With all this talk about how the GI tract affects the brain, what kind of healthy foods should you be on the lookout for?
Whole foods: Think about fresh fruits and vegetables. Some studies are reporting that preservatives or other food additives can worsen symptoms of depression and anxiety. If you’re buying pre-packaged meals, look for ones that are unprocessed and use healthy ingredients.
Fermented foods: The fermentation process loads the fermented food with probiotics, and this kind of bacteria is fantastic for the GI tract. Foods like kombucha or sauerkraut are a great place to start, or you can try to ferment your own foods too!
Fiber: Look for plant-based foods like whole grains, beans, and vegetables. Fiber helps the body absorb glucose (sugar from food) slower so that you don’t have to experience sugar rushes and crashes.
Antioxidants: Look for leafy greens, berries, or even foods with fatty acids in them like salmon. These foods can help fight inflammation in the body.
We’ve only discussed four different groups of foods, but there are many kinds out there that can help promote gut health. Don’t forget that a healthy gut promotes a healthy brain, so if you’re struggling with different symptoms of anxiety or depression, try switching out some foods in your diet with some from this list to improve your mental health.