People think of moods as being controlled by our minds, but they are actually strongly influenced by our immune systems, including gut microbes. Bacteria inside our intestines called commensal help the fight against pathogens, but also have the ability to change our brains. In addition, the vagus nerve enables the brain and gut to communicate with each other. It’s a complex system, but the net effect is that a good diet can improve your reaction to stress. Consuming fiber and probiotics benefits good gut microbes, as does exercise. Furthermore, be wary of antibiotics, which kill gut microbes.
- Stress can have an effect on our production of chemicals, as a response to the stressful environment.
- Inflammation can result from stress, or other reasons, and brings with it a host of health problems.
- Combined with the ever present microbes, inflammation and stress can feed off each other and result in poor health.
“Fighting invaders is one thing, but steeling us against mental pressures seems like a big ask of the immune system.”