7 Foods That Trigger Anxiety

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Struggling with anxiety is hard. It takes over your mind, body, and spirit. There’s often a lot of discussion on methods to channel and reduce anxiety. Did you know: there are actually foods that trigger anxiety?

The stress anxiety brings causes all sorts of symptoms. That’s because anxiety affects multiple bodily systems. For example, anxiety directly affects our central nervous system, causing our bodies to release stress hormones.

Anxiety also affects our digestive system. Ever feel queasy or nausea when anxious? Not uncommon – those stress hormones also disrupt your digestion too. Plus, stress leads to stomach acid build-up, causing acid reflux and stomach aches.

With anxiety already causing enough stress, it’s important to know what foods exacerbate these symptoms. Reducing your intake of foods that trigger anxiety can help you to combat your anxieties and prevent unnecessary stress. 

You’ll be surprised by how many of these foods (and beverages!) you may consume on a weekly or even daily basis. 

7 Foods that Trigger Anxiety…

foods that trigger anxiety

Sugary foods especially trigger anxiety

Sugar is a major anxiety trigger. In general, we shouldn’t be regularly consuming foods with a ton of sugar. More specifically, we should avoid added simple sugar as much as possible. 

Added simple sugars are processed very fast by our bodies. The result is a dramatic spike in our blood sugar, which causes our bodies to release adrenaline. Most people don’t realize that adrenaline is a stress hormone. Too fast of a blood sugar spike can cause anxiety to accelerate, potentially causing a panic attack.

This doesn’t mean you need to eliminate sugar from your diet. Consuming sugar in moderation is the way to go. Also, be cautious of foods that may have added sugars to them. The most common examples are fruit juices, sodas, baked goods, and flavored yogurts.

Processed Foods

Sodium is a sneaky thing. It is one of the main reasons processed foods are not great for our bodies. Sodium is also no help in reducing anxiety either.

When you consume a ton of sodium, your mind experiences major fatigue. This brain strain can lead to heightened anxiety and even depression. 

Too much sodium also increases your blood pressure. This can weaken your heart over time, an organ that suffers when the body experiences anxiety.

foods that trigger anxiety

Wheat Bran

This food may sound really random. You may be wondering if you even consume wheat bran. If you love cereal, chances are you do.

Wheat bran contains phytic acid, an anti-nutrient that prevents absorption of essential mood-boosting minerals. One of the most vital minerals challenged by phytic acid is zinc. 

Zinc has awesome antidepressant properties. It is a tool to protect your immune system as well! If you struggle with anxiety, a deficiency in zinc, or any mood-boosting nutrient, can make you much more vulnerable to anxiety.

Even Fermented Foods Trigger Anxiety…

No one will argue that fermented foods are great for the gut. But, if you happen to be histamine-sensitive, fermented foods can induce anxiety.

Histamines are a byproduct of fermentation. These chemicals cause distinct reactions in the body when consumed in excess or by someone with a sensitivity. From brain fatigue to digestive troubles, high histamine levels cause issues that trigger anxiety.

foods that trigger anxiety

Coffee

Coffee, along with teas, is a natural anxiety inducer. Why? Because this beverage contains an abundance of caffeine.

Caffeine is a stimulant. It elevates your blood pressure, heart rate, and blood pressure just like anxiety does. These effects increase your anxiety and disrupt your mood.

Whenever you can, try to sub your coffee for an herbal tea. This will swap the anxiety-triggering effects of coffee for the soothing effects of natural herbs.

Gluten

For those who are celiac or have gluten sensitivity, consuming gluten can bring about major mood swings. In some cases, gluten consumption is directly related to mood disorders.

Even if you do not have an intolerance, you should be mindful of your refined carbohydrate consumption. Eating bread, pasta, and cereals is not off the table. Just try to balance out your meals containing the carbs with veggies and proteins. Consuming too many refined carbs at once can mess with your blood sugar. These blood sugar swings have a direct correlation with increased anxiety levels.

foods that trigger anxiety

Alcohol

Alcohol is still considered a drug. More particularly, it is a depressant. That means that the substance depresses our central nervous system. We need this system functioning properly so that we can regulate our emotions!

You may be thinking – alcohol helps me relax and makes me feel happier! That is true – in the short term. Long-term use of alcohol actually decreases our serotonin levels, increasing our anxiety and depression. 

Are you or someone you love struggling with anxiety?

If so, we hope that this list of foods that trigger anxiety helps you to find a more balanced and peaceful state of mind.

depression quotes

Remember, you are not alone! We all wrestle with mental health issues. By discussing them, we can conquer them together.

If you’re a person who struggles with anxiety, allow these quotes about anxiety help to ease your pain and give you peace of mind.

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