Several mental health problems and psychiatric conditions, including anxiety, are found in a dysfunctional gut microbiome. Our guts influence our mood. But we’ve come a long way in searching for ways to combat mental illnesses, especially anxiety. One of the researches proved that probiotics help, and they’re not just for stomach aches and weight loss.
Certain probiotic strains appear to exert a positive influence on our mood. These strains of friendly bacteria referred to as ‘psychobiotics’ can improve your mental health by changing the mixture of bacteria in your gut.
If you are one of most Americans who experience anxiety disorders, consider probiotics for relief. You may not know it, but stress and other mental illnesses have a lot to do with what is happening in your gut. To help you search for ways to manage your anxiety, we listed some of the best probiotics that will help you calm your mind.
What are probiotics?
Probiotics are the live bacteria found in many fermented drinks or foods such as kombucha or yogurt. They are usually known as a weight-loss method and to make stomach pains go away. The most common is from the Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus groups. Consuming them in plentiful amounts provides many health benefits, like balancing the bad and good bacterial species found in the gut. Probiotics are good bacteria because they help keep our gut microbiome healthy.
Probiotics: As a boost for mental health
Several studies have shown that Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus probiotic strains can reduce anxiety, depression, OCD, and autism, boosting mood and memory. While more research is needed to confirm these correlations, the research so far is promising in linking a healthy bacterial balance with mental health.
How do probiotics help our mental health?
Many experts believe there is a strong connection between our gut, the gastrointestinal tract, and the brain. This connection is called the gut-brain axis (GBA). It links your central nervous system (your brain and spinal cord) to your gastrointestinal tract.
Experts believe microorganisms living in your gut, including probiotics, play a crucial role in the gut-brain axis by:
- Producing and expressing neurotransmitters that can affect appetite, mood, or sleep habits
- Reducing inflammation in your body, which can contribute to depression
- Affecting cognitive function and your response to stress