If you had the choice to feel like a light and colorfully vibrant fruit salad, or a heavy bowl of lifeless pasta, which would you choose? It may be cliche, but it really is true that you are what you eat. If you want to feel light, happy and full of life, then it only makes sense to eat foods that help you feel that way.
Studies show that some foods make us feel calm, while others get us temporarily stimulated and fuel not-so-good feelings like anxiety and stress, potentially leading to a depressed mood. Unfortunately, most go-to comfort foods really aren’t comforting at all because they feed the opposite of how you really want to feel.
Here are four foods to avoid if you’re feeling stressed, or are prone to anxiety and panic attacks.
Some would argue that it’s alcohol that puts the “happy” in happy hour, but the buzz is only temporary. Alcohol may feel like it’s the thing you need after a long, stressful day, but remember that alcohol is a depressant. It is also a diuretic and becoming dehydrated can also alter your mood for the worse. To keep your mood in check and stay properly hydrated, reach for a glass of water instead.
Coffee and other caffeinated beverages like tea and soft drinks are usually consumed to get an energy boost, but studies show that caffeine inhibits serotonin in the brain and when serotonin is supressed you can become irritable and depressed. If stress and worry keep you up at night, caffeine will also keep you awake when you should be sleeping, making you more stressed and anxious. And like alcohol, caffeine is also a diuretic that can lead to dehydration.
Candy and Sweets
The sugar rush from candy and sweets (and sweetners like table sugar and honey) is also only a temporary high. Your body will absorb the sugar quickly and likewise, increase the production of insulin to remove it. This will leave you feeling tired, making it easier to fall into a depressed mood.
Research shows that eating a diet high in processed foods like hot dogs, cakes and sausage increased the risk of depression. If the food has had all of the life manipulated and taken out of it, it will do the same once it’s in your body. Whole foods, like fruits and vegetables, are best for a good mood.
Remember: You get out of your body what you put in.