If you suffer from Anxiety, you will want to avoid these 5 foods

I am starting a series of small articles about different aspects of anxiety. This is the first short article about foods you should avoid if you suffer from anxiety.  So if you suffer from anxiety you will want to avoid these 5 foods.

If you want to know more watch out for a great Clean Food Programme that I am going to give away for only $9.99, which will feature easy to follow step by step support guide, eBook, resource cheat sheet and mind map about Clean Food. Not forgetting the great tasty recipes you will love to cook, be proud to serve to your family, knowing that your anxiety is being eliminated and your family are fit and healthy by eating Clean Food.  If you want to be  notified when published, please subscribe.

Right now, I am sure if you think about it you are probably already aware that your emotions can significantly influence what you eat. However, did you also know that what you eat can dramatically affect your mood? If you didn’t already know, some foods could worsen your anxiety. According to research conducted by Harvard Health, simple food choices can make a difference in how you feel. Here are five foods that you should avoid if you suffer from anxiety or any other neurotic condition.

Wheat Bran

Even though experts have been touting wheat bran as a super food with its high fiber content and complex, nutty flavours, it can significantly increase your anxiety, thanks to its high concentration of phytic acid. Phytic acid binds to essential mood minerals like zinc and limits their absorption by the body. People who suffer from anxiety need adequate levels of zinc to keep their symptoms at bay. Therefore, I would recommend getting tested for your zinc levels and if low, take a supplement. The one I take is Primal Zinc 500, but there are many others on the market.

For many anxious people, gluten is a sticking point, especially with patients who have celiac disease. Most non-organic wheat is treated with a herbicide called glyphosate, which has been shown to cause a nutrient deficiency of mood-stabilising minerals.


Soy, while packed with lean protein, is also packed with protease and trypsin inhibitors, which are enzymes that make digesting the protein difficult. Soy products, like tofu, are also high in copper, which is a mineral that has been linked to anxious behaviour. If you have to eat soy, get rid of the tofu and veggie burgers, and try fermented varieties like miso and tempeh, which are much easier to digest.


Coffee is one of the highest concentrated dietary sources of caffeine which can make an anxious brain even worse. Research has shown that people with anxiety disorders are particularly sensitive to feeling the nervous side effects from small amounts of caffeine. Caffeine can also impede the absorption of vital mood-balancing nutrients like B vitamins and vitamin D.

Apple Juice

Unlike whole apples, apple juice is devoid of the slow-digesting fibre and are often packed with refined fructose. This results in blood level spikes that can trigger a flood of adrenaline and result in symptoms that look a lot like an anxiety attack. Fructose can actually alter how the brain responds to stress on a genetic level.

You know only too well that anxiety is not a fun challenge to have to deal with. However, you can reduce your symptoms and overcome your fear by avoiding these anxiety-inducing foods.


Some sugars mimic the panic sensations in the body, raising your levels of panic. If you eat chocolate for example, you can understand the initial high and then the associated low mood enhancing feelings, but you can consume chocolate, especially dark chocolate (it has less added sugars), which improves your mood and therefore reduces the stress hormone cortisol, which is linked to anxiety. Making these foods a part of a well-balanced diet can positively improve your mood and help lessen anxiety. But, I’m not advocating eating chocolate on a regular basis, I’m suggesting you might use it as a small reward.

However, lowering your intake of sugar, generally, may improve your mental health. That is important when you consider that depression impacts 10% of American adults, and about one-third of people with depression do not respond to conventional antidepressant therapies. High-glycemic diets, or diets high in refined carbohydrates, can create or exacerbate your anxiety and that can also sabotage your mood. Around 40 million adults, 18% of the population struggle with anxiety.

“Initially, sugar satisfies the craving centers in the brain, increases your blood pressure and heart rate, and can give you the feeling of an energy surge,” says Vincent Pedre, M.D., in Happy Gut. https://www.amazon.co.uk/Happy-Gut-Cleansing-Program-Eliminate-ebook/dp/B00LLIJGSW “The problem is that the ‘sugar-coaster’ keeps going up and then crashing down. The more you do, the harder you fall.”

You can find out more about what you need to be aware of for ultimate gut health by reading the book by Vincent Pedre MD.  Click on the image below to get a copy downloaded to your device immediately.

Low blood sugar levels can impact negatively on your anxious thoughts, making them more pronounced and this not good for your mood. We all grab a sugary treat at some time and I am sure you will recognise that you do it when you are feeling low and this behaviour triggers your brain’s reward neurotransmitter, dopamine and although you know that sugar can have a negative impact on your mood, you basically crave more of these foods that make you feel bad.

