Treating post stroke depression with probiotics is something that traditional medicine has done for centuries. Both Ayurvedic (the traditional Hindu medicine) and Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioners always start with the gut when issues of anxiety and depression arise.
Why? Because they understood the intricate connection between your microbiome and your brain. You learned about this in our previous article:
Part 1 of this series: Stroke Recovery Starts with Your Gut
In today’s article, you’ll learn about the gut-brain axis and how it facilitates communication between your gut to your brain. Then we’ll share some tips on how to heal your gut so that you can relieve depression and heal your brain.
How a Happy Gut Can Actually Make You Happy
Marvel over the simplicity of this quote from Chris Kesser:
“Heal your gut, heal your brain”
If you could cure your depression with probiotics, would you give it a try? It almost sounds too simple, but here’s the science behind how it works.
There are many studies that link an unhealthy microbiome to anxiety and depression. One explanation for this is that your microbiome assists with the production of GABA, a neurotransmitter that’s known for improving mood and relieving anxiety.
A healthy microbiome also helps reduce cortisol levels – the stress hormone. So a happy gut not only boosts your mood, but it also helps counteract the negative effects of stress.
As you can see, a healthy microbiome is absolutely essential for a healthy mood and a healthy recovery. Here’s some advice on how to restore a healthy microbiome.
How to Treat Post Stroke Depression with Probiotics
To restore your microbiome, there are 3 simple steps that you can take:
- Increase your intake of fermented foods
- Supplement with a high quality probiotic
- Make sure that you’re getting prebiotics too
Now let’s elaborate.
To start, we recommend increasing your intake of fermented foods which naturally contain those coveted probiotics. Some example of fermented foods are yogurt, cottage cheese, keifer, tempeh, and sauerkraut. The amount of fermented foods available are rather limited, so it can be tough to incorporate them into your everyday diet.
If that’s the case, then try supplementing with a high-quality probiotic. When shopping for probiotics, be sure to do your homework first as sometimes the bacteria die in the capsules – which won’t benefit you at all. Here’s a great guide on choosing the right probiotic.
Lastly, you need to feed the little bugs in your body with prebiotics. Prebiotics are indigestible fiber that promote the growth of good bacteria in your gut. Some examples of prebiotic foods are bananas, onion, garlic, artichoke, and beans. Feeding your gut is just as important as fostering it, so don’t forget both your pre- and probiotics!
We bet that you’ll immediately feel better once you start following these steps – especially if you’ve had a severely compromised microbiome before.
Have you tried taking probiotics for a better brain? How did it work for you? Please share your comments with us in the section below!