Last updated March 22, 2023
5 Foods that Increase Anxiety and Panic Attacks
This post may contain affiliate links. Read our disclosure here.
Are you eating foods that cause anxiety?
It’s normal to feel occasional worry but excessive panic or anxiety can be debilitating.
Struggling with anxiety can stop you in your tracks and ruin future plans.
Often people dealing with anxiety have trouble shutting off that fight or flight nervous system response. Their bodies think they are in a stressful situation all day long.
If you can get the nervous system to relax, you can lower your anxiety.
I’ve been using plant-based Anxie-T Supplement to help relax my nervous system and calm overthinking.
It’s done a pretty good job of reducing my anxiety.
Symptoms of anxiety:
- Sudden panic
- Irrational fear
- Feeling nervous or tense
- Feeling numb
- Neck tightness
- Upset stomach
- Shortness of breath
- The feeling of impending doom
- Increased heart rate
- Unrealistic worry
Sometimes the foods we are eating can trigger anxiety or increase our chance of having a panic attack. Not everyone’s body handles food the same way.
I personally can feel panic after too much caffeine or eating gluten which I don’t normally do.
There has been a huge difference in my mental health since adjusting what foods I’ve been eating so I’m excited to share that with you!
Your gut is responsible for creating neurotransmitters that alter your mood, serotonin in particular.
If your gut has been bogged down by junk food or inflamed it can be difficult for it to make those happy neurotransmitters.
Food has the ability to affect your mood and even increase the risk of dealing with anxiety.
5 Foods That Cause Anxiety and Panic
1. High histamine foods
Having high levels of histamine in the body can lead to panic and anxiety attacks.
For some people, their histamine levels already run high, so adding in a high-histamine food pushes them over the edge.
Histamine is a neurotransmitter that can cause the nervous system to ramp up, increase heart rate, and the fight or flight system.
Some high histamine foods include alcohol, aged meats and cheeses, leftover meat, and vinegar. Reducing histamine levels can lower your risk of having an anxiety attack.
2. Caffeine can Increase Anxiety
Caffeine has a history of interrupting sleep and causing panic. It stimulates the nervous system and takes time to get filtered out by the liver.
Caffeine increases blood pressure and doubles the stress hormone cortisol and norepinephrine levels. Cutting caffeine can reduce stress on the nervous system and put a stop to panic attacks.
Always wean your way off caffeine instead of eliminating it all at once. It takes some time for your body to adjust if you have been drinking caffeine for a while.
3. Sugar and carbs
Eating large amounts of sugar and carbs at one time can spike glucose which doubles adrenaline levels. It has been shown to cause erratic behavior in children and anxiety in adults.
Sugar also feeds bad gut bacteria and candida causing them to grow out of control. Candida releases mycotoxins when it reproduces and that creates histamine.
Sugar has detrimental effects on your health and anxiety is one of them. Try cutting back on sugar and large amounts of carbs for a calmer, worry-free day.
Eating gluten for many can cause inflammation in the body, stimulating the nervous system, and increasing histamine reactions.
Gluten also increases the risk of developing a leaky gut, allowing for autoimmune disorders and gut infections.
These nervous system effects include dysregulation of the autonomic nervous system, cerebellar ataxia, hypotonia, developmental delay, learning disorders, depression, migraine, and headache.
Try cutting back on gluten and experience the benefits of lower inflammation and clearer thinking.
5. Dairy can cause anxiety
It’s estimated that 10 percent of people are lactose intolerant. Consuming dairy when you don’t break it down well can cause inflammation and irritation in the gut.
Any inflammation in the body triggers the immune system and the nervous system to kick into high gear. If you are dealing with anxiety it’s best to reduce dairy until you know how you are affected by it.
Dairy has been linked to increased candida infections also, take note if you have sinus infections or brain fog.
If you have previously tried to reduce anxiety by changing your foods and haven’t had success, maybe it’s time for some help.
An Anxiety Supplement to Help
I’ve been using Anxie-T Supplement from Life Seasons for a while now and it really helps to relax the nervous system.
The plant-based ingredients help to calm an anxious mind and relax nerves.
