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Foods to Avoid If You Have Anxiety or Depression

Gayatri Chona

MSc Nutrition U.K., Specialises in nutrition for kids, teens, pregnant women & corporate diet plans

5 min read

How to mentally tune Urself not to buy foods that can depress U along with depression-causing foods
Let’s try to understand how our emotional health and emotional well-being determines the food choices we make. It’s difficult for many of us to resist the temptation of foods that help to comfort us. It becomes even more difficult for us to stay away from these kinds of foods when we are upset, having a hard day at work or when we are feeling unwell or emotionally drained.

Often, we don’t realize that our emotional state determines the food choices we make and the food we reach out to when we are disturbed or troubled by something. The connection between our food choices and our emotional state depends on our upbringing. Most children are ‘bribed’ with chocolates or sweets to make them ‘feel better’ when you they are sad or get hurt.

The connections from our early childhood days don’t go away but are very much present even in adulthood. As a result, whenever we experience a bad day or get emotionally sad, we reach out to those so-called comfort foods. They help us to feel satisfied and provide warmth, happiness and security. But these feelings are temporary. For this reason, it’s important for us to disassociate these connections and not choose foods based on how we are feeling, our moods and the kind of day we are having!

These temporary comfort foods which we yearn for during stressful and taxing times can lead to bad health in the future. It can become a vicious cycle, because every time you are upset, you will crave junk food. When you eat these foods, it will make you unhealthy. So this association will carry on and it will be very difficult to break free. But this doesn’t mean that you should not enjoy a piece of cake of ice cream. Eat these things, but only because you enjoy eating them or because you want to have it. Don’t decide to eat these comfort foods just because you are feeling a bit low or sad.

Food needs to be enjoyed and should not be something you turn to when you’re sad or upset. Be mindful of UR food choices irrespective of how you’re feeling – weather happy, sad or even when shopping for your groceries. When you eat mindfully you will be able to get rid of the improper association you have with UR emotional state and the foods you choose to eat.
Foods that can cause depression
The kind of food we eat has the ability to affect us – physically and mentally both. While some foods can energize us and make us happy, certain other foods can dampen our mood and make us feel tired and depressed! This is because they affect the chemicals in our brain. By avoiding these foods you can prevent low and unhappy depressing feelings. Here’s a list of the foods that can lead to depression if consumed excessively.

Refined carbohydrates and depression are closely linked. Foods like white bread, pasta, pizza, breakfast cereal and so on should be avoided. These foods not only increase blood sugar but also increase the risk of depression. Opting for a diet that includes plenty of whole grains can help to lower depression.

Foods high in sodium can unsettle your neurological system causing depression. When you consume such foods UR immune system is also affected and this causes fatigue. The excess salt in foods such as baked goods, frozen foods, sauces, cereals etc. cause water retention and bloating which further leads to irritability and a bad mood.

Sugar too can bring about depression. Foods high in sugar cause inflammation not just in the body but brain too! According to experts, when there is inflammation in the brain, there is an increased risk of depression. Avoid giving into UR sugar cravings to avoid feeling blue and to avoid erratic sleep patterns which can further make you sad and dull.

Processed foods have a high amount of sugar, fat and salt in them. All of these impair brain function and cause mood disorders like depression. Avoid processed meats, desserts, bakery products, canned soups, fried foods, refined cereals etc. Change your food habits and opt for foods that are rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants to keep depression at bay.

Alcohol depresses the central nervous system that is responsible for emotions and increases symptoms associated with depression. It causes changes in the neurotransmitters in our brain which makes us anxious and restless. Alcohol is also hazardous because it majorly affects our senses and motor function. It has a sedative effect that temporarily provides relief from depression but can worsen depression in the long run.

Caffeine when had in excess can cause irritability, anxiety and mood disruptions leading to depression. Sleep patterns are also disrupted which again affect the mood. Limit your consumption of coffee and also stay away from caffeinated energy drinks.
Trans fats found in foods like sweets, fried chicken foods, French fries etc. have a high content of hydrogenated oils that contribute to depression. As trans fats clogs the arteries, they not only increase your risk for depression but heart disease as well. Include a diet that is rich in whole foods and less in comfort foods to enhance your mood and make you feel happy! It’s best to consider a healthy eating plan to combat depression and other ailments.

