People can feel anxious, jittery, wired, and jumpy after eating or drinking, even though they may not realise it. Mood, stress levels, and mental health are all significantly influenced by food. Certain meals have been demonstrated to either induce or exacerbate the signs and symptoms of anxiety, depression, and other long-term mental health issues. Numerous common foods have been discovered to cause anxiety, despite the fact that each person’s symptoms and triggers differ.
List of Anxiety-Triggered Foods
Some people believe that depressants like alcohol can have a calming effect. But if you consume alcohol, especially if you do it on an empty stomach, it can disrupt your sleep and cause blood sugar to increase. In addition, excessive alcohol use can cause physical dehydration and hangover symptoms, which can cause anxiety. A combination of hangover symptoms, including dehydration, poor sleep, a lack of B vitamins, and the alcohol detoxification process, can cause emotions of anxiety and stress.
Obesity, high blood pressure, and tooth decay are just a few of the health problems that have been related to high sugar intake. Sugar is also connected to anxiety symptoms, mood changes, and sadness. Many people continue to crave sugary foods and beverages because ingesting sugar gives them an immediate energy boost. After the energy boost has peaked, however, blood sugar levels drop fast, which causes tiredness, depression, and further cravings.
In addition, blood sugar levels that are constantly rising and falling can cause the release of adrenalin and cortisol into the bloodstream, leading to anxiety and occasionally even panic attacks.
Fruit Juices & Smoothies
Whole fruit’s fibre fills you up and reduces how quickly your blood absorbs calories. Without it, you’re merely consuming nutritious sugarwater that might briefly energise you and then swiftly deflate you. That won’t alleviate anxiety and depression and can make you hungry and angry — “hangry.” Consume the fruit whole. To quench your thirst, sip water.
Smoothies are a fantastic way to get the nutrients in various fruits and vegetables. However, if your smoothie exclusively consists of fruits or vegetables with high glycemic indexes, you can experience a spike and fall in blood sugar levels, which may make you feel anxious. Smoothies with protein can help balance carbohydrates and lessen the chance of sugar spikes.
Aspartame, monosodium glutamate (MSG), and various food colours are examples of food additives that have been related to mood swings, depression, and anxiety. Studies have connected aspartame, an artificial sweetener used in various foods like sugar-free candies, chewing gum, and soft drinks, to several medical issues, including anxiety and depression.
MSG is a flavour enhancer commonly added to processed foods, ready-to-eat foods, and snacks associated with weariness, headaches, melancholy, and anxiety. Some food colours used in cheese, beverages, candy, and other processed meals have also been linked to anxiety symptoms.
Processed Meats & Cheeses
Inflammation is linked to certain meals, which might cause anxiety. According to Devine, these foods are likewise poor in fibre and are thought to upset the gut microbiota. The variety of bacteria in your gut make up your gut microbiome in most cases. The efficient functioning of the body depends on a healthy microbiome.
Toast, what? Yes, if it’s made of white bread. After you eat it, the highly processed white flour it is made of immediately converts to blood sugar. That may result in energy peaks and valleys detrimental to anxiety and depression. You are allowed to both have your bread and eat it. Use only whole-wheat bread.
You can’t win because it contains all the blood-sugar-spiking sugar of fruit juice but none of the nutrition. Sodas and other sugar-sweetened beverages are also directly related to depression. Instead, try seltzer water with a squeeze of juice if you’re craving a pop. You’ll get your bubbly fix without getting too many undesirable ingredients.
Although anxiety and gluten are rarely linked, there may be a correlation. According to a large body of research, people who suffer from anxiety should think about reducing or eliminating their gluten intake to see if their symptoms get better. Gluten is problematic for people with non-celiac sensitivity in addition to celiac disease.
Junk food and fried meals, such as pizza, fried chicken, hamburgers, and fries, are very difficult for the body to digest and have little nutritional value. Excess gas, acid reflux, and other gastrointestinal issues can result in sensations that cause anxiety when the body is unable to digest and metabolise meals. In addition, long-term digestive health issues, such as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), can make sufferers feel as though they are choking and may lead them to wake up in the middle of the night gasping for air.
Numerous goods contain caffeine, including coffee, tea, energy drinks, chocolate, and various analgesics. Although many people can tolerate little amounts of coffee, large doses can cause heart palpitations, tremors, agitation, and insomnia because they stimulate the central nervous system. Additionally, caffeine can prevent the body from absorbing several vitamins, especially B, essential for relaxation and mood regulation. Additionally, caffeine can adversely affect some people, so even tiny quantities might result in headaches, trembling, and anxiety.
Controlling anxiety, depression, and chronic mental health issues require a healthy diet. Therefore, an important step in treating persistent anxiety disorders is eliminating or reducing the intake of foods known to cause anxiety symptoms. Additionally, food sensitivities can cause a variety of unpleasant symptoms that can resemble anxiety, so it’s crucial to speak with your doctor if you believe a certain food is making you feel unwell.