Healthy Gut, Healthy Mind: How Probiotics and Prebiotics Can Benefit Your Mental Health
The saying "you are what you eat" may hold more truth than previously thought. It turns out that the health of our gut is closely linked to the health of our brain, so prioritising your gut health can have significant benefits for your mental health.
In this article, we'll dive into the intricate relationship between your gut and brain, and uncover the power of probiotics and prebiotics in supporting gut health.
Your Gut Talks To Your Brain
Your gut and brain are intimately connected through a complex system called the gut-brain axis. And your gut contains trillions of microorganisms, collectively known as the gut microbiome. These microorganisms communicate with your brain and play a crucial role in regulating your emotions and mood.
A healthy gut microbiome can produce and regulate neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine, responsible for feelings of happiness and well-being. These mood-regulating neurotransmitters travel freely between the brain and gut, influencing both environments. Research has found that a healthy gut can optimally produce happy hormones and positively impact our brain and mood. On the other hand, an unhealthy gut environment may produce low levels of mood-elevating neurotransmitters, negatively impacting our mood. As you can probably tell, the gut and brain are in constant connection!
The Role Of Probiotics And Prebiotics On Mood
The gut-brain axis highlights the key role of nutrition in maintaining optimal mental health. A healthy diet not only supports a balanced gut microbiome, but also enhances the gut-brain axis. And this can help promote better cognitive function and reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety.
When it comes to nourishing the gut, probiotics and prebiotics are particularly beneficial. Research has also shown that these beneficial bacteria can help to reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety, as well as improve overall mood.
Getting Enough Probiotics In Your Diet
Probiotics are tiny living microorganisms that can be found in fermented foods like yoghurt, kefir, and sauerkraut, as well as in probiotic supplements. When you consume probiotics, they make their way to your gut, where they help to balance the microbiome by crowding out harmful bacteria and promoting the growth of beneficial ones.
Research suggests that probiotics may help reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression, and even improve cognitive function. Probiotics are thought to boost mental health by increasing the production of important neurotransmitters like serotonin, dopamine, and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). These neurotransmitters are key players in controlling mood, emotions, and cognitive function. So, by taking probiotics, you're essentially giving your body a helping hand to keep you feeling good and functioning at your best.
Are you looking for ways to boost your gut health with probiotics? You can find these beneficial bacteria in various food products, like yoghurt, kimchi, and sauerkraut. But, if these foods are not a regular part of your diet, or if you have specific health concerns, you could always consider taking a probiotic supplement.
Here at Nutravita, we offer a range of probiotic supplements that can help improve the balance of your gut microbiome. A good starting point would be our 40 Billion CFU 15 Strain Bio Complex Cultures as they offer a comprehensive range of probiotics to help you get started on your gut health journey.
Our 15 Strain Complex capsules are filled with the highest quality viable bacteria at 40 Billion CFU per serving, specially formulated to aid with common digestive health issues. Containing 15 different strains of bacteria including the effective Lactobacillus Acidophilus.
Don’t Forget Your Prebiotics!
Incorporating prebiotics into your diet is another way to promote gut health. Prebiotics are a type of fibre that cannot be digested by the body, but instead provide nourishment for the good bacteria in the gut, helping them to thrive. Natural sources of prebiotics include onions, garlic, asparagus, artichoke, chicory, and bananas, or you can take them as a supplement.
Adding Fibre Complex to your diet is a great way to increase your prebiotic intake. Our formula contains prebiotic ingredients like psyllium husk and inulin, which deliver a powerful combination of soluble and insoluble fibre to support a healthy gut. With each 5g serving, it's an easy and convenient way to add more fibre to your diet and keep your insides happy and healthy.
As well as adding probiotics and prebiotics into your diet, there are other ways to take care of your gut and promote a healthy microbiome. Try these simple tips today:
Eat a diverse range of plant-based foods: Different types of plants contain different types of fibres and nutrients that feed different types of gut bacteria. Eating a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and seeds can help promote a diverse and healthy gut microbiome.
Reduce your intake of processed and sugary foods: Processed and sugary foods have been linked to negative effects on gut health and the microbiome. Reducing the consumption of these types of foods can help maintain a healthy balance of gut bacteria.
Stay hydrated: Drinking enough water helps keep the digestive system working properly and supports the growth of beneficial gut bacteria. Aim to drink at least 8 glasses of water per day.
Manage stress: Chronic stress can have negative effects on gut health and the microbiome. Engaging in stress-reducing activities such as meditation, yoga, or exercise can help support a healthy gut.
Get enough sleep: Poor sleep has been linked to negative effects on gut health and the microbiome. Aim to get at least 7-8 hours of sleep per night to support a healthy gut.
Riya Lakhani ANutr is a registered nutritionist and health writer with a special interest in plant-based nutrition. She has completed a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Human Nutrition, and has developed a passion for writing about all things plant-based.