These results suggest that consumption of fermented foods that contain probiotics may serve as a low-risk intervention for reducing social anxiety. – US National Library of Medicine
It turns out that eating fermented foods such as sauerkraut, pickles and yogurt may help ease certain types of anxiety along with general neuroticism. This development was discovered some time after scientists and other mental health experts discovered that the stomach may also play an important role in mental health.
In one study undertaken of 700 students at the College of William and Mary, those that ate higher levels of fermented foods had fewer social anxiety symptoms. One professor explained it this way: “It is likely that the probiotics in the fermented foods are favorable changing the environment in the guy, and changes in the gut in turn influence social anxiety.”
The biological connection between the gut and brain has been known for a while. In relation to anxiety, scientists believe that good bacteria in fermented foods increases levels of a chemical called GABA – a neurotransmitter that has an anti-anxiety effect on the body. In other words, good bacteria that accumulates in the gut by eating fermented food may have a direct anti-anxiety, sedative effect.
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