Anger Management Tips: 6 Foods to Avoid When You’re Feeling Angry

Anger Management Tips: 6 Foods to Avoid When You're Feeling Angry

When you’re feeling angry and stressed, it’s a good idea to avoid certain foods that can potentially exacerbate or contribute to your emotional state. Here are 6 foods to avoid when you’re angry and why.

The connection between our emotions and the foods we consume is undeniable. Just as some foods can uplift our spirits and promote a sense of well-being, there are also foods that can exacerbate negative emotions like anger. When we find ourselves in a state of anger, it is essential to be aware of our food choices. Certain foods can heighten our emotional responses and hinder our ability to regain composure. Here we’ll explore which foods you should avoid when you’re feeling angry and stressed.

Health Shots reached out to Archana Singhal, a counsellor, family therapist and member of the Council of Counselors 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’re angry.” Even when we are full, we still eat. However, you should be aware that the food you eat when 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 can invite digestive problems like diarrhea, bloating and acid reflux. In addition to bingeing or overeating, you should also be mindful of what you eat in times of stress and anger.

6 foods to avoid when you’re angry

1. Stimulants

Foods and drinks that contain stimulants such as caffeine (coffee, energy drinks, black tea, and some sodas) can heighten emotions and stimulate the 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.

Cut down on caffeine to manage anger. Image courtesy of: Adobe Stock

2. Sugary foods

Foods high in sugar, 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 too much sugar can also negatively affect your overall health and well-being.

3. Processed or fast foods

These types 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 mood and emotional state. Additionally, regular consumption of processed and fast foods can lead to feelings of sluggishness and low energy, which can intensify anger.

4. Alcohol

While some people may turn to alcohol as a way to cope with anger or stress, it’s generally best to avoid it. Alcohol is a depressant that can impair judgment and decision making, decrease inhibitions, and intensify negative emotions. It can also disrupt sleep, leading to increased irritability and reduced emotional resilience.

Too much alcohol can increase your risk for anger problems. Image courtesy of Adobe Stock

5. Spicy foods

Spicy foods can cause a temporary increase in body temperature and can trigger a physical response similar to a “fight or flight” reaction. This can potentially intensify feelings of anger or stress in some individuals. Additionally, spicy foods can cause digestive upset, which can further contribute to feelings of frustration or annoyance.

Read also: If you’re a hot-headed person, learn these simple ways to control your anger

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’re 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 such as berries, citrus fruits, leafy greens, and cruciferous vegetables.

Manage your mood with fresh fruit. Image courtesy of: Adobe Stock

2. Lean Protein: Incorporate lean protein sources like poultry, fish, tofu, legumes, and Greek yogurt into your meals. Protein contains amino acids that are important for the production of neurotransmitters, including serotonin, which plays a role in regulating mood.

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 flax seeds. Omega-3 fatty acids have been associated with improving mood and reducing inflammation in the body.

4. Complex Carbs: Include whole grains like brown rice, oats and whole grain 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.

Read also: On a low-carb diet? 5 side effects you need to be ready for!

5. Foods Rich In Magnesium: 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 boost your magnesium intake.

Magnesium-rich foods can do wonders for your mental health. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

6. Herbal teas: Some herbal teas, such as chamomile, lavender and passion flower, are known for their calming properties. Enjoying a cup of herbal tea can help promote relaxation and reduce feelings of anger.

Aside from that, keep yourself hydrated to improve your overall well-being. Otherwise, dehydration can also negatively affect your mood!

Take away

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.

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