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Your Healthy Family: Probiotics can boost your mood

Posted at 7:40 AM, Nov 10, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-10 07:40:19-05

A Naples Dietitian told Fox 4 a diet rich in probiotics can help boost your mood.

Betsy Opyt, a Registered Dietitian, said not all bacteria is bad. She described your microbiome as a rain forest populated by different bacteria, including healthy bacteria, that all work together.

"There's certain types of bacteria that are populated in our guts, and certain bacteria have certain jobs to do. Some of them actually help us with our hormones and sending messages to our brain, or neurotransmitters, that can actually help with things like depression and your mood," Opyt said.

Probiotics are the good bacteria and yeasts that live naturally in our bodies, and mostly our guts. Opyt said getting more probiotics supports the growth of more of that good bacteria, which can help our hormones in sending messages to our brain.

"A lot of people don't realize there's the vagus nerve that communicates. It’s that passageway from our gut to our brain, so they call the gut the second brain, because actually some of these bacteria determine hormones that are being released, your mood. It affects your heart, your lungs, your liver; everything is connected in the body, and the bacteria actually have a huge role in our overall health," Opyt said.

Opyt said 80 percent of your serotonin, which is the hormone that stabilizes your mood and promotes feelings of happiness, is produced by bacteria in your gut.

If you're trying to get more probiotics in your diet, Opyt said there are supplements you can take, but it's best to get probiotics through your diet by eating fermented foods like kimchi, yogurt, or sauerkraut.

Probiotics can also help you manage your weight.