Most of us want to escape into a bag of Lays chips, Coke, and chocolates when we’re feeling stressed or unhappy. However, despite the fact that comfort foods are enjoyable to eat when you’re depressed, they might exacerbate anxiety and depression, making the symptoms much worse. Additionally, there are some meals and beverages that, despite what you may think, are healthful and can actually make you feel far worse. The following foods and beverages should be avoided if your mental health isn’t at its greatest.
1. Fruit water
Many individuals believe that since fruit juice is “natural,” it would immediately improve your mental health. Contrarily, without fiber, your diet is essentially good sugar water, which will cause you to crash and burn. You’ll feel even more hungry and miserable as the sugar high wears off. Eat fruit whole or blend it into a smoothie, but if you’re thirsty, start with a glass of water.
2. Soda, regular and diet
Even while it could make you joyful in the moment to down an ice-cold Sprite or Cola, soda is the enemy of anxiety and despair. In fact, drinking sugar-sweetened beverages will cause a significant blood sugar surge and is strongly linked to depression. Drink club soda instead! Likewise, diet Coke, which might still contain caffeine and exacerbate anxiety, is not a good choice.
3. Sugar-free or light dressing
These dressings for salads are not healthier. Aspartame, a sweetener frequently found in diet soda and linked to both sadness and anxiety, is used to sweeten these dressings. Simply prepare it from scratch at home! Olive oil and some lemon are all that are required. Just be aware that there is a catch whenever you see a sugar-free product in a refrigerator or on a shelf.
Uncertain of what this is? All of it was fried. Fried chicken, fried calamari, fried mozzarella sticks, and our favorite temptation: French fries. These foods can both trigger and exacerbate depression. Typically, hydrogenated oil is used to deep-fry food, and this oil contains trans fats that can clog arteries (and brain function).
Say no to white bread and toast on sandwiches. Change it out for a whole wheat or multigrain alternative. The instant blood sugar conversion of processed white flour causes an energy spike followed by a collapse. Better still? Choose rice.
6. Cold foods
For a hectic weeknight or a leisurely weekend, they’re a dream come true. Particularly when there are so many options that are suitable for diets, like Lean Cuisine, right? Wrong. Any frozen food contains a ton of extra salt, and too much sodium might disturb your neurological balance. It may even hinder your immune system’s reaction and encourage despair. Salt makes you retain fluid and bloat, which also encourages unhappiness connected to body image.
Because soy sauce contains a lot of gluten, it can trigger allergic reactions and is bad for our digestive systems. Soy sauce contains a lot of gluten, which increases the risk of depression even in people who are not celiacs. Consider skipping the sushi night.
8. Caffeine from coffee
You might think it’s difficult to stop drinking your daily cup of coffee, but doing so is essentially encouraging your anxiety to manifest itself or to worsen. Caffeine, even in moderate doses, can cause significant anxiety in persons with social anxiety. Additionally, caffeine prevents you from absorbing vitamins B and D, both of which are necessary for mood regulation. Choose chamomile as an alternative.
9. Aged or fermented foods
Why not curl up with some cheese, wine, and pickled foods when you’re feeling down? Consider delaying the charcuterie board if you experience anxiety or despair. Histamines are abundant in certain meals. Neurotransmitters called histamines are produced as byproducts when foods are fermented or pickled. They can make your hormones and nervous system worse, which can lead to worry and insomnia.
10. Soup in a can
Not only is homemade soup healthier for you mentally, but it also tastes better. BPA, or bisphenol A, is included in many foods that are packaged in cans and plastic containers. Your neurotransmitters that regulate your mood can become unstable due to the chemical BPA. It accomplishes this by changing genes in your brain’s stress-control region. Anxiety in children is more likely to develop if they drink a lot of BPA. Try to consume products whose packaging is BPA-free.
The bottom line is to eat more entire meals and avoid taking short cuts. Junk food may feel therapeutic, but a comprehensive approach to wellness and ensuring that your mood is steady, tranquil, and healthy is the greatest way to practice it.
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