January 14, 2022

Top 5 Foods that Act as Stressors

food stressors

In today’s world, stress can be a real problem. When we are under a lot of stress, our bodies can react by releasing hormones that may lead to symptoms such as anxiety and even digestive issues. If all food allergies and sensitivities were really obvious it would be a lot easier to avoid the foods that make us feel bad. Unfortunately, they can be really sneaky. Especially if we eat food regularly that we should probably avoid. Our bodies get used to not feeling great and we don’t realize that by avoiding certain foods we could feel so much better.

One thing has been shown to be true across the board: chronic exposure to stress reduces your immune system’s ability to function properly.
The foods you eat on a daily basis also play an important role in determining how your body responds when it is under pressure.

RelatedDiet Misinformation: The Skinny on Fad Diets

This blog post will explore the top 5 foods that act as stressors in our body so you know what to avoid when you’re feeling stressed out!


When you’re stressed, the body releases more cortisol which can lead to low energy and high blood sugar levels. One way that helps manage stress is cutting out sugary foods like candy or baked goods from your diet because when these items are consumed in large quantities they cause spikes in our glucose metabolism before being stored as fat for future use.

Increased cortisol can also cause sleep issues, decreased immune response, and headaches. Additionally, there are unhealthy food cravings that lead to feelings similar to stress, like anxiety or fear,  all of which have a negative impact on your health.

The best way to have a happy body, easier moods, and better feelings of well-being is not only through dieting but also by eliminating foods with added sugars. By cutting out pastries as well as sugary yogurts and juices, you will be able to avoid shifting your blood sugar levels which in turn reduces stress.


Artificial sweeteners are never good for you. They can lead to health problems like headaches, metabolic disease, and cardiovascular issues.

Artificial sweeteners can also lead to an addiction, which in turn causes you to seek out more sugary foods. These artificial sugars will train your taste buds and make them want the same thing again even when it isn’t good for you or if it has side effects like stress. Aspartame is one of many examples where this happens with over 600+ food items containing it as well 500 prescription drugs.


Processed, refined carbohydrates might taste good but they’re not doing anything for you. These foods have no nutritional value and can be downright worthless calories if we’re talking about white bread – which has little more than fiber AND GLUTEN in it.

Processed carbs, particularly those in standard packages are full of sodium. And aside from making you thirsty – which can lead to even more thirstiness as your body tries its best to keep up with the amount it needs for flushing out all this excess fluid-processed carb consumption, they also cause stress levels to rise.


While a glass of wine might help you relax after an intense day, drinking too much will only make things worse. The hormones that are released from alcohol have been found to increase feelings of anxiety and stress rather than lessening them like we expect they would.

The same stress-like symptoms that occur with alcohol consumption can also happen when you consume too much sugar. You might not feel so bad at first, but your body will regret it later because of all the extra heart problems this leads to.

Alcohol also disrupts your sleep patterns, so while you might fall asleep more easily than usual it will not be a deep sleep that’s necessary for feeling refreshed. The result is cranky mornings and—you guessed it again! More stress in the long run.

Related: Do you have good Sleep Hygiene?


If you are a daily coffee drinker, we aren’t suggesting you give it up completely. However, if you are drinking several cups throughout the day you are probably feeling more stressed than you need to. In fact, if you suffer from anxiety, one of the first things you should do is cut out caffeine.

Many people don’t realize that caffeine is found not just in coffee, but also in soft drinks and other types of tea. It’s even present in some pain relievers as well. Soft drinks like Coca-Cola and Pepsi contain caffeine as well at around 20mg per cup. Energy drink consumers may reach 60 mg with an 8 oz bottle or 240 total milligrams for the day from two glasses each time they down one particular brand’s product–that’s four times more than what most people need daily.

The Wrap Up

If you cut out these foods and still find yourself experiencing high levels of chronic stress, this can be difficult to manage on your own. Consider talking to a medical professional about the best way for you to reduce your level of cortisol and other hormones that lead to increased anxiety and depression symptoms. Regular chiropractic care and keep your body well adjusted to handle stress too! And remember, there is no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to managing health! It’s important for each person to make decisions based on their individual needs rather than following someone else’s advice blindly. Remember–everyone’s different!

Share with us which food helps keep up calm in times of chaos.

What Foods Are You Going to Avoid?

We want to hear your ideas. What can we help you with this month?

To find more about Dr. Ryan and Dr. Allyson and their chiropractic practice and philosophy, click here. To make an appointment please call (517) 781-4884