Stress and your GUT – part2

Image courtesy of “Master isolated images”

Image courtesy of “Master isolated images”

In my last post I have touched upon how the condition of your gut flora influences your immune response and that foods high in probiotics can help repopulate the gut with good flora.

One of the best-known of the foods that contain probiotics is yogurt. It is not only very nutritious (containing calcium, vitamin B2, vitamin B12, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus and protein) but its pro-biotic bacteria have a potential use as anti-inflammatory agents.

Researchers (Oscar et al, 2004) found that yogurt consumption shortened diarrheal diseases in children, helped prevent or treat symptoms associated with inflammatory bowel disease and colon cancer, and is being studied as a way to help eradicate a dangerous stomach pathogen.

Which type of yogurt is best?
I would recommend choosing an organic yoghurt. Not only are organic yoghurts produced without the use of synthetic chemicals, fertilisers or genetically modified organisms, organic farming also ensures that animals are reared free-range and is focussed on reducing animal stress so that they remain healthy. That also means that cows are happier, they produce less stress hormones, so the diary products are not only healthier but taste better as well.

Organic yoghurt is high nutritional value and has a reduced risk of exposure to the toxins associated with factory farming practices. In addition to fresher foods and reduced fossil fuel consumption, the profit from the sale of locally produced foods is more likely to find its way back into the community.

To avoid sugar choose a plain, natural yoghurt. Check the ingredients list to be sure. Many yogurts are labelled ‘sugar free’ however these are often the worst for containing artificial sweeteners. If you’re not too keen on the sour taste of plain and natural yoghurt just add some fresh fruit or even a little honey or agave.

Here’s a (by no means comprehensive) list of organic brands to chose from:

-Barambah Organics
-Elgaar Farm
-Schulz Organic
-Gippsland Natural Organic
-Marrook Farm Biodynamic
-Organic yoghurt from Aldi

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Bogdanov IG, Dalev PG, Gurevich LA, et al. Antitumor glycopeptides from Lactobacillus bulgaricus cell wall. FEBS Lett 1975;57:259–61

Fernandes CF, Shahani KM, Amer MA. Therapeutic role of dietary lactobacilli and lactobacillic fermented dairy products. FEMS Microbiol Rev 1987;46:343–56.

Friend BA, Shahani KM. Antitumor properties of lactobacilli and dairy products fermented by lactobacilli. J Food Prot 1984;47:717–23.

Oskar Adolfsson et al, Yogurt and Gut Function, American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Vol. 80, No. 2, 245-256, August 2004

Schiffrin EJ, Brassart D, Servin AL, Rochat F, Donnet-Hughes A. Immune modulation of blood leukocytes in humans by lactic acid bacteria: criteria for strain selection. Am J Clin Nutr 1997; 66(suppl):515S–20S.

Schiffrin EJ, Rochat F, Link-Amster H, Aeschlimann JM, Donnet-Hughes A. Immunomodulation of human blood cells following the ingestion of lactic acid bacteria. J Dairy Sci 1995;78:491–7.

Solis-Pereyra B, Lemonnier D. Induction of human cytokines by bacteria used in dairy foods. Nutr Res 1993;13:1127–40.


About Mensch - Connecting Mind Body Breath

I am committed to provide empowering information, to help you cope with painful emotions and support you towards personal growth and development. I combine my PhD in Psychology with 15 years of practical experience in counselling across clinical, corporate and community settings. Contact me on 0426 558 562 for a FREE 10-minute phone consultation to talk about your needs or write me a quick email at
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