Are You Taking Antibiotics?
We take antibiotics to defend our body against bacterial infections, but they can also take a toll on our liver. in addition to liver damage if taken too much we might suffer from diarrhea and other side effects. Consuming the right foods with your antibiotics & after may ease those pesky side effects!
Antibiotics, what are they?
Medication used to treat bacterial infections by stopping the infection completely or preventing it from spreading. There are numerous types of antibiotics – some narrow in on a certain type of infection while others cover more of a wide range.
Antibiotics can be extremely beneficial, but just like most everything, consumed in large amounts can lead to bad side effects! You can cause long term liver issues as well as killing off those gut microbiota ( good bacteria). OH NO!
What To Take During Antibiotics
One common side effect is diarrhea, especially in young kids. Make sure to consume probiotics – the live bacteria will aid in reducing the antibiotic-associated diarrhea. Try and consume your probiotics a few hours after you take your antibiotic… you know since the antibiotic is attempting to kill off bacteria and probiotics are live bacteria. Antibiotics often kill off some of the good bacteria so it’s always good to try and restore them with probiotics, healthy live bacteria.
Fermented foods are also highly recommend to consume while taking antibiotics!! Yogurt, Cheese, Sauerkraut, Kombucha, Kimchi… you get the point. Just like our probiotic friends, Lactobacilli (among other healthy bacteria species) , fermented foods help to replenish the gut microbiota.
After Antibiotics, What Should I Eat?
Whole grains, Nuts, seeds, beans, lentils, berries, and broccoli are all foods high in fiber. Consuming high fiber foods aids in the reproduction of healthy gut bacteria. Your gut is where fiber is broken down and digested – feeding it fiber will stimulate the growth of good bacteria & slow the growth of bad bacteria. SOunds like a win / win to me so eat those foods high in fiber! Try and avoid during the time you are taking the antibiotics because dietary fiber has been proven to decrease the antibiotic absorption rate!
Prebiotics, not to be confused with probiotics, are great to take after antibiotics! Foods that aid in the growth of healthy bacteria are Prebiotics. Red wine & Cocoa are both good prebiotics and not to mention tasty!
Are There Foods I Should Avoid?
YES! Just how there are foods that are beneficial to consume while taking antibiotics, there are foods that can be harmful so read these next few paragraphs very carefully!
Grapefruit juice and/ or grapefruits can be harmful while taking antibiotics. Both are broken down in the body by an enzyme called cytochrome P450. This enzyme is also used to breakdown many medications, thus consuming grapefruit juice while taking medications may cause the enzyme to focus on the juice versus the medication.
Foods that offer a lot of calcium affect the absorption of the antibiotics.
If you or anyone you know is currently taking antibiotics feel free to reach out with any additional questions! If you enjoyed this article, please share! Hope you have a wonderful day!
Kim Shapira MS, RD