Pickled foods linked to reduction in anxiety levels
The article published in the Psychiatric Research journal (Volume 228, Issue 2) and lead by Matthew R. Hilimire, discovered that young people who regularly ate pickled food experienced less social anxiety symptoms.
Those with a family history of social anxiety problems were also found to gain the most benefit from consuming pickled goods such as kimchi and sauerkraut which contain probiotics.
“It is likely that the probiotics in the fermented foods are favorably changing the environment in the gut, and changes in the gut in turn influence social anxiety,” said researcher Matthew Hilimire about the study results.
“I think that it is absolutely fascinating that the microorganisms in your gut can influence your mind,” he said.
The study was conducted through surveying 700 American university students about their history with social anxiety and how much pickled food they consumed.
Researchers now wish to study further into how food can impact an individual’s mental state. The scientists also plan to study whether eating pickled foods has a connection to autism.
The research team say more work needs to be done to understand the issue of cause or effect in relation to the association of pickled foods and the type of person who consumes pickled foods.