10 foods that can increase anxiety
December 13, 2019 | Farah Jassawalla

10 foods that can increase anxiety

اردو میں پڑھیں
Anxiety is a disorder that has been increasing day by day. About 40 million Americans have been suffering from an anxiety disorder, and almost everyone has, at some point in life, experienced anxiety due to certain life situations. Thus, if you are looking for help with anxiety, you have found yourself in the right place. 
Studies have shown that certain food items help with anxiety and make you feel calmer while other food items can stimulate anxiety – at least temporarily.
Here’s a list of all the foods to avoid if you want to manage anxiety:

1.     Caffeine

Caffeine is known to be a psychoactive drug and a stimulant. It is a long-known fact that caffeine triggers the body's fight-or-flight response. Similar to the symptoms experienced by people who suffer through anxiety, caffeine makes its users feel light-headed, nervous, jittery, and sometimes even anxious.

2.     Refined and artificial sugars

These are hard to ignore, as sugars are found in almost everything we consume. Although studies do not show sugars being a cause for anxiety, it has been proven by research that sugars create changes in your body that can accelerate the symptoms that lead to anxiety while damaging the body's ability to cope with stress in an effective manner.

3.     Gluten

A protein found in wheat, rye products, and barley. Research has proven that gluten-intolerant people have a higher risk of anxiety. Reducing your gluten intake can be the difference between managing and living with anxiety.

4.     Processed foods

Research has suggested that the health of the gut is a significant contributor to chronic stress, and many of the disorders associated with mood can be treated by increasing the good bacteria in your gut. Sugars and refined flours result in the development of harmful microbes and bacteria in the stomach. So, the next time you attend a family BBQ, cut down on the hot dogs and focus more on fresh salads.

5.     Alcohol

An occasional drink is something that many have indulged in and enjoyed. However, have you ever thought of what happens when that one glass of wine turns into three at the dinner table? Excessive amounts of alcohol are known to trigger symptoms of anxiety as it is a toxin that leads to irregular physical and mental functioning by adversely impacting the 'good chemical' in the brain known as serotonin.

6.     Dairy

About 10% of people are lactose intolerant, and research suggests that people with anxiety have said that they have experienced an increase in the symptoms of anxiety within a few minutes of consumption of dairy products. Dairy is inflammatory, which adversely affects the stomach, leading to bloating and constipation, among other things.

7.     Soda

Soda has been declared as an agent that increases anxiety. Apart from the food coloring and the additives, aspartame (something you might have heard of), is one of the most common and perhaps the most dangerous ingredient found in soda. It not only blocks the production of serotonin in your brain, but it also causes mood swings, insomnia, headaches, and anxiety.

8.     Fried foods

Apart from being difficult to digest, fried foods do not contain much nutrition to benefit your health. Merging your poor food preferences with unhygienic cooking procedures is definitely your gateway to experiencing symptoms of anxiety. They not only add to your pounds but may also increase your risk of heart diseases. Moderation should be the key to a healthy lifestyle and a healthy diet; anything in excess will always be bad.

9.     Fruit juice

Fruit juices, similar to sodas, are very high in sugar content. The three different kinds of sugars are fructose, sucrose, and glucose. Naturally found in vegetables and fruits, fructose is usually added to fruit juices and fruit-flavored drinks. The problem is that the body does not use fructose as a primary source of energy, and the only thing stopping our bodies from absorbing too much fructose (from the fruits and vegetables we consume) is the fiber. Thus, if you like fruit juices, make it at home.

10.  Food items that have a high sodium content

The sad reality is that the majority of fat-free foods have high sugar or sodium content. Research has stated that consuming high amounts of sodium damages the neurological system of the body, which can lead to damages in the immune system or possibly even lead to fatigue. Salt is essential in maintaining a balanced and healthy diet. However, too much of anything is detrimental for the body, and salt is no exception to this rule. Excessive amounts of salt can cause panic disorders and can pave the path for anxiety.

Recommended Packages

Farah Jassawalla

Farah Jassawalla is a graduate of the Lahore School of Economics. She is also a writer, and healthcare enthusiast, having closely observed case studies while working with Lahore's thriving general physicians at their clinics.