What can be consumed in food when and after taking antibiotics

July 30, 2018 by Jacob Prednis   Comments (0)


Antibiotics are a type of medication that helps fight bacteria. They either kill bacteria or stop their reproduction.

Antibiotics often cause gastrointestinal side effects, such as:

  • nausea.
  • abdominal pain.
  • loss of appetite.

These side effects can cause discomfort, but they tend to go away quickly. Using the right foods can prevent side effects.

In humans, trillions of bacteria and other microorganisms live in the intestine. Antibiotics can disrupt the balance of bacteria in the microbiome. The intestinal microbiome maintains the digestive system and helps the immune system to protect itself from the viral infection.

When antibiotics break the bacterial balance, a person may experience nausea or diarrhea. Consuming probiotics and prebiotics during and after a course of antibiotics will help restore the balance of bacteria in the intestine.

What to eat when taking antibiotics

Probiotics are living microorganisms, commonly known as "healthy bacteria." They can reduce some of the side effects of antibiotics, such as bloating and diarrhea.

Studies show that taking probiotics is a safe way to prevent diarrhea associated with taking antibiotics. After completion of the course, probiotics can restore balance in the microbiome.

Prebiotics are food for beneficial bacteria that live in the intestines. Manufacturers sometimes add prebiotics to products such as:

  • yogurt.
  • baby food.
  • cereals.
  • bread.

Fermented foods are good sources of beneficial bacteria. All fermented products contain microorganisms, but some heating or filtration processes can kill useful bacteria. Fermented vegetables, such as sauerkraut or pickled cucumbers, which are stored at room temperature, do not contain live crops.

Foods rich with fiber

People should avoid foods high in fiber while taking antibiotics because they affect how the stomach sucks the medicine. However, when a person completes a full course of antibiotics, the use of fiber will help restore beneficial bacteria and promote proper digestion.

They include:

  • artichokes.
  • bananas.
  • berries.
  • beans.
  • broccoli.
  • lentils.
  • nuts.
  • peas.
  • grains.

What you can not eat when taking antibiotics

Grapefruit and grapefruit juice can disrupt absorption of the drug. In addition, studies show that foods enriched with high doses of calcium, such as some orange juices, can affect the absorption of certain antibiotics.

It is wise to avoid drinking alcohol while taking any medications. In most cases, moderate consumption of alcohol will not prevent absorption of antibiotics, but it can worsen side effects. The doctor will advise a person not to drink alcohol if he takes one of the following antibiotics:

  • Metronidazole.
  • Tinidazole.

Alcohol can cause a serious reaction and the following symptoms:

  • nausea.
  • abdominal pain.
  • rapid or irregular heartbeat.
  • dizziness.
  • drowsiness.

People should avoid alcohol within 48 hours after the end of metronidazole and 72 hours after the end of the course of tinidazole.