Probiotics and prebiotics are known for boosting gut health, but the study suggests they can do more than that. The researchers analyzed several studies that included probiotics and prebiotics therapy in anxiety and depression orders. They noticed an improvement in one or more outcomes, even in people with severe depression.
The studies also suggest that to gain consistent benefits, the therapy needs to keep going, as one of the studies showed benefits of probiotics therapy after 8 weeks, but the benefits were lost when the therapy was stopped.
The gut is often referred to as the second brain because of its importance in cognitive and emotional function. You can think of this brain as a superhighway with speeding traffic, which represents the chemical signals sent between the digestive system and the brain. The brain sends messages to the digestive system, but if you get butterflies in the stomach before a speech or you feel nauseated, it’s because of the gut-brain axis.
An example of this is serotonin, a chemical that has a wide variety of functions and is sometimes called the happy chemical because of its role in wellbeing and happiness. Some therapies depend on this connection, like a common medication type for anxiety, depression, and mood disorders is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor. By blocking the reuptake process, the levels of serotonin in the body are increased. It prevents serotonin from reabsorbing into the system very quickly.
If you increase gut-friendly foods, it will be helpful for your health, whether or not you are feeling emotionally challenged. It can help in blood sugar regulation and lowering inflammation. Fermented foods are helpful in this, including yogurt, kefir, kimchi, kombucha, and beet kvass. Foods that are rich in dietary fiber can increase the diversity of your gut bacteria. Such foods include onions, garlic, beans, and bananas.