|Antibacterial Foods and Herbs
Maintaining a balance of good bacteria in the body promotes
wellbeing. Although antibiotics are often prescribed to help fight
bacterial infections, antibiotics can wipe out all bacteria—including
the good kind that helps keep our immune systems strong. Antibacterial
foods and herbs can help restore and maintain that balance of good
bacteria that keeps us healthy.
Support your immune system with foods that have natural antibiotic powers. Just check out these antibacterial foods and herbs:
When cut, garlic releases a sulfur compound called allicin that has natural antibiotic properties.
antibacterial properties make it useful for treating and preventing
colds, athlete’s foot and other infectious problems. Scientists
attribute garlic’s powers to a sulfur compound called allicin,
which it releases when cut or crushed. Because cooking changes and
deteriorates this compound, eating raw garlic is the best way to derive
the healing qualities from this antibacterial food.
has long been used as an antibacterial salve, useful for treating cuts
and wounds. Researchers at the Academic Medical Center in Amsterdam
recently discovered that bees add a protein to honey from their immune systems that gives honey its antibacterial quality. Honey also produces an enzyme that in turn produces hydrogen peroxide, which prohibits the growth of bacteria.
Cranberries: Cranberries are well-known for their ability to help prevent and treat bladder infections,
in part because of their antibacterial properties. Cranberries prevent
bacteria from latching onto the walls of the bladder and urinary tract
by altering bacteria
such as E. coli—responsible for illnesses such as kidney infections and
the flu—to prevent them from forming the biofilm necessary for an
infection to develop.
Basil’s volatile oils lend it natural antibiotic qualities.
essential oils contain a wealth of antibiotic molecules, making this
antibacterial food useful for treating topical cuts and wounds. Turmeric
is also often taken in Ayurvedic medicine to prevent and treat colds
and other internal infections. Cooking can destroy the fragile
antibacterial molecules in turmeric, so to retain its health benefits,
try these recipes.
Oregano: Essential oils in oregano lend this
herb antibacterial powers that have been shown to inhibit even
salmonella and E. coli bacteria. Oregano oil is also useful at boosting immunity
and preventing and treating common colds. Because oregano’s
antibacterial powers are found in its oil, an oregano oil supplement is
better for health than dried oregano leaves.
is commonly used in toothpaste, mouthwash and other oral hygeiene
products—and for good reason, too. Peppermint oil has antibacterial
powers that help to kill bad breath-causing bacteria in the mouth. A
2006 study found that peppermint oil was effective against 22 different strains of bacteria.
Basil: Thanks to its volatile oils, this flavorful antibacterial herb can inhibit bacteria growth. Studies have shown that basil can restrict the growth of E. coli, Listeria monocytogenes and Staphylococcus bacteria, as well as inhibit growth in strains of bacteria that have become resistant to antibiotics.
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