Depression after Eating (What to avoid & what to eat)

In this guide, we will identify food items that worsen depression after eating them and what food items should therefore be consumed to reduce depression after eating them.

A persistent state of sadness is characterized by depression, but it can also affect your sleeping habits, your eating habits, and your general health. For example, when you find it difficult to even get out of bed, it’s exceptionally hard to find the inspiration to get your regular workout. Depression may lead to inactivity and overeating (or lack of eating), which further affects your mood.

To support people with depression, lifestyle changes are also prescribed in combination with psychotherapy and medication. It will help improve your mood to get back to basics and concentrate on safe sleeping habits, balanced eating, and physical exercise. It helps to look at your everyday eating habits with these ideas in mind and consider future improvements.

Food items that worsen depression after eating them

Here is a list of food items that can worsen your depression after eating them:

  • Refined carbohydrates
  • Sugar
  • Processed foods
  • Trans fats
  • Fruit juice
  • Regular Soda
  • Toast
  • Coffee
  • Energy drinks
  • Alcohol

Refined carbohydrates

When you’re depressed, you might crave items like pretzels, white bread, and soda, but research shows that consuming too many processed carbohydrates is correlated with depression. One study of women without a history of depression, drug abuse, or other types of mental illness showed that intake of processed carbohydrates raised blood sugar levels and increased the risk of depression.


It certainly won’t surprise you to hear that sugar is also on the watch list for contributing to depression, considering the studies on refined carbohydrates. Inflammation in the body and brain can be exacerbated by a diet high in sugar, and recent research ties brain inflammation to a greater risk of depression.

One research showed that in depressed patients, brain inflammation was 30 percent higher. The roller coaster of high blood sugar followed by a crash could be more than just a fast change in emotions; it could lead to depression-related brain inflammation. Stop the candy counter when you feel blue and when you get a sugar craving, catch a balanced substitute.

Processed foods

When you’re low on energy and feeling down, it may feel like a can of soup is the best way to fuel your body, but think twice before you grab the can open. A British study of more than 3,000 people showed that there was an elevated prevalence of depression among those who consumed the most processed food, while those who ate more whole foods had a much lower risk of the disease.

Trans fats

If you’re fighting depression, you’ll want to stay away from fried chicken, French fries, and other things doused in hydrogenated oils. Your risk of depression can also be increased by the same artery-clogging trans fats that increase the risk of heart disease.

Research assessing the relationship between the consumption of fatty acids or the use of culinary fats and depression in the Mediterranean population found a damaging correlation between the intake of trans fatty acids and the risk of depression.

Fruit juice

The whole fruit fiber fills you up and slows down the way your blood consumes energy. You’re only drinking nutritious sugar-water without the fiber, which can easily hype you up—and bring you down just as quickly. That can leave you hungry and angry—”hanging.” Anxiety and depression will not help. Eat the entire fruit. Drink water when you are thirsty.

Regular Soda

There is no win here for you: it has all the blood-spiking fruit juice sugar and none of the nutrition. Sugar-sweetened beverages such as soda, too, have a direct connection to depression. Try seltzer water with a splash of juice instead, if you crave a pop. Without too much of the stuff you do not need, it will give you a bubbly fix.


If it’s made out of white bread, toast is bad news. After you eat it, the highly refined white flour it’s made from easily turns into blood sugar. That can cause surges and crashes of energy that can be bad for depression and anxiety. You can take toast with you—and enjoy it, too. Using whole-grain bread instead.


The caffeine in it will make you jittery and anxious if you’re not used to it. It could screw up your sleep as well. Nor does anxiety or depression help. The withdrawal of caffeine will make you feel bad, too. Slowly take caffeine out of your diet if you think it’s causing you issues. Coffee will help to make you feel less stressed if you’re OK with it, or drink decaf.

Energy drinks

Weird heart rhythms, anxiety, and sleep disturbances may be caused by them. That’s because the sky-high levels of caffeine hidden in ingredients like guarana are not always easy to grasp. Sometimes, these drinks also contain lots of sugar or artificial sweeteners. If you’re thirsty, drink water.


It can mess up your sleep even a little. Not enough rest will increase anxiety and cause depression. Too many ZZZs will cause even more difficulties. Having said that, a drink could relax your nerves and make you feel more sociable. For your mental wellbeing, that can be healthy. The secret is dosage: the cap is a drink a day for females and two a day for males.

When you feel down, it’s easy to crave candy, salty products, and fried objects, but research tells us that a balanced diet high in whole foods is better for your mood. 

Food items that reduce depression after eating them

Here is a list of food items that can help with your depression after eating them:

  • Selenium
  • Vitamin D rich food
  • Omega-3 fatty acids
  • Antioxidants
  • Vitamin B
  • Zinc
  • Protein
  • Probiotics


Some studies have indicated that increasing the intake of selenium may help boost mood and decrease anxiety, which can make depression more manageable. In a variety of foods, selenium is present, including whole grains, Brazilian nuts, some fish, and organ meats, such as the liver.

