Eat Pickles To Reduce Anxiety!

October 23, 2020by TonyaTittle

Do you know someone or do you have occasional or persistent anxiety of social situations? Do you know that shy person or kid that needs just a boost of confidence. I was a shy kid which some may find hard to believe. Over 19 million Americans suffer from this type of anxiety and plenty others have anxiety of a different kind.

As a personal training studio owner of Energy Fitness in Memphis for over 19 years we try to pass on any tricks or secrets for you to be successful and maintain optimal health physically and mentally. Nutrition coaching individuals to choose healthier and less addictive or unhealthy alternatives is very rewarding when clients actually consider these alternatives and how they can fit healthier options into their lifestyles.

What about instead of a chocolate cake or sugar binge you reached for something else. Research from Virginia’s College of William and Mary and the University of Maryland shows that eating fermented foods—such as yogurt, sauerkraut, pickles, and kimchi—markedly reduces social anxiety. The effect is especially pronounced in those whose nerves tip into neuroticism—that is, the chronically, fearfully, shy. Here’s the study if you want to read for yourself.

You’ve heard it  for decades that our mental state affects our second brain/gut: anxiety can bring on nausea or diarrhea; depression can make us lose (or gain) an appetite. Now, however, it’s becoming increasingly clear that the brain-to-gut pathway is a two-way street. Not only does the way we feel affect our digestive tracts, but the trillions of bacteria in our digestive tracts can dictate the way we feel. Researchers guess that probiotics—a.k.a. “good” bacteria—in fermented foods boost the production of GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid), a chemical messenger in the brain that has the same effect as anti-anxiety medications.

Side note on GABA..several years ago I took a self questionnaire from the book The Hormone Diet and scored low on GABA. I purchased a powder supplement form of GABA and tried for a few weeks. One of the first nights I recall taking it right before I got on the floor to stretch as per usual before hoping in bed. Immediately I felt this wave come over my brain in the wildest of ways, who know it was so immediate. It’s the same wave I have felt after a few glasses of wine in which I do not like the relaxed brain weird feeling that I’m not clear headed or have pause in speech which is why I choose not to drink 99% of the time. Plus I don’t want the anxiety of drinking alcohol giving me a gut or terrible sleep.

What if you want to create that diverse gut bacteria
and feel less anxiety everyday?

Try adding some pickled beets, jalapenos, pickled okra, sauerkraut or kimchi into your diet. Don’t stress about the sodium unless you have high blood pressure and need to monitor it as you are far more likely to binge on foods far less healthy when you are stress and having anxiety.

I wanted to put this on my 10 year old son that has ADHD and takes a few prescriptive medicines for it with it wearing off in the afternoon. We’ve had him genetically tested for which meds are the best and also discovered some other interesting things as part of his genetic makeup. Without getting to personal let me just tell you he has anxiety and several professionals have noticed this as well. He started begging me for pickles at the grocery store. I would buy a small jar and he would gobble them down before anyone else had a chance to get even one. Finally I gave in and have been purchasing the largest glass pickle jars the grocery carries that fits in the fridge door. This means I have noticed a difference and especially like the fact he is going to pickles more often than cheese which is addictive and I wrote about it’s effects in a previous blog post.

Did you know that pickle juice is sold in shots and marketed to athletes for recovery of electrolytes? Since seeing these online I decided after a hot day of running outside I would swig some pickle juice and I’ll have to say it’s not cake but I felt no anxiety as I replenished my sodium and potassium levels!









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Tonya Tittle, M.S., ACSM
Owner/Dir. of Training, Energy Fitness (established 2002)
ACSM, TPI Level 1 Certified, Rock Tape, Rock Pods (cupping therapy), Rock Tape Blades & Blades Advanced
FMT Basic, Metagenics FLT, more certifications, qualifications and awards listed in my bio on website.

Massage services resumed June 1, 2020 and we have new guidelines that will be followed such as staff will be wearing face coverings as well as clients for massage. You will have to sign a Covid19 release form, wash your hands upon arrival, etc. All clients onsite must sign Covid form, successfully answer health Covid questions and socially distance.

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