Food for thought might just have a whole new meaning to it and in a more literal sense. We all hold a widely held conception that fish helps our brains develop and this study shows exactly that, but there might be a new super brain food on the block that could help your brain work better and it is readily accessible everywhere. Pickles.
However, not all pickles can have such a positive impact on the brain. A study done by the college of William and Mary in Virginia revealed that naturally fermented foods such as dilled pickles can provide you with a huge boost of serotonin which is a chemical responsible for managing our moods.
For people who have had an experience with depression or anxiety disorder, pickles could be just the thing to boost serotonin levels in your body like what most pharmaceutical antidepressants aim to do.
Gut and Anxiety
According to Dr Michael Gershon, author of The Second Brain, the gut is actually somewhat like our body’s second brain having as many neurotransmitters as the brain! However, unlike our brain that controls what we feel and how we make decisions, the gut makes decisions from swallowing, digesting to nutrient absorption and elimination.
What’s also fascinating about our gut is that it communicates with our main brain with very profound results as researchers are finding more evidence that problems in the gastrointestinal system send signals to our brain triggering a bout of mood changes which explains why people with bowel disorders suffer from depression and anxiety much easier.
Pickles And Euphoria
The GABA neurotransmitter is a bunch of neurons in our brain that controls motor movements, vision and they also regulate anxiety. And by putting a pickle into your mouth, it actually does a lot to your gut as well as your brain. Fermented foods such as dilled pickles have healthy bacteria in them called probiotics and there is much research done on the relationship between anxiety disorders and probiotics.
In one research done by the University of College Cork, Ireland, rats were used to study the potential benefits of introducing probiotics into their systems during a stressful situation such as maternal separation. Researchers studied that probiotic treatment is able to regulate their behavior and their abnormal immune response. Results like this fully support the hypothesis that probiotics have the potential to change our moods as well as strengthening our immune systems.
Researchers studied that probiotic treatment is able to regulate their behavior and their abnormal immune response. Results like this fully support the hypothesis that probiotics have the potential to change our moods as well as strengthening our immune systems.
To further prove the point that pickles actually does make people less stressed out, a study done by Maryland University studied the dietary habits of 700 students and found out that people who had fermented products in their diets suffered less social anxiety.
Eat More Fermented Products
Other than dilled pickles, there are also alternatives to look out for to get those good bacteria into your gut so that you keep your mind stable as well. Foods that you can consider are Yogurt, Sauerkraut, Dark chocolate, miso soup, Tempeh and Kimchi.
On top of the digestive benefits of eating fermented products, there are a few things to take note when eating these foods that are also pretty high in sodium. Eating pickles as a snack is good and having just one is fine. Researchers from Turkey were actually found out that people with gastric cancer ate more pickles than cancer free participants in the survey. So it’s best not to eat too much of a good thing and have it in moderation.
Featured photo credit: Homemade Preserves via pixabay.com