Can Probiotic Foods Make You Happier?
Emerald Catron | My Body
Feeling blue? Maybe some yogurt would help! A new study shows a link between taking probiotics and holding on to recurring bad feelings less, which means feeling happier could be just a few weeks (and a diet change) away!
Researchers found that after just four weeks, subjects who had been taking probiotics daily were less likely to dwell on negative thoughts and experiences. This is a big deal because rumination like this is a predictive marker of depression and often precedes bouts of depression as well.
Probiotics do come as capsules, but is there a way to make your diet rich in probiotics? Try adding these in moderation:
- Yogurt is probably the first food that springs to mind when you’re thinking of probiotics, but be sure to get yogurt that has active live cultures, preferably one that’s unsweetened as well, since too much sugar has been linked to depression.
- Kefir is another probiotic-rich dairy product. It’s a fermented dairy beverage that is comparable in flavor to tangy, drinkable yogurt – perfect for smoothies and easy to make at home.
- Raw Sauerkraut is a delicious way to add crunch to salads and probiotics to your diet. Look for it in the refrigerator case at health food stores or supermarkets. Sometimes you can find it at farmer’s markets, too.
- Kimchi is a staple of the Korean diet, and you’ll love it if the idea of spicy cabbage sounds good to you. It’s loaded with chiles, garlic, and ginger. If you’re vegetarian, check the label to make sure your kimchi doesn’t contain fish or dried shrimp.
- Miso is another surprising source of probiotics when you buy it fresh and a great way to make a humble cup of soup on the go. Be sure to add the miso to your water or dashi after you take it off the stove so the high temperature doesn’t harm the probiotics.
It’s generally thought that fermented foods are a better source of probiotics than supplements, but if these things aren’t for you, do research to make sure the pills you’re taking best suit your needs. For example, L. salivarius is good for immune health; B. longum is good for detoxification, and B. infantis can relieve bloating.
It only took four weeks for participants in the study to see an improvement in dwelling on negative feelings, so, it’s possible you could see a boost in your general well-being after four weeks, too. All it takes is adding a little probiotic zip to your diet!