As previously mentioned there are numerous foods and drinks which can have a destructive impact on your happiness and well-being, but sugar is considered to be the most threatening. Research has pointed to sugar as having an adverse impact on your long-term psychological health, including depression and anxiety. There is a correlation between increased sugar consumption and mood disorders. Mark Hyman, M.D., in Food: What the Heck Should I Eat?, found that the average American eats about one-third of a pound of sugar or more daily. He calls this “a toxic drug dose.”

Get access to Dr Mark Hyman’s book by clicking the image below and get immediate access.

You should also avoid alcohol, caffeine and any soft drinks with caffeine and most definitely increase your consumption of water as water flushes out the anxiety causing hormones which can exacerbate your anxiety and panic attacks. I suggest that you drink at least 8 litres a day.

My advice is to learn how to defy your anxiety, find out why you are that person who gives too much credence to your anxious thoughts and definitely cut down your consumption of these foods and work towards removing them from your diet permanently if you want to get rid of your anxiety for ever.

To Your Ultimate Success
The Brainwave Therapist


  1. Hello This article was very informative! I have had anxiety issues on and off and never thought about the actual foods I was consuming. I knew coffee and sugar were no nos, I had no idea about the other ones. I do take a zinc supplement daily, so I was glad to hear that helps. I really enjoyed reading this and I took notes and I am going to share this with my daughter also, she suffers from anxiety almost daily, but she is staying away from the typical meds they wanted to prescribe. Your site is going to help a lot of people! Looking forward to more.

    • Hello Karli

      I have a whole series of products which will help you daughter understand and start to get rid of her anxiety forever. I suggest that you/she download my Free ebook. I am also in the middle of writing a few more blogs which explain the psychological reason for anxiety. https://brainwavetherapist.com/free-ebook/ – your daughter should always take her doctor’s advice, because the right medication can help with anxiety, especially if it is very bad and taking the edge off, gives your daughter the time to get back some perspective. But, once your daughter is feeling she wants to get rid of her anxiety forever, there is a very simple way of doing so.

  2. Hi Sandra, good post with great advice for anyone suffering from anxiety. I am pleased to say the only one of the foods you mention I use is sugar, but it is only 1 spoonful in my tea in the morning.
    I can see a lot of people getting benefit from reading this post and trying out your recommendations.

    Thanks for the info,

    • Hi Frank
      Thank you for the comment. The amount of sugar that you refer to is not excessive, it is more about those who are addicted to sugary treats because they have always indulged. I remember treating a person who had a sugar addiction and it transpired that their parents were bakers and had always given my client donuts as a treat – the donuts took the place of the attention from the parents, as they were always working, missing events, due to having to concentrate on their business.

      We are simply a product of our experiences and background.

      To Your Ultimate Success


  3. Great article! I am an anxiety survivor and I didn’t know that apple juice and soy makes it worse. I can drink coffee now. But, there was a time when I couldn’t have anything with caffeine in it and it causes panic attacks and it was just awful! Went to the e.r. because I thought I was having a heart attack.
    Informative article! Thank you,
    Donna Rayne

    • Hi Donna
      Thank you for your feedback, it is very much appreciated. Panic attacks can mimic heart attacks, that is why so many people think they are having a heart attack, when in fact it is a panic attack. Panic attacks mimic the fear of death, dying, being dead, or oblivion. So pleased that you are now very much back in control.

  4. I had never heard of apple juice stimulating anxiety, and you’ve made me consider getting my daughter’s zinc levels tested. Thank you for this.

    • Hello Kendra
      Thank you for your feedback and so pleased that something I talked about has got you thinking. There are medical conditions which can mimic anxiety and it is wise to rule out any issues.

      Heart disease
      Thyroid problems, such as hyperthyroidism
      Respiratory disorders, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and asthma
      Drug misuse or withdrawal
      Withdrawal from alcohol, anti-anxiety medications (benzodiazepines) or other medications
      Chronic pain or irritable bowel syndrome

      You need to get everything checked out by a doctor.


  5. I agree with all of these foods that need to be avoided. Once I gave up sugar and wheat, I found myself experiencing much lower levels of anxiety than when I was consuming them. Luckily I’ve never been a coffee or apple juice drinker either. I had no idea that the phytic acid in wheat binds to zinc affecting our moods. This could explain why my anxiety was so high years ago before I realised I was intolerant to wheat, then consequently the anxiety shifting it’s intensity once I cut out wheat. I didn’t realise there could be a connection between the two. Since then, I’ve discovered keto which has made a huge difference on my anxiety but having quit sugar would also have contributed to that. Thanks for sharing this valuable info.

