Food is something that most of us appreciate but we all likely have our favorite. For many of us, however, there is nothing quite like a good pickle. It is the combination of flavors, part sour, part salty and completely delicious that makes these one-time cucumbers a great choice for the menu. What you may not realize, however, is that pickles and all fermented foods are actually good for our health.
If you are wondering how a simple pickle can make your life better, the explanation can be found through scientific studies. One of those studies was completed by the researchers at McMaster University in Ontario, Canada. They found evidence that the bacteria living within our digestive systems was linked to our brain chemistry and our behavior. In other words, the trillions of bacteria in our gut can affect our mental health and wellness.
Researchers at the College of William and Mary found additional evidence that adults who ate a diet rich in fermented foods had lower levels of social anxiety. Those fermented foods include kimchi, sauerkraut and pickles. According to an assistant professor at that university, the fermented foods had an “anxiolytic effect” on those who ate them.
These two different studies both linked eating fermented foods to good health because of probiotics. It is probiotics that can stimulate the growth of the bacteria within our intestines that helps our health in many ways. To put it simply, pickles and other fermented foods work wonders at helping the bacteria in our digestive systems to be balanced. This not only affects our digestive process, it also has a positive effect on our mood and our state of mind.
Think of it this way; a healthy stomach means a healthy brain and this leads to less anxiety, irritability and depression. If you just add additional fermented foods into your diet, you can boost your mental health and even improve your social life. It is less likely that you will feel shy, embarrassed and anxious around other people.
The research is still ongoing but scientists are looking for a way to help treat anxiety disorders by using natural foods instead of medication. Who knows, maybe someday we may be prescribed a pickle instead of a pill.
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