The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. Secretly I think if I were to poll the women I know this holds true for them as well. In truth, the way to a persons mind may also just well be through the stomach if research is to be believed. Globally an estimated 350 million people suffer from depression. Those who additionally have anxiety, stress and a general sense of worry or weariness will be much higher. Our gut is host to over 100 trillion bacteria that play a role in keeping you alive collectively called micro biome. Research is increasingly showing that the quality of bacteria in your gut affects the state of your mind and the risk of depression. This science is called psychobiotics.

Several studies have documented the association of your diet to the risk of depression. It was first suggested in the 1800’s that there might be a link between the food you eat and your state of mind. New evidence is now showing that there exists a strong gut-brain link. Starting from childhood, the exposure than an infant faces to a stressful environment seems to alter the colonisation of the gut. This can then persist well into adulthood. The microbiota has the ability to influence the levels or serotonin and its precursor tryptophan. This research not only shows that the state of your gut impacts the risk of stress, anxiety and depression but also that eating the right food or probiotics can help in dealing with depression. In short the anxious phenotype can be transmitted through the gut.

The way to dealing with anxiety and depression is therefore also through the food you eat. Eating foods high in sugar and processed foods impacts the quality of the bacteria in your food. Replacing it with healthy foods especially those that have probiotics like yogurt and kefir helps. Also reducing the intake of antibiotics improves the quality of your gut. Surprisingly, creating a sanitised environment can also add to the risk of good bacteria being eliminated.

You might want to include a bowl of yogurt for your next candle lit dinner.


Ritesh is a born again health enthusiast and holds a Certificate in Physiology from Harvard Medical School and a Certificate in Nutrition from Tufts University.