Protect Your Body’s Microbes
- Take antibiotics exactly as prescribed. Antibiotics are life-saving medicines. But they can also disrupt the healthy balance of microbes in your body.
- Eat a diet high in fiber. Fiber is found in plants, including fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
- Limit foods that can hurt your gut microbes. These include sugar and fatty or highly processed foods.
- Wash your hands when preparing food, before eating, or after handling pets or garbage. Learn more about handwashing.
- Use hand sanitizer when you can’t use soap and water. Be sure it contains at least 60% alcohol. But washing with soap and water cleans more effectively.
- Avoid antibacterial soaps and other products. These have little or no health benefit. But they can harm the protective microbes on your skin.
- Be wary of “probiotics.” These products can be food or supplements. They may claim to restore a healthy microbe mix, but many have not been properly studied. Learn more about probiotics.