What is the Body Ecology Diet?

If you are looking to boost your health, there are countless diets to try. The body ecology diet is a relatively new one. But is it effective?

The body ecology diet (BED) was created by Donna Gates as a way to help her treat her chronic candida, a body infection caused by yeast. The recommended foods are said to strengthen organs and boost immunity. It focuses on eating certain foods and how and when to eat them. Cultured and fermented foods are a big part of the diet.

Here are some food groups that should be included.

Herbs and Vegetables

Vegetables that are high in natural sugars such as sweet and russet potatoes, parsnips and indoor grown wheat grass are prohibited as are members of the nightshade family like tomatoes, eggplants, and bell peppers.

Mineral rich ocean vegetables like nori, kelp and wakame are recommended along with most land vegetables. Herbs like cayenne, crystallized ginger, and garlic supplements should be eaten as well.

Grains, Seeds and Nuts

Soaked and sprouted almonds are the only types of nuts that have the green light for the BED. Sunflower, flax and pumpkin should be included too.

The gluten free four grains quinoa, buckwheat, amaranth, and millet are permitted in the diet. Nuts, seeds, and grains should be soaked and sprouted to promote digestibility.

Oils and Sweeteners

Stevia is the only sweetener approved for the BED. Any fats and oils included should be unrefined and preferably organic. Examples include cooking oils like coconut oil, ghee and butter and seed oils like sunflower, pumpkin seed, and hemp.


When starting the BED, fruit consumption should be limited to bitter fruits like lemons, limes, and cranberries. Once candida symptoms are gone, (which can take over a year) dieters can move on to include other fruits starting with those that are not overly sweet.

Animal Products

Animal products should never exceed 20% of a meal and should always be eaten with vegetables, Fish and organic meat are preferred. Eggs may be eaten but there are specific times and ways they should be consumed. Kefir and yogurt with no added sugar are the only dairy products permitted.

There is also a vegan version of the diet which requires filling up on plant-based protein and producing and choosing calcium rich dairy replacements.

How to Learn More About the Diet

If you are interested in learning more about the BED, it’s advisable that you read the book, Body Ecology Diet: Recovering Your Health and Rebuilding Your Immunity, written by the diet’s creator Donna Gates. The book is part of Gates’ Body Ecology line, which includes various supplements that promote health for those on the diet as well as other individuals dealing with candida. The book will tell you everything you need to know about the diet and creating digestive balance in your body.

Diet fads come and go but the BED is one that makes sense for those dealing with chronic candida. It may also be beneficial to individuals with other health issues. Talk to your doctor to find out if it’s right for you.