How Probiotics Can Help You Fight Anxiety

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By Emily Turk

saladheartProbiotics have long been known as one of the best food for digestion. But a new study shows that probiotics help in so many other ways, not just by improving digestion. Studies show that there is a link between gut bacteria and the human brain, which is how probiotics help with mood swings, depression, and anxiety. Now, most of these studies have been done on animals.

However, there is new research, done by the Oxford University that shows a deeper connection between mental health and gut bacteria. The study, conducted by Dr. Phillip Burnet and his team, found out that supplements that boost good bacteria in the gut can have an anti-anxiety effect. The team experimented with prebiotics, which are basically carbs that act as a nourishment for the strains of good bacteria, or probiotics. There is a link between prebiotics and probiotics.

Dr. Burnet said that “prebiotics are food for good bacteria already present in the gut. Taking prebiotics therefore increases the number of all species of good bacteria in the gut, which will theoretically have greater beneficial effects than a single species.

What was the study?

Dr. Phillip Burnet and his team asked 45 healthy adults to take either a prebiotic or a placebo. All of the adults in the study were between age 18 and 45. They took a prebiotic or a placebo each day for three weeks. After the trial period, researchers did tests to assess the results of the study. Their goal was to check for link between emotional information and gut bacteria, specifically how the participants “processed emotional information”.

According to the results, participants taking prebiotics paid less attention to negative information. In addition, they paid more attention to positive information when compared to the placebo group. The result shows that consuming prebiotics results in less anxiety when confronted with negative stimuli. Even more important, the results show that the effect is similar to the effect of antidepressants and anti-anxiety medication.

Another thing that Dr. Burnet found is that people taking prebiotics have lower lever of cortisol in their saliva. This is a stress hormone previously linked with depression and anxiety.

How to promote healthy gut bacteria?

The result of the findings suggests that you should increase the consumption of prebiotics and probiotics.

That means that for prebiotic power foods, you should consume more almonds, asparagus, bananas, garlic, leafy greens, kiwi, legumes, mushrooms, oats, and onions. Probiotic foods include kimchi, carrots, green beans, beets, miso, natto, tempeh, chickpea, kefir, yogurt, and kombucha.

Other benefits of consuming probiotics

In addition to improving your gut health and helping with anxiety, probiotics bring a whole other set of benefits to the table.

For example, consuming probiotics reduces the blood pressure of people with high blood pressure. These foods also help keep your teeth intact by killing bacteria that causes tooth decay. Simply put, you will have a great smile just by consuming probiotics. They also help with skin problems like eczema. A study found out that allergy-prone mothers with eczema can reduce the risk of babies developing the skin issue. Women should consume probiotics for other reasons as well. They help with bacteria like yeast infection, urinary tract infection, and bacterial vaginosis.

Roles Of Probiotics And Prebiotics In Colon Cancer Prevention

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By Mary Toscano

healthywordsColon cancer is linked to microbial problems in the gut. Medical science has not really come up with any definitive cure to cancer till date. However, along with regular treatments and therapies, regular intake of probiotics and prebiotics can help majorly. Taking in beneficial bacteria has proven to lower DNA damage and thus reduce the rates of colorectal cancer. Along with the intake of probiotics, it is also important to know different factors that can help like the best time to take probiotics, what probiotics to take, how much to take, etc.

Prebiotics and probiotics work simultaneously to promote good health. They work together to produce good bacteria and eliminate the bad bacteria in your digestive tract. Let’s find out as to what exactly are probiotics and prebiotics and how do they work for curing cancer and what all foods to consume to get them.

Probiotics are believed to reduce the risks of cancer significantly. They help in the following ways:

▪ Eliminating aflatoxin, a common carcinogen found in peanuts
▪ Decreasing recurrence of bladder tumors
▪ Detoxifying potential colon carcinogens
▪ Enhancing elimination of environmental toxins from the large bowel
▪ Enhancing immune cell activity

Probiotics also lessen the risk or progression of other malignancies. The combination of probiotics and prebiotics has shown to reduce cellular DNA damage that may lead to cancer and also improve immune responses largely.

Keep the bad bacteria in check

The digestive tracts in our body contain as many as 400 million different kinds of bacteria. Both bad bacteria and good bacteria exist and the bad bacteria could have some unfavorable health issues in the longer run if not checked. Poor nutrition, stress, and consumption of antibiotics are some of the circumstances that kill the good bacteria and lead to ailments such as irritable bowel movements, diarrhea, and other such issues.

