Is caffeine allowed when following a Candida diet?
There is so much information about Candida on the internet and the same is true in regards to caffeine containing beverages such as coffee and tea. Most food lists would tell you to avoid coffee or caffeine and in fact my list said the same which I have now amended.
After looking at the reasoning behind excluding caffeine from a Candida diet, as a biologist, I don’t exactly buy it. I would tend to place this in the Candida fiction category. Of course, as hot drinks are concerned, there would be better choices available. Red Bush tea as well as Pau d’Arco Tea are both caffeine free choices that actually have antimicrobial properties.
Also, most caffeinated beverages would contain lots of sugar and other unhealthy ingredients, but after looking at all the evidence I believe that an unsweetened coffee or tea is acceptable in small amounts. Coffee and tea contain many healthy antioxidants and the recent studies show so many health benefits from them, that it would be unwise to totally remove them from the diet.
Sources on the net refer to an article from the International Journal of Alternative & Complementary Medicine in 1993, which states that caffeine is an adrenal stressor and this in turn hurts the immune system, therefore, leaving the body open to Candida overgrowth. While there is truth to this, one coffee or a couple teas will not have caffeine amounts high enough to cause this. In fact the antioxidants found in the coffee or tea have been shown to prevent disease. This research is quite frankly out of date and really shouldn’t be used as a reason to avoid all caffeine while on a Candida diet.
Another myth is that just like caffeine energizes us, it in turn energizes yeast cells. This is fiction because Candida feeds on sugars alone while caffeine works on the central nervous system. Yeast do not have one as they are one celled organisms.
Moderation is Key
So what’s the bottom line? Caffeine via natural products such as coffee and tea is acceptable in small amounts and if consumed unsweetened. Natural sweeteners such as stevia would be acceptable. The benefits of moderate coffee and tea consumption far outweigh any of the negatives associated from caffeine’s effect on Candidiasis. If you are doing every thing else right on the Candida diet, but happen to have an 8oz cup of coffee, tea, or green tea a day, I seriously doubt it will have any effect one way or the other on yeast overgrowth.
The problem lies in having several cups a day that will indeed stress adrenals, acidify the body, and therefore make the body more susceptible to Candida overgrowth.