Your gut bacteria is crucial to your overall health and can affect both your body and brain. If you told someone few years ago that what’s in your gut could influence your brain or even result in depression, you’d be laughed at. The idea that the bacteria that live in your gastrointestinal tract plays an important role in the health of your brain is now a major focus of research and interest.
Here are a few nutritional & lifestyle changes you can make to promote a healthy gut and reduce depression :
- Eat Probiotic & Prebiotic Food – Probiotic foods contain live bacteria whereas prebiotic food contains ingredients like certain types of fibre that nature the growth of bacteria. Prebiotic foods do not contain live ingredients, but they contribute to the health of your gut promoting the growth and activity of friendly bacteria.
- Take a Probiotic Supplement – We can get probiotics from our food, but sometimes either we forget to eat foods with probiotics in them, or we just aren’t getting enough. That’s why taking a probiotic supplement can be so beneficial to maintaining our gut health. A supplement can provide you with the extra assurance that you are actually getting the nutrients you need every single day.
- Consume Plenty of Plants & Dietary Fibre – The food that you eat provides your body with the nutrients that help either “good” or “bad” bacteria thrive. A diet consisting of a wide variety of whole foods such as vegetables, fruit, and whole grains can lead to a more diverse gut flora. Eating a duet rich in plants and dietary fibre fuels your body with natural products, encouraging a healthy and balanced gut.
- Get Consistent Sleep – You probably already know that getting consistent, good quality sleep is vital to your overall well being. Disrupting your body clock through shift work or eating late at night may have harmful effects on your gut bacteria. In one study, just two days of sleep deprivation caused subtle changes to the gut bacteria.
- Lower Your Stress Levels – High stress levels can lead to harmful effects on the mind and body. Within the gut, stress can increase sensitivity, reduce blood flow, and alter that gut bacteria. One way to lower your stress levels is to incorporate meditation into your routine. Meditation can help stabilise your mood and reduce inflammation.
Food for thought? Let me know what you think?