This seems like a totally crazy question. How could something you eat have an effect on your psychology? And, more importantly, how could a pickle have an effect on something like anxiety? Is it legitimate research?
A recent study published in Psychiatry Research has found that eating fermented foods – like Pickles – can actually help to decrease social anxiety. Read on to find out more about this interesting study. And, if you aren’t convinced by the end of this article – pickles are still pretty delicious and they come in so many different varieties that you can always find a new flavor.
What are pickles?
First, let’s get one thing straight. What are pickles? Pickles are actually cucumbers, that have then been pickled in brine and vinegar and left to ferment. Other fermented foods including sauerkraut and yogurt, share one very important thing in common with pickles: they all have healthy bacteria that work to ferment them!
How can they help with anxiety?
A study in the August issue of Psychiatry Research has found that the pro-biotics in fermented foods can actually help decrease social anxiety. In fact, the healthy bacteria found in fermented foods changes the environment in the gut for the better, which then, in turn, changes a person’s social anxiety.
After testing over 700 college students, the study found that particularly neurotic patients had a decrease in shyness and social fears when they increased their consumption of fermented food.
So what exactly is that pickle doing to your social anxiety?
We’re not quite sure yet. Although there has been a link found, there is no clear explanation linking pickles to social anxiety. The missing link is the gut.
Although it’s clear that pickles help to have a healthy gut, it is thought that a healthy gut may be linked to the mind as well, but it isn’t proven yet. However, there are many studies showing that mice without bacteria are more anxious. It is thought that an increase in good bacteria may increase levels of chemicals in the brain that control anxiety.
One important thing to note is that each individual’s bacteria differ from one another. This means that tests can be quite hard to run, since a healthy amount of bacteria for one person’s gut will not be the same for another.
Pickles, Probiotics, and Why Rotten Food Is Good For You
Probiotics eat our food for us and help us digest. We need bacteria and it is good for us. Watch this fun scientific discussion and I promise you will learn at least a couple new things!
Summary – Pickles and Anxiety
So what does all this tell us in the end? Good bacteria is good for us. Pickles, like many other fermented foods, have good bacteria in them. Although we can’t say for sure that pickles can directly influence social anxiety, pickles will help improve your overall digestive health, and may just help you calm your social fears.
Over 19 million Americans suffer from social anxiety, which is the overwhelming fear of social situations. Social anxiety is actually the second most common anxiety disorder in the Unites States.
Finally, if you like pickles you probably love popcorn – learn some fun popcorn facts!
I’m Natalie Garcia and I started this website to share my love of trivia, facts and fun knowledge tidbits. We cover things like celebrity gossip, historical facts, tv shows, world leaders and just odd and random fun things. I started this site to have some fun with my hobby and share some useful information with you, our community. Please feel to send me your suggestions and feedback through the contact form. And if you have suggestions for things to write about, please shoot me a message!