Foods That Are Bad for Your Mental Health


Mental conditions like anger, sadness, anxiety can occur due to several reasons. But would you believe eating a tomato can make you angry? Sounds weird, doesn’t it. But it’s true. There are certain foods that can affect your mental health and mood. 

Moreover, some of these foods are unhealthy, too, so maybe you could consider cutting them out of your diet. That being said, let’s take a look at some foods that are known to affect your mental health. 

Tomatoes can make you angry

What was the last time you were feeling angry or frustrated for almost no reason? Did you eat a tomato that day? Not necessarily, but the tomato is a fruit that causes heat. And Ayurveda and eastern Medicine suggest that hot foods can cause anger, frustration, or uneasiness. 

But that doesn’t mean you can’t have tomatoes. Just don’t eat too many of them, especially when you’re on an empty stomach. You can also mitigate the negative effects of tomatoes by adding cooling foods like aloe vera and coconut to your diet. 

Eggplants can cause anger

Also known as brinjal or aubergine, eggplants are known to cause acidity, which can ignite the feelings of anger or frustration. Like tomatoes, you can eat eggplants, but be sure to consume them in moderate amounts or with cooling foods. 

Greasy foods

According to Traditional Eastern Medicine, each organ system has a specific emotion attributed to it. The liver is anger, the heart is depression, the kidney is fear, lungs are grief, and the pancreas is anxiety. And foods that affect each organ can encourage the corresponding emotions. 

Since most of what you eat interacts with your liver, eating foods that are unhealthy for your liver can make you angry. These include foods made of refined carbs, like burgers, pizzas, pasta, white bread, etc. Besides, foods that are greasy, and contain heavy metals can affect your liver. 

Alcohol directly affects your liver, so cutting back on alcohol can help. Cigarettes can also lead to anger, grief, and depression, as they affect the lungs, heart, and liver. 

Brocolli and cauliflower

Chill! You’re not the only one surprised after seeing broccoli on the list. The plan certainly has a plethora of health benefits – it is packed with fiber, proteins, vitamins, and minerals. However, broccoli and cauliflower are foods that cause excess air in the system, leading to gas and bloating. And according to Ayurveda, it leads to “Vata imbalance,” a phenomenon that could cause anxiety and uneasiness. 

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But like any other food on the list, broccoli isn’t something you should eliminate from your diet. Just make sure you’re not consuming too much of it, and try to pair it with less airy food options. These include avocados, uncooked olive oil, or other foods that contain healthy fats. 

Dry fruits and chips

Ayurveda deems dried foods as airy foods, too. These foods are known to have light, airy quality and can cause a Vata imbalance, leading to anxiety. Dried fruits and potato chips are some of the examples, but foods that are cold might also cause such imbalance. So, reduce the consumption of such airy foods and replace them with healthy fats. 

Salads and cold fruits

Traditional Eastern Medicine the temperature associated with the foods and the dampness they cause in the body. Cold and damp foods impede the flow of free energy in the body and can cause imbalances. Besides, cold and damp foods can cause anxiety and brain fog (reduction in cognitive abilities). 

So, if you’ve been feeling off or stressed, or you have a task ahead that requires you to be alert, avoid cold foods. Some cold foods to avoid are watermelon, cucumber, and salad. These foods can deplete your body energy, tamper your digestive system, cloud your thinking, and cause anxiety. 

Heavy foods can cause sleepiness

We’ve discussed brain fog and how cold foods can impede your cognitive abilities. Ayurveda calls it “Kapha imbalance.” Heavy, greasy foods, like burgers, pizza, noodles, pasta, etc. can cause Kapha imbalance and lead to mental slowness and sluggishness. And you must’ve experienced it yourself. When was the last time you had pizza for dinner? Didn’t you feel sleepy after eating it? 

Dairy products can cause brain fog

Dairy products, like milk, yogurt, cheese, and more, can lead to spaciness and brain fog. You can balance these effects by pairing dairy products with spicier and livelier foods. Foods like black pepper, ginger, and orange peel are energizing and could be paired with tea or milk. And while spicy foods and dairy products don’t go well together, spicy foods can help you feel alert in no time. 

Refined flours and sugars

Refined flours and sugars can also cause brain fog. As discussed, foods that are sugary, fried, and damp will cause brain fog. The dampness can congeal into phlegm and can affect the mind. This could lead to anger and anxiety as phlegm blocks the openings in your heads (orifices). So, if you’ve been experiencing sluggishness, cutting back on white bread and refined sugars could make you feel better. 

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Soda drinks contain simple sugars that are easy to absorb into the bloodstream. This can cause a sudden rise in energy, but also a sudden crash. This affects blood sugar, energy levels, and mood. Zero-calorie sodas are harmful, not only in terms of mental health but because of their link with cancer. Besides, people who drink at least two soda diets a day are likely to end up with a soda belly. 

Foods that improve mental health

Now that we’ve covered foods that are bad for your mind let’s take a look at some foods that can be good for your mental health. Here are a few foods that could help you feel calm, alert, and awake. 

Oily fish: Fish is a rich source of DHA, an omega-3 fatty acid. It is known to improve both long-term and short-term memory, thus, contributing to brain health. Besides, omega-3 acids can also help reduce anxiety and promote mental wellness. 

Berries: Berries, such as strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries, entail antioxidant properties. Antioxidants promote cell repair and also help in combating inflammation due to free radical damage. This reduction in damage is directly linked to improved symptoms of anxiety and depression. In addition, berries contain polyphenols, a compound that improves memory and concentration. 

Wholegrains: While refined carbs can impede your brain function, healthy carbs like whole grains can do the exact opposite. Whole grains contain tryptophan, an amino acid that produces serotonin. Serotonin is a hormone that causes a feel-good effect and helps you stay calm and alert. 

Walnuts: If you’re looking for a handy snack that keeps you going throughout the day, get a handful of walnuts. They contain antioxidants, so they inhibit oxidation in your brain and body. Moreover, walnuts can promote the growth of new neurons, a critical aspect of maintaining good mental health.  

Leafy greens: Your mother must’ve made you eat leafy greens when you were a child. People who regularly consume leafy greens are known to have a slower rate of cognitive decline. So, be sure to include leafy greens like spinach, kale, and collard greens in your diet. 

Beans: Beans and legumes are full of fibers and antioxidants. They keep you satiated for longer, along with keeping your blood sugar stable. They also help you burn more energy, which is essential for both physical and mental health. Besides, beans also contain thiamine, a neurotransmitter that is essential for memory. 

Final thoughts

Foods can alter your mood. While they won’t turn your mood all the way around, they can act as catalysts. So, if you’re feeling angry, foods like tomato or eggplant can make you angrier. That being said, don’t stop eating any of the foods mentioned in the list above. Just limit their consumption, or pair them with foods that are good mental health.



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