Stop Social Anxiety TODAY – 3 Foods That Help Fast!

By on March 8, 2016
Feeling anxious or stressed out about social interaction is normal–but if it’s preventing you from living a healthy life, chances are you could have social anxiety disorder, or SAD.

Though it’s a common condition, few people talk about it. Worse yet, finding treatment for it continues to be an issue.

Research from the University of Maryland suggests a surprising new way to reduce its symptoms, however.

Featured in Psychiatry Research, a health journal, researchers say people who ate more fermented foods experienced fewer social anxiety symptoms. Those who did not, on the other hand, were noticeably more socially anxious.

Matthew Hillmire, a professor from William & Mary Psychology, helped oversee the study.

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

The Research

For the study, researchers had 700 students fill out a questionnaire detailing their consumption of fermented foods,  specifically examining how much they consumed over a 30 day period. In addition, researchers asked them about other habits that could influence the severity of society anxiety symptoms, such as eating more fruits and vegetables and exercising regularly.

Researchers then looked at how many society anxiety symptoms the students displayed.

The result? The more fermented foods they consumed, the fewer social anxiety symptoms they had.

“The main finding was that individuals who had consumed more fermented foods had reduced social anxiety but that was qualified by an interaction by neuroticism,” says Hillmire. “However, if we rely on the animal models that have come before us and the human experimental work that has come before us in other anxiety and depression studies, it does seem that there is a causative mechanism.”

What This Means For You

While further testing is necessary, researchers consider the results positive. As an added bonus, fermented foods are generally healthy overall so it’s a good idea to eat up–they’re associated with improved digestive health and a reduced risk of certain cancers, for instance.

So if you can, eat more fermented foods–and do it daily.  Good fermented food sources include kimchi, sauerkraut, and milk kefir.

“These initial results highlight the possibility that social anxiety may be alleviated through low-risk nutritional interventions, although further research is needed to determine whether increasing probiotic consumption directly causes a reduction in social anxiety,” says Jordan DeVylder, a University of Maryland School of Social Work Assistant Professor.

Readers: What are some of your favorite fermented foods?

Decreased Social Anxiety Among Young Adults Who Eat Fermented
Fermented Foods, Neuroticism, and Society Anxiety: An Interaction Model (Study)
Study Finds Decreased Social Anxiety Among Young Adults Who Eat Fermented Foods (Press Release)

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