The Psychobiotic Food Pyramid Is the Easiest Way to Eat for Better Gut Health

Photo: Getty Images/Westend61

When I first heard the term "psychobiotic food pyramid," I thought to myself, Oh boy, they're finally using robots to dictate the nutritional needs of humans. As it turns out, my first interpretation was wrong. The pyramid is, in fact, an Oprah Winfrey-approved way to eat for your gut health.

Like the old school nutritional pyramid of your middle school days, the psychobiotic food pyramid couldn't be more intuitive. The model was created by John Cryan, PhD, and Ted Dinan, PhD, of the University of Cork, who authored the book The Psychobiotic Revolution with journalist Scott C. Anderson. It's taken off as a simple approach to the muddled topic of eating a gut-healthy diet. Here's how the breakdown works, according to Psychology Today

Ready to master a gut-healthy diet? The layers work like this


View this post on Instagram


Check this out! This is called The Psychobiotic Food Pyramid, devised by Scott C. Anderson, author of the book The Psychobiotic Revolution. It’s a great illustration of the foods to eat for a happy, healthy gut and good mental health Psycho translates to ‘Mood; mental’ Biotic translates to ‘For Life’ Fermented foods are included in number 4 and make up a significant part of your diet every day. Prebiotic foods, such as veggies, have been included in number 5. I think you are onto something here, Scott C. Anderson! #psychobiotics #foodpyramid #moodfood #probiotics #prebiotics #thepsychobioticrevolution #guthealth #goodforyou #goodbacteria #fermentation #mentalhealth #whattoeat #gutbrainconnection #gutbrainaxis

A post shared by The Pickled Pepper (@the_pickled_pepper) on Aug 13, 2018 at 2:11am PDT

Layer 1

The base layer is made up of veggies, fruits, whole grains, legumes, olive oil, herbs, spices
Consume: Daily

Layer 2

This one is all about fish, seafood, and fermented foods.
Consume: Often

Layer 3

Here's where you'll find your poultry, eggs, and dairy!
Consume: Weekly

Layer 4

Red meat and sweets get the tiniest square footage on the triangle.
Consume: Rarely

Once you get the hang of planning weekly meals based on the principals of the pyramid, what you end up with is an entirely new way of eating for your digestion. "A lot of variables are involved with psychobiotic balance, including diet, exercise, genetics, immunity and hormones," writes Anderson for "It's an exquisitely complex system, and your success will depend on keeping all of these factors in top shape."

When you're giving the model a whirl, Anderson says that lessening the foods you eat from layers three and four is more important than upping the precious nutrients of layers one and two. Then, you can start experimenting with all beans, low-mercury fish, nuts, and a rainbow of vegetables. What you're left with is an eating style that follows the Nordic and Mediterranean diets.

Wow, how very hip and cool of you. Pro tip: Sipping on a healthy gut tea can help ease digestion ahead of bedtime.

And you can also eat for your brain and your liver

Our editors independently select these products. Making a purchase through our links may earn Well+Good a commission.

Loading More Posts...