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After Antibiotics: How to Rebuild Your Gut Health

After Antibiotics: How to Rebuild Your Gut HealthRead on to learn the best ways to properly rebuild your gut health after antibiotics – shared by a bestselling wellness author.

Antibiotics are a powerful and necessary frontline of defense against harmful bacterial infections. However, they are often accompanied by unwanted side effects that can be managed by supplementing your diet correctly. 

After completing a course of antibiotics, it is essential to properly restore balance within your gut microbiome.

I’m sharing about this topic, because I’m the bestselling wellness author of a health-boosting longevity book, Life is Long: 50+ Ways To Live A Little Closer To Forever.

In my book I share how to protect your health with research based health information. In this comprehensive article, we’ll delve into how to rebuild your gut health after antibiotics.

While there are numerous types of food that contain essential components to achieve this much-needed balance, some people choose to turn to daily probiotic supplements from trusted and accredited brands, like Inner Health, to support and maintain a healthy gut. 

What are Antibiotics?

Antibiotics are a type of medication commonly used to treat various bacterial infections. They work by killing the infected bacteria, preventing them from spreading or multiplying throughout the body. There are many different types of antibiotics that operate in a variety of ways and affect the body differently. 

Some work as broad-spectrum medicines, meaning they work against a wide range of disease-carrying bacteria, while others are specifically designed to target certain kinds of bacteria. Despite their hard work restoring your health, they also have a range of unpleasant side effects, particularly their negative impact on gut health. 

Rebuilding Good Bacteria

You can make numerous dietary changes to restore the healthy gut bacteria you lose while taking antibiotics. 

Probiotics

Taking antibiotics often results in an altered gut microbiota, which can lead to antibiotic-associated diarrhea, which is especially prevalent in children. However, research has shown that taking probiotics during or after a round of antibiotics can help preserve the crucial bacterial diversity of your gut. 

It is important to note that probiotics are typically bacteria themselves, which could result in them being killed off by antibiotics if taken together. Therefore, it is recommended that you consult with your doctor about the proper process of taking probiotics with antibiotic dosages. 

Fermented Foods

Fermented foods are a fantastic source of good bacteria. While all fermented foods do contain important microorganisms, some heat or filtration processes can kill important live cultures. Fermented vegetables, like canned sauerkraut or pickles in a jar, typically go through a pasteurization process when being canned, destroying live cultures and making them less nutritious than fresh or homemade versions. 

Additionally, these live culture microorganisms are unable to survive the baking process, which means they are not present in baked goods like sourdough bread. Fermented foods that do contain these live and active cultures include miso, tempeh, yogurt, kimchi, some varieties of cheese, and fresh pickles or sauerkraut.

Fiber

After Antibiotics: How to Rebuild Your Gut HealthThe human body cannot digest fiber, but it is digested by the bacteria found in your gut, which can help to stimulate its growth. Therefore, including small amounts of fiber in your diet during and after antibiotics can help to restore much-needed healthy bacteria.

However, it is best to avoid high-fiber foods while taking antibiotics, as they can reduce the absorption of this necessary medicine. Instead, these foods should be used to restore gut balance once your course of medication is complete. Natural sources of fiber include bananas, beans, berries, lentils, nuts, whole grains, and artichokes, among others. 

Vitamin K

Antibiotics are designed to fight all kinds of bacteria, including the healthy bacteria that help the body. Some of these bacteria are responsible for producing vitamin K, which is essential in the formation of blood clots. 

To reduce the impact antibiotics have on vitamin K levels, it is worthwhile supplementing your diet with kale, spinach, parsley, collards, mustard greens, Brussels sprouts, and Swiss chard, which are fantastic natural sources. 

Prebiotics

Unlike probiotics, which are live microbes, prebiotics act as food for the hard-working bacteria that live in the gut microbiome. Sufficiently feeding this bacteria before and after antibiotics can significantly aid in restoring balance to your gut. 

Some foods contain low levels of prebiotics, including onions, garlic, and bananas, while some manufacturers add prebiotics to food like yogurt, cereals, bread, and some infant formulas. It is important to note that most prebiotics are dietary fibers. Should you consume large quantities of it, it can lead to uncomfortable gas or bloating. 

Things to Avoid

While many foods are beneficial and safe to eat during and after antibiotic use, some should be avoided. Research has shown that grapefruit juice can affect the effectiveness of some antibiotics and prevent the body from breaking down certain medications properly. 

Foods supplemented with calcium, like calcium-fortified orange juice, as well as various calcium-based supplements, can also decrease the absorption of certain antibiotics. Since there is no one-size-fits-all rule to cover all medication types, it is best to consult with your doctor about foods and supplements that should be avoided. This personalized approach ensures that your unique dietary needs are understood and catered to. 

Recap: Rebuild Your Gut Health after Antibiotics

Many healthcare professionals strongly suggest to avoid alcohol consumption while taking any type of medication. In most cases, moderate drinking will have little to no effect on antibiotics, but it can make any side effects much worse. Should your antibiotics contain metronidazole or tinidazole, your doctor will advise you to avoid alcohol entirely until your course is complete, as drinking can lead to severe reactions and symptoms. 

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