8 Dangerous Foods That Can Worsen Your Anxiety
The Canadian Mental Health Association states that 50% of the world population will have or have already had a mental illness by the age of 40. What’s more, anxiety is the most common mental illness in the U.S. as it affects more than 40 million adults, the Anxiety and Depression Association of America reports.
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Regular physical activity, therapy, medication and a balanced lifestyle are all great options that help you cope with anxiety – and there’s plenty of anxiety among all of us in 2020.
However, there’s one more thing that can raise anxiety even on the short term. Once again, the secret lies in the foods and beverages you consume as well. Today, we’ll have a look at 8 of the most dangerous foods that can actually worsen your anxiety symptoms.
Unfortunately, the first item on the list is…
We’ve already discussed whether coffee is good or bad for our nutrition in this post. In regards to anxiety, though, this delicious beverage can do more harm than good.
When consumed in excess, caffeine can cause similar reactions in your body to a scary event. Why?
Su-Nui Escobar, PhD, RDN, spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, says that caffeine can release cortisol, a stress hormone known for increasing your heart rate and blood pressure. This hormone is also partially responsible for anxiety and insomnia.
Although you may only drink one cup of coffee per day, there are also plenty of foods that contain caffeine. Some of the most common options are energy drinks, chocolate, soda or desserts like cake. You can reduce your daily caffeine intake by consuming herbal teas, decaf coffee or dark chocolate.
Or anything that is made using white flour for that matter. White bread, white rice and white pasta are all highly processed which increases their sugars content.
As Escobar explains, such foods can immediately cause what we know as a ‘sugar rush.’ The blood sugar levels in your body spike and drop unusually fast which can increase anxiety.
Note that sugar also activates the same pleasure centers as cocaine; while it’s not nearly as bad, it can still become addictive and cause a ‘sugar crush’ that affects your mood tremendously.