The Benefits of Probiotic Food for Mental Health

Probiotic foods are widely known for the benefits to the body, particularly the gut and It’s “good bacteria”. These good bacteria, known as microbiota, thrive on probiotic-rich nourishment and according to The British Society of Immunology, have the ability to influence our immune system, with over 70% of the body’s immune system cells residing in the gut area.

With this in mind, let’s explore the benefits of eating a probiotic-based diet and the positive impact it has on our mental health and take a look at some easy and delicious ways to add probiotics to your daily intake.

The Benefits

Improved digestion, lower cholesterol and weight loss

Digestion problems, high cholesterol and weight gain can all have a detrimental effect on a person’s mental health. Probiotics can provide relief from co-existing health problems which can make depression and anxiety worse over time depending on the severity of symptoms.

Reduction in Stress Hormones, Anxiety and Depression

A probiotic abundant diet is known to reduce levels of cortisol (The stress hormone) within the body. High levels of cortisol are known to exacerbate symptoms of depression, anxiety and stress.

Boosting Memory and Cognitive Function

Our gut is home to our Enteric Nervous System (ENS), otherwise known as our “Second Brain”.  The Gut Brain Axis (GBA) is responsible for communication between the central (brain) and enteric (gut) nervous systems with the gut microbiota acting as a big influence in these interactions. This has been proven to aid learning, memory and cognitive disorders such as Alzheimer’s.

 Probiotic Rich Food

One of the best ways to reap mental health benefits is by eating organic probiotics to promote and aid the growth of good bacteria. Natural foods are the most sustainable way to add more of this to your gut. Perhaps one of the most commercially well-known probiotic food is yogurt, but unfortunately, they don’t always contain enough live cultures and are stuffed with artificial flavourings.

Kefir Milk

Kefir Milk is one of the tastiest ways to add natural probiotic into your lifestyle. Made with Kefir grains and fermented with your favourite milk to create a delicious, creamy drink which is packed with healthy live cultures that promote good bacteria within the human body.


Kimchi is an oriental recipe deriving from Korean cuisine containing fermented vegetables including pickled cabbage called “Napa”. Kimchi is spicy and flavourful, making it the perfect accompaniment to rice, noodles or soup-based dishes.


Kombucha tea has been around for thousands of years and is thought to have originated in China. This fermented tea has a tart, sweet taste with a slight fizziness and is made by brewing tea bags and sugar in hot water and adding a Symbiotic Culture Of Bacteria and Yeast, known as a “scoby”. The scoby ferments with the tea mixture over a few weeks and the end result is a delicious and unique tea which your gut bacteria, memory and mental health will thank you for.

Disclaimer Always consult a GP before changing your diet or taking probiotics, especially if you have a medical condition.

© Triangle Mental Health Foundation 2022