Many scientific studies have cited the importance of probiotics for depression. Probiotics, live microorganisms that benefit their host when dispensed in a proper amount, balance mood and reduce anxiety. These beneficial bacteria are located in the digestive system and are necessary to protect us from disease. Along with an adequate amount of vitamins, minerals and amino acids from food, good gut microbes contribute to better physical and mental health.
The term “gut bacteria” may seem a little odd, but it's actually quite important in the field of depression research. Your digestive system contains millions or billions of bacteria. (The number depends on which expert or researcher you're using as a source.) Depending on your diet, those bacteria may be mostly good or mostly bad. Research shows good bacteria travels to the brain through the vagus nerve, where they may spur the production of the good mood neurochemicals GABA, serotonin, and dopamine.
Yogurt, sauerkraut, sourdough bread and several other foods contain probiotics for depression, and should be included in your diet to enhance your mood and ensure digestive system health.
Probiotics for Depression – The Evidence
Research conducted at Lieden University in the Netherlands indicated that subjects who were given probiotic supplements experienced fewer negative or aggressive thoughts than subjects who received a placebo. The study involved 40 healthy adults with no mood problems, and the supplement contained Bifidobacterium, Lactobacillus, and Lactococcus bacteria. These bacteria have been proven to boost mood, and improve irritable bowel syndrome, diabetes and other health problems.
Extensive research on probiotics for depression was highlighted in the Atlantia Food Clinical Trials white paper (University College Cork, Ireland) titled “Probiotics for Mental Health and Well-Being.” It identified bacteria strains that produce mood-controlling neurotransmitters. They include Lactobacillus brevis and Bifidobacteria dentium for GABA production and Bifidobacterium infantis 35624 for serotonin production.
Probiotics for Depression – Can You Eat Your Way to Happiness?
Probiotics are found in several foods. Although you can substitute probiotic supplements for fresh foods, you'll get more good bacteria benefits from fermented foods than supplements. Probiotic foods, such as yogurt, contain calcium, Vitamin C and other nutrients to build a stronger body and fight off depression. Sourdough bread, the Korean deli favorite kimchi, sour pickles, sauerkraut, miso soup, soft cheeses and tempeh, a fermented grain made from soybeans offer mood-improving bacteria. If you're new to probiotics for depression, chances are you'll want to add yogurt to your diet first, since it's the best known and most readily available probiotic food. You may need to go to a health food store or Asian foods store to find some of the other probiotics, including miso soup, kefir, kimchi and kombucha.
Don't grab any yogurt off the supermarket shelf when you go shopping for probiotics. Yogurts labeled as containing live or active bacterial culture will offer mood-balancing probiotics. Some yogurts are heat-treated, which destroy live bacteria, while others contain live cultures, but are filled with sugar and artificial flavorings. When buying yogurt, check the label for live bacterial cultures, low fat and low sugar, and high protein content. (Greek yogurt is thicker than traditional yogurts, contains more protein, and keeps you fuller longer.)
You'll want to avoid yogurt coming from dairy cows fed with growth hormones – look for organic brands instead. Check for fillers such as corn starch or gelatin on the label, as they may cause inflammation in the body.
Probiotics for Depression – Fermented Drinks for a Better Mood
Kombucha and kefir are two popular fermented drinks to increase probiotics in your body. You may have heard the names, but know little else about the products, unless you're a health food aficionado. Here's an overview of the drinks and how they keep you healthy.
Kombucha is all the rage in health food circles recently, but it has a long history and proven track record in mood improvement. It's made from tea and sugar, and fermented in a manner similar to vinegar. In its original, unblended form, it tastes like apple cider vinegar. You can add fruit juice or regular tea to give it a more pleasant taste.
Kombucha's origin is unknown, but it's been used in Russia, China, Tibet and Siberia for thousands of years. It started gaining popularity in the United States in the 1990s as a health drink. Kombucha is available in health food stores, supermarkets and many convenience stores. The flavors include raspberry, cranberry, grape and ginger.
