Home | Dining | Foods to Avoid When on Antibiotics

Foods to Avoid When on Antibiotics

Share with a friend on:    
Font size: Decrease font Enlarge font
Foods to Avoid When on Antibiotics

Tis the season…there’s a lot of icky stuff that makes its rounds when the temperature drops.

And if you do get sick and have to medicate, we can’t WAIT to stop taking that medication, right? If youre taking antibiotics to treat an infection, you should stay away from foods that make it difficult for the medication to work.

I think we all know that we can’t have alcohol when on most antibiotics, but antibiotics don’t like certain foods, and staying away from these foods will help your medicine work at getting you back to health!

Here are the most important foods to avoid when taking antibiotics:

  1.  Alcohol. Youve heard this one before (and perhaps youve ignored it in the past), but its an important rule to follow: “Alcohol can affect the metabolism of antibiotics and alter the amount in your bloodstream—or make some of them inactive,” (Shilpi Agarwal, MD, a board-certified Family Medicine and Integrative and Holistic Medicine physician)
  2. Grapefruit. Like alcohol, the acidity in grapefruit and grapefruit juice can affect how antibiotics are broken down and processed in your digestive system. There are a lot of other medications that are contraindicated with grapefruit as well, so make sure you check this list if you are taking anything regularly, if you’re not sure.
  3. Too much dairy.You should avoid consuming excessive amounts of dairy products because calcium can interfere with your bodys ability to absorb the medicine properly. Taking antibiotics with a glass of milk, for example. The one exception to this rule is yogurt, which contains “good” bacteria thats beneficial for your gut when youre taking antibiotics.
  4. Spicy foods- avoid overly spicy or greasy food while on antibiotics if you can. This is just to avoid further GI complications and discomfort, since antibiotics can cause this on their own. Getting gut health back to where it needs to be to support your immune system is important.

So what should you be eating?

Eat foods that support a healthy immune system, like garlic and bright fruits and vegetables.

Garlic is a particularly potent immune supporter. One clove contains 5 mg of calcium, 12 mg of potassium, and more than 100 sulfuric compounds - this can help wipe out bacteria and infection (it was used to prevent gangrene in both world wars). Raw garlic is most beneficial for health, so heat and water dont compromise sulfur enzymes and diminish garlic's antibiotic effects.

*In clinical trials, the toxin-fighting staple seems to lower blood pressure and cholesterol and kill parasites in the body.

Here’s a recipe for a garlicy soup that will fight the icky and keep you toasty:


        26 garlic cloves (unpeeled)

        2 tablespoons olive oil

        2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter

        2 1/4 cups sliced onions

        1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme

        18 garlic cloves, peeled

        3 1/2 cups chicken stock or canned low-salt chicken broth

        1/2 cup whipping cream

        1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese (about 2 ounces)

        4 lemon wedges


Preheat oven to 350°F. Place 26 garlic cloves in small glass baking dish. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper; toss to coat. Cover baking dish tightly with foil and bake until garlic is golden brown and tender, about 45 minutes. Cool. Squeeze garlic between fingertips to release cloves. Transfer cloves to small bowl.

Melt butter in heavy large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onions and thyme and cook until onions are translucent, about 6 minutes. Add roasted garlic and 18 raw garlic cloves and cook 3 minutes. Add chicken stock; cover and simmer until garlic is very tender, about 20 minutes. Working in batches, purée soup in blender until smooth. Return soup to saucepan; add cream and bring to simmer. Season with salt and pepper. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate



Share with a friend on:    

Ann Marie Guenther

Ann Marie Guenther, owner of That Girl Organizes is known as Naperville’s most organized woman and the face of Facebook!…Read more

Traveling Murphy

Traveling Murphy started as a way for me to share all the unique restaurants and fun things to do in…Read more

Mallory Sills

Fashion Institute of Technology certified Image Consultant and Stylist, Mallory is driven to enhance confidence and celebrate women looking and…Read more

Sara Snelling from All on the Table

Sara Snelling is an innovative, forward-thinking nutritionist with a food science, food service and food safety background. While earning her…Read more
Sign up for news, deals and doings
What's going on in the Fox
Fox Valley Magazine's Current Issue