While some foods help anxiety, some others contribute to anxiety. If you have this disorder, apparently you should eat more the former and at the same time avoid the latter. And here are 9 worst foods for anxiety and panic attacks. And that is, it is important to modify your diet to exclude or limit the following 9 foods. Or it may trigger or aggravate this mood disorder.
1. Coffee. Just like alcohol, coffee seems to be able to temporarily satisfy your needs. Coffee is so important to some of you that you may not know how to start off your day without a morning cup of it. Since caffeine stimulates your nervous system and helps the release of the stress hormone cortisol, you will feel more “energized”. As a matter of fact, it just brings you back to the normal level. Besides, coffee containing caffeine can cause excess secretion of adrenaline, which thus leads to agitation, reduced libido, and insomnia. By the way, it is also a diuretic that will make you pee frequently.
2. Sugar. Sugar is everywhere. For example, glucose is the preferred fuel for your body. But the problem is that sudden fluctuations in blood glucose levels can cause the stress hormone cortisol to become the protagonist. This means that soon anxiety will follow. Although sweetened juice, bread, cakes, and other sweet foods can play a sedative effect within a few minutes, they will soon be absorbed by the gastrointestinal tract, resulting in the blood sugar rollercoaster and mood swings.
3. Soda. Eating soda crackers, soda water, and other similar foods can double your anxiety. Many of them contain not only caffeine, but also artificial sweeteners like aspartame. Researchers from University of Northwestern Ohio ever specifically studied the impact of aspartame on depression and they found that this sweetener could cause obvious deterioration in patients with depression. In addition, aspartame contains aspartate and phenylalanine. While phenylalanine reduces the libido by decreasing the concentration of “serotonin”, a conciliatory neurotransmitter, aspartate inflames the situation, further stimulates the brain, and triggers anxiety in the end.
4. Alcohol. It would be great if drinking can improve mood and ease anxiety. Unfortunately, drinking tends to disturb the secretion of serotonin in long-term wine consumers. As mentioned above, serotonin is a neurotransmitter that can influence mood in a way that leads to depression. So, if you feel anxious, do not rely on alcohol to calm yourself because it will make anxiety symptoms worse.
5. Creamer. Creamer mainly consists of refined vegetable oil or hydrogenated vegetable oil, casein, and so on. Thanks to the strong creamy flavor, it is widely used in the production of French fries, cookies, donuts, cheese sticks, milky tea, and so on. The bad news is that most of them contain trans-unsaturated fatty acids. Creamer-containing foods cause people not only to gain weight, but also to increase anxiety. One study found that regular consumption of fried foods, processed meats, high-fat dairy products and desserts can increase the risk of depression by 58%.
6. Fried foods. All fried and finely processed foods will increase depression and anxiety. Studies have found that addiction to this type of diet can increase the risk of depression by 58%. The chemicals contained in fried foods can cause imbalance of blood sugar levels. This is the reason why you feel drowsy one hour after eating ice cream, fried chicken, French fries, pizza, hamburgers, cheese cakes, and the like. If you eat them together with caffeinated cola or tea, you will be exhausted after 2-3 hours and, worse still, they will also affect the quality of your sleep at night. If you want to feel calm and relaxed, fish, nuts, fruits and vegetables are the right foods that will help to balance your entire body.
7. MSG. The processed foods, for example beef jerky, are now increasingly being touted as healthy snacks. But in fact beef jerky tends to contain a lot of sodium glutamate (MSG), which makes it taste more delicious. Although moderate consumption of MSG helps relieve brain fatigue, eating too much of it may lead to many health problems. This is because sodium glutamate can be transformed into an inhibitory neurotransmitter in the digestive process. As a result, the excessive intake will cause blindness, dizziness, headache, hair loss, drowsiness and other symptoms. In addition, some people will suffer from anxiety too.
8. Salt. When you feel stressed, it is understandable that you will find ways to mitigate it. But if you eat salty snacks, it will bring the opposite effect. Excess salt can raise blood pressure levels and increase the burden on the heart. In this case, it will release more adrenaline to make you more nervous. Since high-salt foods can cause poor circulation, slow metabolism, and mental exhaustion, it is a good idea to avoid potato chips, canned food, instant noodles, sausage, ham, hot dogs, pickles, tomato sauce, soy sauce, and so on.
9. Refined grain. Your emotions can be destroyed by eating refined carbohydrates, such as white bread, white pasta, white flour, white rice, and the like. Recently, researchers at Columbia University found that women would have a higher risk of depression if they eat refined pasta when their blood sugar runs higher. So, try not to eat any grain with the bran removed if you suffer from anxiety.