Need to take antibiotics?
Here's how to protect your gut health 😊
✳️Antibiotic prescriptions often skyrocket in winter, due to more respiratory infections and illness
✳️While they can be lifesaving, they also have risks - in particular their effect on gut health
✳️A single course of antibiotics can wipe out entire species of bacteria in your gut, reducing diversity, and encouraging 'bad' bacteria to thrive
✳️Often the only advice people are given, is to 'take a probiotic'. Yet there is actually very little evidence these help, and may even harm, by negatively altering the gut biome!
✳️Fortunately there are many ways you can help your gut cope and recover from antibiotics
✳️Limiting foods known to harm gut health is a biggie - saturated fats, refined carbs, added sugar, highly processed foods, emulsifiers, and alcohol are all damaging to gut health. Try avoid them as much as possible
✳️Focus on foods that feed your gut biome - whole plant based foods promote healthy gut bugs, try to eat as many varieties as possible (ideally at least 40 different foods in a week)
✳️Fibre is your friend - eat lots of high fibre foods, and consider adding a fibre supplement such as psyllium husk for a few weeks. Gut bugs love fibre!!
✳️Try to eat fermented foods such as kefir, kombucha, kimchi, yoghurt, tempeh, miso etc. These have a far greater diversity of bacteria than probiotic supplements, and have some evidence of benefit
✳️Getting adequate sleep (7-9h/night), reducing stress, and exercising regularly all help gut health. They also help immunity, so it's a double bonus!!
✳️Time restricted eating can improve gut health and good bacteria - eat dinner early (before 7pm), then consume only water or unsweetened herbal tea for at least 12-14h overnight
✳️The only probiotic with any evidence is saccharomyces boullardi (a yeast) - studies show that taking 5000iu twice daily during antibiotics can reduce the risk of antibiotic related diarrhoea
✳️And last but not least - try not to take antibiotics unless absolutely needed!! Viral infections do NOT need antibiotics, and even many bacterial infections such as ear infections or mild skin infections can be treated other ways. Ask your Dr about whether this is a safe option