Do you ever feel like your brain is overloaded with stuff you need to remember? An efficient memory is an important component of well-being and happiness, so it’s definitely worth our effort to find ways to boost our recall memory.
The Second Brain: Gut and Memory
Studies show that the gut makes most of the important chemicals that affect memory. Often called “the second brain,” the gut houses the largest colony of microorganisms that regulate digestion, immunity, vitamin production and, yes, memory. Maybe that’s why we always talk about having a “gut feeling” about someone or about how “something in our gut” steered our decision.
Probiotics Benefit Brain Function
Probiotics are the beneficial yeast and bacteria in the gut that keep you healthy, and research shows that probiotics are responsible for making most of the body’s serotonin that sends messages and chemicals to the brain. So, it’s safe to say that you can’t have a keen memory without a thriving gut.
In a recent study, participants took probiotics for four weeks and a placebo for four weeks. They scored higher on memory tests and reported less anxiety and stress while taking probiotics than when taking placebo.
If you’ve got a “gut feeling” that your memory is declining, you can add probiotics to your diet to boost your gut health. The delicate flora of your gut can easily be disrupted by stress, illness, poor diet or contaminants in food. Another disrupter of a healthy gut is antibiotics. Taking antibiotics can eliminate a large percentage of the good bacteria in your system, so it’s important to restore the balance with a diet that’s high in probiotics.
Foods like yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, kombucha, tempeh, miso, pickles, sourdough bread, kimchi and even dark chocolate are full of probiotics. You might notice that many of these foods are pungent or sour, and that’s because they’re fermented. The fermentation process exponentially increases the number of probiotics in foods, so look for products that boast “trillions of live cultures.” Incorporating these foods into your diet will enhance your memory, boost immunity and improve digestion (Hyperbiotics).
Talk to your doctor about how your body – and mind – can benefit from probiotics. Before changing your diet, get approval from your physician so you can make the best decisions for your health.