Foods containing probiotics, such as yogurt, can help reduce depression and anxiety, a new study by UK doctors has shown.
A diet that includes probiotic foods or a combination of probiotic and prebiotic foods can help ease depression and anxiety. Researchers conducted 7 experiments looking at the effects of a probiotic-based diet on these mental illnesses.
Probiotics are living microorganisms that improve or restore the natural balance of bacteria in the intestines. Prebiotics are compounds in food, such as fiber, that promote the growth of beneficial bacteria in the digestive tract.
The results, published in the journal BMJ Nutrition Prevention & Health, showed that prebiotics had no effect on the mental state of the volunteers, but the addition of foods rich in microflora itself showed a significant decrease or improvement in biochemical indicators of depression and anxiety. Of the 12 strains included in the analysis, 11 were found to be effective.