Antibiotics and Probiotics – how to replenish your good bacteria in the gut.
On one hand, antibiotics are very powerful, help kill bacteria and often save lives. On the other hand, they have significant impact on the good bacteria that live in our guts. If you are prescribed a course of antibiotics, what types of things can you do to help replenish your good bacteria? We discuss this in more detail in this blog.
Let’s first discuss antibiotics:
What are Antibiotics and what do they do to your gut bacteria?
An antibiotic is any substance that inhibits the growth of or destroys microorganisms. It’s not always possible to avoid antibiotics, sometimes they required. When they are destroying the bad bacteria unfortunately, they also wipe out the beneficial bacteria.
High dose antibiotics and the duration of the course have a greater impact on the good bacteria in the gut. High doses over a prolonged period of time can cause extensive damage that may take years to recover. Likewise, in children their gut flora is established in the first few years and antibiotics can upset their gut flora with detrimental effects. Poor gut health makes them more susceptible to diseases like asthma, eczema and poor immunity. To read more about children;s gut health and probiotics, Read here.
When replenishing good bacteria, it takes time and 3 areas of focus:
- Healing foods
1. Probiotics – How to replenish the good bacteria in the gut
Tip: Include a spoonful of fermented vegetables to your meals twice a day.
- Kimchi goes great with eggs for breakfast
- Saukerkraut goes well with chicken and pork
- Fermented vegetables like carrots and zucchini can be enjoyed in salad or on a snack platter.
- Kombucha can be enjoyed as a mid afternoon beverage.
Supplementing with a high quality probiotic may also be necessarily to replenish the good bacteria. The strains to include when taking antibiotics are: Lactobaccilus rhamnosis LGG, Bifidobacterium animalis ssp lactis (BB-12), Lactobacillus Acidophilus (NCFM), Bifidobacterium lactis (Bi-07) and Saccharomyces Boulardi.
2. Prebiotics – How to replenish the good bacteria in the gut
Prebiotics are the food that helps feed, the good bacteria. Some prebiotics can promote the growth of good bacteria, improve digestive health and protect the gastrointestinal mucosa. Prebiotic foods are oats, garlic, leeks, artichokes, onions, garlic, chicory, dandelion greens, asparagus, leeks, berries, bananas, flaxseed, beans and lentils.
3. Healing foods – How to replenish the good bacteria in the gut
Taking antibiotics can damage the integrity of the gut wall, which is known as a leaky gut. This makes you more susceptible to a host of diseases and conditions like digestive issues, inflammatory bowel disease and lowered immunity. Read more here on how to heal a leaky gut.
Some of the healing foods which can help heal the gut are:
Include Collagen in your nutrition plan as it helps to heal the gut lining. Collagen is in bone broth. Tip: To help the gut post antibiotics, make a big batch of bone broth and drink a cup a day. Add chilli, ginger or garlic to your broth for added flavour. Alternatively, add broth powder to your own soups, stews and meats etc to heal the gut.
Gelatin also helps heal the gut. Tip : One way to include this in your diet is to make some gummies. Apple kefir gummie recipe.
Antibiotics and Probiotics – How to replenish your good bacteria
In conclusion, when replenishing the good bacteria, it comes down to 3 focus areas, probiotics, prebiotics and gut healing foods. Include these into your daily routine. The key is to include a variety of foods to ensure replenishment of multiple strains, therefore maintaining a happy and healthy gut environment.
Need more ideas on ways to add fermented foods to your life to help replenish your good bacteria? Sign up to our waiting list for our Fermenting Course.
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