It can be easy to reach for the donut or dessert when stress or anxiety set in, but do not give in. Even though sugar momentarily makes the body energized, after a few minutes, blood sugar levels drop.
When blood sugar levels drop, feelings of anxiety kick in. If you crave something sweet when you’re anxious, eat healthy sweet foods like bananas and strawberries. Avoid table sugar and foods with added sugar.
Caffeine doesn’t just worsen anxiety, it can cause anxiety for folks who don’t suffer from it. In fact, it took me a long time to realize that coffee was the cause of my anxiety. As soon as I reduced my caffeine intake, my anxiety disappeared. Caffeine isn’t in coffee alone. It’s found in tea, energy drinks, chocolate, soft drinks and so on.
There’s so much salt in processed foods that we end up consuming more salt than our bodies need. Eating salty foods raises blood pressure and makes the heart work harder. This causes a frequent release of adrenaline, a stress hormone.
Limit your salt consumption to the recommended 3.7g per day.
If you always grab a glass of wine whenever you’re anxious, you could be making things worse. Alcohol hinders the production a serotonin, which is responsible for regulating mood.
Drinking alcohol also causes dehydration, which can cause anxiety. Instead of drinking alcohol to deal with stress, try other options like deep breathing.
Most of the trans fats we consume are found in junk and processed foods. Research shows that these fats increase the risk of depression and make the brain more prone to anxiety.
Some people who are intolerant to gluten experience anxiety when they consume gluten-rich foods. Many of these people walk around with an undiagnosed gluten intolerance.
If you’re gluten intolerant, cutting down on wheat products can reduce anxiety.
Fast food contains additives, chemicals, preservatives and many other ingredients that cause inflammation. Consequently, inflammation causes the mental state to decline and makes it hard for the brain to manage anxiety.
Try avoiding these foods if you suffer from stress and anxiety. Food won’t fix everything, but it often has a huge impact on mental health. Try pairing a healthy diet with exercise and meditation to stay calm when eating the right foods just isn’t enough.