By now you’ve no doubt heard of probiotics (live microorganisms) and their ability to enrich and replenish the helpful bacteria that live in your gut, combat inflammation that can lead to chronic illnesses and strengthen your immune system. With the understanding that such bacteria can affect not just the gut but also the mind, researchers are looking at the possibility of using probiotic, or good bacteria, to aid mood and anxiety disorders.
This is called psychobiotics, a new term referring to any intervention that has an effect on mental health by way of changes in the gut microbiome. A great deal more research needs to be done, but researchers are hopeful. In the meantime, there are plenty of ways to add more probiotics to your diet, in the form of fermented or cultured dairy products, miso, tempeh, and soy beverages.