It’s become common knowledge in scientific circles that our gut (gastrointestinal tract), our ”second brain”, has a symbiotic relationship with almost every other system in our bodies—including our brain. What this means is that the composition of our microbiome, the bacteria, fungi, protozoa, and viruses that live on and inside the human body, is very important to our immune system, heart, weight, and many other aspects of health. These bacteria, viruses and fungi exist mainly in our intestines and produce chemicals in the brain that may affect mood and general feelings of wellbeing. Higher microbiome diversity is considered good for our health, and diversity is related to what we eat.
Eating a diverse range of food, including legumes, beans, and fruits that contain lots of fiber can promote growth of healthy bacteria. Fermented foods such as yogurt, sauerkraut, and kefir can reduce the amount of disease-causing bacteria, leading to a more balanced and healthy microbiome and to a healthy brain. These effects can however be countermanded by such tempting items as donuts, pastries, potato chips, croissants and the like.
Happy Microbiome Happy You!