5 foods that trigger stress and anxiety

What we eat not only affects our fitness levels but also our moods. It’s not without a reason our gut is called our ‘second brain’ and research suggests the trillions of microorganisms living in our gut, also known as gut microbiome, communicates with our nervous and immune system, affecting our overall mood. Gut and brain are thus connected, and this means while eating gut-friendly foods can keep your moods more stable, consuming foods that the gut bacteria hate can actually spoil your mood and trigger stress and anxiety.

Studies shows that microorganisms in our gut produce neurotransmitters in the brain which take active part in processes like memory, learning, attention, and emotional regulation. Nutritional imbalance can greatly affect your mood and make you feel distressed. For instance, not getting enough protein can affect your brain functions. Probiotics and prebiotics on the other hand can help to keep the bacteria in your digestive system healthy and balanced.

Then there are foods that may boost your moods temporarily but can play havoc with your stress levels later. Felt that sugar rush after eating your favourite dessert but experienced low energies later?
Here are foods that can trigger your stress levels and those you should avoid eating frequently, especially when you have a hectic day ahead, explained by Nutritionist Lovneet Batra in her recent Instagram post.

Sugary treats
They are a contributor to overall anxiety. Foods such as cakes, pastries cause your blood sugar to go on a rollercoaster ride of spikes and crashes, and with it, your energy also goes up and down. When blood sugar crashes, your mood sours, and anxiety levels can spike.

Artificial sweeteners
They are often recommended as a substitute for sugar, but studies indicate that use of NNS (non-nutritive sweeteners) can also increase inflammation and stress in our body. Aspartame usage may lead to systemic inflammation, oxidative stress, and excess free radicals’ production.

Overdose of coffee
Too much caffeine can spell trouble for your adrenal glands by overstimulating the body. And because it stimulates the nervous system, caffeine can cause a rise in blood pressure and heart rate that will ultimately increase feelings of anxiety.

Refined carbs
They exacerbate inflammation and overwhelm the body with more sugar than it needs, which can create increased stress and unstable mood levels.

Fried food
Fried food contains a high amount of trans fat. Trans fat is a major reason for inflammation in your body. When your body goes through the condition of inflammation, your stress levels are increased.

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