The connection between our emotions and the foods we consume is undeniable. Just as certain foods can uplift our spirit and promote a sense of well-being, there are also foods that can exacerbate negative emotions such as anger. When we find ourselves in a state of anger, it is essential to be mindful of our dietary choices. Certain foods can intensify our emotional responses and hinder our ability to regain composure. Here we will explore which foods you should avoid when you’re feeling angry and stressed.
Health Shots reached out to Archana Singhal, Counselor, Family Therapist, and a Member of – the Counselors Council of India and WICCI NPWC, who shares insights on what to eat and what not to eat when angry.
Singhal says, “It’s a common habit to rely on food when we are angry. Even when we are full, we still eat. However, you should be aware that the food you eat when you’re under stress fills you up mentally rather than physically, which is really bad for your inner health. Eating while angry leads to overeating, which is not a healthy habit. This may invite digestive issues such as diarrhoea, bloating, and acid reflux. Apart from binge eating or overeating, you should also be mindful of what you are eating in times of stress and anger.”
6 foods to avoid when angry
Foods and beverages that contain stimulants like caffeine – coffee, energy drinks, black tea, and certain sodas – can heighten emotions and stimulate your nervous system. This can potentially increase feelings of anxiety, restlessness, and irritability. Caffeine can also interfere with your sleep patterns, which can further impact your mood.
2. Sugary foods
High-sugar foods, including candies, chocolates, sugary drinks, and desserts, can lead to rapid fluctuations in blood sugar levels. This can lead to energy crashes, mood swings, and feelings of irritability. Consuming excessive sugar can also negatively affect your overall health and well-being.
3. Processed or fast foods
These type of foods often contain high levels of unhealthy fats, additives, and preservatives. They can contribute to inflammation in the body and disrupt the balance of neurotransmitters, potentially affecting your mood and emotional state. Additionally, consuming processed and fast foods regularly can lead to feelings of sluggishness and low energy, which may intensify anger.
While some people may turn to alcohol as a means to cope with anger or stress, it is generally advisable to avoid it. Alcohol is a depressant that can impair judgment and decision-making, decrease inhibitions, and intensify negative emotions. It can also disrupt your sleep, leading to increased irritability and reduced emotional resilience.
5. Spicy foods
Spicy foods can cause a temporary increase in body temperature and may trigger a physical response similar to the “fight or flight” reaction. This can potentially intensify feelings of anger or stress in some individuals. Additionally, spicy foods may cause digestive discomfort, which can further contribute to feelings of frustration or annoyance.
6. Excessive amounts of processed carbohydrates
Foods high in refined carbohydrates, such as white bread, pasta, and pastries, can cause rapid spikes and drops in blood sugar levels. This can lead to mood swings, irritability, and decreased emotional stability, exacerbating anger.
Foods to eat while you are angry
Here are 6 foods to manage anger and stress!
1. Fruits and vegetables: Eat a variety of fruits and vegetables, as they provide essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that support overall well-being. Eat fruits and vegetables like berries, citrus fruits, leafy greens, and cruciferous vegetables.
2. Lean proteins: Incorporate lean protein sources such as poultry, fish, tofu, legumes, and Greek yogurt into your meals. Proteins contain amino acids that are important for neurotransmitter production, including serotonin, which plays a role in mood regulation.
3. Omega-3 fatty acids: Include foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as fatty fish (salmon, mackerel, and sardines), walnuts, chia seeds, and flaxseeds. Omega-3 fatty acids have been associated with improved mood and reduced inflammation in the body.
4. Complex carbohydrates: Include whole grains like brown rice, oats, and whole wheat bread in your diet. Complex carbohydrates help stabilize blood sugar levels and promote a steady release of energy, which can contribute to a more stable mood.
5. Magnesium-rich foods: Magnesium is important for maintaining a healthy nervous system and reducing stress. Add foods like spinach, kale, almonds, cashews, and avocados into your diet to increase your magnesium intake.
6. Herbal teas: Certain herbal teas, such as chamomile, lavender, and passionflower, are known for their calming properties. Enjoying a cup of herbal tea can help promote relaxation and reduce feelings of anger.
Apart from it, keep yourself hydrated to improve your overall well-being. Otherwise, dehydration can also negatively affect your mood!
Remember that individual reactions to food can vary, so it’s important to address the underlying causes of your anger, seek appropriate support, and develop healthy coping mechanisms to manage your emotions effectively.