In a rat study described on, a diet rich in prebiotics– indigestible fibers that promote the growth of healthy gut bacteria– seemed to help test subjects recover better from stressful episodes.

In this experiment, test rats received prebiotic diets for several weeks prior to a stressful test condition and compared with control rats that did not receive the prebiotic-enriched diet. Interestingly, rats that ate prebiotics prior to the stressful event did not experience stress-induced disruption in their gut microbiota, and also recovered healthier sleep patterns sooner than controls.