Most of us know that probiotics—the ‘friendly’ bacteria found in fermented products such as yogurt, kimchi, kombucha, buttermilk and sauerkraut—are a boon to sluggish digestive systems. But new research is showing that friendly bacteria may benefit the nervous system as well.

A study of 700 college students showed that, among those predisposed to social anxiety, consuming fermented foods reduced stress levels. Scientists hypothesize that this has something to do with the connection between what’s often called the ‘gut microbiota’ (microorganisms that psychologists say are a second brain located in our gut) and the mind.

Young people were the population for this particular study but probiotics can help the emotional health of people of all ages. If you’re not a fan of the sour and sometimes bubbly foods mentioned above, you can opt for probiotic supplements which you can find at your nearest grocery or nutrition store.

Have you noticed a connection between what you eat and your mood?



ABC News Radio: A Little More Yogurt, A Little Less Stress