As a Nutritionist when i get sick I try to avoid antibiotics as much as I can and they definitely get a very bad rap. However in saying this, I know there are definitely times when antibiotics are needed and when they have quite literally saved my life! Case in point last year when I had Epiglostitis (fancy word for a really constricted and sore throat) and spent 3 days in hospital on an IV of antibiotics and steroids and the doctors said if I hadn't come in when I did It would have been a lot worse than it was - so at times like that I was very thankful for antibiotics. But when you take antibiotics you not only kill off the bad bacteria but also the good gut bacteria too so it is then very important to try and replenish these as quick and effectively you can.
Below are my 10 go-to's for helping to restore my gut bacteria after any course of antibiotics.
These should not only be part of your regime post antibiotics but I generally like to include them in my everyday life so as to always keep my gut as healthy as possible.
1. Probiotics - Ok i'll start with the obvious taking probiotics are the easiest way to restore the good bacteria in your gut. Try getting one with a variety of strains so as to increase the diversity replenished within your gut. Certain strains have also been associated in helping reduce severity of certain conditions so it's worthwhile speaking to a health care practitioner such as a Nutritionist, Naturopath or Doctor to see if there are any specific strains that you should be taking.
2. Bone broth - Bone Broths are a high source of protein and many minerals such as phosphorus, magnesium and calcium. The Glycine found in the broths once cooked helps to aid the body's detoxification process (so to help rid the body of the nasty bugs once the antibiotics have killed them off) and is used in the creation of haemoglobin (red blood cells), whilst also supporting digestion, a healthy immune system and the secretion of gastric acids and bile salts from the pancreas.
3. Kombucha - Kombucha is a fermented sparkling drink made from either a black or green tea base. The longer the Kombucha is prepared the greater the gut health benefits and diversity of beneficial bacteria found within the drink.
4. Chicken soup - As this has many prebiotic foods in it such as garlic, onion and leak in it. Prebiotics are what feeds the good bacteria in your gut and helps them to multiply. Garlic helps to promote the growth of beneficial bacteria in the gut and has been clinically shown to prevent disease forming bacteria from producing. Onions have been shown to help with fat breakdown and the fiber has been shown to help boost the immune system. Finally Leaks along with onions help to promote the breakdown of fat and help the gut bacteria to multiply. Not only is Chicken soup a great source of prebiotics, chicken broths have also been shown to reduce the severity and length of coughs, colds and sinus problems by inhibiting neutrophil (a type of white blood cell) mitigation.
5. Yoghurt – Especially the ones that are made out of goats milk and are infused with extra probiotics such as lactobacillus or acidophilus. Goats milk has better digestibility than cows milk and is particularly high in probiotics such as thermophilus, bifidus and bulgaricus.
6. Kefir – Similar to yoghurt, kefir is a fermented dairy product. It is a combination if goats milk and fermented kefir grains and is high in lactobacilli and bifidus bacteria.
7. Kimchi – An Asian form of pickled sauerkraut. It is an extremely spicy and sour fermented cabbage. Add this to salads or have as a side with lunch or dinner to add some extra love for your gut.
8. Sauerkraut – Made from fermented cabbage is particularly helpful in also reducing allergy symptoms.
9. Tempeh – Is a fermented, probiotic rich rain made from soybeans and is a great source of B12 for vegans.
10. Miso Soup – Is very popular in Japanese cooking. It is made from fermented rye, beans, rice or barley, adding a tablespoon of miso paste to some hot water makes a probiotic rich soup.