It’s hard to deny the growing evidence: the gut and brain are connected, and we can change the brain’s behavior by changing our gut bacteria. New research has strengthened the connection between mood (and anxiety and depression in particular) and our gut bacteria; researchers not only found that stress changed gut bacteria, but that transplanting that bacteria to healthy/socially normal rats gave them the same anxious symptoms. It emphasizes the importance of nourishing healthy gut bacteria in our own bodies, for the sake of our own minds.
How do you nourish a healthy gut? Ideally, it’s a complete lifestyle, but start with one step at a time. An easy step is to add a probiotic to your diet to regularly replenish your healthy bacteria.
Probiotic rich foods like yogurt, kefir, and some refrigerated jarred foods add healthy bacteria to your diet. You can feed those good bacteria and help them proliferate with prebiotics, or foods that desirable bacteria like. Unsurprisingly, these are good for your foods like vegetables (while bad for you foods like processed sugar feed the bad bacteria—some research even suggests that craving junk food when we’re stressed may be the bad bacteria talking).
Healthy lifestyle choices like exercise, meditation, and adequate sleep help control other factors influencing your gut bacteria.
Changing gut bacteria for the better isn’t a quick fix—it can take a year for a sustained change. Boosting your efforts with a high-quality probiotic supplement like Flora MGR may help. And with how difficult a positive change is, regular support along with other conscious efforts can help maintain a healthy gut biome.