While pickles tend to be a summer staple, we’ve found a new reason to eat them year-round. A anxiety study conducted by the University of Maryland found that fermented foods like pickles can reduce social anxiety, particularly in people with high neuroticism. (We’ve already sent a case of Rick’s Picks to Woody Allen.) That’s right, food can cure anxiety.
Who would have thought that microorganisms in your gut can influence your mind? That’s an almost direct quote from one of the study’s authors, whose work is part of a growing body of evidence that links nutrition and mental health.
More party tricks: Pickle juice has been found to help cure hangovers, because it replenishes low sodium levels, and it can potentially improve your athletic performance if you drink it before you exercise. But you don’t have to spend your next few nights pounding picklebacks to reap all these amazing health benefits.
Keep your spirits high by simply asking for more relish to top your next hot dog, add extra pickles on the side of sandwiches or add a splash of pickle juice to boiled potatoes to give them a tasty zing.
More motivated folks can make refrigerator pickles using cauliflower, carrots or whatever leftover vegetable is about to go bad in your fridge. Even if it’s just a party of one in your kitchen, you will probably feel great knowing you’ve got pickles to eat before your next social outing.