The mind-gut relationship is fascinating. According to new research, there’s a possible connection between social anxiety symptoms in young adults and fermented foods containing probiotics, which serve to boost good gut bacteria and reduce inflammation. So if you’re neurotic and socially awkward, maybe you should start putting kimchi in your quesadillas and sauerkraut on your sandwiches.

Study author Matthew Hilimire, a psychology professor at the College of William & Mary, explains,

“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.”

He continues, “I think that it is absolutely fascinating that the microorganisms in your gut can influence your mind.” 


Mind-altering pickles? (Photo: Erin Mosbaugh)

Seven-hundred college students participated in the study, which was conducted by professors at William & Mary College and the University of Maryland.

Next time, we would appreciate if they would give us a call, given that we’re really into stuff like pickled ramp gibsons and pickled green tomatoes (and because all writers are socially awkward).

[via Science Daily, Yahoo! Health]