lowering anxiety through food



Let’s take a minute and talk about one thing– food and anxiety! What are the 4 FOODS TO AVOID TO LOWER ANXIETY?

I thought this blog was about food?

How can you talk about mood and not talk about how all of our bodies and mind are connected in very powerful ways?!

There is one thing I know for sure, which is that what we eat and how we manage our stress has one of the greatest impacts on our overall health.

If you want to  gain an understanding of how this can happen, provide improved energy and focus but also REDUCED ANXIETY, let’s review!

In need of immediate calming strategies?  CLICK HERE to access now.

One Size Fits NO ONE when it comes to diet!

The body is an AMAZING thing, and it knows exactly what to do, when it is programmed to respond the right way and when it is treated well.

Your body can kick out toxins and repair damages and heal itself in so many ways. Our gut health and what we eat are fundamental.

One of the central themes of this blog is FOOD!

We love food, but also find it so important to pay attention to WHAT KIND of food we’re eating!

In general, I believe “One size fits NO ONE” and the focus for WHOLE 30 here is really because it is such an amazing starting point for anyone.



The bigger point is really understanding and figuring out FOR YOU what works and makes you feel differently (in a good way) and what makes you feel worse.

If you’re living with “worse” all the time, you might just be used to the level of “feeling like crap” you’ve been existing in for a long time. Dysbiosis of the gut (jacked up gut) presents too many different ways, but mostly you note decreased energy, feeling sluggish, pain in different areas, mental fogginess, increased mood changes and anxiety too.

It is programs like WHOLE 30 that really makes you open your eyes to what you’re putting in your body that may be contributing to all of that “feel like crap” feeling! I feel like it is a great starting point overall.

If the WHOLE 30 program is too restrictive or intimidating – there are so many modifications and shortened plans you can do instead. The SHRED 10 PROGRAM being one of them too.

You can read more about my experience with my starting point, the Whole 30 Program HERE .

As a whole, the key foods to avoid for lowering your ANXIETY are:


Look, Starbucks, we all love you but can you tap that down a notch. Caffeine is a stimulant, and some of us overdo it REALLY easily during our daily dose. This stimulation puts you in an ALERT place – yes. It also put you at risk for a higher level of anxiety. Not to mention that most of the time we’re drinking that coffee with sugar too! I’m not a counter. I don’t get into calories, grams of sugar, etc. etc.

You don’t have to be an expert in nutrition, you have to listen to your body. That feeling you get, the rush after a coffee drink, particularly a sugary coffee drink  – that is the place where anxiety can creep up!

I once drank a latte before a very important work meeting. Instead of being awake and alert, I was shaky and flushed and my adrenaline was going crazy because I was already nervous. Terrible idea!

2.) ADDED SUGAR (you might’ve guessed this already) and artificial sweeteners.

Artificial sweeteners are mostly just chemically made. Certainly not recommended in general but will definitely contribute to inflammation and disruption of your gut health if eaten.

Added sugar wrecks us – it wrecks the harmony going in in our gut bacteria (which are responsible for making our calming and happy neurotransmitters  – dopamine/serotonin). It “feeds” the bacteria we don’t really want in charge in there and lets the balance go more towards fostering dis-harmony in our gut!

Excess sugar leads to insulin resistance and building fat cells that love to send out inflammatory signals which come right back and continue to wreck more havoc on our gut.

What kind of sugar are we talking about here? Mostly actual white sugar/ brown sugar, but what else falls into this category?

Naturally occurring sugars from fruit can still increase your blood sugar, but mostly doesn’t spike as much when eaten as the whole fruit – the fiber in the fruit slows down the “spike” and also add healing anti-oxidants and phytonutrients which will calm down inflammation. So, fruits is fine with me. Many may argue this point – but I just say if it’s from the earth, it is meant to be consumed!

3.) PROCESSED FOODS- umm…. this is a big category. But stay with me!

Besides all of the added sugar that is typically in processed foods – believe me the food companies know exactly how to make you keep reaching for more! The other thing to consider here is that the majority of all of our crackers, cakes, chips,  are made from super processed corn and soy that are made in bulk and used in the food making process.

Why is this bad? There are many omega -6 oils present in our corn oil and soy bean oil. This particular omega 6 is inflammatory.  Omegas and fats are a little complicated, but basically we have to have an appropriate balance of the right fats to get an anti-inflammatory effect started! Hint – more omega -3!

So, for a person who consumed a lot of processed foods with a heavy amount of added sugar and omega – 6 and who knows what type of chemicals they might’ve added in for flavor as well! This is going to – again – wreck your gut bacteria balance.

The inflammation cycle is not only affecting the way your “happy” hormones can be made in the gut, but also sends all of those signals a disrupts our normal hormone cycles and therefore our mood.


These are now on the way to being banned, they have to be labeled for consumers a this point. However, they are allowed to be used with a label in place.

This is anything labeled as “hydrogenated” or “partially hydrogenated”.

Did you ever learn “why” they are bad. Transfats are chemically engineered, found in margarine, shortening, fried food and commercially produced bread and baked goods. they mimic the look of a fatty acid, but the components sit on the opposite side of the structure than naturally occurring fats.

Besides the clear link that has been drawn to heart disease and obesity, also type 2 diabetes and inflammation.

Do we need to review again the inflammation connection and how it does not allow our “happy” hormones to be made in the gut?

The largest theme here is inflammation! Coffee excluded, but the stimulant effect of coffee is certainly contributory, and if you’re drinking your coffee, like most, with some sugar: refer to #2.

Dairy – Free Quiche  – a low glycemic, low inflammatory option!

Dairy - free quiche

This is really all about avoiding those inflammatory foods that might escalate anxiety and make it harder for your body to create essential neurotransmitters needed to have a balanced mood and a functioning gut!

What I can say for absolute sure is that overall, NOTHING is going to be a perfect solution for everyone.

THE 4 FOODS TO AVOID FOR LOWER ANXIETY are important, and may affect each individual differently. The bottom line, is you want to feed the good bacteria and let them really take over, and allow your body to do what it is made to do without getting in the way with a bunch of chemicals and inflammatory cascades.

Your gut health is not only the secret to mental clarity, but also to mood. So many neurotransmitters which are created in the gut are very influential in our stress response and overall temperament fluctuations.


Don’t feed the beast

The beast is stress!  In addition to avoiding certain foods, we can’t write an article about anxiety and not touch on the fact that coping strategies and quiet moments and moments of inner reflection are key to improved mental health and overall decreased inflammation.  is also why we started with a basic fact that stress management and diet were the KEYS to overall health.  Because guess what?

Cortisol (released with un-managed stress) is a BEAST. A hungry, hormone changing BEAST.

If you do ALL THE THINGS to be ‘HEALTHY’, but don’t manage your stress / anxiety.


Our bodies do not exist in these separate silos that healthcare wants to look at them through. Our stress is inextricably linked to our gut health, which has the overall magic wand to ALL THE REST. Our MOOD, ENERGY, FOCUS, WEIGHT. ALL OF IT!

How about you?

In need any stress management strategies?

CLICK HERE for a free download of our Daily Calming Audio. 

daily priming calming audio



I’ve known this for quite a while, and had a really significant transformation with a significant weight loss and change in my mood, specifically my anxiety as well.  You can learn more about me here, and more about my WHOLE 30 experience HERE. Which is where my journey started.

I hope you are able to find success on your journey too!

Kelly Cole

Kelly Cole

Entrepreneur, Nurse Practitioner and founder of The Synergy Thrive Method.

All Posts

Free Download

More Life, Less Stress Begins NOW

%d bloggers like this: