Stressed? Plant food may help.

When you’re recovering from intense stress what brings relief? You are probably not thinking that asparagus, lentils, and oatmeal don’t enter the picture. But what’s on your plate may help determine how quickly you recover from a stressful event, according to preliminary research. Normally, the “fight or flight” response you experience with acute stress disrupts the bacterial balance in your gut, and can disrupt your sleep patterns. But eating plenty of “prebiotics” may help to counteract both of these effects. Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that populate your GI tract. Prebiotics, non-digestible fibers found in certain plant foods, are essentially food for the probiotics: When you eat foods such as lentils, bananas, oatmeal, onions, artichokes, or asparagus, the beneficial bacteria in your gut consume the fibers in them and flourish. In the recent study, when animals consumed prebiotics leading up to a stressful event, their sleep patterns normalized more quickly and their microbiomes were less disrupted compared with animals that didn’t consume prebiotics. Human research is needed. There’s no need to wait to add prebiotic-rich plant foods to your diet. Vegetables, legumes, fruit, and whole grains are delicious and extremely beneficial for overall health

“Prebiotics are the most powerful tool at our disposal if we want to support our good bacteria - that is, those that are already there and are there to stay.”  Giulia Enders

 

Posted on July 27, 2017 and filed under wellness.