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Natural Antibiotic Foods

Foods That Act As Natural Antibiotics

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Antibiotic drugs are known to kill bacteria that cause infections in the body. However, antibiotics cause a number of adverse reactions and detrimental side effects such as thrush, loss of appetite, diarrhea and nausea.

Avoiding Continuous Use of Prescription Antibiotics

Continuous use is also known to make antibiotic drugs to be ineffective. These unpleasant side effects make many doctors reluctant to prescribe an antibiotic therapy to treat infections. One should therefore opt for antibiotic treatment only if the benefits of use outweigh the risks involved.

Natural methods are safer and are recommended to fight mild infections since many bacterial infections are self limiting in healthy individuals. This is done by fast promotion of elimination of microbes that cause disease and enhancement of body resistance. Certain foods have been proven to be effective against some forms of infections.

Choosing Natural Antibiotic Foods for Support

These are fruits, fermented foods and vegetables.

High in Vitamin C

Eating fruits that contain vitamin C, also known as Ascorbic acid, is one of the four greatest ways of fighting infections. Vitamin C is water soluble making it essential in development, growth and repair of tissues. It also aids in healing of wounds. Since it acts as an antioxidant, Vitamin C blocks some damaging effects of free radicals that are part of the metabolic by-products of the body caused by exposure to harmful products. In addition, Vitamin C also increases resistance from infection by strengthening the immune system. 

Options Containing this Nutrient

Some of the fruits that have a large amount of Vitamin C include pineapples, watermelon, oranges and other citrus fruits, plums, strawberries, papayas and mangoes. Many doctors have a Vitamin C preference in their prescription because it promotes healing, strengthens resistance and repairs tissues. High fluid intake and vitamin C is recommended for those with colds, coughs and the flu. Many vegetables are also rich in Vitamin C content and can therefore act as natural antibiotic options. Such vegetables include potatoes, brussels sprouts, tomatoes, spinach, cabbages, asparagus, broccoli, cauliflower and kale. 

Fermented Foods

Fermented foods, such as yogurt, also act as natural antibiotics. These are foods that are prepared together with other microorganisms, particularly bacteria, and are often referred to as probiotics. They can be administered as antibiotic supplements so that a decrease in useful bacteria flora due to the action of antibiotics does not occur. They also re-introduce friendly microorganisms into the digestive tract, which greatly aid digestion. 


Probiotics and antibiotics differ in action. Probiotics promote the growth of friendly bacteria that are known to fight against dangerous microbes whereas antibiotics on the other hand kill the disease-causing microorganisms. Examples include yoghurt or drinks produced using health friendly bacteria species. They increase bacterial flora that are useful in the body and may have been reduced by extensive or frequent use of antibiotics. 

Nutrient Dense Natural Antibiotic Foods

It is important for one to include foods that act as natural antibiotics, such as fruits and vegetables, in every meal as prevention is better than cure. Vegetables contain more nutrients when they are eaten raw, blanched, or slightly cooked. The doctor should be the ultimate decision maker to any treatments of infections caused by bacteria. If antibiotic therapy is recommended the patient should supplement the treatment by increasing fluid intake and eating more of fruits, vegetables and probiotic foods.

Antibiotics Don’t Work Against Viruses

It’s also important to point out that natural antibiotic foods are important for dealing with bacterial infections. That said, neither drugs nor foods with this property will fight viral infections. 

Among the frightening struggles we currently face at the moment is the number of antibiotic-resistant bacteria strains that are cropping up.  Many of them have evolved due to the overuse of antibiotic medications.  All too often, these medications are prescribed for the treatment of the common cold, which is a viral infection. 

Not only will the prescription be completely ineffective in treating a cold, but it will contribute to what the World Health Organization (WHO) is calling a global health crisis. The WHO issued a report in 2019 calling for urgent action in overcoming the microbial resistance crisis. A growing number of people are dying from infections that were once easily treatable with antibiotics but that have evolved into bacterial strains that few or no known antibiotics can now kill. Moreover, this problem will only get worse. 

Though there are some strategies that only pharmaceutical companies can assist in accomplishing, doctors are being urged to stop overprescribing, particularly in cases such as the common cold, which is a virus, and individuals are being asked to stop requesting them in those cases, and to stop overusing antibiotic products such as antibacterial soaps, when regular soap is just as effective without contributing to the crisis.

Some Foods are Also More Effective Against Viruses

A recent study showed that not only are antibiotics useless against viral infections such as the common cold, but there are natural healing foods just as there are antibiotic ones.  The study showed that honey is a better treatment than antibiotics or over the counter cold medicines when it came to the common cold and cough.

This indicates that this winter as cold season hits, many people would be better off looking for honey on their store shelves than purchasing cold medications that are far more expensive and possibly less effective. The option is cheaper, more effective, and less likely to cause harm to someone suffering from a cold – particularly in the case of children.