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Research: An Unhealthy Tummy Can Cause Depression, Eating Kimchi & Yogurt May Help

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Research: Unhealthy Gut Can Cause Anxiety & Depression, Yogurt And Kimchi May Help - WORLD OF BUZZ
Source: Health Line / The Kitchn
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We would often think that stress, depression and anxiety mainly originate from being overwhelmed with work or life, but did you know you that the well-being of your gut can also affect your mental health as well as your digestive system?

According to CNA Lifestyle, recent research shows that there’s a connection between the brain and the digestive system. This is because apart from the brain, the gut is the only place with a lot of neurons – 500 million neurons to be exact. These neurons are connected to the brain through the human nervous system, as according to Professor Ruairi Robertson.

Dr Melvin Look, the director of PanAsia said that this “second brain”, better known as enteric nervous system (ENS), consists of “a network of two thin layers” in which there are more than 100 million nerve cells that line the “gastrointestinal tract from (the) oesophagus to the rectum”.

He was quoted as saying,

“It is only recently that we are beginning to understand how the ENS mediates multiple signals to the brain from the gut and even the intestinal microbiota.”

Not to be confused with our actual brain as the gut cannot do what a normal brain can do, but it “communicates back and forth with our big brain – with profound results”. The director of the Johns Hopkins Centre for Neurogastroenterology, Dr Jay Pasricha said,

“For decades, researchers and doctors thought that anxiety and depression contributed to these problems. But our studies and others show that it may also be the other way around.”

Therefore, Dr Look said that bad gut health can actually affect our mental state and health because of the “gut-brain connection”. He elaborated,

“It can trigger or exacerbate anxiety and depression. It can also affect other psychiatric and neurologic disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, autism spectrum disorders and schizophrenia.”

Source: Health Line

Thus, putting the new findings into consideration, this is why people with IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) and functional bowel problems often develop depression and anxiety.

So, the million-dollar question is how to keep your gut happy?

Prof Robertson said that some foods (specific strains of bacteria) can help change our mood and health. He shared,

“We’ve shown that by feeding specific strains of bacteria, it can enhance memory, stress behaviour and stress hormone levels in animals.”

So, they identified that food that can act as probiotics – like yoghurt, kimchi, natto and sauerkraut – are the ones that can help the growth of good bacteria in our intestines, and are the best kind to keep our gut happy.

Several other foods that are beneficial for the “gut-brain link” and help existing healthy bacteria grow are as mentioned below:

  • omega-3 fats (from fishes like sardines and oysters)
  • high-fibre whole grains, nuts, fruits and vegetables
  • Plant-based food (like cocoa, green tea, coffee and olive oil which have polyphenols) They can improve cognition too!

Nevertheless, keeping our stress levels and emotions in check is as equally important as eating good food. Take note, guys! 

Well, this research definitely gives a new meaning to the saying “gut feeling”. What do you think about this research? Let us know in the comments below! 

 

Also read: Study: Eating A Lot of Fresh & Dried Chillies is Linked to Memory Loss

New Study Shows That Eating A Lot of Fresh & Dried Chillies Is Linked To Memory Loss - WORLD OF BUZZ

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