Anxiety sucks, but if you have ever experienced anxiety in some form, you are not alone. 1 in 4 Canadians will suffer from some form of anxiety in their lifetime — and that's a whole lot of anxious feelings going around.
Having dealt with anxiety myself, I've been told by many people — those qualified and not — to avoid certain foods in order to reduce my anxious feelings. I've come to learn that "you are what you eat" isn't just some folk wisdom told by a parent to stop you from eating an abundance of donuts.
But anxiety is a very personal battle, and everyone copes with their anxious feelings in different ways. With that being said, here is a list of foods to avoid if you are an anxious human being.
Remember, these foods do not cause anxiety, but they can increase the severity of your pre-existing symptoms. Warning: this list contains some of your ultimate favourite foods, but if you give it a shot, you might thank me later.
We'll start with the most heartbreaking one—coffee. For a lot of people, coffee can be a major anxiety-inducer. Ever gotten the jitters from drinking one too many cups of Joe? It's because coffee increases cortisol levels (translation: it makes your body react to stress, even when there is nothing stressing you out). To learn more, click here.
Next time you are in the library, think twice before grabbing a second (or third) cup of coffee. You may think it will help you out while you're cramming for that exam, but in reality, it increases your anxiety.
I bet you thought it couldn't get worse after I listed coffee. Before reaching for that glass of cheap ass wine after a long day at the library (the perks of a student budget), think again. Alcohol is a depressant when consumed in large quantities, which means that binge-drinking your sorrows away can actually create more problems. Check out this website for more information.
And it just keeps getting worse! You know those kids who find their hidden Halloween candy, experience a major sugar high, and then crash harder than Britney Spears when she shaved her head? That is what candy does to your blood sugar. It increases cortisol and adrenaline levels, which have been linked to causing panic attacks.
Although shoving your face with lollipops and gummy bears may sound like an ideal way to spend your Friday night, the symptoms experienced during the downward spiral of a "sugar rush" mimic those of a panic attack. You feel tired, lightheaded, and sick — making yourself hyper aware of your body. To learn more about the similarities, click here.
4. Trans Fat
When you eat salt in large quantities, it increases your blood pressure, which in turn forces your heart to work harder than Santa Clause on Christmas Eve. When your heart is forced to work over time, your body releases adrenaline, the stress related hormone, making you think "was that bag of Lays really worth it?"
Remember, everything is okay in moderation. A cup of coffee or a handful of gummy bears are most likely not going to throw you into a full-blown panic attack. With that being said, the overconsumption of any of these foods may not help limit feelings of anxiety. Keep this list in mind as exam season quickly approaches so that we can make the world a less anxious place.