Look After the Microbes in Your Body

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Microbes in Your Body

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.

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