In times of stress, many of us turn to comfort food – but it seems high-fibre snacks could help us to calm down.
Fruit, vegetables and wholegrains are a prime source of substances called short-chain fatty acids. Researchers at University College Cork and others have found that, over time, low levels of the acids cause the gut to become less effective and ‘leaky’. A leaky gut wall allows undigested food particles, bacteria and germs to pass into the blood and cause persistent inflammation, they said.
Studies in mice found that those whose diet was supplemented with the acids showed less anxiety and depressive behaviour, were more sociable and had better cognitive skills.
Research author Professor John Cryan said further research on the acids’ link to easing stress was ‘crucial’.
Not sure what foods you should be eating? Here is a video of 30 foods that are high in fibre.