The human gut is a giant hub of activity playing a crucial role in our day-to-day lives and survival. Working away busily inside are trillions of different bacteria, each working in harmony and balance with the other to keep you healthy and functioning at your best. These little legends are known as your ‘microbiome’.
So, what happens when you throw a bacteria-killer in the mix?
Antibiotics are one of the most commonly and widely prescribed medications to help the body fight off harmful bacteria that cause infections and other illnesses. One unfortunate side effect of this modern medicinal wonder is that while it’s fighting off the bad bacteria, your healthy bacteria can get caught in the crossfire, upsetting the delicate ecosystem of your gut and causing gastrointestinal problems.
Fortunately, there are plenty of great ways you can give your gut a helping hand to recover from the ecological bomb of antibiotics!
Although the scientific jury is still hung about the exact effect probiotics have when taken in conjunction with antibiotics, they are a great fast-tracked way to get billions of good bacteria into your gut with one swallow.
It’s important to discuss with your health professional which probiotics might suit you best by discussing any symptoms you’re experiencing and explaining that you’ve recently finished a course of antibiotics. This will help you get the right probiotics for the job!
Some fermented foods that haven’t been subject to high heat or over-processed contain active probiotic bacteria that your gut will love you for. Some of these foods can include kefir, natural yoghurt, sauerkraut, and kombucha. The microorganisms present in these types of fermented foods can help restore your healthy gut flora to its pre-antibiotic glory.
Certain plant foods are brimming with good bacteria that have been consuming the smorgasbord of nutrients known as ‘prebiotics’ present in them and turning them into super valuable substances for your gut health. Fibre-rich foods and plant foods such as onions, garlic, bananas, asparagus, oats, flaxseeds, and other wholegrains are a great combination to get your gut bacteria to work their magic.
Get some exercise in
Recent studies have indicated that a good exercise regime can change your microbiome for the better, producing more microbes that help reduce the risk of certain diseases such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease. All the more reason to ensure your gut health gets back to its normal, happy self after a course of antibiotics!