There’s nothing better than being in a good mood and feeling healthy. The good news? Eating foods with probiotics can contribute to improving your mental state and physical health.
Studies show that probiotics can improve mental outlook by influencing mood-regulating minerals such as magnesium and zinc.
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To put probiotics to the test, psychologists Laura Steenbergen and Lorenza Colzato recently conducted a study showing that probiotics reduce negative thoughts.
During a four-week period, Steenbergen and researchers gave powder mixed with probiotics to half of the participants, while the other half received a placebo powder. Those who took the probiotics showed a significant decrease in ruminative thoughts.
Colzato said in a statement: “Even if preliminary, these results provide the first evidence that the intake of probiotics may help reduce negative thoughts associated with sad mood. As such, our findings shed an interesting new light on the potential of probiotics to serve as adjuvant or preventive therapy for depression.”
Probiotics also help with irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn’s disease, inflammatory disease and asthma.
Scientists have found that Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG (LGG) is a probiotic strain that can help with intestinal problems, respiratory infections and some skin disorders.
Professor Claire M. Fraser at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and Dr. Patricia Hibberd at Massachusetts General Hospital conducted a study in which they gave 12 subjects LGG twice a day for 28 days. Fraser analyzed gut bacteria before and after the study and found that LGG increased genes that strengthen gut bacteria. These bacteria include bacteroides, eubacterium, faecalibacterium, bifidobacterium and streptococcus, which strengthen the immune system.
And there could be even more benefits: Studies show that taking lactobacillus probiotics might prevent recurrent urinary tract infections in women. However, researchers need to conduct more research on the matter.
Along with supplements, you can eat foods that contain probiotics, including fermented foods and beverages such as sauerkraut, kefir, yogurt, kombucha tea and tempeh.