Feeling anxious? Mind your gut health.
Yes, “the knee bone’s connected to the thigh bone,” and so on. But did you know that your gut is connected to your mental health? That link may never make it to the preschool songbook, but the relationship between the makeup of bacteria in the intestinal tract, known as the microbiome, and health are the subject of fascinating research. In a recent review of studies, researchers found that regulating bacteria in the gut may ease anxiety. If that sounds farfetched, consider that the gut houses the enteric nervous system (ENS), a collection of more than 100 million neurons that’s often called the second brain. The ENS communicates back and forth with the primary brain (the one in your head!), and this communication not only controls digestion but is also thought to influence emotions and thinking. We know that a plant-oriented, whole-foods diet with lots of fiber can help to support a healthy balance of bacteria in the gut—and that eating lots of processed food, sugar, and meat (the usual suspects!) can have the opposite effect. Including probiotic-rich foods that contain good bacteria, like yogurt and sauerkraut, may help, too. If you struggle with anxiety or other mental-health conditions, follow a microbiome-friendly diet along with your treatment, and talk with your health-care provider about whether a probiotic supplement may be worth a try.
Source: Anxiety might be alleviated by regulating gut bacteria
128 days 3 hours 32 min ago