Foods to Avoid If You Have Anxiety or Depression

If you live with chronic stress or anxiety, you might spend much of your daily life managing it with tools like therapy, mindfulness, exercise, and anti-anxiety medication. Besides, anxiety can be triggered by certain foods we put in our bodies. This post will help you list some foods to avoid if you have anxiety or depression.

Foods to Avoid If You Have Anxiety 

1. Caffeine

foods to avoid if you have anxiety: Caffeine


A known stimulant and psychoactive drug, caffeine has long had a reputation for triggering the body’s fight-or-flight response. Very similar to the symptoms associated with anxiety, caffeine can also make its users feel nervous, nauseous, lightheaded, jittery, and yes, even anxious. If you’re suffering from anxiety, it’d better reconsider that morning cup of coffee and instead opt for an herbal tea or a green juice.

2. Sugar

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. This is one of the foods to avoid if you have anxiety or depression.

3. Fruit Juice

foods to avoid if you have anxiety: Fruit Juice


The fiber in whole fruit fills you up and slows down how your blood takes in energy. Without that fiber, you’re just drinking nutritious sugar-water that can quickly hype you up — and bring you down just as fast. That can leave you hungry and angry — “hangry.” That won’t help anxiety and depression. Eat your fruit whole. When you’re thirsty, drink water.

4. Artificial Sweeteners

These are the foods to avoid if you have anxiety or depression. 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.

5. Processed foods

foods to avoid if you have anxiety: Processed foods


Generally, processed foods are high in the previous two items mentioned on this list, as well as a bunch of additional additives and preservatives. Refined flours and sugars are said to feed the harmful bacteria and microbes in the gut. With more research being conducted, the general consensus is that gut health is a major contributor to chronic anxiety, and many mood disorders can be treated by proliferating good bacteria in your gut. So, next time you’re at a family BBQ, avoid the grilled hot dogs and opt for the fruit salad.

6. Soda

There’s no win for you here: It has all of the blood-spiking sugar of fruit juice with none of the nutrition. Sugar-sweetened drinks like soda have a direct link to depression, too. If you crave a pop, try seltzer water with a splash of juice instead. It’ll give you a bubbly fix without too much of the stuff you don’t need.

7. Fried foods

Fried foods


Not only are fried foods difficult to digest, but they also have very little nutrition. Combining poor food choices with unhealthy cooking processes is a sure-fire way to exacerbate your anxiety symptoms. Most fried foods like French fries, chicken and onion rings are cooked in hydrogenated oil. It not only does a number on your waistline, but it’s also terrible for your heart.

Fried foods also may increase your risk of high blood pressure and heart disease. Moderation is key. The next time you find yourself at Five Guys, try the kiddie size fry instead of the large.

8. Alcohol

Believe it or not, that beverage you’re drinking to quell your social anxiety is actually making it worse.

Alcohol changes levels of serotonin and the neurotransmitters in the brain, which makes anxiety worse. And when the alcohol wears off, you may feel even more anxious.

Drinking in moderation — or about two servings of alcohol a day — is typically safe, as long as your doctor gives you the okay.

In conclusion, these are some of the foods to avoid if you have anxiety or depression.

9. Refined Oil

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.


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