Last night I watched “The Truth About Your Mental Health” on BBC1.
In a nutshell, Clinical psychologist Professor Tanya Byron teamed up with former England footballer Alex Scott, who has suffered from depression, to explore ways in which we can improve our mental health.
Amongst some of the tried and tested methods were…
- Sleep hygiene
- Connecting to our heart
- Exercising whilst using our brain
- Taking probiotics (the study of Psychobiotics)
Naturally, I saw gut health and probiotics and became interested...
Now – it was 9pm on a Wednesday night which if I’m honest, is far passed my lockdown bed time. But the blue-light blocking glasses were on, the chamomile tea was brewed, and for the next hour I watched on in glee to hear the findings.
Kombucha being a source of natural probiotics and beneficial bacteria, I’ve long felt better from drinking kombucha and can’t help that this ‘happy feeling’ is connected to better mental health, or at least a positive outlook on life.
SO - can probiotics contribute to better mental health?
According to Professor Phil Burnet: “there are more microbes in the gut than there are stars in the milky way”. Wow – that’s a sound bite and a half, if ever I’ve heard one.
"Gut bacteria produce nutrients and neurotransmitters which are chemicals that convey messages to our brain."
So, your gut bacteria therefore influences brains function. Without getting too technical, Professor Phil goes on to explain that the vagus nerve connects the brain and the gut, and they have a two way relationship of communicating to each other, in particular, how emotions are controlled.
After participants spent only a month including probiotics in their diet, 50% of them recorded improved levels of concentration and a decrease in cortisol in the body.
Which essentially means we'll have less anxiety and less stress.
Now, call me bias because I’m a kombucha drinker – but this was music to my ears after drinking kombucha religiously for over 5 years now.
The take away? Microbes are your best friend. If we can involve more probiotic food and drink (like Fix8) in our diet, we might just feel more sunny, less anxious and stressed, starting from our insides out.