10 foods you should avoid in case of anxiety
If you suffer from anxiety or stress, these foods you should avoid in your diet.
Caffeine, being a stimulant and psychoactive drug, is known for triggering the body’s fight or flight response. Caffeine can make you feel nervous, nauseous, light headed, jittery and even anxious. So if you’re prone to anxiety, you better drink herbal tea or green juice or smoothie.
2. Artificial and refined sugars
According to multiple studies, sugar doesn’t cause anxiety directly, but it creates changes in your body which can exacerbate anxiety symptoms and worsen the body’s ability to effectively cope with stress. A sugar crash, like a caffeine crash, can cause mood changes, heart palpitations, difficulty concentrating and fatigue – all of these conditions can be interpreted as the beginning stages of an anxiety or panic attack.
Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley and rye products. Gluten can be a big trigger for anxiety symptoms. Research has confirmed that people with Celiac disease and gluten intolerances are at higher risk for anxiety, depression and mood disorders.
Alcohol in excess or at all (for some people) can induce the symptoms of anxiety. Alcohol is a toxin that leads to improper mental and physical functioning, by negatively impacting the levels of serotonin (“the feel good” hormone) in the brain. Alcohol also affects the body and nervous system and can cause hypersensitivity, increased heart rate, lowered blood sugar levels and dehydration.
5. Processed foods
Processed foods are usually high in gluten and artificial and refined sugars, plus, a bunch of additional additives and preservatives. Refined flours and sugars feed the harmful bacteria and microbes in the gut. And research suggests that gut health can be a major contributor to chronic anxiety, so many mood disorders can be treated by proliferating good bacteria in your gut.
Study shows that consuming dairy products can increase anxiety symptoms. About 10% of adults have intolerance to lactose, with even more having difficulty digesting casein, found in cow’s milk. Dairy is inflammatory, it wreaks havoc on the digestive system causing bloating, diarrhea and constipation, among other things. So if you want to manage your anxiety better, you should avoid dairy products.
Soda is loaded with the artificial food coloring and additives, not to mention Aspartame – one of the most common and dangerous ingredients found in things like diet soda and chewing gum. Aspartame is responsible for headaches, insomnia, anxiety, mood swings and has been linked to certain forms of cancer. It also blocks the production of serotonin in our brains.
8. Fruit juice
If you think that drinking fruit juice instead of soda is better – think again. Store bought juices are packed with sugar just like every other beverage from the “restricted” category. There are three different types of sugar: sucrose, glucose and fructose. Fructose is the natural kind of sugar found in fruits and vegetables, and is usually added to fruit juice and fruit flavored drinks above their natural norm. And they write “no sugar added” on the label, which is partly true. The problem is that the body only processed fructose in the liver and is not the body’s preferred energy source. When we eat fruits and vegetables, fiber keeps us from absorbing too much fructose. When we get fiber out of the way by squeezing juice, we put our bodies at risk of having too much sugar. So you better eat fruits and veggies as they are, and if you’re juice lover, limit the amount of fruit you put into your green juices or dilute it with plenty of water.
9. Fried foods
Fried foods are difficult to digest, plus they have very little nutrition. Want to exacerbate your anxiety symptoms? Combine poor food choices with unhealthy cooking processes. Most fried foods like French fries, chicken, onion rings, etc., are cooked in hydrogenated oil. It not only affects weight gain, but it’s also very bad for your heart. Fried foods are not only linked to anxiety, but also lead to high blood pressure and heart disease.
10. Foods high in sodium
When you eat fat-free foods, you don’t do yourself a favor. Most foods that are fat-free, are actually high in sugar and/or sodium. Researchers have concluded that too much sodium in our diets can have a negative effect on the body’s neurological system, causing fatigue and damaging the immune system. Plus, the excessive intake of sodium leads to fat gain, high blood pressure level and water retention. Salt if essential in maintaining good health and a balanced diet, however too much can cause anxiety, panic attacks and depression. Plus we don’t need even a half of the sodium intake we have every day in different foods.