Psychobiotics are a relatively new area of research in the world of mental health, but they are quickly gaining recognition as a crucial part of overall health and wellness. In this article, we will explore the connection between the gut and mental health, the role of psychobiotics in promoting mental well-being, and how you can incorporate these beneficial bacteria into your daily routine.
What are psychobiotics?
Psychobiotics are live bacteria that have a positive impact on mental health. These bacteria can be found in your gut and in certain foods, such as fermented products like yoghurt and sauerkraut, but also in high quantities in probiotic products, such as dietary supplements and foods for special medical purposes. They work by regulating the gut-brain axis, a communication pathway between the gut and the brain, to promote feelings of happiness, calmness, and overall well-being.
What is the Gut-Brain Axis?
The gut-brain axis is a complex network of nerves, hormones, and signalling molecules that connects the digestive system to the central nervous system. The bacteria in our gut play a key role in this communication pathway, as they produce and respond to various signalling molecules that affect the brain. This means that the state of our gut microbiome can have a significant impact on our mental health.
There are many different strains of psychobiotic bacteria, each with its own specific benefits. Some of the most studied strains belong to the species Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium. Choosing a high-quality psychobiotic supplement that contains a blend of beneficial strains is important to ensure optimal results.
It’s important to remember that not all probiotic supplements are created equally. Look for a product that contains a diverse range of psychobiotic strains, and make sure it has been tested for quality and purity. When choosing a psychobiotic supplement, it is important to consider the form. Powdered psychobiotics are considered the best option as the bacteria can be activated outside the body in a neutral medium to ensure better survival down the gastric passage and colonisation in the intestine Additionally, powder-form probiotics supplements are easy to incorporate into a daily routine, and can be added to smoothies, porridge, soups, or other foods.
What are the benefits of psychobiotics?
Studies have shown that incorporating psychobiotics into your daily routine can have a range of benefits for mental health, including:
Our Top Tips for Improving Mental Health
- Exercise regularly: Exercise has been shown to be one of the most effective ways to improve mental health. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate exercises, such as brisk walking, most days of the week.
- Get enough sleep: Lack of sleep can have a significant impact on mental health. Aim to get a least 7 hours of quality sleep each night.
- Eat a balanced diet: A diet rich in fresh, unprocessed foods can help improve mental health. Consider incorporating more fruits, vegetables, and fermented foods into your diet.
- Connect with others: Spending time with friends and family, or engaging in community activities, can help improve mental health and boost mood.
- Take a psychobiotic supplement: By incorporating these beneficial bacteria into your daily routine, you can support your gut-brain axis and improve your overall mental health and well-being.