Stress takes a big toll on our lives. As a mother, you are constantly on the move and usually don’t have much time to yourself as it is, so there is no way you put much thought into your diet. We all already talked about foods that reduce stress, but have you ever stopped to think about foods that cause stress and anxiety?

Yes, think about that for a moment!

Just like there is are foods that can improve your health and mood, helping you manage your stress, there are also foods that make you anxious or depressed. Do you really need that?

It is important to eat a well-balanced diet complete with foods that will keep us mothers energized, motivated, and focused. But before you get nervous and start throwing away the wrong items let’s take a look at the list of the foods that may be causing added stress and anxiety.

Foods that Cause Stress and Anxiety


Sugar Foods That Cause Stress and Anxiety

One of the biggest culprits of stress is our blood sugar. We function at our best when it is between 75 to 95 (ng/dl). The more time your body stays out of this range the more likely you are to become stressed.  When you eat large quantities of sugar your body produces large amounts of insulin to process the sugar. This causes your body to release adrenaline to help compensate. A study done on lab rat in 2008 showed they were more likely to have anxiety after a diet of bingeing on sucrose. Also, a study from Emory University showed that adolescents who consumed a diet high in fructose had increased anxiety-like behavior.


2. Caffeine

A go-to for a lot of us sleepy moms, Caffeine is found in many beverages from coffee to tea to soda. Caffeine is known as a mood booster because it increases alertness, decreases fatigue, and gives some a quick boost of energy. However, there are side effects to take into consideration.

Caffeine is a stimulate our nervous system and studies have shown that caffeine can raise your blood pressure and cause a rapid heartbeat. Drinking too much caffeine can cause headaches and lead to sleep deprivation.  Your body gets used to the amount of caffeine you consume so you have to increase the amount of caffeine you consume to get the boost you are looking for. This leads to large quantities of sugar consumption. A 2003 study showed that people with a genetic difference are more likely to develop anxiety after consuming caffeine.


3. Salty Foods

Salty food items, probably hiding in all of our pantries right now. It is one of the go-to “comfort foods” people crave when they stress and for reason. Salt increases the levels of the hormone oxytocin in our bodies which scientist believe is the same hormone we release when we are in love.

Sodium depletes your body of potassium and potassium is an essential mineral in our bodies that helps ensure we have strength and stamina when necessary. Salt increases blood pressure putting a strain on our hearts which can lead to anxiety.


4. Alcohol

Another go-to item for many when they are stressed actually has the opposite effect. Alcohol changes the levels of serotonin( a hormone that regulates anxiety, happiness, and mood) in the brain. People often drink to relax and ease stressful situations but this leads to dependence. Chronic consumption of alcohol can lead to anxiety.



Sometimes we consume food in the moment and get a temporary relief from stress but the end result is worse. Dependency on foods to relieve stress isn’t a cure. Working on a healthy diet that keeps your hormones in balance and identifying what stresses you will lead to an overall healthier lifestyle.

Temporary fixes never solve the problem it is always best to reach for results that last a lifetime and keep you in shape and functioning fully. As a parent, you can’t afford any shortcut and plus you have little ones who copy everything you do, so make the right choices for yourself and your family.

Are you shocked by any of the items on that list? Do you think I missed any?

If you have any thoughts, please comment below and follow us to be updated when new articles are posted. Any feedback is always welcome!

8 thoughts on “Foods That Cause Stress and Anxiety – 4 Items to Avoid”

  1. Oh, My God…That is such a nice article everyone should read. You have explained things that cause anxiety and we consume these things on daily basis without even realizing this damage…Thank you so so much for sharing such a great article with us and I am looking forward to benefiting from your other articles as well. you are a great writer…

    1. Hi,
      Thank you! I am glad you find this article beneficial because I wrote it with that in mind. Stress is something that we can improve and the food we have is something we use every day, getting educated about something as simple as the things you eat can be very beneficial. Thanks for the comment.

  2. So, basically, all the tasty tasty things are also bad for us? Why is that not a surprise??! All joking aside, I can personally vouch for too much caffeine causing more stress than it relieves. My husband is 100% addicted to caffeine and drinks it from the moment he wakes up until maybe an hour before bed. It doesn’t help his stress one bit.

    1. Yea it stinks that the things we enjoy can sometimes affect our health, but there are many great things to help reverse it. I use to be addicted to Pepsi, but I cut it down because of my tummy and so glad I did. Hopefully, your hubby will finally get a chance to cut some caffeine down for his health. Thanks for the comment!

  3. I love salty food, much more than sugar, and I tend to put extra salt in everything I eat. I found very interesting that salt increases the levels of the oxytocin, which is the same hormone we release when we are in love. Thanks for the great read!

    1. Hi Blanca,
      I too choose salt over sweets. I don’t know I just feel like sweets don’t do anything for my appetite. The things you learn are so crazy sometimes 🙂 Glad you liked it!!!

  4. Well, I do drink a lot of soda and coffee I am trying to cut back because I have high blood pressure. Is there anything I can do to help this craving go away… And what I need to eat more healthy for me… What can lower my blood pressure without medication?

    1. Hi Lynn,
      As far as the soda goes, you do need to cut back. Sodas can contain a lot of unhealthy ingredients such as caffeine and high fructose corn syrup. A lot of caffeine isn’t good if you have high blood pressure. You can switch to a decaffeinated coffee and try one cup of caffeine coffee a day. I am not sure how much you like tea but I switched to iced tea and it helped me curb my soda addiction. I make my own and I buy decaf.

      My first recommendation for your blood pressure is to make sure you exercise. Exercise can actually lower your blood pressure, even a brisk walk every day can be useful. Second, you want to reduce sodium, cut at least 25% of sodium from your diet, this means you should keep your sodium intake at less than 2,400 mg per day — the amount of salt in one teaspoon.

      Third, you should eat a healthy diet. Foods like spinach and broccoli are very useful for lowering your blood pressure. If you smoke, you should definitely quit and try to reduce as much stress as you can. Limit alcohol if you drink and cut caffeine. You can also try an artery cleanse made of three ingredients, lemon, garlic, and ginger root. It has been effected with a neighbor of mine in lowering his blood pressure. The video is here:
      I wouldn’t recommend you stopping any blood pressure meds until you discuss this with your doctor and until you know your blood pressure is under control.
      Hope this helps!
      Take care of yourself and thanks for the comment!

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