List of 8 worst food for anxiety and depression

Get a review on food to avoid for anxiety and depression because they trigger them. Also know about what are the possible dietary causes of depression and how can lack of food make you depressed.

Posted by Rukhma Khalid on September 28, 2022

Can unhealthy food cause depression?

Many factors can contribute to stress, depression, and anxiety. This not only involves the central nervous system with chemical imbalance but also many other things like food, environment, etc. can affect mental peace whether we know it or not. Depression has no cure, but it is treatable with psychological therapy and other medications. Food is the major factor that plays a major role in causing depression, so we have to mind and put control over our diet. Some types of food are discussed that cause depression:

Fruit Juice:

Most people think that drinking natural fruit juices are good for health, but it is the opposite of that because fruits contain sugars as well as fibers when you make a juice drink you use only the sugary part of the fruit and leave the fibrous part that is peels of the fruit. As you drink the juice you are only consuming sugar-rich water it makes you hypertonic and leaves you thirstier and hungry which ultimately leads to depression. But if we take fibers along, these fibers make the absorption of sugars slower and fill your body with nutrients and energy. So, eat fruits as a whole and drink water when you are thirsty

food to eat for depression and anxiety

Energy drinks:

Energy drinks are an easy choice for people and many people like to sip on them after having a tough day, gym session, or bad sleep. However, energy drinks affect your physical health badly due to their high sugar content and most importantly caffeine which not only affects physical health but also has a bad effect on mental health.

Many studies showed that people consuming energy drinks suffer from depression especially men. Similarly, coffee also contains caffeine so, consumption of too much coffee may be another cause of depression and anxiety. Instead of energy drinks and coffee try sipping on natural drinks like green tea and you can also try only a little dark chocolate.

Diet Soda:

You might think that diet sodas are with no sugar so there is no problem. That is right. You may not have problems with too much sugar, but it has adverse effects on the body. First, it makes you feel down because of no sugar! Caffeine can cause high blood pressure, heart attacks, and diabetes. All of them are directly associated with depression and anxiety.

Processed Meat:

Nowadays processed meat products are more common in society because they are easy to access, easy to cook, and more delicious but these products contain ingredients that have more potential to boost the signs of depression and stress. Many people do not properly cook the meat as they like to eat red meat. Studies have shown that red meat consumption is directly related to depression, and it also affects physically as it also causes cancer in the body

If you do not like your food without any meat, you can try properly cooked or grilled chicken with some eggs and vegetables a good option.

food and anxiety research


Toast or bread is another food item that is linked with depression and anxiety. Bread is made from white flour it quickly turns into sugar after you eat it and increase the blood sugar content. This high blood sugar content increases the heart rate and blood pressure which in turn causes anxiety. It also causes obesity and many other physical illnesses.

If you like to have toast, you can have it until it is made of whole grain bread.

Processed sugar:

It is not a natural sugar. High intake of refined sugar may cause depression and has the following effects:

  • Hormonal imbalances are associated with mood swings
  • Bad impact on the development of brain cells
  • Blocking neurotransmitters in the brain

It is not so easy to cut all these sweets and treats from your diet so there is an option that you can pick low sugar products. Which shopping for groceries to cut sugar intake

foods for depression anxiety

Artificial sweeteners:

As mentioned above sugar is the main cause of depression. You might think of using artificial sweeteners as a better option to cut down sugar consumption. But these are also linked with health concerns like depression. Artificial sweeteners might contain a chemical that can cause a hormonal imbalance in the brain and body. That which may increase the levels of “cortisol” which It is good to aim to reduce the sugar intake by avoiding refined sugar and artificial sweeteners. And using other natural sweeteners like honey etc.


We are already aware of the adverse effects of eating too much salt. It is associated with heat diseases like high blood pressure and heart attacks. Heart diseases are not only physical, but these are directly concerned with mental concerns. Salt impacts the brain via the heart. Too much salt intake in animals and humans is studied .And the studies have shown that eating too much salt affects the blood flow in the brain. Blood pressure fluctuations may contribute to anxiety and decreased mental activity.

Salt is necessary for the body to work properly. Salts are responsible for nerve transmission and muscle function. It means you don’t have to cut the salts completely from your diet. Instead, try to reduce the intake of salt by not sprinkling extra salt on top of the meal.

Does diet effect anxiety and depression?

Yes, if you are facing depression and anxiety, you may try changing your diet it may help ease it to some extent. Results of changing diet may vary from person to person but at least you will get some help by cutting down sugar and too much salty content from your diet. However, this is not a traditional treatment. You may seek help by talking to a psychologist or may get medical help.