Want to Lift Your Mood? This Is What Every Nutritionist Is Recommending

Elinor Block
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Probiotics aren't anything new. You've probably already heard about them in those yoghurt adverts just for women (apparently only one gender experiences digestive problems *eye roll*). But did you know they're currently being touted as a scientifically proven way to help with depression and anxiety? This is because your gut is considered to be your "second brain," with roughly 90% to 95% of all the body's serotonin (the naturally occurring chemical that makes you feel good) being produced in the gut. However, if that delicate balance of bacteria, which produces the serotonin, gets disrupted it can lead to reduced serotonin levels, which in turn could create symptoms of depression and anxiety. 

As someone who's spoken to a lot of different nutritionists, the use of probiotics often comes up as something most people should be doing. That said, it can be a complicated area to understand. Questions that often come up when discussing taking them include "What do they actually do?" "Why should I take one?" and "How do I take them?" I turned to clinical nutritionist Kerry Madgwick, who regularly encourages her clients to take probiotics and has seen positive results from it. I also looked at the most recent studies to help break down the best way to take probiotics and what all the fuss is about.

Keep scrolling for your 101 guide on probiotics, as well as the best ones to take.

The short of it: 

Want to know what all the fuss is about probiotics? Essentially, for those who suffer from anxiety and depression, probiotics help to increase the levels of serotonin in the body, thus aiding their symptoms. 

There are a few different types of probiotics you can take but it all depends on the strain that is right for you body. To work this out, it's advised to speak to a nutritionist but you can also try taking some recommended health food probiotics too.

Next up! The benefits of pilates—from mindfulness to inch loss.

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