I love pickles. I love eating pickles, making pickles, pickle juice, books about pickling and even the occasional pickle-related novelty t-shirt. I have serious thoughts on the best pickles, I have never turned down a pickle-back (although, in my day, we just called it drinking pickle juice) and take serious, serious glee in stories about people’s grandmothers keeping themselves young by using pickle brine as a skin tonic.
Well now researchers at William & Mary and the University of Maryland say that they found a connection between eating pickled foods and feeling less anxious.
The findings, which are being published in the August issue of Psychiatry Research, came after studying the dietary habits of 700 college students — an anxiety-provoking task unto itself — and learning that people partial to things like kimchi and sauerkraut suffered less social anxiety. They report the effect “was strongest amongst people that were high in neuroticism.”
There could be a self-selection bias here. Researchers stress the importance of a mind-gut connection, and say it’s likely that things like kombucha, soy, and the miso in ramen are good for your mood. And, hey, at the very least, you’ll know you’re super trendy.
Maybe you should be eating more pickles?