When you’re feeling anxious, the last thing you want to do is eat something that will make your symptoms worse. Unfortunately, there are a lot of foods and drinks that can do just that. “There are a lot of contributors to anxiety, and nutrition is just a piece of it,” says Katie Knafla, a registered dietician. While cutting certain food and beverage groups completely out of your life may not be necessary, monitoring which foods have qualities that exacerbate your symptoms is key.
Here are some of the worst foods and drinks to eat when you’re feeling anxious!
Coffee is a natural stimulant and can therefore increase anxiety symptoms like a racing heart rate and trouble sleeping. If you’re feeling anxious, it’s best to avoid coffee or limit your intake to one cup per day.
2. Energy Drinks
Like coffee, energy drinks are also stimulants and can exacerbate anxiety symptoms. If you find yourself reaching for an energy drink when you’re feeling anxious, try drinking water or herbal tea instead.
Sugar can cause spikes in blood sugar levels which can lead to feelings of anxiety and irritability. When you’re feeling anxious, it’s best to reach for foods that will stabilize your blood sugar levels like nuts or avocado.
While a glass of wine may seem like it will help you relax, alcohol is actually a depressant and can make anxiety symptoms worse. If you’re feeling anxious, it’s best to avoid alcohol altogether.
5. Processed Foods
Processed foods are often high in sugar and unhealthy fats which can lead to spikes in blood sugar levels and feelings of anxiety. When possible, try to stick to whole foods like fruits, vegetables, and lean protein.
So the next time you’re feeling anxious, reach for a healthy snack like nuts or an avocado instead of a sugary treat or cup of coffee. Your body will thank you!