Top 12 natural antibacterial foods and herbs

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    Antibacterial foods will help prevent and naturally treat infections

    Honey is one of the most well-known antibacterial foods. (Shutterstock)

    What do you think of when you think about antibacterial items? Do you think of soap? Some harsh chemical that needs to be applied with thick gloves and a mask? Hand sanitizer?

    Well, when it comes to antibacterial foods, there is no need to be worried about what else beyond germs these items might be killing off; it’s all about how antibacterial foods benefit your overall health.

    What are antibacterial foods?

    Antibacterial foods aren’t products which you are going to use as a replacement for a kitchen or bathroom cleaner.

    These foods are natural consumables that have natural antibiotic properties, and will stimulate immune function, prevent pathogens from reproducing within the body and increase the natural resistance to infection.

    Antibacterial foods will not only help keep the body healthy through an immune system boost, they will also provide valuable nutrients important to overall health.

    When used with other healthy habits, they can help prevent infections and antibiotic-resistant bugs.

    Antibacterial foods will complement a healthy lifestyle

    Top 12 natural antibacterial foods


    Honey is one of the most well-known antibacterial foods in the world.

    Antibacterial foods will help prevent and naturally treat infections

    Raw cabbage is one of the best antibacterial foods and great to treat stomach ulcers. (Shutterstock)

    It has been used for centuries in many different cultures as a medicinal food, and according to data archived in the National Library of Medicine, this is because honey contains high sugar concentration, hydrogen peroxide, low pH, methylglyoxal and the antimicrobial peptide bee defensin-1.

    The antibacterial properties of honey are so complex, experts are looking at it as a means to combat antibiotic-resistant pathogens.


    While cooked cabbage can lose much of its nutritional value, raw cabbage and cabbage juice are both excellent when it comes to warding off illness.

    The RBCS Group indicates cabbage has been found to combat H. Pylori bacteria, which has been identified as a major cause of stomach ulcers.

    Cabbage may also be beneficial for prevention of bladder infections and obstructive jaundice.

    Fermented foods

    Fermented foods are important when it comes to antibacterial protection because they offer all the protection of regular foods (like cabbage) but with a probiotic additive.

    Probiotics are important for warding off illness because they help keep the balance of microflora in the intestinal tract.


    While it’s difficult for some people to eat a lot of horseradish, being able to stomach this spicy food will benefit your health.

    Horseradish, according to NYU Langone Medical Center, was proven back in the 1950’s to have antimicrobial properties.

    It is approved for use in Germany as a supportive therapy for certain infections such as urinary tract infections, respiratory infections and sinusitis, and i is regarded as one of the best antibacterial foods.


    A number of studies have been led on the antibacterial properties of lemons.

    Data published in the British Journal of Pharmacology and Toxicology, revealed lemons contained both coumarin and tetrazine, both compounds effective against a number of pathogens.

    Lemons, like garlic and onions, are used both internally and externally for medicinal purposes and as natural antibacterial foods.


    Pineapple is both nutritious and full of antibacterial properties.

    This tropical fruit contains bromelain, which is effective against certain infections of the throat and mouth. It has a history of use in diphtheria patients as a mouthwash to remove dead membranes from the throat.


    Antibacterial foods will help prevent and naturally treat infections

    There are antibacterial foods and antibacterial herbs. Both have potent antibiotic properties. (Shutterstock)

    Milk curd is considered one of the most potent antibacterial foods, similar to yogurt when it comes to preventing illness.

    Curd not only contains the nutritional value of milk, it also contains the bacteria used in the culturing process. This bacteria used to make milk curd destroys other pathogens and can help promote intestinal tract health.


    Turmeric is one of the antibacterial foods with solid scientific data to back up its health benefits.

    National Library of Medicine research indicates the essential oil which gives turmeric its color is what also gives it potent antibacterial properties.

    Studies have shown it to be effective against Bacillus cereus, Bacillus coagulans, Bacillus subtilis, Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa.


    Ginger is a root vegetable historically used to treat respiratory infections.

    Compounds in this plant called gingerols have been found to be effective against at least several gram-negative pathogens as well as a number of pathogens found in the mouth, according to the National Library of Medicine.


    Carrots are usually recognized for their vision benefits, but carrots also have antibacterial properties.

    This food is particularly effective against food-borne pathogens. What’s more, carrots seem to be resistant against spoilage pathogens, meaning they are also less likely to cause food poisoning.

    Onions and garlic

    Care2 indicates onions and garlic have traditionally been used both internally and externally for their antibacterial properties.

    The sulfur compounds in these plant bulbs are what gives them their potent anti-pathogen traits, and both have shown efficacy against Staph infections.

    Onions and garlic are also beneficial for their antifungal properties and the ability to combat free radicals in the body (to prevent cancer).

    Antibacterial foods will complement a healthy lifestyle


    Herbs should be in a class of their own when it comes to antibacterial foods.

    There is a long list of beneficial herbs, making these food additives not only a great way to flavor meals without adding calories but as a great way to prevent disease.

    Here is a list of herbs with antibacterial properties:

    • Thyme
    • Mints
    • Basil
    • Cinnamon sage
    • Chervil
    • Rosemary
    • Lemon balm
    • Oregano
    • Cumin tarragon
    • Cloves
    • Bay leaf
    • Chili peppers
    • Marjoram
    • Caraway seed
    • Coriander
    • Dill
    • Nutmeg
    • Cardamom
    • Pepper

    Typically, these foods and herbs also have additional medicinal benefits you can take advantage of!

    Antibacterial foods will complement a healthy lifestyle

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