That’s the finding from a new study released by the University of Baltimore. Psychologists found that teenagers who ate more fermented foods with probiotics in them, like yogurt, kimchee or pickles, were less stressed than teens who didn’t.The effect was strongest for teens who have genetic risk factors for social anxiety.
“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,” said William and Mary Psychology professor and study author Matthew Hilimire. “I think that it is absolutely fascinating that the microorganisms in your gut can influence your mind.”
“Assuming similar findings in the experimental follow-up, what it would suggest is that you could augment more traditional therapies with fermented foods — dietary changes — and exercise, as well,” Hilimire said.
Researchers are interested in exploring even more mind-gut connections. The scientists will be looking into whether there are any connections between probiotics and autism next.