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Foods That Cause Anxiety Attacks

author image R. Y. Langham, Ph.D.
R. Y. Langham served as a senior writer for "The Herald" magazine from 1996-99. Langham holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Fisk University, a Master of Science in marriage and family therapy from Trevecca Nazarene University and a Ph.D in family psychology from Capella University. Dr. R.Y. Langham published her first psychological thriller in September 2011. It can be purchased on, Barnes& and
Foods That Cause Anxiety Attacks
Double chocolate cookies cooling on a wire rack. Photo Credit: Marsha_Denton/iStock/Getty Images

Anxiety is described as a general feeling of worry, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. It is normal to feel anxious sometimes, but if you frequently feel anxiety that it is not due to a particular situation and which interferes with your daily activities, then you may have a condiiton called generalized anxiety disorder. Symptoms of anxiety may include muscle tension, restlessness, rapid pulse, upset stomach, breathing difficulties, headaches, irritability, sweating, sleep problems and fatigue. Some foods can trigger anxiety, so knowing those foods can help you avoid anxiety attacks.

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If you have anxiety, you should limit or avoid sugary snacks such as cookies, because they contain refined sugars. According to the website Help Guide, foods that contain refined sugars can cause your blood sugar levels to rapidly rise and fall, resulting in emotional and physical fatigue. Other foods that contain refined sugars include white bread, pasta, white rice, pastries, candy, cakes, crackers, chips and soft drinks.

Alcoholic Beverages

Drinking alcohol can trigger anxiety attacks. According to, alcohol can cause anxiety symptoms as it is metabolized in the body. Alcoholic beverages can initially calm your anxiety and ease your worries, but as the effects wear off it can actually cause an anxiety attack, according to the website Help Guide.


If you are prone to anxiety attacks, you should avoid or reduce your consumption of teas, coffee and caffeine-containing sodas, according to the website Help Guide. Caffeine is a stimulant that can increase your anxiety, cause restlessness, give you the jitters, disrupt your sleeping pattern and trigger panic attacks.


If you are prone to anxiety attacks, limit your salt intake. Large amounts of salt can deplete your body of potassium, a mineral that is essential for proper functioning of the nervous system, according to the website Healthy Place. Salt can also increase your blood pressure, put a strain on your heart and arteries and increase your anxiety.

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