You are probably already aware that your emotions can significantly influence what you eat. However, did you also know that what you eat can dramatically affect your mood? If you didn’t already know, some foods could worsen your anxiety. According to research conducted by Harvard Health, simple food choices can make a difference in how you feel. Here are five foods that you should avoid if you suffer from anxiety.
Even though experts have been touting wheat bran as a superfood with its high fiber content and complex, nutty flavors, it can significantly increase your anxiety, thanks to its high concentration of phytic acid. Phytic acid binds to essential mood minerals like zinc and limits their absorption by the body. People who suffer from anxiety need adequate levels of zinc to keep their symptoms at bay.
Soy products, while packed with lean protein, is also packed with protease and trypsin inhibitors, which are enzymes that make digesting the protein difficult. Soy products, like tofu, are also high in copper, which is a mineral that has been linked to anxious behavior. If you have to eat soy, get rid of the tofu and veggie burgers, and try fermented varieties like miso and tempeh, which are much easier to digest.
Coffee is one of the highest concentrated dietary sources of caffeine which can make an anxious brain even worse. Research has shown that people with anxiety disorders are particularly sensitive to feeling the nervous side effects from small amounts of caffeine. Caffeine can also impede the absorption of vital mood-balancing nutrients like B vitamins and vitamin D.
Whole Wheat Bread
For many anxious people, gluten is a sticking point, especially with patients who have celiac disease. Most non-organic wheat is treated with an herbicide called glyphosate, which has been shown to cause a nutrient deficiency of mood-stabilizing minerals.
Unlike whole apples, apple juice is devoid of the slow-digesting fiber and are often packed with refined fructose. This results in blood level spikes that can trigger a flood of adrenaline and result in symptoms that look a lot like an anxiety attack. Fructose can actually alter how the brain responds to stress on a genetic level.
Anxiety isn’t a fun condition to have to deal with. However, you can reduce your symptoms and overcome your fear by avoiding these anxiety-inducing foods.
At Citizen Counselling and Coaching a number of our counsellors and coaches can provide support around anxiety. This can include identifying the obstacles to being less anxious, creating practical plans and advice through sharing techniques and models that have worked for others.
Our ‘My Anxiety Coach’ online programme and Coaching was designed for time poor busy people looking to increase their confidence and make a positive change in their lives.
Our Overcoming Anxiety page can explain more