Social stress is a real problem that affects real people on a regular basis. Many can attest to the burden social anxiety plays in their day-to-day lives. Like many problems, social anxiety is something that can be better managed through lifestyle changes – dietary included. Good news! Exciting new research has us hopeful that the consumption of probiotic-rich food could help reduce feelings of anxiousness.
The Full Scoop
From the amounting research about the benefits of probiotics, we have already learned that probiotics may help with everything from inflammation to depression management, possibly even promoting good digestive health. In a recent study, researchers gained some huge insights, all from a cup of yogurt. Well, it’s a little more complex than that.
After pooling just over 700 college students about their food and exercise habits and their natural disposition, “The results showed that people who ate more fermented foods (yogurt, kimchi, and kefir) were less likely to experience social anxiety,” reported Refinery 29. Although this study relied on self-reported data, other research has suggested similar findings.
There have been fairly conclusive findings about good gut bacteria appearing to make communities of mice less anxious by specifically targeting cortisol levels, but we were especially excited to learn about a study conducted in England. The study discovered that probiotics may impact the way people process emotional information. As an effect, feelings of anxiety may be reduced in otherwise anxiety-ridden situations.
Wow! Now that is some news we can appreciate! Between supplements and probiotic-rich fermented food like the yogurt, kefir, and kimchi highlighted in the study, there’s a plethora of ways you may be able to better manage social anxiety. Like anything, though, consistency is crucial.
Keep calm and chow down on those friendly microbes!