Gut Feelings: Improve Your Mood With These 5 Probiotic Foods


It’s not new news that a happy, healthy digestive system is a key component to robust immunity, but did you know it can also influence our adaptation to stress? Probiotic foods not only strengthen our immune system’s ability to respond stronger and more quickly, there is also more research showing that our GI content and complexity can have an impact on anxiety and stress responses. It can even affect the tendency toward despair or anhedonia (Seasonal Affected Disorder anyone?).

Adding some naturally fermented or cultured food to our diet can help to minimize anxiety related gut inflammation and even gut permeability, also known as "leaky gut syndrome” a condition that has been linked with depression. Probiotic fortified chow can increase the absorption of Omega-3 fatty acids which play a critical role in the communication between nerve cells and has been linked to a more positive mental outlook.

Simply put, a mood healthy diet is one that is rich in probiotics. In favour of more smiles and amped up energy for all the good things the new year has to offer, here’s a round-up of some of the top probiotic foods we should be rotating through for optimal health and a better mood.

Kombucha
This naturally effervescent drink is a great way to start the day. It’s a sweet-tart cider like cocktail with good bacteria, antioxidants and B vitamins.

Kefir
Traditionally a dairy based fermented beverage. You might try adding a little to your next smoothie for its richer source of probiotics than yogurt alone.

Cultured Veggies
Fermenting veggies like cabbage, beets, and carrots creates beneficial enzymes, lactic acid producing bacteria that help to create an ideal environment for the growth of healthy gut flora. Try adding some sauerkraut or kimchi on the side of your next Grindz lunch or dinner order.

Tempeh
Highly nutritious and easy to digest because of the fermentation process, this is another great way to get some multipurpose protein on your plate. Dense and chewy it makes for a great meat stand in.

Raw apple cider vinegar
This one is easy to add into your day. A teaspoon in 8 oz of water for sipping or simply add it to your salad dressing in place of regular vinegar. We snuck some of that goodness into the coleslaw of our Wholly Veggies Burger.

Bonus! Raw Dark Chocolate
Ok so it’s not a probiotic on its own, BUT here’s the good news, it’s a great carrier of healthy bacteria. Chocolate helps good bacteria survive the extreme pHs of the digestive tract, so we’re adding it to the list.