It’s a good alternative to using prescription medications for anxiety.
Let me know if you have tried Anxie-T and are seeing a difference in your anxiety levels.
I am encouraged to cut back on the caffeine and sugar. I just started a new job and need to find a way to refocus and concentrate as having trouble with the simplest of task. Hopefully this will help me!
Yes, these things affect but those effects are just temporary. on a long term these things increases the overall physical health and immune system. Correct me if i am wrong.
Not a professional or a doctor, but I am someone who has had anxiety for over 15 years so I can tell you 100% anxiety can harm you long term.
However, this isn’t a reason to panic or stress about it because you can’t help that you’re anxious you just need to work on it if you are. Anxiety, is worry and worry is a form of stress. Stress is essentially a response to danger and excessive anxiety or anxiety disorder is long term stress.
Stress isn’t bad, neither is High Blood pressure or glucose spikes they are part of biology iof all animals to give us the power to survive like if we’re chased by a lion or need our employers 20 page report in 1 hour! Without the anxiety and stress, we’d simply fail and perhaps die as consequence.
The problem is, if we’re excessively stressed most the time the body can’t relax and recover and puts your body’s circulatory and digestive system under strain which can lead to diseases later on in life. However, the body can recover and it’s never too late so it’s important to manage stress. If your bodies working 100% all the time, it can’t recover the arteries are getting strained by the pressure and the pancreas has to filter out more glucose it’s basically shortening your life so stress reductions a good idea.
But, mild anxiety isn’t likely to cause issues just long term severe anxiety that isn’t adequately controlled, I know first hand when I developed HBP which resolved itself after I managed my anxiety better.
Oh great! It’s everything I eat!
yes yes yes!! this is what I am thinking. I want this anxiety to go so bad. most days I am anxious but can tolerate it, like I start my day off with a bath because it helps relax me ALOT. Then I go for breakfast and my morning tea and sit down for work which I actually enjoy. Then out of nowhere I start feeling tense and uncomfortable. Many months ago, it would trigger a panic attack but those days are gone and I am so happy I’ve trained myself to beat the panic attacks. But I feel so low with it, like it hurts mentally.
My doctor has done tests, even two trips to hospital and with my age they are 99.9999% this is all in my head which I find odd because despite me having it all my life it’s never been out of my control until 2 years ago.
But you’re right, I notice it’s catch 22 tea relaxes me and so does junk food but they do 100% have an affect on me but I can’t eat nothing??? Like my typical diet revolves around brown bread, rice, wheatabix, cornflakes, eggs, chicken and foods high in carbs and sugar which I’m reducing.
It’s so hard because, I am so down with this pandemic so I’m not allowed to eat or drink the foods I like and this itself makes the anxiety worse anyway because of the stress of trying to beat the anxiety. Can’t win, I guess I could just live on chicken, eggs and sausages, sure I might end up with high cholerestorol but it’s definitely better than dealing with anxiety trust me.
I really really hope you get rid of it <3 <3 it makes me upset because only an anxiety sufferer to another knows just how much it hurts. You're so strong for fighting a battle you don't even know how to win.
p.s. i had a large ham sandwich bam and it gave me an anxiety attack not even kidding. I hope one day I can come back to tell you I beat it!
I feel you. I have just developed anxiety or diagnosed. I found that fruit particularly berries help me a lot. I tracked my anxiety to bad gut health. I know it’s hard because I had depression along with it. I searched out foods that raise serotonin and fight the bad bacteria. Our stomach and nervous system are connect to anxiety. Even a year later I think I have it under control and out of the blue I am depressed and anxious, working on it, which is continual. Take Care. Dianne
Absolutely going to try all of these things…I will admit I intake lots of sugar…I have been having depression, anxiety, and ocd….I don’t want to take a pill that I have to depend on. I appreciate this pin and hopefully when I post again I will have a new me!!
I think these are very helpful things to think about. I know I often talk to friends and clients about stress over a cup of coffee. There’s one change I can make.
I really notice my body being affected by sugar and carbs. It’s like the high and then the crash that really affect my mood and my feelings of anxiousness. These other foods are ones I’m going to have to pay attention to in the future.