Sauerkraut is this your Anti-Depressant?
Have you ever said to yourself “I can feel it in my gut”? If so, you are ahead of your time. Scientists are now finding that there is an important pathway between the stomach and the brain and it has to do with our stomach bacteria. Even more importantly, they now know that this connection is related to our stress, our anxiety, and our depression.
It seems that our gut bio material doesn’t start to grow until shortly after we are born. Scientists have done experiments on mice at this stage and have introduced stressors to the young mice, mostly separating them from mom for periods of time. This stress was shown to alter the bio material in their gut! There seems to be a relationship between stress, anxiety and depression and our stomach flora. Sure enough, the mice who experienced this stress had their stomach bio matter altered due to the stress and this alteration stayed with them throughout life. Bummer. Then the interesting part. Scientists took a group of these stressed mice and gave them probiotics during the periods of separation from mom and guess what? These mice did not have the alterations in their stomach bio stuff and their bacteria. The probiotics seemed to avert the negative impact of the stress. Wow.
We know that probiotics can help us and that this help may well impact our stress, anxiety, and depression. Much more research needs to be done but in the meantime it seems clear that if we want to feel good we might be wise to be sure our stomachs have the probiotics to make that happen.
There are many sources of probiotics. Some are expensive pills, but other good sources are simply related to the food we eat. Two possibilities include yogurt and sauerkraut. Be careful though since some forms of yogurt and sauerkraut carry considerably less of the good probiotics depending on a number of things including processing, pasteurization and storage.
One way to be sure that your food has ample probiotics is to make it yourself. Sauerkraut is very, very, simple to make and can be done in small quantities that avoid having to throw out an oversupply. Here’s a link to exactly how to make a small amount of sauerkraut at home. Give it a shot!
Have fun and Feel good!