Fermented Foods Decrease Social Anxiety

Turns out pickles can keep you cool as a cucumber. According to Science Daily, professors from William & Mary College and the University of Maryland, Baltimore, published a study suggesting that young adults who eat more fermented foods have less social anxiety.

Professor Matthew Hilimire of William & Mary stated that fermented foods contain probiotics, which were what yielded the results. "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," Hilimire said.

Researchers asked 700 students from the University of Maryland to eat fermented foods for a month and record exercise and fruit and vegetable intake. The findings found that exercise actually induced more social anxiety.

Fermented foods include sauerkraut, oshinko (Japanese pickled vegetables), kombucha, and kimchi, which research suggests may also fight obesity.

The study will be published in the August issue of Psychiatry Research.