15 Foods That Make Your Depression Or Anxiety Worse


There are specific foods that can worsen anxiety and depression. Research by Harvard Health states that food choices that can significantly influence one’s feelings. It can also aggravate your emotions or uplift it. The Anxiety and Depression Association of America reported that at least 18% of the U.S. population is suffering from anxiety and 6.7% are diagnosed with clinical depression. (Depression and anxiety run in the family, as well.)

You possibly know the feeling of becoming anxious or depressed. It can be an overwhelming burden, and these issues can weigh you down. Research already identified possible causes of anxiety and depression and found out that food also plays a role in all that. Foods can increase the frequency, depth, and duration of these feelings especially if you are prompt to experiencing them. The best move is to familiarize yourself with these foods and limit the intake. It will reduce or prevent the damage to your mind.

Category 1: Foods That Make You More Depressed


It’s been proven that when the blood glucose level is elevated, it causes a drop in the levels of a protein responsible for the growth of neurons and synapses. This means that your brain will work at the sub-optimal level when you eat lots of sugared foods.

Artificial Sweeteners

Artificial sweeteners use aspartame which is a common yet dangerous ingredient found mostly in diet sodas. This ingredient blocks the neurotransmitter serotonin production and can cause all neuro maladies like a headache, insomnia, depression and mood changes.


Alcohol is very well known to depress the working order of the central nervous system. The central nervous system is responsible for thinking, understanding, and reasoning, controlling motor function, and processing emotions.

Hydrogenated Oil

Aside from making you fat, fried foods are also linked to depression. Shallow frying is done in hydrogenated oil, and this contains trans fats that can contribute to the mental health issue. Another thing, saturated fats can clog arteries and prevent blood flow to the brain.


Fast Food

It is research proven that fast food eaters are more likely to develop depression. These fast foods are classified to be hamburgers, hot dogs, pizza and commercially baked goods. A small portion does not really increase depression risk, but if you regularly eat in fast foods, then it is time to have a change for good.

Trans Fats

Trans fat is the unsaturated fats that do not occur in whole foods. An increase of 48% of the risk of having depression is evident when this trans fat is consumed, according to PLoS One. This is commonly found in snack foods, packaged baked goods, margarine, and oils used to fry fast food. As an alternative, a Mediterranean diet and olive oil can lower the risk of depression.

High Sodium Foods

Fat-free foods also contain lots of sodium, and this extra salts can disrupt aspects of one’s neurological system. It causes fatigue and lowers your immune system, and being like this can disrupt your emotional state. Salts also lead to fluid retention, bloating and weight gain which can result in negative body image, thus doubling the depression even more.


Caffeine disrupts sleep, and it can severely damage your mental state. Sleep regulates your mood, and lacking this can make you more irritable and also increases your risk for depression.

Category 2: Foods That Make You More Anxious

Wheat Bran

Wheat bran contains a high concentration of phytic acid and binds to mood minerals such as zinc. It limits the absorption of these mood minerals. Zinc is essential especially to those who have deficiencies since it can reduce anxiety and depression.


Tofu is made of soy, and soy is packed with trypsin and protease inhibitors. These are enzymes that make the digestion of protein difficult. Soy also has high copper levels that are linked to anxiety. Lastly, oligosaccharides which cause flatulence is also present.



Coffee is one source of caffeine, and those who are easily anxious can be sensitive to feeling anxiety even with small amounts of this stimulant. Caffeine is known to blunt the absorption of Vitamin B and D which can affect the mood of an individual.

Whole Wheat Bread

This kind of bread is high in gluten which contributes to anxiety. Another thing, non-organic wheat is treated with an herbicide that can cause nutrient deficiencies and destroy mood-stabilizing minerals – glyphosate.

Canned Soup

Bisphenol A or BPA is a chemical utilized in plastic containers at the same time canned food liners. This BPA can destroy mood-stabilizing neurotransmitters by altering the genes in the portion of the brain which causes stress-mediating.

Apple Juice

Juices have refined fructose which makes blood sugar spike. It then causes the rush of stress hormone adrenaline and can make you display symptoms similar to a panic attack.

Red Wine

Drinking can cause blood sugar swings, sleep problems and dehydration. This should be avoided by those who are especially anxious.

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