Vitamin D rich food

According to a meta-analysis for 2019, vitamin D can help improve the symptoms of depression.

Via sun exposure, people obtain most of their vitamin D, but dietary sources are essential as well. Oily fish, fortified dairy products, beef liver, and eggs include foods that can provide vitamin D.

Omega-3 fatty acids

The findings of some research have shown that omega-3 fatty acids can help with depressive disorders.

The authors of a 2015 study, however, concluded that to confirm this, further studies are required. By improving brain function and preserving the myelin sheath that protects nerve cells, consuming omega-3 fatty acids can reduce the risk of mood disorders and brain diseases. Cold-water fish, such as salmon, sardines, tuna and mackerel, flaxseed, flaxseed oil, and chia seeds, and walnuts are healthy sources of omega-3 fatty acids.


Substances called antioxidants are found in vitamins A (beta carotene), C, and E. Antioxidants help to kill free radicals that can build up in the body, which are the waste products of natural body processes. Oxidative stress will evolve if the body can not remove enough free radicals. A variety of health issues, which may include anxiety and depression, may result. In people with generalized anxiety disorder, the findings of a 2012 study indicated that consuming vitamins that provide antioxidants may reduce anxiety symptoms. Healthy sources of antioxidants are new, plant-based foods, such as berries. A diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables, soy, and other plant products can help decrease the symptoms of depression associated with stress.

Vitamin B

Vitamins B-12 and B-9 (folate or folic acid) help protect the nervous system, including the brain, and help sustain it. They can help reduce the risk and symptoms, such as depression, mood disorders. Eggs, meat, poultry, fish, oysters, milk, and some fortified cereals are among the sources of vitamin B-12.


Zinc helps to perceive taste in the body, but it also improves the immune system and can cause depression. Some studies have indicated that in individuals with depression, zinc levels may be lower and that supplementation with zinc may help antidepressants function more effectively. Zinc is included in whole grains, oysters, beef, chicken, pork, beans, pumpkin seeds, and nuts.


Protein helps the body to expand and heal itself, but it can benefit people with depression as well. To produce serotonin, the “feel-good” hormone, the body utilizes a protein called tryptophan in tuna, chickpeas, and ham.


The levels of beneficial bacteria in the gut can be improved by foods such as yogurt and kefir. According to a 2016 meta-analysis, healthy intestinal microbiota could minimize the symptoms and risk of depression. The researchers proposed that it could help with Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium. That’s why taking probiotics is beneficial for our health. 

In this guide, we identified food items that worsen depression after eating them and what food items should therefore be consumed to reduce depression after eating them.

BetterHelp: A Better Alternative

Those who are seeking therapy online may also be interested in BetterHelp. BetterHelp offers plenty of formats of therapy, ranging from live chats, live audio sessions and live video sessions. In addition, unlimited messaging through texting, audio messages and even video messages are available here.

BetterHelp also offers couples therapy and therapy for teenagers in its platform. Furthermore, group sessions can also be found in this platform, covering more than twenty different topics related to mental health and mental illness. The pricing of BetterHelp is also pretty cost-effective, especially considering the fact that the platform offers financial aid to most users.

FAQs: How to deal with Depression after Eating

Why do I get emotional after eating?

Your blood glucose will spike and crash due to too much-refined sugar, which in turn makes you irritable. On the other side, caffeine induces a jittery feeling that stimulates your fight-or-flight reaction and may intensify stress.

Is food linked to depression?

It may be linked to depression and nutrition. Several studies have shown that individuals who ate a poor-quality diet were more likely to report signs of depression, one that was high in processed meat, chocolates, sweet desserts, fried food, refined cereals, and high-fat dairy products.

What foods cause anxiety and depression?

You are more likely to be nervous and depressed if you eat tons of processed meat, fried food, refined cereals, sweets, pastries, and high-fat dairy products. A diet full of whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and fish rich in fiber will help keep you on an even keel.

What are the 9 causes of depression?

The top 9 known causes of depression are:

Violence-physical, mental or sexual abuse
Medications for certain health conditions
Conflict with families, friends, or at work
Death of a loved one’s loss
Severe disease or a medical disorder
An extremely stressful job or living
Co-morbidity of other factors impacting mental health
Tragic Incidents in Life

What can you do instead of stress eating?

So here are some examples of better ways of coping with psychological problems like stress. Try some sort of workout instead of eating, such as pushups, cycling, jogging, weights, or yoga. For 2 minutes, try deep breathing or meditating.

Why do I get panic attacks after eating?

You will experience low blood sugar after eating if you have reactive hypoglycemia, usually within a couple of hours. This drop in blood sugar can make you feel nervous, irritable, and even a little confused, which usually follows a rise in insulin output.