You’ve probably heard that fiber is an important part of your diet. It does things like helps keep blood sugar under control, lowers cholesterol levels, and of course, it helps keep things moving like they should. But it turns out, there’s another benefit to fiber that we overlooked - it can relieve stress, too.
So when we eat fiber-rich foods, like grains, legumes, and vegetables, it stimulates the bacteria in our gut to produce short-chain fatty acids, which are important to keeping the metabolism and immune system healthy. Researchers from Ireland studied the effects of introducing short-chain fatty acids into the guts of mice and found it helped reduce stress and anxiety-related behaviors.
“There is growing recognition of the role of gut bacteria and the chemicals they make in the regulation of physiology and behavior,” the study’s lead author Professor John F. Cryan explains. “The role of short-chain fatty acids in this process has been poorly understood up until now.”
Of course, this research was only done on mice, so scientists still need to look at whether the short-chain fatty acids can alleviate stress-related issues in humans. But fiber is good for us anyway, so we’ll keep eating it and hope for the best.
Source: Women's Health