But it also goes further than that, as scientists now believe that an unhealthy gut and a poor diet may cause depression and anxiety disorders. In several studies, there was a marked improvement of anxiety and depressive symptoms after patients were administered probiotic supplements.
Even if you don’t suffer from anxiety or depression, you can make use of the gut and brain connection, as a 2016 review article suggests that fermented foods (i.e. foods rich in probiotics) can increase a person’s cognitive abilities and mood.
On more about the correlation of mental health and gut health, follow the link to our article called How Your Gut Affects Your Mind.
It is no secret that eating too much will upset your digestive system and make you gain weight, but there is another way in which a bad diet can make you overweight.
In a recent review study, the authors sum up that our friend from the previous section, the gut-brain, can sometimes trick our brains into thinking they are hungry. The gut-brain communicates with a gland that is situated in the brain called the pituitary gland that is responsible for producing hormones regulating your appetite, among other things.
Usually, all is well and your pituitary gland will produce just enough hormones for you to feel satiated after a meal. But when something goes awry with your tummy, the pituitary gland will not do its job properly and you’ll feel hungry all the time, which can lead to obesity.
To prevent this mismatch from happening and to heal your gut, it is necessary to consume foods rich with probiotics, which can be found in fermented foods, such as yogurts, pickles, and kimchi. If you’d like to learn about more foods that contain probiotics, follow the link 7 Probiotics that Boost Your Health.
Did you know that more than 75% of your immune cells live in your digestive system? So, it comes as no surprise that the foods you eat will affect your body’s ability to fight off all kinds of germs. Together with your gut bacteria, immune cells help your body resist infections in all of your body, and not only in the digestive system.
An example of this can be observed if we consider allergies. It is now widely believed that a lack of beneficial gut bacteria can make your immune cells unable to distinguish between good and bad bacteria. When that happens, your immune system will activate to harmless compounds and you will experience an allergic reaction.
In fact, several studies suggest that allergic symptoms can be greatly improved by promoting gut health, such as this clinical trial, in which seasonal allergy sufferers were given probiotic supplements for 8 weeks, which significantly reduced their allergy symptoms.
So, to promote the diversity of beneficial gut bacteria and improve your gut health you will need to have a diet rich in a variety of different foods, including but not limited to nuts and seeds, foods rich in fiber, probiotic-rich foods, and whole grains. For more foods that will benefit your digestive health, look through our article about 11 Foods Good For the Gut.