Kombucha is made with black or green tea mixed with sugar. It's then exposed to yeast and a good bacteria “mat” called a SCOBY. After fermenting, kombucha is ready to drink. It is bubbly, like a soft drink, and has low alcohol content.
Kefir is the drinkable equivalent of yogurt. It's a fermented beverage made from cow or goat milk, although vegan versions can be made from soy milk or almond milk. Kefir “grains” are added to milk and fermented over a period of 24 hours. The grains used to make kefir are lactic acid and yeast cultures. The grains are removed from the kefir when the beverage is fermented, and they can be used again. First used in Southwest Asia and Eastern Europe, kefir is now sold in health food stores and some supermarkets in the U.S.
Kefir contains 30 strains of good bacteria, and is of one the best fermented liquids to help you maintain a balanced mood. It helps protect you against E.coli, salmonella and other harmful bacteria to prevent infections. Loaded with calcium and Vitamin K2, which reduce the chance of osteoporosis and fractures, kefir helps keep bones healthier. It's a great drink for people who are normally lactose intolerant, and has been shown to reduce asthma and allergy symptoms in mice.
Other Health Benefits of Probiotics
Men who took a capsule containing probiotics instead of a placebo fared better on memory tests and experienced less anxiety. The study also showed that a strain of good bacteria called Bifidobacterium longum 1714 may improve cognitive function and reduce depression.
May Control Type 2 Diabetes
A study conducted on 64 subjects with Type 2 diabetes showed that the study group given probiotic yogurt had increased glutathione peroxidase and antioxidant activity, decreased fasting blood glucose, and hemoglobin A1c after six weeks. The results indicate that probiotics may fight oxidative stress, which is responsible for the conditions that cause diabetes.
Boosts Mood and Memory
Study subjects with a mean age of 61 years drank probiotic milk for 20 days. At the end of the study, individuals with the lowest mood at the beginning of the study said they felt happier and not depressed, at study's end. Results also indicated participants with declining memory showed some improvement.
Add Good Fat, Protein and Plant Fiber to Your Diet along with Probiotics for Depression
Probiotics enhance brain health and fight depression, but you'll still need a varied diet full of vitamins, minerals and fiber to stay focused and energetic throughout the day.
Since your brain is 60% fat, it makes sense to include healthy fats in your diet. Avocados are packed full of nutrients, with a one cup serving of cubed avocado containing 30% of the daily recommended value of folate, 23% of Vitamin B6 and 21% of the DRV of Vitamin E. Folate (also known as Vitamin B9 or folic acid) improves memory and helps to make you more alert. Vitamin B6 aids the body in making the mood-boosting chemicals serotonin and dopamine. Vitamin E contains the antioxidants alpha and gamma tocopherols to protect brain function and fight free radicals. Other good fats for brain health include nuts and seeds, olive oil (made from probiotic olives), and wild-caught fish.
Beans, nuts, seeds and wild-caught fish provide protein to make amino acids that help produce good mood neurochemicals GABA, dopamine and serotonin. Salmon and other fatty fish have plenty of Omega-3 fatty acids to balance your mood. The healthy fats in these fish have DHA (Docosahexaenoic acid), fluid, long-chain fatty acids that become part of the membranes of brain cells.
Fruits and vegetables contain free-radical fighting antioxidants to guard against the inflammation that causes disease. It's easy to get more antioxidants in your diet. Choose berries, flaxseed, apples, citrus fruits, green tea, ginger, tumeric and dark chocolate. These foods contain polyphenols, antioxidants that fight depression and may increase beneficial gut bacteria to improve your mood even more.
Eating quinoa, buckwheat, grout and other whole grains helps regulate blood sugar and reduce inflammation. This keeps you calm and prevents the sluggishness that may lead to depression. Avoid pastries, white bread and any processed rye or wheat bread, which slow down the metabolism.
Wheatgrass Offers Nutrients for Better Health and a Better Mood
Probiotic foods, along with other staples of a healthy diet, help control mood swings. Exercise, reduced stress, good sleep habits and meditation are other tools to prevent depression. Wheatgrass, one of nature's superfoods, provides nutrients for better mental function and overall well-being.
