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When You Eat Pickles Often, Something Surprising Will Happen To Your Brain

When You Eat Pickles Often, Something Surprising Will Happen To Your Brain

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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Lim Kairen

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Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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