When we are feeling low or happy, we make certain food choices. Our moods affect what we eat. Similarly, what we eat has the power to makes a difference to our moods. The effect is more apparent on those who suffer from anxiety or depression as they are more susceptible to mood changes. This also means that making the right food choices can alter our moods to our advantage. Here are some of the foods to avoid in anxiety or depression.
This one is a no-brainer. Sugar increases the glucose levels in the blood leading to a general sense of well being and happiness. But as the glucose levels drop soon, the person ends up feeling low and irritable. Also, sugar has been linked to a negative effect on neurons and synapses in the brain.
- Artificial Sweeteners
Aspartame is an important constituent of all artificial sweeteners. It is also part of colas and diet sodas. Aspartame is responsible for headaches, mood changes, sleep disturbances and even depression. It is best to stay away from them to avoid increasing your depression and anxiety issues.
- Fruit Juices
Drinking juices does not mean you have imbibed the positive benefits of the fruit. Juices are bereft of fiber and create a high of energy in the body, followed by a slump. This can leave you feeling depleted and fatigued apart from causing increased mood changes.
- Processed and Fat-Free Food
Not only is processed food rich in Trans fats and generally quite harmful for your heart and your health, it also increases anxiety and symptoms of depression. Processed and fat-free food also has a high amount of sodium which tends to cause disruptions in the neurological system.
Alcohol is a known depressant. It causes an amplification of the negative emotions and suppresses feelings of positivity and well being. Also, it is related to weight gain and lowering defenses thus leading to low self-esteem later on.
- Refined Oil
Refined oil is hydrogenated to make it a more stable product and most of the frying that is done everywhere is in refined oil. When the hydrogenated oil is heated to high temperatures, it leads to the formation of Trans fats and those contribute heavily towards depression. It also causes suppressed blood flow to the brain and thus increasing anxiety and depression.
Those who suffer from depression and anxiety might want to ditch their regular cuppa. Caffeine is a stimulant that disturbs the sleep cycle and causes an energy surge. It also reduces absorption of important mood balancing vitamins. The caffeine in energy drinks is equivalent to about 10 cans of soda so you might want to avoid those too.
The best thing would be to identify the foods that trigger depression and anxiety or increase the two for you. Avoid them at all costs to feel better about your life.