The importance of probiotics is becoming more evident and the use of fermented foods is a great way to get healthy bacteria in your system. Research shows that a probiotic-rich diet has numerous health benefits, from enhancing your digestive and cardiovascular health to having a positive effect on your mood.
Unfortunately, there are many things within our daily routine or lifestyle that could be detrimental to our good gut bacterial growth. Here are some good suggestions to help improve and maintain healthy bacteria levels: Continue reading “Dinner Tonight: Sweet and Sour Tempeh Offers Benefits of Fermented Foods”
In the age of precision medicine and personalized nutrition, the microbiome steals the spotlight when it comes time to translate what we eat into our overall health. Our gut bugs, who spend most of their time in our gut flora, or digestive tract, may have more influence than our ancestors when it comes time to determine what our future holds, in terms of obesity, diabetes, and certain forms of cancer.
The good news is the right foods feed good bacteria that export pathogens or toxic intruders away from the body. Over time the right combination of foods – intact whole grains, like brown rice or oats, and fermented varieties, like sauerkraut and kimchi – can create an army of diverse, healthy gut bugs that speed up our metabolism, turn off hunger receptors, support insulin function, and strengthen our immune system. Developing research suggests these tiny gut bugs can even influence our mood. Continue reading “Precision Nutrition: 12 Foods for a Diverse Microbiome”
Can food affect mood? In a recent study, published in Psychiatry Research, a group of psychologists asked 710 college students about what they normally ate, their personalities, their exercise habits, and any social anxiety symptoms they experienced. The results showed that people who ate more fermented foods (yogurt, kimchi, sauerkraut and kefir) were less likely to experience social anxiety.
This was an observational study, which means that it is unknown if it was the probiotics in the fermented foods that caused the reduction in anxiety symptoms – however, animal studies suggest that probiotics can help stimulate the release of important mood-related neurotransmitters. Probiotic supplements have also been shown to change how we respond to stress and sadness.
This may be more proof that there is a gut-mind connection, that the health of your gut may be linked to your mental health. In 2011, a study out of McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario also found that the balance of bacteria in your gut may have more to do with your mood than any other contributing factors.
Here are some common factors affecting the bacteria balance in our gut: Continue reading “The Gut-Mind Connection: Can Food Affect Mood?”