Probiotic bacteria are friendly and healthy for our systems. These gut-friendly bacteria are found in fermented foods on a large scale and the topmost food being yogurt and yogurt products.

Prebiotics, as the concept goes, are not bacteria at all, but they act as food for friendly bacteria. Probiotic bacteria do not grow by itself in the human body and therefore, there is the need to consume prebiotics which lead to the generation of such healthy probiotic bacteria. The analogy works in the same way as water works for the growth and nourishment of plants.

Eat the right foods and heal the gut lining

Prebiotics come from fibers contained in some kinds of food. These fibers do not digest easily but stay in the gut and act as food which stimulates the growth of probiotic bacteria. Examples of probiotic rich foods are bananas, garlic, onions, honey, tomatoes, barley and other beans and whole grains. The importance and benefits of probiotics are increasing and more and more people are getting aware of its various positive effects. They are also added to various health drinks and foods and can also be purchased in the form of nutritional supplements additionally.

healthyplateFermented foods are an excellent source of probiotics. Make a yogurt and banana smoothie and you’re sorted on your dose of probiotics. There is no better source for such healthy probiotic bacteria than natural foods and fibers.

Studies suggest that probiotics relieve chronic diarrhea and some of the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. Prebiotics additionally produce vitamin K which boosts the immune system, assist in the absorption of calcium and may lower the risk of colon cancer. Breast milk is rich in prebiotic content which gives the lactating babies additional protection to their immune system and also generate good bacteria. This is the reason why prebiotics are now being added to many baby foods and brands.

Thus, in addition to curing colon and other such cancers, there are various other benefits of probiotic and prebiotic foods and people need to consume these on a regular basis to eliminate any potent diseases in the body and produce and maintain these good and healthy bacteria in the system.

– Mary Toscano is a dedicated wife, a busy mom of two toddlers, an animal shelter volunteer, a health freak runner, and a passionate health and wellness blogger. All of these are her many jobs besides her day job. She aspires to having her own YouTube channel one day about healthy living and clean eating. Spending a major part of her day writing about health and wellness at probioticshub.com she educates readers about probiotics. Her goal in life is to inspire and encourage people to take care of their bodies and health. Mary’s message to the world is, “Where there is health, there will be joy, wisdom and wealth!”

Probiotics Lend A Hand To Brain Functioning – Part 3

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By Christie Korth

Part 3 of 3

Continued from part 2 of this article…..

soup5) Miso Soup: Miso, a staple of Japanese cooking and medicine is commonly used in macrobiotic cooking as a digestive regulator. Made from fermented rye, beans, rice or barley, adding a tablespoon of miso to some hot water makes an excellent, quick, probiotic-rich soup, full of lactobacilli and bifidus bacteria. Beyond its important live cultures, miso is extremely nutrient-dense and believed to help neutralize the effects of environmental pollution, alkalinize the body and stop the effects of carcinogens in the system. Yaaay for Miso!

Our favorite pick: Kid Friendly Chicken Noodle Miso Soup by Food Network

Ingredients:

1/4 cup miso
1/4 cup warm water
6 cups water
1 large red chile, sliced
1 tablespoon finely grated ginger
3 green onions, thinly sliced
2 chicken breasts, trimmed and thinly sliced
100 g snow peas, halved
250 g rice noodles
3 green onions, thinly sliced for garnish

Directions:

1. Place the miso paste and warm water in a small bowl and stir to combine.

2. Place the water, chilli, ginger and green onions in a large saucepan over high heat and bring to the boil.

3. Add the chicken, snow peas and noodles and cook for 3-4 minutes until the chicken and noodles are cooked through.

4. Stir the miso mixture into the noodle mixture.

5. To serve, spoon into bowls and top with extra green onions.

Book of the Month Review:

Sophie – Safe Cooking: A Collection of Family Friendly Recipes that are Free of Milk, Eggs, Wheat, Soy, Peanuts, Tree Nuts, Fish and Shellfish by Emily Hendrix

Description: Sophie-Safe Cooking houses over 100 recipes very neatly laid out, one per page. Most of the recipes contain less than ten ingredients (always a top feature for me) and for the most part the directions are just a few straightforward sentences. Emily adds in helpful, but brief, notes with several of the recipes. Most of the recipes are Sophie-Safe versions of familiar family favorites, such as Granny’s Meatloaf, Shepherd’s Pie, and Chocolate Cupcakes (frosted of course!). While a few unique concepts caught my eye, like the Whipped Pinto Beans, Zucchini Brownies, and Taco Vinaigrette. Enjoy!