Wheatgrass is comprised mostly of chlorophyll, the green pigment that gives plants their color. Chlorophyll packs an abundance of nutrients, including amino acids and hundreds of enzymes. A wheatgrass tablet offers all the vitamins and minerals you need to keep mild to moderate depression in check.
Wheatgrass offers Vitamin E to protect against heart disease, improve circulation and preserve cognitive function. Vitamin A speeds up wound healing and keeps eyesight sharp as you age. Vitamin C guards against inflammation, boosts the immune system and helps prevent cognitive decline. Vitamin K improves blood clotting and strengthens bones.
The B-complex vitamins offer a wide range of health benefits, and elevating your mood is just one of them. Vitamin B12 (cobalamin) increases red blood cell production and boosts energy. Along with Vitamin B6 and Vitamin B9 (folate or folic acid), Vitamin B12 helps reduce the chance of stroke and heart disease. Biotin (Vitamin B7) is a “Beauty” vitamin necessary for healthy skin, hair and nails. Vitamin B5(pantothenic acid) helps makes neurotransmitters, hemoglobin and fats. Vitamin B3 (niacin) manufactures stress and sex hormones, fights inflammation and is necessary for proper nervous system and liver function. Vitamin B2 (riboflavin) improves your hair, skin and boosts brain function. Vitamin B1 (thiamin) is necessary for healthy skin and hair and improves cognitive function. All B vitamins convert food into energy. If you're feeling low and run-down, it may be due to a lack of B vitamins in the diet. B-complex vitamins are found in a variety of foods, including red meat, poultry, beans, fruit, vegetables, fish and whole grains. Some vegans and vegetarians may experience a Vitamin B12 deficiency, since Vitamin B12 is found primarily in meat, poultry, fish and animal-derived products.
Zeal O2, Revv and HappyGirl Provide Additional Nutrients to Probiotics for Depression
Eating food with probiotics for depression is a good start to feeling better. Live a healthier lifestyle and plan nutritious meals to enhance your happiness and stay slim. Wheatgrass Love offers three supplements containing high-grade wheatgrass and a specially selected blend of herbs for more energy and a better mood.
Feel better and achieve better cognitive function with Happy Girl Natural Depression Remedy and Mood Enhancer It has the energy and mood-elevating properties of magnesium, Vitamin E, B-complex vitamins and Vitamin C courtesy of the chlorophyll in wheatgrass. Magnesium, one of the most plentiful components in chlorophyll, has been shown to have a calming effect. We've also included a proprietary blend of herbs to improve gut health and balance mood. It features green tea extract, ginger, gingko biloba, damiana, white willow, goldenseal, ginseng and several more herbs to increase overall vitality and well-being. Order Happy Girl now.
The combination of wheatgrass and mood-enhancing herbs in Zeal O2 Natural Weight Loss Supplement help you get slim and stay happy and healthy while doing it. We've added more B-complex vitamins to what's naturally in wheatgrass to give you more pep and increase your cognitive function. The herbal blend in Zeal O2 contains citrus auranthium (bitter orange) reduces appetite, and green tea extract fights inflammation and boosts brain function. There are over a dozen herbs in Zeal O2, including cayenne pepper and ginkgo biloba. Cayenne pepper balances your mood and gingko biloba improves digestive system function to give you better gut microbes. Get slim, stay slim and feel happier naturally with Zeal O2. Order now.
Revv Chocolate Mint Energy Wafers give you a tasty lift via all the B-complex vitamins, magnesium and protein-building amino acids in wheatgrass. You can take these safe wafers anytime you need more energy. They'll revive you, helping you become more productive and boost your mood, too! Revv wafers contain caffeine, cocoa, L-taurine and periwinkle herb, ingredients proven to make you more alert. Buy Revv.
If you have questions about any Wheatgrass Love product, call us at 877-303-1717. We'll be glad to answer any questions you have. Enhance your mood with probiotics for depression and a wheatgrass supplement from Wheatgrass Love!