A collaborative research trial from professors in the US has found that fermented foods may have a positive effect on people suffering from social anxiety and neuroticism. The findings also suggested that people who were at genetic risk for social anxiety disorder due to neuroticism gained the most benefit from the particular food group.
The study was conducted by William and Mary psychology professors Matthew Hilimire and Catherine Forestell, alongside Jordan DeVylder, assistant professor at the University of Maryland School of Social Work.
The fermented foods listed as beneficial included yogurt, kefir, fermented soy milk, miso soup, sauerkraut, some dark chocolates, microalgae juices, pickles, tempeh and kimchi.
So how the hell does this all work?
Well, fermented foods contain probiotics, which favorably change the bacterial environment in the gut. Then, the change in bacterial gut results in an increase in a neurotransmitter called GABA. And what’s an increase in GABA do? Well, you know anti-anxiety medication like XANAX? Yeah, well they mimic GABA in order to complete their tasks. Needless to say, GABA is the pleasant, floating cloud of neurotransmitters.
As Munchies pointed out, the gut-brain connection is a very hot topic at the moment, with scientists all over the world continually probing how exactly their relationship can be of use to us.
Photo by Eric.