A human’s intestines are home to trillions of bacteria with a combined weight of approximately one kilogram or more. Many people might believe that bacteria is bad for their health which is certainly true.
However, not every type of bacteria is bad. The human body needs “good bacteria” to care for its health.
Sometimes, the bad bacteria, commonly called pathogenic bacteria, can show up in the human body, disrupting the balance.
While good bacteria help regulate digestion, immune health, and overall wellness, pathogenic bacteria expose the human body to various diseases.
Bacteria that cause diseases are not the kind of bacteria you want in your body. That’s why people are prescribed antibiotics by doctors to kill them off.
While antibiotics are undoubtedly the most powerful blockade against bacterial infections, they have several side effects, such as nausea, liver damage, and diarrhea.
However, you can reduce these side effects to a great extent by making a few changes in your diet. While few foods help reduce the side effects of antibiotics, others can make them worse for you. Many people believe that eggs and dairy products are foods one should avoid eating when taking antibiotics.
Is eating an egg while taking antibiotics bad for you? Or just another myth on the Internet? Read on to solve the egg mystery!
What are Antibiotics?
Before discussing what foods to avoid while taking antibiotics, you must understand what antibiotics are and how they work.
It is medication doctors prescribe to help people recover from bacterial infections.
They work by stopping the bacterial infection from spreading and killing off the pathogenic bacteria – the root cause of bacterial infections.
They protect your body from any possible damage caused by pathogenic bacteria. However, they have a few side effects – abdominal pain, nausea, and diarrhea.
Also, the excessive use of antibiotics can cause damage to your liver and kidneys.
While these side effects are usually mild and harmless, sometimes they can become severe and require immediate medical attention.
Why Do Antibiotics Cause Side Effects?
During times of good health and overall well-being, your body maintains a great balance between good and bad bacteria in your intestines.
When the natural ratio of good bacteria to bad is adequately maintained, they can co-exist without causing any harm to your body.
However, the problem starts when a new lot of pathogenic bacteria enters your body, disrupting the balance your body has previously maintained.
Unfortunately, antibiotics are designed to target any type of bacteria. Therefore, they will not be able to distinguish between good and bad bacteria, causing havoc on your gut’s healthy bacteria.
Your intestines will lose the balance between both sides, leading to diarrhea, nausea, headache, abdominal pain, and other unpleasant symptoms.
Is Eating Eggs Safe While Taking Antibiotics?
While many people think eating eggs when on antibiotics is good, some believe it increases the intensity of the side effects caused by antibiotics. It is highly debated on the Internet, with no clear answer to solve this mystery.
Eggs are loaded with minerals, vitamins, protein, and food fats. Therefore, eating an egg while taking antibiotics can surely stimulate the growth of good bacteria.
The more good bacteria are in number, the more tough fight they will give to pathogenic bacteria. Considering this aspect, eating an egg while being on antibiotics is good.
However, one more thing to pay attention to – eating eggs while taking antibiotics can show antibiotic resistance.
According to many reports, the samples of egg yolks showed 100% resistance to many popular antibiotics such as azithromycin, nitrofurantoin, erythromycin, and amoxicillin.
Therefore, an egg might stimulate the growth of good bacteria in your gut, but at the same time, it will reduce the efficiency of the antibiotics you take to fight off the bad bacteria.
The pathogenic bacteria in your gut will no longer respond to the antibiotics, increasing the severity of the bacterial infection.
The wiser decision would be to switch eggs with another high source of vitamins, minerals, and good fats that do not have antibiotic resistance.
What Other Foods to Avoid While Taking Antibiotics?
Do you think you should only avoid eating eggs while taking antibiotics? You are highly mistaken.
Many other food options can interfere with the absorption of antibiotics or intensify the side effects caused by antibiotics.
Here are a few food options you should avoid eating while taking antibiotics to recover fast from bacterial infection:
Acidic Foods & Beverages
Have you heard that an intake of orange juice is good when you have a cold? Well, not when you are on antibiotics treatment.
Orange juice might be a great source of vitamin C, but it can also interfere with your body’s ability to absorb antibiotics.
The same goes for all acidic food and beverages such as grapefruit, lemonade, sodas, carbonated drinks, marinara sauce, and ketchup.
Dairy products are good for the human body. However, not when coupled with antibiotics. The higher calcium content in dairy products will prevent your body from absorption of antibiotics, becoming a hindrance to your fast recovery.
However, there is an exception – dairy products such as yogurt and cheese are safe to eat when taking antibiotics.
Yogurt and cheese contain probiotics, a good source of healthy bacteria in your body. Therefore, you can couple them with antibiotics without any hesitation.
Intake of cheese and yogurt during antibiotics treatment will help the medicine fight pathogenic bacteria better and protect your body against nausea, diarrhea, and abdominal pain, which are common side effects of such medication.
Alcohol and Caffeine
While going through antibiotic treatment, you must avoid drinking coffee or alcohol. Alcohol can increase your blood pressure, making the side effects of antibiotics even worse.
On the other hand, few antibiotics can react with caffeine. Therefore, intake of both alcohol and coffee should be avoided when taking antibiotics.
What Should You Eat While Taking Antibiotics?
When you are on antibiotics, your choice of food matters a lot. Coupling antibiotics with the wrong types of food can do more bad than good.
They can increase the intensity of the side effects and decrease the efficiency of antibiotics.
Therefore, you must make smart food choices when taking antibiotics. Here are a few food options that can support good bacteria levels in your body:
The key to fast recovering from a bacterial infection is to increase the good bacteria levels in your body.
Not sure how to do that? Probiotics.
They are the building blocks for good gut bacteria. Probiotics will help make your gut more friendly for good bacteria to grow.
Intake of probiotics or healthy bacteria can help you recover from bacterial infection quickly and reduce the risk of antibiotic-associated sicknesses such as diarrhea, nausea, or abdominal pain.
As probiotics are bacteria themselves, they might also get killed by antibiotics. Therefore, the good approach is to take probiotics after a few hours of antibiotics intake.
You can take probiotic supplements and include foods in your diet that have probiotics, such as kefir, kombucha, fortified cereals, and unpasteurized pickles.
Another type of food that can help improve your gut health is fermented foods. Foods such as cheese, kimchi, and yogurt use healthy bacteria.
Therefore, they can help you restore your damaged gut health.
When you eat fermented foods while taking antibiotics, your body will have higher amounts of good and lesser amounts of harmful bacteria.
Eventually, your body will reach a point where it will again establish a healthy balance between good and bad bacteria.
High Fibre Foods
While fiber cannot be digested by your body properly during bacterial infection, it can be digested by your good gut bacteria, stimulating their growth.
Therefore, when you are taking antibiotics, you can include high-fiber foods in your diet, such as:
- Whole grains (porridge, whole grain bread, brown rice)
According to many reports, high-fiber foods will not only improve the growth of healthy bacteria in your, but they will also cause excessive damage to the growth of harmful bacteria.
However, one drawback associated with the intake of high-fiber foods during antibiotic treatment is that it can lower the absorption rate of antibiotics.
Therefore, the good approach is to eat many high-fiber foods after taking antibiotics. Otherwise, it will reduce antibiotic absorption, negatively impacting the efficiency of antibiotics.
Bacterial infections can be anything but fun. They can make your body so weak that doing the daily chores will seem difficult.
Fortunately, some antibiotics can help you recover from bacterial infections fast. However, antibiotics are not the kind of pills you should frequently pop in your mouth.
They can help protect your body from bacterial damage but also have a few side effects. While you cannot avoid the side effects completely, few food options can minimize those side effects to a great extent.
During your antibiotic treatment, you must eat wisely!