Although every food and drink has some modicum of nutritional value, however small, some of them don’t do anything to help you relieve stress. In fact, there are a number of foods that do just the opposite. If you’re trying to reduce anxiety in your life, one crucial way is cutting out foods that only make it worse. For that, you need to know which ones tend to cause problems. 

5 Foods That Stress You Out 

1. Alcohol 

You may think of alcohol as a relaxing beverage, but the reason it doesn’t relieve stress in a substantial or lasting way is because excess consumption can raise your blood pressure and heart rate while releasing cortisol throughout your body—and that’s just the beginning. On top of that, it prevents you from getting quality sleep, sometimes even causing insomnia. Herbal tea is a healthier and more effective way to unwind and calm your body. 

2. Caffeine 

Whether you prefer it in coffee or soda, caffeine may help you feel awake and get rid of headaches. However, too much of it can overstimulate your nervous system and increase your blood pressure, among numerous other issues, making you constantly stressed. Limit your coffee intake to one or two cups a day, or replace it entirely with green or herbal tea. Soda is also full of sugar, which has no nutritional value. So ditch the pop!

3. Refined Carbohydrates relieve stress

In addition to being empty calories, refined carbohydrates may cause your blood sugar levels to either skyrocket or plummet, spreading cortisol throughout your body as well. Since they also tend to raise blood pressure, it’s easy to see why your mood and sense of wellness may be adversely affected. Eat whole grains and the good carbohydrates found in fruit and vegetables. 

4. Sweeteners 

Sugar tastes wonderful, but it can’t relieve stress long-term because it triggers a spike in cortisol levels that may cause headachesinsomnia, and a weakened immune system, ultimately adding to your stress. Unfortunately, even artificial sweeteners are not only bad for your body, but filled with aspartame, which can bring on mania, depression, anxiety, and other mood disorders. Use natural sweeteners instead, like honey or real maple syrup.

5. Salt 

Salt is omnipresent in food and drinks. However, when consumed in excess, it heightens your blood pressure and fluid retention, stressing your heart and therefore the rest of your body. This is also partially why salty fried foods and processed meats eventually lead to increased anxiety as well. Try substituting it with various herbs, like rosemary, basil, and nutmeg.


For more advice about how changing your eating habits and other aspects of your life can relieve stress, contact Peggy Sealfon-Stonewater Studio. As an expert in personal development, anxiety relief, and stress help, she’ll help you formulate a plan to improve your diet and start feeling better right away. Whether you prefer one-on-one or group coaching, she can accommodate your lifestyle and schedule. For a consultation, call 239-821-2266. Learn more about her FREE seven-day food strategy by checking out her website. Follow this link to register for Supercharge Your Life: Get Set to Eat Healthy, an online 30-minute class, which starts February 24th at 3 p.m. EST.