Treating anxiety and overcoming depression are far easier done when your body is in good health. This means having a regular fitness regime, getting out and about, and keeping to a healthy diet filled with nutritious foods that can stabilise your mood. In a sense you can eat yourself happy, or at least you can help with depression and give yourself anxiety relief if you make the right dietary choices.
Severe anxiety is not so easy to fix, if you have a very bad anxiety condition then avoiding these foods probably won’t be enough to cure you. However, every little helps and you certainly don’t want to aggravate the condition or make it any worse. So without further ado, here are 5 foods and drinks you should avoid if you are frequently depressed or anxious.
This tops the list as coffee or any caffeinated drinks are probably the number one thing to be avoided if you are treating anxiety – they will only heighten your nerves and make you even more agitated and shaky. Drinking caffeine gives us a rush of adrenaline, something that is to be avoided at all costs if you have anxiety as you already produce far too much adrenaline during a panic attack. If you need a hot drink, stick to decaffeinated drinks or have a steaming mug of hot chocolate – the hot milk is soothing and calming.
Sugar is also the enemy when you are in need of anxiety relief or are overcoming depression. Sugar will give you an energy high which in the short term will give you a boost and make you feel good, but subsequently will make you come crashing down and leave you feeling far worse than you did before you ate the sugary goods. When you suffer from depression these highs and lows will make things a lot worse, you need to have emotional stability and sugar highs are not going to help with that in any way. Anxiety sufferers should also avoid high sugar foods as they give you a spike in energy which can trigger a panic attack or make it worse if you are in the middle of one. Stick to healthy foods and complex carbohydrates that will keep your blood sugar levels steady and stable.
Alcohol might seem like a great escape mechanism for someone with severe anxiety or depression but it is just about the worst thing you can do for yourself if you suffer from either of these conditions. Alcohol is a depressant in itself, so if you suffer from low moods and depression alcohol will heighten and intensify those negative feelings. It will leave you feeling miserable once the initial effect has worn off, and for sufferers of depression it is extremely dangerous to drink alcohol and run the risk of falling into a downward spiral mentally and emotionally. Alcohol also speeds up our heart rate and gives us a rush of energy and adrenaline triggering our fight or flight response, so anxiety suffers should definitely avoid this narcotic.
Nobody wants to cut bread out of their life, but if you suffer from anxiety you might be better off doing so. Refined flours and wheats that are found in products such as bread, bagels and pasta have been found to trigger and increase symptoms of anxiety and depression in people who consumed these types of foods often. Studies have shown that people who suffer from gluten intolerance have lower levels of Serotonin, which controls our mood and is needed to reduce stress and anxiety, so if you think your body may disagree with gluten don’t ignore the symptoms and try to change up your diet to replace those refined sugars that cause so many health problems.
Soy products affect our hormones and endocrine glands, two things you don’t want to mess with if you have anxiety or depression. This protein can damage the digestive tract and can cause the body to have difficulty absorbing certain essential minerals such as zinc and iron. As well as this, it interferes with the absorption of anti-depressant thyroid hormones which is something you need to be very careful of if you have depression. Cut any soy milk, tofu or any soy based vegetarian products out of your diet for good.
There you have it, the 5 foods and drinks you should avoid if you are anxious or depressed. The good news is that there are plenty of great, healthy and delicious foods that you can still eat so get inventive with your diet and fill it with lots of nutritionally dense foods. You will be feeling happier and more relaxed in no time.