It has many causes and food can be one of them. And even if food isn’t the cause, certain foods can exacerbate your disorder and make like a painful experience.
Below are some of the foods that cause anxiety and avoiding them might reduce symptoms.
After a long, anxious day, the only thing you want to do is come home and pour yourself a glass of red. You aren’t alone! However, don’t be fooled; alcohol is only making things worse in the long run. Not only is it a depressant but alcohol has also been linked to interfering with your body’s production and use of serotonin. Serotonin is the neurotransmitter you need to regulate your mood, and as an anxiety sufferer, you are likely already experiencing a deficiency or lack of serotonin. So, drinking alcohol – especially on the regular – should be eliminated if you’re serious about overcoming anxiety naturally.
Anything with Gluten
Anything that’s high in carbohydrates and/or gluten can also be added to the list of foods to avoid with anxiety. Yes, that includes your beloved breads and pastas. Gluten is commonly associated with being a massive anxiety trigger for many sufferers such as yourself. So, cutting out wheat, barley and rye products from your diet can be an excellent way to manage your anxiety better.
Trans fat is the name given to unsaturated fats that don’t usually occur in whole foods. Only in the 1950s did trans fats become commonly used in things like margarine, snack food, packaged baked goods, and oils used to fry fast food. Consuming artery-clogging trans fats can increase your risk of depression by as much as 48 percent, according to a study published in PLOS ONE. Conversely, plenty of studies have shown that a Mediterranean diet, which traditionally utilizes olive oil rather than trans fats, can lower the risk of numerous health conditions, including depression.
Red meat increases norepinephrine and dopamine hormones in the bloodstream. These hormones are associated with high anxiety levels.
It’s no secret that sugar is one of the top foods to avoid with anxiety. It’s the top food to avoid for a lot of things. In a nutshell – pardon the pun – sugar is bad but not all sugar is created equally. While natural sugars such as maple syrup and honey should still be enjoyed in moderation, they are much better than eating sucrose, fructose, and other refined sugars.
Refined sugars can make you feel really sluggish and tired. It can even cause certain hormones to increase production, causing a spike in anxiety and panic attacks. So, if it’s not a natural source of sugar, you should probably avoid it. Think sweetened breakfast cereals, snacks (pudding, chips, fruit roll-ups, jello, etc.), fast food, muffins, cookies and other baked treats, chocolate milk, juice, energy drinks, sports drinks, pop, condiments – And the list goes on.
This is especially important for parents seeing the anxiety in children. Popular snacks and food items for kids are packed with refined sugars, many of which have been linked to causing behavioral concerns. So, if you have an anxious child, check their diet!
Milk contains casein that is hard for the body to digest. Like junk foods, casein also takes a toll on the body during its digestion thereby elevating anxiety levels.
As a rule of thumb, if it’s not natural, it probably isn’t doing anything good for your anxiety. Things such as sweetener (aspartame), high fructose corn syrup, and even food dyes have been linked to causing an increase in anxiety. So, they’re definitely foods to avoid with anxiety.
The tricky thing is that these food ingredients aren’t always easy to spot. Often times, they’re disguised in some of your favorites, such as gum, syrup, salad dressings, sauces, juices, etc. So, get in the habit of reading the ingredient list on everything before you buy it. Not only will this help your anxiety but it will also help your health as a whole.
The idea of eliminating salt from your diet can feel like eliminating oxygen from your life – everyone appreciates a little sprinkle of salt. However, too much of it can lead to serious health conditions, including a spike in anxiety.
Salt increases your blood pressure which forces your heart to work harder. This causes your body to release stress hormones which can trigger tension, edginess, jitters, etc. Try to eliminate your salt intake by using natural herbs and spices to add a pop of flavor to your foods instead.
This is an amino acid used to enhance flavor in soups, frozen foods, snacks and others. It overexcites cells to a point of damage. Consumption on a regular basis may lead to anxiety and other related problems like depression.
The number one culprit to causing anxiety to increase is caffeine! This one ingredient item is a central nervous system natural stimulant which makes it so power at waking you up in the morning but it also comes with various side effects that can trigger anxiety. For example, too much coffee (or even one cup of coffee) can cause heart palpitations, jitters, difficulty sleeping, dizziness, etc. All of these are also symptoms of anxiety; the second you feel them, you start to panic and the vicious cycle begins. So, avoiding that cup of java in the morning can also eliminate that jolt of anxiety.