    • Hi Kat
      Thank you for taking the time to leave you comment. All the engagement is very welcome and I am pleased that anxiety is no longer in your life.

      To Your Ultimate Success

  6. An interesting article. I’ve been suffering from anxiety for years but as I’ve gotten older it seems I’m learning to handle it much better. I’ve come to accept it as a part of me and it’s just an emotion among others and has no control over me. My anxiety really doesn’t affect my life other than makes me a bit uncomfortable and less sociable some times.

    That said I have tried a ton of different diets and even an elimination diet due to digestion issues. I’m pretty sure there’s a correlation when my digestion is working and pain-free and my anxiety and depression. It probably works both ways too. I know the science is there, our gut affects our brain and thinking through several mechanisms.

    I feel I’m better currently than I have ever been and I actually eat everything on your list daily and alcohol in small quantities on the weekend (consuming a delicious Thai lager while typing this…) and they don’t seem to give me any trouble.

    I guess that just goes to show that anxiety is a complex subject that can have several pathologies ranging from dietary to cognitive and environmental. In most cases, it’s probably a combination of several mechanisms.

    Thanks for the interesting read!

    • Hi Jukka
      Thank you for the very comprehensive comments, they are truly appreciated.

      Anxiety is what I call the ‘modern day monster’ – although been around for 1000s of years, one way another, it seems to be all consuming for many people today and the number of people under its control is growing exponentially. But, like you say there is a way to cope with it and it seems that you have adopted the right mindset. It is very inspirational to see that you have its measure and are dealing with it. But, what I am saying and what my therapy all over the world is all about is ending anxiety for people in its clutches forever.

      Only today I was on Skype discussing problems with people suffering from anxiety in the corporate space and giving a talk here in the UK for Mental Health Day this October.

      Once again thank you for leaving your comments.

      To Your Ultimate Success
      The BrainWave Therapist

  7. Terrific article! I will certainly have a look at the books recommended. I have suffered anxiety at different points in my life. Whilst enduring an addiction and also after suffering a serious accident.

    It is an awful thing to go through and can make you feel helpless so by showing people how they can make changes to give them some power back you are doing an incredible thing for your fellow brothers and sisters and I for one thank you! 🙏🏻 😁

    • Hello Andy
      Thank you for your heartfelt feedback. I am sorry to hear that you had a serious accident, suffered from anxiety and battled addiction, but by what I have read on your blog you are doing some great work to get back to normal and in the process help others. Anxiety can be very debilitating, but it can be cured. I don’t talk about managing it I talk about ending it by amongst other things accepting it and embracing it and like you say teach how to make changes and take back power. After all, anxiety is normally based around the fear of death, dying, being dead or not existing at all. Anxiety suffers can also experience panic attacks and when they do they feel out of control and feel like they might die.

      My sister-in-law suffers from arthritis and I will be pointing her towards your website as I’m sure some of your expert advice will definitely help.

      To Your Ultimate Success

  8. I was happy to see this post! It’s funny, I just got done with a post of my own talking about fasting and transforming from the Trickster Archetype and the Hero one. Many people just do not realize the absolute power food and beverages can have over the mind. I forgot about how important it is to avoid coffee when you suffer with anxiety, Coffee, as great as the delicious energy inducing drink is, can cause someone’s anxiety to shoot through the roof.
    I did not know about soy though. I found that quite fascinating and shocking. Soy has a lot of good benefits, especially for those who don’t eat meat, or who cannot drink milk. It is interesting to see that it made it on this list.
    It’s great to see that you are bringing a vast amount of knowledge to this website in general too! The brain and the body work hand in hand with one another, and what the body takes in, the brain uses, for better or worse.
    Great Article!

    • Hi Jessie
      Thank you for your very comprehensive comment. In my world, we call your archetypes superheroes, followers and artists and when one is guided by one more than the other in the psyche there is often conflict. You need a healthy dose of each in order to function and not let anxiety be your controller. I also like coffee, but I think it is worth remembering that although energy inducing, it is a stimulant and if consumed in vast quantities does overly compensate for what the body and the brain produce naturally.

      Also, in this modern world of genetically modified foods and drink, which can have a negative impact on our health and wellbeing, it is worth saying that we can decide what we consume, but having the knowledge and education does allow us to make the right choices.

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