Last week we looked at foods that help you concentrate and today I want to take a look at foods that make you stressed, anxious and depressed. I am a firm believer that what you eat has a big impact on how “healthy” your mind is. If you have been feeling unusually stressed lately and aren’t sure why then maybe it has something to do with your diet.
Foods that make you stressed, anxious and depressed
The first one on the list is going to be the most controversial but I am willing to argue my point. Coffee is one substance that makes you stress and sometimes even depressed.
The reason for this is simple and it has to do with the sugar and the caffeine that comes in coffee. When we drink a coffee we usually get a caffeine hit and a sugar rush. This picks us up for a few minutes or perhaps even an hour but then comes the inevitable low. The crash. This is when we start to get feelings of sadness and stress and we cannot figure out why we are feeling so bad.
Test it out for yourself. See how you feel before a coffee, immediately after a coffee and then about two hours after a coffee. You might be surprised.
When I started eating a vegetarian diet I was absolutely shocked at how happy and “light” I felt all the time. I decided that I was going to do some research in to the matter and see whether eating meat causes stress or depression and it turns out that many ancient medical practices believe that it does. Every time I eat meat now I feel heavy and quite sick.
Many people in the East will tell you that feeling depressed after eating meat is due to the negative karma that is accrued due to killing an animal. Some more modern science, however, tells us that it might be due to the damage meat can cause your insulin levels as well as several other systems in the body. Meat has been linked to cancer, diabetes and other serious illnesses. One study even showed that vegetarians are happier than meat eaters!
Alcohol has been shown to change the chemistry of the brain and make you more likely to experience long term depression. With alcohol we are not talking about a depression that lasts a little while – it is one that lasts a long time and usually leads you to your next drink. You then need to drink more than you used to to feel better and end up in a fast downward spiral. This is called tolerance and is a big part of why alcohol and any other drug is so addictive.
The sad thing is that people who are already feeling a bit depressed use alchohol to treat the depression. This just makes them feel even more depressed and doesn’t really get you anywhere.
4. Fast food
A few months ago I was lucky enough to be the personal attendant of a very high Buddhist Lama when he visited Australia. During this special week we spent lots of time discussing buddhism and talking about all aspects of life. Every night we would go out for dinner and I would try to take him to places that only made clean and healthy food. After a while we got on to talking about fast food joints like Maccas, KFC and Burger King. He told me that if you want to get a serious disease and have a depressed mind you should eat them often.
I have always thought that these foods were bad. They are full of preservatives, salt, sugar, saturated fats and a host of other horrible chemicals. Think about all the antibiotics and hormones that KFC pump in to their meat before they lace it with salty bread crumbs and deep fry it. No wonder you feel heavy after you eat it.
Try and avoid these foods at lunch time if you are feeling stress and anxious and depressed. This will also distract you from your work because you will feel full and sick.
The best thing you can do for your health is eat a natural diet that has as little man-made foods as possible. A diet full of fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts, raw milk, eggs and other natural things will leave you feeling lighter, happier and full of long lasting energy. Avoid foods that are overly processed and full of refined sugar, salt and saturated fats.
Does anyone have any experiences with food making them feel terrible?
top image: photo credit: cortnie dee.
Originally posted on May 22, 2008 @ 8:57 am