References

1. Kirsten Tillisch, Jennifer Labus, Lisa Kilpatrick, Zhiguo Jiang, Jean Stains, Bahar Ebrat, Denis Guyonnet, Sophie Legrain-Raspaud, Beatrice Trotin, Bruce Naliboff, Emeran A. Mayer. Consumption of Fermented Milk Product with Probiotic Modulates Brain Activity. Gastroenterology, 2013; DOI: 10.1053/j.gastro.2013.02.043

Christie Korth is a Crohn’s disease survivor, author, certified health coach and holistic nutritionist who found her way to health and wellness after nearly succumbing to a severe case of Crohn’s disease. After harnessing the power of nutrition and gaining her health back, she then went on to be the founder and director of Happy & Healthy Wellness Counseling based just outside of NYC. She studied at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, Columbia University and the Clayton College of Natural Health and is a certified holistic health practitioner with the American Association of Drugless Practitioners. Christie is the Corporate Nutritionist for Brain Balance Achievement Centers, where she designs the nutrition protocol for franchises across the country. Christie is a nutrition expert for Dr. Oz’s Sharecare.com and frequently contributes nutrition articles to Long Island Parent Magazine. Christie is he author of The IBD Healing Plan and Recipe Book: A Guide to Releive Crohn’s and Colitis with Whole Foods. Christie lives in New York with her son, her husband, and her cat.

Probiotics Lend A Hand To Brain Functioning – Part 2

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By Christie Korth

Part 2 of 3

Continued from part 1 of this article…..

tea2) Kombucha: A type of fermented tea, Kombucha contains a high amount of healthy gut bacteria. This probiotic- rich beverage has been used for centuries and has been shown to help increase your energy, enhance your well being and maybe even help you lose weight. However, kombucha tea may not be the best fit for everyone. For instance, if you have suffer with candida, Kombucha may not be appropriate while treating candida infection.

Our favorite pick: GT Synergy

3) Kimchi: Popular In Asia, this pickled Saurkraut is an extremely spicy and sour fermented cabbage, typically served alongside meals in Korea. Besides beneficial bacteria, Kimchi is also a great source of beta-carotene, calcium, iron and vitamins A, C, B1 and B2. Kimchi is one of the best probiotic foods you can add to your diet, assuming you can handle the spice, of course. You can make Kimchi without all of the heat, as I have gone ahead and done here.

Our favorite pick: Kid/Family-Friendly Kimchi Recipe by Mama in the Kitchen

• Chop into bite size pieces or slice: 1 big or 2 small Napa Cabbages, cored

• Place in a non-metallic container. Your best bet would be to use big glass mason jars. You can also try using the lining of a slow cooker.

• Massage cabbage with ¼ sea salt

• Cover with water, place a plate with a weight on top (I used 2 mason jars full of water) or bamboo sticks fixed to the top of a jar to make sure all the cabbage is submerged in water. Leave overnight. The next day, drain the water and rinse the cabbage.

Now, mix the cabbage with:

Ingredients:

1 cup of water
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tsp. sea salt
1 green apple, grated
2 green onions, sliced
3 large carrots, grated
½ cup local honey
1/3 cup raisins

• Mix together well. Make sure there are no air pockets by pushing the vegetables down. Again, place a plate with a weight on top or bamboo sticks fixed to the top of a jar to make sure all the cabbage is submerged in liquid. Cover with a towel and leave for 3 – 4 days. When done, place in mason jars and refrigerate.

• Serve kimchi with vegetables or noodles. Be creative, it can also be used on a sandwich or wrap or as a salad dressing!.

4) Saurkraut: Grab an organic beef hot dog and a gluten free bun and it’s a picnic in the park. If you want it to pack a nutritional punch, go for the addition of raw sauerkraut. Made from fermented cabbage (and sometimes other vegetables), sauerkraut is not only extremely rich in healthy live cultures, but might also help with reducing allergy symptoms. Sauerkraut is also rich in vitamins B, A, E and C.

Our Favorite Pick: Rejuvenate Foods Raw Sauerkraut. Not just sauerkraut, Rejuvenate offers all types of cluttered vegetebles and even tahihi, live salsas, ketchup and pickles! Excellent choice for kids, particularly those who are picky!

Stay tuned for part 3 of this article shortly…..

