Over the years, food has evolved from homemade sit-down meals to easy on the go foods that are mainly made of processed chemicals that we can not even begin to pronounce correctly if we tried.
We may enjoy eating at restaurants or grabbing foods that are pretty much prepared for us at the supermarket, but some individuals pay a steep price for these conveniences, and I am not talking about money.
We tend to ignore the fact or simply do not realize that what we eat not only affects our bodies, but it also affects our minds.
Mental health is very important to maintain a healthy life. What does that have to do with food? Did you know that some foods could actually cause anxiety or make your anxiety worse?
But first, it is necessary to recognize the symptoms of anxiety.
What are the Symptoms of Anxiety?
The sad truth is that we undermine our self the most. We forget that if we do not take care of our bodies and mind, we are no use to ourselves, families, or friends. That is why it is essential to recognize anxiety symptoms when it starts to creep into our lives.
- To Worry – Worrying is a normal human reaction to problems. However, the worrying associated with anxiety is different. When you start to note that you are triggered even by a normal situation, and your worrying doesn’t stop for many days, then it is a symptom.
- To be Restless – When you feel you can’t seem to sit in one place for long, it may be a sign you are experiencing anxiety. Then you become even more anxious because you realize there is no reason to be this restless.
- Fatigue – This is an unusual symptom but is experienced by some people. The fatigue can be due to restlessness, muscle tension, or insomnia, which all are also symptoms of anxiety.
There are many other symptoms of anxiety that can vary from person to person, but the symptoms mention is of anxiety symptoms. Want to learn more about the symptoms of anxiety? Read What Is Generalized Anxiety (A Black Woman’s Guide).
Foods to avoid if you struggle with anxiety:
As mentioned above, food can play a big part in causing anxiety. So, the first step towards improving your anxiety should be surveillance of your diet.
Many do not know certain foods increase your anxiety. So even if you are seeking medical help, without eradicating some food (or drink) from your life, there will only be little to no improvement.
This right here is a hard one as it is that morning cup of coffee that gets most of us started on our day. I get it, it is part of your daily routine, but caffeine can cause a jittery effect that is similar to being frightened.
Why? Because it stirs up the body’s fight or flight response making your anxiety worse. Experts also say that intake of caffeine can slow down the production of serotonin, which is the body’s feel-good hormone. A worsened mood always seems to leave a way for more anxiety to sneak in.
Everything is better fried is a saying some us of us live by. Yes, the fried chicken, french fries, fried catfish are the bomb, but it is definitely not good for the mind.
Transfats and hydrogenated oils that are in some of our favorite foods are fried in have been shown to have a possible negative effect on your emotional health.
Studies show the western diet is full of trans fatty oils, which causes inflammatory processes within the body. As a result of this inflammation, anxiety (and depression) occurs more often.
We like to sip wine, drink a beer, or perhaps something harder to unwind. In general, a moderate amount could be harmless, but drinking too much could actually worsen anxiety as drinking alcohol can interrupt neurotransmitters function in the brain that are important to have for good mental health.
So, be mindful of the amount of alcohol you drink and how it affects your anxiety to decide for yourself what is a safe amount to enjoy without repercussions.
Added Sugar and Artificial Sweeteners
Ahh, sugar. It seems to have a magical effect on the taste of food. But did you know that sugar lights up the same part of the brain similar to the drug cocaine?
Yes, sugars may give you a high, but it will later lead you to a sudden crash, making anxiety worse. Why would you crash after eating sugary foods? Because our blood sugar level has dropped quickly, causing physical symptoms of anxiety (shakiness, increased heartbeat, heart palpitations, and sweating).
Processed food contains MSG (Mono Sodium Glutamate), High fructose corn syrup, and partially hydrogenated oils, which are used most often for taste enhancers and ways to increase shelf life in certain foods.
These taste enhancers and preservatives are not natural, but instead are chemicals that can affect you by increasing anxiety and stress. Process food includes our favorites such as pastries, candies, cereals, many frozen meals, and more.
These five foods are ones we eat daily. Little do we know how bad they can be for our anxiety. Take the time to discover anxiety triggering foods and replace them with foods that are better for your mind and body as this will help you continue on your journey towards a happy, anxiety-free life.