It’s no secret that the foods people consume have major impacts on their physical health. But they also influence well-being. That’s why ordering a pizza after a stressful day may not be the best option, even if it is the most appealing.
An emerging field of science known as nutritional psychiatry is based on research linking food to mental health. It’s centered on the gut microbiome, a community of bacteria — both good and bad — that supports digestion and the health of the immune system, among other roles.
Positive changes to the gut microbiome have been shown to reduce inflammation, boost the immune system and improve mood. Disturbances can contribute to physical health issues like obesity, inflammatory bowel disease and psoriatic arthritis. And they also can impact a person’s mood.
That’s because the production of serotonin, which helps regulate sleep, appetite and mood, is highly influenced by the gut’s