don't want to focus on adding fiber back in, I would advise sticking to ¼ cup of beet or carrot juice mixed with other non-sweet vegetables. This would help with keeping the sugar content low.