Foods for Moods

Foods Affect Moods

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Biggest Aggravators of Anxiety

1. Caffeine

Found in coffee, tea, sodas such as colas. It is best to check labels. Also, caffeine is found in dark chocolate, so it's best to cut back on that also. Remember to off of caffeine slowly to avoid withdrawal. You will be pleasantly surprised at the tremendous difference you will feel when you eliminate caffeine from your body.

The effects of caffeine are as follows:
  • Anxiety
  • Nervousness
  • Insomnia
  • Irritability
  • Racing heart
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Caffeine aggravates the following:
  • Gastritis
  • Insomnia
  • Menopause Symptoms
  • Hypertension
  • Tension headaches

  • Suggestions: Try slowly mixing decaffeinated products with your caffeinated ones. Remove a little more each time, until you've eliminated all the caffeine. Many decaf brands are quite tasty and there are many herbal products that can be fun to experiment with. The results of less caffeine can be profound.

    2. Sugar

    Sugar is a short-term stimulant. When you are feeling sensitive or vulnerable it's best to cut way back on your sugar intake. You'll find you can move past anxiety much faster. Sugar exacerbates stressful situations. Sugary foods can give you a temporary high, but a quick crash follows. Be sure to read product labels as sugar can be hidden by calling it "dextrose, polydextrose, fructose, maltose, evaporated cane juice." It's all processed sugar.

    Too much sugar intake can cause:
  • Nervous tension
  • Irritability
  • Anxiety
  • Jittery feeling
  • Depression
  • Suicidal ideation
  • Negative thinking
  • Fatigue
  • Other negative effects of sugar:
  • Tooth decay
  • Gum disease
  • Depletion of B complex vitamins
  • Rise of candida in your body
  • Yeast infections
  • Rapid cycling of blood sugar levels for those with hypoglycemia or diabetes

  • Suggestions: Try natural sweet alternatives. Even honey or real maple syrup in moderation are less volatile. Rediscover how delicious fruits can be. Try eating raisins instead of candy. After a while you will notice that foods even lightly sugared taste too sweet. Sugar masks the taste of foods and you may be pleasantly surprised to experience how naturally good your food tastes without the veil of sugar. It is best to cut back on sugar as much as possible.

    If you decide to eliminate all processed sugar from your diet (you can still use honey, maple syrup, fruit, and simple carbohydrates in moderation) be aware that eliminating processed sugar causes a feeling similar to drug withdrawal. Be assured, however, that the most intense suffering stops after three days and after two weeks you will feel very little "food craving" which is usually really sugar craving. After two weeks, you'll eat less, feel more positive and dramatically increase your energy.

    3. Alcohol

    Alcoholic beverages are not a cure for anxiety disorders and some people have been known to self-medicate with a drink. In the long run the effects of alcohol have been proven to be more detrimental than helpful with this condition.

    Negative effects of alcohol with anxiety conditions:
  • Excessive use of alcohol increases anxiety
  • Adds to hypoglycemic symptoms
  • Dehydrating effect, dumping vitamins and nutrients in the process
  • Irritant to liver
  • Irritant to digestive tract
  • Candida overgrowth
  • Yeast in alcohol effects and exacerbates allergies

  • Suggestions: Nonalcoholic drinks such as club sodas, mineral waters with lemon/lime, flavored seltzers, and there are nonalcoholic beers and wines.

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