How do you restore gut health after taking antibiotics? Continue reading to learn more.
A few weeks ago, I got a tooth infection, for which my dentist prescribed me antibiotics. At first, I was hesitant to take antibiotics, but my mouth was so swollen and in great pain.
I meditated, tuning my mind into accepting that these antibiotics could be beneficial instead of panicking about how I was about to wipe off my good gut bacteria.
Once the one week of antibiotics was over, I set myself on a mission to restore my gut health by eating many probiotics and prebiotics foods.
You host trillions of bacteria, yeast, and viruses in your colon. Read more on the gut microbiome. The intake of antibiotics disrupts these microorganisms, while some are entirely eradicated.
Besides walking in nature and avoiding consuming sugary foods at all costs, I've been eating more fermented foods with veggies rich in prebiotics.
Probiotic foods help repopulate the gut with new bacterial species, while prebiotic foods feed the existing microorganisms in the gut.
Prebiotics are the fiber that resists digestion and are broken down by the gut microbiome for food.
Even though it's good to eat a diet rich in vegetables and fruits, some foods are more prebiotic than others. You can enhance the growth of already existing healthy microbes in your gut by eating specific foods.
In addition to kimchi, I have been eating kiwis daily. Kiwifruit has a prebiotic effect on the gut. The study shows that during kiwi consumption, the growth of beneficial bacterial species like lactobacilli and bifidobacteria increases, reducing the population of bad ones like Clostridium and Bacteroides.
However, you need to keep on consuming kiwifruits to have these benefits.
Another vegetable that I have increased its consumption is the carrot. Recent studies have shown that carrots have prebiotics beneficial to the gut microbiome.
Species such as Bifidobacterium longum, Bacteroides dorei, and Prevolleta are enhanced during carrots consumption.
I love cooking with green bananas because they're rich in prebiotics. Green bananas are the raw version of regular yellow bananas and are consumed cooked.
Furthermore, I've increased the consumption of Inulin, a prebiotic found in some plants. It stimulates growth and alters microorganisms' composition, thus maintaining a balance between the gut's good and the "bad" microorganisms.
Food rich in inulin are;
- chicory root
- jerusalem artichoke
While you can buy living microorganisms to populate your gut, the best and cheapest way would be to eat foods with probiotics.
Fermented foods are the best source of probiotics. Eating or drinking different fermented foods will give you different strains of living microorganisms.
I've tripled my consumption of fermented foods. I have the French version of kimchi. Though I can buy kimchi from Asian shops, I prefer going organic. I drink some kombucha every day.
Tempeh, a fermented whole soybeans product, is a good source of microorganisms and is also rich in proteins and fiber.
Apple cider vinegar (ACP) is another fermented food I like using, and I add it to most of our meals when cooked food has cooled and in salads. Make sure to buy non-pasteurized ACV with the mother.
List of fermented foods
Together with what I've mentioned above, here is a list of other fermented foods you can add to your diet if you have been prescribed antibiotics or want to enhance your gut microbiome.
- Lacto-fermented veggies like carrots, red cabbage, or beets.
- Tamari or soy sauce. Make sure they don't have sugar added.
- Miso. The longer the fermentation period, the stronger the taste.
- Natto from Japanese cuisine.
- Sauerkraut. A fermented cabbage.
- Fermented milk. I buy fresh raw goat milk from a farm and ferment it for 5 days.
- Fermented uji. A Kenyan maize or millet flour beverage. The downside is that it's cooked after fermentation, which can destroy some microorganisms. I like using red millet that I blend and then ferment.
- Nonsugared yogurt is one of the affordable food that is rich in lactic and bifidobacteria.
- Old cheese. Choose goat cheese made from raw milk whenever possible because pasteurization kills most microorganisms.
The list is endless. Depending on where you live, you'll find fermented food.
This article will be informative. Thank you for reading.
My love to you, Githu.