Part 2: Probiotic & prebiotic foods = less social anxiety
Ready to get that gut in it’s healthiest state and reduce anxiety?
Part I of this series, found here, indicated that new research is revealing that foods rich in proboitics and prebiotics can help lessen the reaction of the nervous system’s fight or flight response to stressors.
So what can you do to improve gut bacteria?
Psychology researchers at College of William & Mary studied the effect of fermented food on social anxiety. They found fermented foods containing probiotics may have a safeguarding effect against social anxiety symptoms for those that genetically predisposed (meaning if your parents suffer from anxiety, you are likely to as well).
Sources of probiotic foods to consider adding to your lifestyle include:
Yogurt is one of the best sources. However, you should look for options with Lactobacillus acidophilus, or L. acidophilus that are also low in sugar (around 4-6 grams of sugar). Beware of artificial sweeteners, as these chemical offset the benefit of the good bacteria.
SAUERKRAUT & KIMICHI
Sauerkraut and kimchi are simply fermented cabbages flavored differently, and they are both foods endorsed by author of the 4-Hour Body, Tim Ferris, for the good bacteria aiding in the proper digestion of foods. Plus, both sauerkraut and kimchi are rich in so many important vitamins including A, B1, B 12 and C. Look for organic brands such as Eden Foods.
Kombucha is a fermented probiotic tea. However, many brands are high in sugar which can be problematic for some.
Pickled dills or beets are some of my favorite options of fermented foods. Stay away from big brand names that are super processed. Your best option is to find a pickle stand at the farmer’s market.
As mentioned in Part I, prebiotics are essential to receive the full benefit of consuming probiotic foods. Below are a few sources that are most impact when eaten raw:
- Chicory Root
- Dandelion Greens