Maintaining good mental health is essential for overall wellbeing. Eating the right foods can help to reduce stress and anxiety, while eating the wrong foods can have the opposite effect. Here are 13 foods that can trigger anxiety and depression, as well as some of the best foods to eat for stress relief.
Fruit juice is often thought of as a nutritious drink, but it is essentially just sugar water without the fiber. This can cause energy surges and drops, which can worsen anxiety and depression. Instead, try eating the whole fruit or drinking water with a splash of juice.
Regular soda contains all the sugar of fruit juice without any of the nutritional value. Studies have linked sugar-sweetened beverages to depression, so it is best to avoid them.
Diet soda does not cause the energy drop that comes with too much sugar, but it can still make you depressed. Caffeine in sodas can also worsen anxiety.
White bread toast is a no-no because it is highly processed and immediately converts to blood sugar. This can lead to energy surges and drops, making anxiety and depression worse. Whole grain toast is a better option.
Light dressings and marinades may contain artificial sweeteners linked to anxiety and depression. It is best to check the ingredients or make your own dressing.
Ketchup is mostly tomatoes, but it also contains a lot of sugar. Artificial sweeteners linked to anxiety and depression may be present in light versions. Making your own tomato salsa is a better option.
Coffee can make you anxious and nervous if you drink several cups a day. It can also disrupt your sleep, which can worsen anxiety and depression. Decaf is a better option if you still want a coffee drink.
Energy drinks contain hidden caffeine and sugar or artificial sweeteners linked to anxiety and depression. Eating a piece of fruit for natural sugar is a better option.
Alcohol can disrupt sleeping patterns, which can increase depression and anxiety. However, a drink may help you relax and socialize, which can benefit your mental health.
Icing or frosting contains sugar and trans fats linked to feelings of depression. Healthy fats such as salmon, olive oil, almonds, and avocado can lift your mood without the negative effects.
Soy sauce contains gluten, which can make you feel anxious or depressed if you are gluten intolerant. Check labels and try to stay away from pre-packaged goods containing gluten.
Processed foods like meat pastries, refined cereals, candies, fried foods, and high-fat dairy items can increase anxiety and depression. Eating vegetables, fruits, whole fiber-rich grains, and seafood can help maintain a balanced mind.
Donuts contain bad fats, loads of sugar, and white flour with little fiber. If you must eat one, make it a treat not a habit.
Some foods can help relieve tension and reduce stress levels. These include green leafy vegetables, sweet potatoes, artichokes, blueberries, broccoli, turkey breast, fatty fish, and chamomile tea. Eating these foods regularly can help maintain good mental health.