Antibiotics might be unavoidable at times, especially if you have a severe infection. Here I’ll discuss why it’s so important to renew your system after antibiotics use.
Prescribed antibiotics are usually very broad-spectrum, aimed at killing all the bacteria in your system to make sure that the infection subsides. Unfortunately, this means that antibiotics will wipe out the good and bad bacteria. The immense impact that our gut microbiome (the population of bacteria) has on every single system in our body is being discovered more and more in recent years.
We need a diverse microbiome to make sure everything from our digestion, immune system, reproductive health, and even our mental health is functioning at its best. When we take antibiotics that wipe out the good bacteria, the space they occupied in our gastrointestinal tract is now available for the bad bacteria to settle in, which leads to further infection in the future, digestive issues, and chronic inflammation.
So, what can you do about this?
There are few things you can do before and after taking antibiotics to minimise the damage done to your guts microbiome. The delicate balance might still be disrupted while you’re taking the antibiotics, so the
most repair can be done once your antibiotics are finished.
Lower simple sugars
During your course of antibiotics, make sure to have plenty of nutrient-dense meals. You want them to be low in simple sugars and rich in fibre. Simple sugars can increase inflammation and worsen your symptoms. Whereas low-glycemic foods will not.
Instead of containing simple sugar molecules, complex carbohydrates contain fibre, which our bodies are unable to breakdown. Instead, fibre is the food source for our beneficial gut bacteria. Sweet potatoes, oats and other whole grains, dark leafy vegetables, beans, and seeds contain lots of fibre. Avoid junk food and treats with added sugars.
Why not try my Smashed Sweet Potatoes with Garlic Aioli recipe.
After taking your antibiotics, have some probiotics. This can be in the form of supplements or foods and drinks that contain bacterial cultures. Try adding kefir, yogurt, kimchi, sauerkraut, and kombucha drinks. Probiotics are strains of good bacteria that are made for us to consume. High-quality probiotic supplements might be pricey, but they are well worth it. They are essential if you are trying to restore the balance in your microbiome after antibiotics. Please, don’t take your probiotics right before you take antibiotics. This will be counterproductive. The antibiotics will wipe out all the newly introduced good bacteria directly after you’ve consumed them.
Check out the brand Nexba for probiotic drinks. Their drinks don’t have any added sugar after the fermentation process, are available in supermarkets, and taste great.
Increase gut healing nutrients
Once you’re finished your round of antibiotics, increase your consumption of probiotics and prebiotics to most effectively restore your gut microbiomes balance. You can also up your intake of certain gut-healing nutrients, such as vitamin A and omega-3 fatty acids. Vitamin A has a protective effect on the intestinal lining and can help repair any damage done to the intestinal barrier by the antibiotics. Omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to increase the population size and diversity of gut bacteria.
It is essential to renew your system after antibiotics use. Your gut health, mental health, hormonal health, and immune health rely on the diversity of your microbiome. The benefit of renewing your system is that it will future proof your bodies defences against further infections.