11 Foods And Ingredients That Can Trigger Anxiety

What is really needed is a mindful approach to what you are consuming.

I have always had a strange relationship with food. Eating for necessity really rather than pleasure. As I explore my anxiety further and learn more about myself I can see patterns where I have used food as a form of self-harm.
If I am feeling low I will choose not to eat. Not for any form of weight loss or otherwise but just because I don’t feel like nurturing myself that day.
A bereave in some form. I suppose food and anxiety have always gone hand in hand for me. It’s a vicious circle because when I’m feeling anxious or low I don’t eat very well.  The less I eat the worse I feel. The less nutritious food that I eat the more I crave the unhealthy. And round the circle goes.
There is no question, if you suffer from anxiety and you don’t have a good diet, you drink alcohol, or you take drugs you are not helping it, period. It is probably unrealistic to think for some that you won’t ever have a takeaway again or a glass of wine.
What is really needed is a mindful approach to what you are consuming. Be very mindful of the foods that heighten your anxiety or how drinking that extra glass of wine makes you feel much worse the next day. Everything in moderation.

Information is power. Do your research and keep a diary. See what foods make anxiety worse and which foods can actually help. You will be surprised. Keeping a food/mood diary is a great way to really check what is affecting you and how. Write down everything you eat and also how you feel at the end of each day and after a couple of weeks, you will soon see a pattern.

Here is a list of most of the foods that can help/worsen anxiety. This is a generalisation, remember every person is different.

Foods that help with anxiety:
  • Spinach
  • Cashew Nuts
  • Salmon
  • Turkey
  • Chamomile Tea
  • Oats
  • Dark Chocolate
  • Avocado
  • Leafy Greens
  • Blueberries
  • Banana
  • Brown rice 
Foods that can cause anxiety:
  • Sugar
  • Artificial sweeteners
  • Aspartame
  • Fried foods
  • Alcohol
  • Fizzy Drinks
  • Caffeine
  • MSG
  • Frozen Meals
  • Processed Foods/Meats
  • Biscuits/Pastries

Tracey is a happy mammy to four-year-old Billy. She is a breastfeeder, gentle parent and has recently lost five stone so healthy family eating is her passion! You can find her at www.loveofliving.ie.

Tracey Quinn

Proud mum of two who got married on Don't Tell The Bride and had an accidental home-birth (loves a good story). She's passionate about breastfeeding, positive thinking & all things cosy.

Read more by Tracey
{{ post.excerpt }}
{{ post.content.formatted }}

What is Family Friendly HQ?

Family Friendly HQ is Ireland’s trusted parenting community, dedicated to mums and dads, and families of all shapes and sizes.

Read more about us