When we talk about side effects, we normally look at the downsides, but some side effects are good! Here are probiotic side effects that you can feel good about.
Andrea at our sister site Vibrant Wellness Journal wrote a great piece on the health benefits of miso, a fermented food. She mentions sort of in passing that miso helps boost your mood, and that really caught my eye. What is it about miso that’s mood-boosting? I wanted to check out the science.
And there is science to back up that claim! Preliminary research from University College Cork in Ireland found that probiotic foods can help fight depression and stress.
The article – published in the journal Biological Psychiatry – found that certain types of probiotics hold huge potential for “fighting depression and other stress-related disorders.” The authors are calling these probiotics “psychobiotics.” Review author Timothy Dinan and his colleagues looked at past studies on probiotics and probiotic foods and found a strong link between healthy gut bacteria and reduced stress and depression.
Does that mean that eating miso will cure depression? Probably not. But it does mean that ingesting these beneficial bacteria – either through supplements or by eating probiotic foods – has potential to boost your mood. It certainly can’t hurt.
Other Probiotic Side Effects
In general, probiotic side effects are positive, but there are a couple of rare cases where you should talk to a doctor before taking probiotics.
If you have short bowel syndrome, however, you may want to talk to your doctor before taking probiotics. Same goes for anyone suffering from immunodeficiency. There have been extremely rare cases of probiotics causing issues in people with weakened immune systems.
Beyond mood, there are other beneficial probiotic side effects. Dr. Weil outlines these beautifully in a short piece. He suggests probiotics for helping with ailments from diarrhea to irritable bowel syndrome to Crohn’s Disease.
Since negative probiotic side effects are so few and the potential benefits are so many, there’s generally no harm in adding a supplement to your routine. You can also get more probiotics into your day by eating probiotic foods.
Beyond Yogurt: Eating More Probiotic Foods
When you think of probiotic foods, you probably reach for a container of yogurt. Sure, yogurt contains probiotics, but it’s just one of the many probiotic foods on grocery shelves. And possibly not even the best one for our health.
Need some ways to get more probiotic foods into your diet? We’ve got you. Andrea shares nine delicious miso recipes over at Vibrant Wellness Journal to help you make the most of this fermented food. Here at Eat Drink Better, I put together a list of the five best fermented foods and how to eat them. You can even add probiotics to your skincare routine!