What Foods to Avoid When Taking Probiotics?

What Foods to Avoid When Taking Probiotics?

Probiotics as you may already know, are good bacteria that help improve gut health and support other systems in the body, such as strengthening the immunity. Many begin using probiotics if they have recently suffered from digestion issues and or have finished a course of antibiotics. These both cause an imbalance in the gut as all the good bacteria are wiped out leaving only the bad bacteria to wreak havoc on the gut and its delicate ecosystem.

The popularity of probiotics has increased in recent years, with many probiotic enriched foods, such as kefir, making its way into a lot of people’s daily routine. Not only that, but there has been a large shift in focus on the gut and maintaining its health. It is thought, that as effective probiotics are at supporting gut health, they are unable to cope with the workload on their own. Maintaining a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and enjoying a balanced lifestyle will ensure your probiotics can deliver results. This brings us to exploring whether there are certain foods you should avoid when taking probiotics? Stick around to find out more.

What should you not take with probiotics?

There are very few products you should avoid taking with probiotics, however, there are some circumstances that need to be considered when introducing probiotics into your daily routine. Some of the medical conditions that do not recommend taking probiotics with are the following.

  • Those suffering from severe immunosuppressed- this is a patient with a weakened immune system because of a medication, or long-term illness.
  • Patients who are in intensive care or ICU- this is due to live bacteria found in probiotics can lead to bloodstream infections.
  • Patients with open wounds following major surgery- this is as a precaution to ensure there are no further complications.
  • Those with a central venous catheter, which is placed in a large vein found in the neck- this is to prevent any bloodstream infections to develop and prevent the feeding tube from allowing food to reach the stomach.

There you have some examples of what not to take when using probiotics. As beneficial and natural as probiotics are, it is still essential you consult with a doctor or medical professional before you introduce the live microorganisms into your body. This will ensure you avoid any unwanted side effects or complications. 

What food should you take with probiotics?

It’s understandable to think that having probiotics on an empty stomach will ensure your probiotics have optimal chances of survival and reach the gut alive. Although there are some studies supporting this, there are some showing how teaming probiotics with meals. This is because having the probiotics with certain foods will give the live cultures a boost and perform more effectively at rebalancing the gut and settling any digestive discomfort.

Some of the best foods to have with probiotics are already enriched with probiotics, such as.

  • Yoghurts containing live cultures
  • Kefir
  • Sauerkraut
  • Miso
  • Tempeh
  • Pickles
  • Kombucha

As for the studies showing probiotics working best when taking on an empty stomach, these suggest taking the probiotics 30 minutes before you plan to eat your meals. Whichever way you decide, it is best to find the method that is best suited for you and your daily routine and lifestyle.

When should you not use probiotics?

Using probiotics can deliver a few benefits for you. But there are also some side effects and situations you should not use probiotics. Below are some of the following side effects and conditions meaning you should not take probiotics.

Side Effects

  • When people first start taking probiotics, many will experience bloating, gas, diarrhoea, and other digestive problems. These are often short lived and tend to clear up on their own accord. If symptoms continue however, it may be a case of changing to a different probiotic blend.
  • In some rare cases, some suffer from skin rashes and itchiness. If this occurs and the itchiness worsens, it is suggested you stop taking your probiotics. Once the rashes and itchiness have subsided, you can try another form of probiotics suggested by a medical professional.
  • If you suffer from an intolerance to certain foods, such as soy, egg, dairy, or lactose, you could potentially be at risk at developing an allergic reaction if you take a probiotic containing any of allergy risk foods. Always check the packaging of your chosen probiotic to ensure you are safe to use them safely.

As I have already suggested, it is very important to check with your GP or doctor before using any new probiotics to keep your gut healthy and maintain your overall wellbeing.

What kills probiotics in your gut?

Certain food groups are responsible for killing the good bacteria in the gut, these are very common, and you may be surprised to hear they can inhibit the good bacteria from surviving in the gut.

  • Carbonated Drinks

These sodas, and fizzy drinks packed with sugars and artificial sweeteners, both are huge culprits for killing the good bacteria in the gut. You’ll also find that the diet options are just as bad and have even been linked with weight gain due to the good bacteria being killed in the gut.

  • Processed Foods

Due to the high amounts of preservatives and additives used to ensure these foods are tasty and palatable. But it’s exactly these contributions that can alter the balance of the bacteria in the gut. If you find yourself craving these types of foods, believe it or not, this is your body telling you there is an imbalance in the bacteria in the gut. So, when you find yourself daydreaming about a juicy, greasy burger, try your best to opt for some vegetables or probiotic enriched foods, your gut will thank you for it.

  • Red Meat

It is common knowledge that eating too much red meat will interfere with the delicate flora of the gut. This is due to red meat containing a nutrient called choline, and this is responsible for producing gut bacteria. This will often lead to an overgrowth of bad bacteria causing an imbalance. 

There are some other foods and medications that can kill off the good bacteria in the gut, so always remember to keep this in mind when you are taking probiotics. Don’t forget, if you have any concerns consult with your doctor and you can also come and find one of our health experts over on Instagram.