TEMPO.CO, Jakarta – Researchers have long known that food affects mental health. However, most nutritional interventions for neurohealth focus on individual foods rather than approaches diet realistic.
Therefore, in a new randomized controlled trial (RCT) from Molecular Psychiatry, researchers in Cork, Ireland, decided to investigate whether a health-promoting psychobiotic diet has a positive effect on mental health.
What is a psychobiotic diet? A term coined by co-authors Timothy “Ted” Dinan, Ph.D., and John Cryan, Ph.D., the psychobiotic diet leans on the gut-brain axis by prioritizing gut-healthy foods (grains, fruit, and vegetables). , nuts, and fermented foods) and bans processed foods and beverages.
The study diet included:
-6-8 daily servings of fruits and vegetables that are high in fiber prebioticsfor example apples, bananas, green onions, onions.
-5-8 servings of whole grains, eg oats, quinoa, daily.
-2-3 servings of fermented foods per day, such as sauerkraut, kefir, kombucha.
-3-4 weekly servings of vegetables, e.g. beans, lentils, peas.
Designing a psychobiotic diet
The study involved 45 healthy adults aged 18-59 with suboptimal eating habits. The study group was given information about the components of the psychobiotic diet and asked to follow it to the fullest extent possible. Small groups receive short lessons on general nutrition, not lessons focused on psychobiology.
The researchers examined fetal composition and function, stress, health, and overall diet and determination of blood, urine, and stool samples both before and after the four-week trial for the two groups.
How does the psychobiotic diet affect mental health?
Participants in the psychobiotic diet study tended to have greater stress reduction. Although there was no significant difference in stress response between the control and study groups, higher adherence to the study diet resulted in a reduction stress which feels bigger.
Although changes in gut bacterial composition were barely noticeable to the research team, significant changes seen in 40 specific lipids due to decreased dietary fat and increased lean fat and urinary metabolites such as essential amino acids, which are essential for high protein synthesis and healthy response, were also observable. .
In just four weeks, participants on a high-fiber psychobiotic diet and fermented foods experienced less stress, healthier guts, healthier inflammatory metabolite profiles, and slightly better microbial composition and function.
NADIA RAICHAN FITRIANUR | MINDBODYGREEN