If you’re confused by the relationship between garlic and SIBO, don’t worry– so was I for a long time!
SIBO patients are often told to avoid foods like garlic and onions as high FODMAP foods or triggers that makes your symptoms worse. Everyone is different, so some SIBO patients do completely fine with garlic, some can only tolerate a trace like garlic-infused olive oil, and some people can’t handle it at all.
However, you also may have heard that garlic is one of the most affective SIBO treatments and one of the most beneficial foods for your gut.
Both can be true!
Garlic is a powerful food that has incredible symptom-relief properties along with keeping your digestive system healthy and pathogen-free. However, it’s important to understand why garlic can help SIBO and how to use it properly.
What is SIBO?
SIBO stands for Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth, a condition that occurs when there’s an overgrowth of bacteria in your small intestine.
Normally, this part of your gut has relatively few microbes, but when there are too many bad bacteria, it can lead to symptoms like bloating, abdominal pain, diarrhea, and more. SIBO can even cause nutrient absorption issues or lead to weight gain or loss.
We all love garlic in our food. Who can resist a good piece of garlic bread slathered in marinara sauce?
My mouth is watering just thinking about it.
However, other than making our Italian food delicious, garlic is known for its potential health benefits.
Garlic is rich in various bioactive compounds. One of these is called allicin. Allicin is responsible for garlic’s characteristic odor and is known for its antimicrobial properties. It’s also one of the best ways to help treat SIBO symptoms and works as a natural antibiotic to get rid of pathogenic bacteria.
How Garlic Treats SIBO
- Antimicrobial Effects: Allicin has demonstrated antibacterial and antifungal properties. By taking allicin, you help reduce the bacterial load in your small intestine and, once your SIBO is treated, you can use allicin to keep an overgrowth from occurring again.
- Gut Microbiome Modulation: Your gut is home to trillions of microbes that play a crucial role in your digestive health. Garlic contains prebiotic compounds, such as inulin and fructooligosaccharides (FOS), that can nourish beneficial gut bacteria. This supports your gut microbiome and also gives probiotics something to eat– making sure that you are keeping your gut full of “good” bacteria and keeping away the bad.
How to Eat Garlic for SIBO
If you know you can’t eating tolerate garlic as a SIBO patient (most can’t!) go ahead and skip to the next section.
To use garlic to help with your SIBO, you need to make sure you are getting allicin.
You can’t get allicin simply from eating garlic. Allicin isn’t present in whole garlic cloves; it forms when fresh garlic is chopped or crushed. Allicin also is heat-sensitive, so cooking garlic destroys allicin and ruins the garlic’s antibacterial and antifungal properties.
If you CAN tolerate garlic, to use garlic as a SIBO treatment method, you need to crush or chop fresh garlic. Here are a few ideas for incorporating fresh garlic into your diet:
- Make a shot: blend fresh garlic with other antibacterial ingredients like raw honey, lemon juice, turmeric powder, black pepper, and ginger to create a gut-healthy, immune-boosting shot.
- Salad dressing: blend fresh garlic with ingredients like olive oil, balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, yogurt, seasonings, or anything else you’d like to create a salad or bowl dressing loaded with nutrients.
- Fresh pesto: blend fresh garlic with ingredients like basil, spinach, avocado, nuts, and olive oil to create a healthy fresh pesto sauce to top pasta. Note: don’t cook the pesto with your pasta– add it on top to make sure the allicin isn’t ruined by the heat.
- Garlic toast: finely chop or blend fresh garlic and add it to butter to spread on top of toasted multigrain or sourdough brain.
There are many ways to incorporate fresh garlic into your diet– a healthy serving of garlic per day is 1-3 cloves.
If you can’t eat garlic…
As many of us may know, garlic can worsen SIBO symptoms because of its ability to ferment in the small intestine, providing a food source for bacteria. Eating fresh garlic in the recipes above may be a recipe for disaster for your symptoms and your body.
Even if you aren’t able to eat fresh garlic due to worsened SIBO symptoms, you can still capitalize on the benefits of allicin’s antifungal and antibacterial properties to treat your SIBO.
How? By taking supplements containing allicin, the component in garlic that helps with symptoms and eradicating bacteria.
British scientists developed a process through which naturally occurring Allicin is extracted, stabilized, and concentrated– in other words, you can get all of the health benefits of allicin in garlic without actually eating it (plus, you won’t need to deal with garlic smell on your hands or breath).
We love AlliMax products — nutraceuticals with a guaranteed 100% of pure, stabilized Allicin extract.
To save 20% on AlliMax, use our link.
To learn more about using garlic and other symptom management and treatments for SIBO, you’re in the right place!
SIBO SOS® specializes in SIBO treatments, effective diets, the best supplements, and all of the information you need to treat and beat SIBO. We also have a comprehensive course to treat SIBO called The SIBO Recovery Roadmap®, which follows the nine-step proven method to beating SIBO used by SIBO specialist and practitioner Dr. Allison Siebecker.
SIBO SOS® has the easiest, most comprehensive, and supportive resources for treating SIBO- and we have thousands of happy patients that have successfully used our courses, masterclasses, summits, ebooks, and articles to BE WELL!