Let’s try to understand how our emotional health and emotional well-being determines the food choices we make. It’s difficult for many of us to resist the temptation of foods that help to comfort us. It becomes even more difficult for us to stay away from these kinds of foods when we are upset, having a hard day at work or when we are feeling unwell or emotionally drained.

Often, we don’t realize that our emotional state determines the food choices we make and the food we reach out to when we are disturbed or troubled by something. The connection between our food choices and our emotional state depends on our upbringing. Most children are ‘bribed’ with chocolates or sweets to make them ‘feel better’ when you they are sad or get hurt.

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Foods that can cause depression

The kind of food we eat has the ability to affect us – physically and mentally. While some foods can energize us and make us happy, certain other foods can dampen our mood and make us tired and depressed! This is because they affect the chemicals in our brain. By avoiding these foods you can prevent low and unhappy depressing feelings. Here’s a list of the foods that can lead to depression if consumed excessively.

Refined carbohydrates and depression are closely linked. Foods like white bread, pasta, pizza, breakfast cereal and so on should be avoided. These foods not only increase blood sugar but also increase the risk of depression. Opting for a diet that includes plenty of whole grains can help to lower depression.


The kind of food we eat has the ability to affect us – physically and mentally both. While some foods can energize us and make us happy, certain other foods can dampen our mood and make us feel tired and depressed!


Foods that can Cause Depression - URLife Wellness Platform

Foods high in sodium can unsettle your neurological system causing depression. When you consume such foods UR immune system is also affected and thereby causes fatigue. The excess salt in foods such as baked goods, frozen foods, sauces, cereals etc. cause water retention and bloating which further leads to irritability and results in bad mood.

Sugar too can bring about depression. Foods high in sugar cause inflammation not just in the body but brain too! According to experts, when there is inflammation in the brain, there is an increased risk of depression. Avoid sugar cravings to avoid feeling blue and to avoid erratic sleep patterns which can further make you sad and dull.

Processed foods have a high amount of sugar, fat and salt in them. All of these impair brain function and cause mood disorders like depression. Avoid processed meats, desserts, bakery products, canned soups, fried foods, refined cereals etc. Change your food habits and opt for foods that are rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants to keep depression at bay.

Alcohol depresses the central nervous system that is responsible for emotions and increases symptoms associated with depression. It causes changes in the neurotransmitters in our brain which makes us anxious and restless. Alcohol is also hazardous because it majorly affects our senses and motor function. It has a sedative effect that temporarily provides relief from depression but can worsen depression in the long run.

Caffeine when had in excess can cause irritability, anxiety and mood disruptions leading to depression. Sleep patterns are also disrupted which again affect the mood. Limit your consumption of coffee and stay away from caffeinated energy drinks.

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Trans fats found in foods like sweets, fried chicken foods, French fries etc. have a high content of hydrogenated oils that contribute to depression. As trans fats clogs the arteries, they not only increase your risk for depression but heart disease as well. Include a diet that is rich in whole foods and less in comfort foods to enhance your mood and make you feel happy! It’s best to consider a healthy eating plan to combat depression and other ailments.

Rashmika Mandanna Eating Fruits - URLife Wellness Platform

The connections from our early childhood don’t disappear and are very much present even in adulthood as well. As a result, whenever we experience a bad day or get emotionally sad, we reach out to those so-called comfort foods. They help us feel satisfied, provide warmth, happiness and security. These feelings are temporary and for this reason, it’s important for us to disassociate with the connections and not choose foods based on our moods and the kind of day we are having! Tough but worth the effort.

These temporary comfort foods which we yearn during stressful and taxing times can lead to bad health in the future. A vicious cycle is developed every time you are upset, and you will crave junk food. This habit-forming association in the subconscious mind will carry on become difficult to break.

Food needs to be enjoyed and should not be something you turn to when you’re sad or upset. Be mindful of UR food choices irrespective of how UR feeling – weather happy, sad or even when shopping for groceries. When you eat mindfully you will be able to get rid of the improper association you have with UR emotional state and the foods you choose to eat.

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