Fibre and fermented foods may help reduce stress

A recent study by the World Economic Forum showed a link between stress levels and daily intake of fibre and fermented foods.

The four week study included 45 people, half of whom were instructed to follow a “psychobiotic diet” designed to increase the amount of prebiotic and fermented foods they ate. Participants were encouraged to consume 6-8 servings of fruits and vegetables high in prebiotic fibre (such as onions, leeks, cabbage, apples, bananas and oats), 5-8 servings of grains, 3-4 servings of legumes, and 2-3 servings of fermented foods (such as sauerkraut, kefir and kombucha).

At the end of the study, those in the “psychobiotic diet” group reported reduced stress levels and improved sleep quality. The study also found a direct correlation between stress levels and how strictly participants followed the diet: those who consumed more psychobiotic foods reported the greatest reduction in perceived stress levels.

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