The Gut-Mind Connection: Can Food Affect Mood?

yogurtCan 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?”

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