- Stress affects gut health
- Fibre foods increase production of short-chain fatty acids in gut
- They help in improving gut health and reducing stress and anxiety
You are what you eat. This saying is definitely true, especially because the food that you eat has a direct impact on your health and well-being. And not just physical health, your eating habits affect your mental health too. A new study has found that people who undergo stress and anxiety should increase their consumption of wholegrains, cereals, oats, pulses and vegetables. All these foods are high fibrous foods - which have been found to be effective in reducing stress, according to a study. Experts believe that stress can result in major changes in the gut and in the brain. This, in turn results in change in behavior.
IANS reports that findings of the study suggest that gut bacteria produce short-chain fatty acids. These short-chain fatty acids are the main source of nutrition for cells in gut. High level of fibre can stimulate production of small-chain fatty acids.
There is a growing recognition about the role of gut bacteria and chemicals which influence gut flora. The role that short-chain fatty acids play has not been understood properly so far.
The study, which was published The Journal of Physiology, was done on mice. The mice were subjected to stress and were then assessed for their anxiety, stress responsiveness, sociability and cognition. It was also seen how easily the material passes through the gut.
According to the results, it was found that higher levels of short-chai fatty acids reduced levels of stress and anxiety in mice.
As part of the study, it was also explained how stress affects gut health. When experienced for a prolonged period of time, stress can affect the bowel and create a barrier between inside of the gut. It makes the body less effective and results in a leaky gut.
Eating fibrous foods can thus help in increasing short-chain fatty acids in the gut - which in turn can reverse leaky walls inside of the gut.
These fibrous foods can also be included in a weight loss regime as they makes you feel full for longer and reduce appetite. Foods rich in fibre include whole grains, pears, avocadoes, strawberries, apples, raspberries, bananas, carrots, beetroot, broccoli, lentils, kidney beans, chickpeas, quinoa, oats, almonds and chia seeds to name a few.