Food for Thought: Gut bacteria and your mood

Health

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Chances are you’ve heard that the good bacteria in your gut is important for digestion. But, it also plays a role in regulating your mood.

Your GI tract or gut is your second brain. Think about how emotions affect your gut. We say something is gut-wrenching or we get “butterflies in our stomach.”

100-trillion good bacteria and other microbes live in your intestines. Evidence suggests that these microbes can influence brain chemistry which can contribute to your mood.

Microbes ferment the fiber from fruits and vegetables. This triggers the production of serotonin, a compound that stabilizes our mood. Researchers found more than 95 percent of all the serotonin in our body is stored in the cells that line the intestines. Poor microbe health may make you feel anxious and depressed.

Experts say if you want to improve your mood, eat more fruits and vegetable to feed your microbes and less sugar and white flour.

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