References

1. Kirsten Tillisch, Jennifer Labus, Lisa Kilpatrick, Zhiguo Jiang, Jean Stains, Bahar Ebrat, Denis Guyonnet, Sophie Legrain-Raspaud, Beatrice Trotin, Bruce Naliboff, Emeran A. Mayer. Consumption of Fermented Milk Product with Probiotic Modulates Brain Activity. Gastroenterology, 2013; DOI: 10.1053/j.gastro.2013.02.043

Christie Korth is a Crohn’s disease survivor, author, certified health coach and holistic nutritionist who found her way to health and wellness after nearly succumbing to a severe case of Crohn’s disease. After harnessing the power of nutrition and gaining her health back, she then went on to be the founder and director of Happy & Healthy Wellness Counseling based just outside of NYC. She studied at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, Columbia University and the Clayton College of Natural Health and is a certified holistic health practitioner with the American Association of Drugless Practitioners. Christie is the Corporate Nutritionist for Brain Balance Achievement Centers, where she designs the nutrition protocol for franchises across the country. Christie is a nutrition expert for Dr. Oz’s Sharecare.com and frequently contributes nutrition articles to Long Island Parent Magazine. Christie is he author of The IBD Healing Plan and Recipe Book: A Guide to Releive Crohn’s and Colitis with Whole Foods. Christie lives in New York with her son, her husband, and her cat.

Probiotics Lend A Hand To Brain Functioning – Part 1

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By Christie Korth

Part 1 of 3

brainMany people may hear the word bacteria and find it synonymous with creepy critters or contributory to a case of the sniffles. And yes, of course that is partially true. At the same time, the nutrition world is ever buzzing about one of the most interesting concepts in time. The notion that bacteria is bad is not always correct, in fact bacteria can be extraordinarily beneficial for the brain, immune system, intestines, cancer treatment and prevention and has even been proven to help stroke victims.

Most recently, probiotics are yet again in the spotlight, this time being hailed as a paramount promoter of cognition and emotional well being. Everyone can better from thinking clearer and a more positive emotional response, right?

UCLA researchers now have the first evidence that bacteria ingested in food can affect brain function in humans. In an early proof-of-concept study of healthy women, they found that women who regularly consumed beneficial bacteria known as probiotics through yogurt showed altered brain function, both while in a resting state and in response to an emotion-recognition task.

The Gut / Brain Connection

The knowledge that signals are sent from the intestine to the brain and that they can be modulated by a dietary change is likely to lead to an expansion of research aimed at finding new strategies to prevent or treat digestive, mental and neurological disorders, said Dr. Emeran Mayer, a professor of medicine, physiology and psychiatry at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and the study’s senior author. (University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), Health Sciences (2013, May 28). Changing gut bacteria through diet affects brain function.)

So the bottom line is, consuming good bacteria is really something to consider adding to your daily diet as well as your family. So= besides yougurt and supplements, where can you find those brain boosting bacteria? Check out our list below.

Foods Highest in Probiotics:

1) Dark Chocolate: Long touted for its richness in minerals like magnesium and zinc and its high level of antioxidants, dark chocolate can also pack a wallop in probiotics. You have to know where to look, but there are some high quality chocolates that contain probiotics.

Our favorite pick? – Go to attunefoods.com and check out their chocolate bars which are chock full of beneficial bacteria, like Bifidobacterium lactis HN019, Lactobacillus acidophilus NCFM, Lactobacillus casei LC-11

Stay tuned for part 2 of this article shortly…..

References

1. Kirsten Tillisch, Jennifer Labus, Lisa Kilpatrick, Zhiguo Jiang, Jean Stains, Bahar Ebrat, Denis Guyonnet, Sophie Legrain-Raspaud, Beatrice Trotin, Bruce Naliboff, Emeran A. Mayer. Consumption of Fermented Milk Product with Probiotic Modulates Brain Activity. Gastroenterology, 2013; DOI: 10.1053/j.gastro.2013.02.043

Christie Korth is a Crohn’s disease survivor, author, certified health coach and holistic nutritionist who found her way to health and wellness after nearly succumbing to a severe case of Crohn’s disease. After harnessing the power of nutrition and gaining her health back, she then went on to be the founder and director of Happy & Healthy Wellness Counseling based just outside of NYC. She studied at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, Columbia University and the Clayton College of Natural Health and is a certified holistic health practitioner with the American Association of Drugless Practitioners. Christie is the Corporate Nutritionist for Brain Balance Achievement Centers, where she designs the nutrition protocol for franchises across the country. Christie is a nutrition expert for Dr. Oz’s Sharecare.com and frequently contributes nutrition articles to Long Island Parent Magazine. Christie is he author of The IBD Healing Plan and Recipe Book: A Guide to Releive Crohn’s and Colitis with Whole Foods. Christie lives in New York with her son, her husband, and her cat.