A Diet Heavy in Probiotics may Alter Your Brain (for the better!)
Who feels stressed at this moment in time? Perhaps you’ve tried the standard procedures to relax - exercise, exploring your favourite hobbies, or visiting friends, but your mind still feels jumbled and distracted, leading to poor nights of sleep, and lack of sleep also contributes to stress. It may feel like an endless cycle, but scientists are studying alternative forms to help alleviate stress and alter the structure of your brain for the better!
Monika Fleshner from the University of Colorado Boulder led the research group that analysed how probiotics could help reform areas of the brain. During this study, the researchers took an in-depth look at the powerful connection between the brain and gut, and the results highlight how important it is to pay attention to what we consume.
Research shows that many avenues connect the brain to the gut, such as neurotransmitters. One type of neurotransmitter - serotonin - generates feelings of happiness in your brain, and another, gamma-aminobutyric acid, is created by your gut microbes, which deals with anxiety and worry.
The gut also helps with inflammation and works to better the immune system, but if the immune system is continuously fighting infections, you may have an increased chance of experiencing depression.
Fleshner states that “in exploring this novel potential mechanism of optimizing the gut microbial community structure and the products they release, the metabolites, we have an avenue where we can relatively simply promote our ability to resist the negative effects of stress.”
You have likely heard of the lengthy advantages of probiotics before, but probiotics reaps similar benefits. Probiotics are within fermented foods, and probiotics provides the food - both help to generate good bacteria in the gut.
The researchers tested the connection between probiotics, gut health, and the brain via rats. The rats who consumed probiotics had stunning results compared to the ones who chewed regular food. The rats who had probiotics mixed into their food showed signs of less anxiety, which resulted in more therapeutic periods of sleep, as they spent more time in the non-REM stage, which is the stage where the body most effectively restores and repairs itself.
If you are overwhelmed with some regions of your life, you can always aim to include more probiotic-rich foods into your diet, like onion, raw garlic, artichokes, these foods reportedly help to augment the good bacteria in your gut while also delivering secondary products that will positively influence your brain.
It is so important to remember that what you eat impacts your brain! Probiotics will not only improve the number of good bacteria in your gut, but they will also benefit how much sleep you are getting each night, which will help to decrease your stress levels.