The idea thatbacteria can generate all kinds of benefits on our healthis part of popular knowledge. We estimate that more than 48 billion of these microorganisms live in our bodies, playing a fundamental role in all kinds of physical processes, such as digestion.
However, did you know that bacteriacan also cause significant changes in our mood ? The latest research suggests that intestinal flora influences how our brain works. That's why we started talking about psychobiotics recently. In other words, substances thatpromote the growth of beneficial bacteria for our mind. We will tell you in this article what we know about them.
The discovery of psychobiotics
Empirical support for the idea that some bacteria in our body can positively influence our brain is recent. Ted Dinan, professor of psychiatry at the University of Cork (Ireland), used the term for the first time in 2013. Several experiments conducted by this researcher showed thatfermented milk products can alter behavior in animals.
The results suggested that yogurt consumption was able to change the functioning of certain parts of the brain related to emotional control. These investigationspaved the way for new studies on the relationship between the gut and the mind.
For example, it has been discovered that certain types of intestinal bacteria (such asLactobacillus, present in dairy products) are capable of modulating the production of certain neurotransmitters. Some of them, such as serotonin or GABA,are directly related to our mood. In addition, they also intervene in the onset of mental disorders, such as depression or anxiety.
On the basis of these data,studies have been conducted to study which types of bacteria have a more positive impact on our brain.Scientists are also trying to discover which probiotics we can consume in order to better regulate their development.
What are the most effective psychobiotics?
Although there are hundreds of substances that we can take to improve our intestinal flora, research has shown thatnot all are as effective as psychobiotics. On the contrary, some have proven to be much more effective at improving the functioning of our brain, as well as our mood.
Some of the psychobiotics helping our mind the most are:
- Bananas and apples.
- Fermented foods
Despite being a relatively unknown food, this psychobiotic has gained popularity in recent years. This is a kind of yogurt of Bulgarian origin, which is produced by the action ofa set of yeasts and bacteria very beneficial to our health.
The main difference from this type of dairy products with conventional yogurt is that there is a bacterium known asLactobacillus kefiranofaciens among its components. One of its most positive effects is the increase in serotonin and tryptophan levels,two of the neurotransmitters that most influence our emotional well-being.
2- Bananas and apples
We all know the benefits of fruits and vegetables on our physical health. However, a team of microbiologists from Yale University in the United States recently discovered another benefit of these foods. Indeed,certain types of vegetables can improve the health of certain bacteria essential to our emotional well-being.
Two of the most beneficial fruits in this regard are bananas and apples. Their consumptioncan improve levels of acid-lactic acid bacteria (LAB) while we thought until now that they could only be found in milk. Again, these microorganisms play a fundamental role in the release of certain neurotransmitters that fight against anxiety and depression.
3- Fermented foods
Finally, one of the classic remedies for digestive problems is the consumption of fermented foods. Despite the fact that they are not very popular in our country, the consumption of sauerkraut, kombucha or vinegar is a common practice in other places forimprove the health of our intestinal flora.
It has also been discovered recently thatthese foods also play a very important role in our mood. These probiotics have several functions such as regulating the absorption of nutrients and the release of serotonin. They can therefore be one of our best allies in the fight to optimize our well-being.
Although we tend to see the mind and body as two separate elements, the two are actually interrelated. Use power supplyprobiotic ents can be one of the best ways to have a more positive moodand to make the functioning of our brain more agile.