Life can get hectic—which means everyday stress is something most of us can relate to. But here’s something you may not know: scientists studying probiotics believe the friendly bacteria may help our bodies respond better to stress.
In one study, researchers discovered that a common strain of good bacteria called Lactobacillus plantarum (often found in yogurt and probiotic supplements) was linked to lower stress levels, leading them to believe that a healthy, balanced gut may help us keep our cool in stressful situations.
Another study found that taking a Bifidobacterium supplement helped animals stay calmer when faced with a series of tests designed to induce stress. How? By lowering hormone levels in the body—particularly those hormones associated with stress and anxiety.
And let’s not forget prebiotics
It turns out that prebiotics may also help your body cope with stress. In a nutshell, stress can alter the healthy balance of bacteria in the gut, but prebiotic fiber sources (like acacia fiber, dandelion greens, garlic, leeks, onions and asparagus) act as a food source for your good bacteria, helping to boost their numbers in your gut. In studies, a prebiotic-rich diet has been linked to a better stress response and better sleep after stressful events.