Prebiotics Can Make You Happier and Less Stressed
If you’re not familiar with the term, prebiotics are the foods that feed the bacteria (and other microorganisms) in your gut.
Prebiotics can be in the forms of foods (mostly foods with fiber and resistant starch like fruits & veggies), or you can supplement with something like raw potato starch, which serves as a prebiotic. It’s important to note that we don’t just need one type of prebiotic. Because we have so many different types of bacteria in our bodies, we need different types of prebiotics to feed them.
As you can imagine, prebiotics are crucial for maintaining healthy gut bacteria, which are, in turn, crucial for various aspects of our health. One study recently examined a very interesting avenue in this regard:
In the study, volunteers were asked to take 1 of 2 prebiotic supplements – half were given a placebo, a quarter were given one prebiotic, and a quarter were given a different prebiotic.
Several studies had already found that prebiotics have significant neurological effects on rats, so the researchers were eager to prove whether or not the same is true for humans.
What they found is that one of the prebiotics (but not the other) had relatively significant effects on the volunteers. First of all, the volunteers who took the prebiotic were less stressed in the morning (measured by salivary cortisol response). Those same volunteers were also less likely to pay attention to negative information, meaning that they maintained a more positive and happier outlook during the day.
It’s not really a surprise, since we already know just how important our gut bacteria is. Still, it’s yet another reason to work more prebiotics into your diet and daily routine.