5 Foods to Ditch if You Struggle with Anxiety or Depression


According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, 40 million adults in the US (ages 18 and older) suffer from anxiety disorders.  

That is 18% of the US Population.

Not only are anxiety and depression disorders very common in the US today but they are also very expensive.  Anxiety disorders cost the US right around $42 billion each year.  Yowsa!

What you may not know is that anxiety can often be treated with a change in diet.  Ditching certain foods from the diet and adding others back in can bring many sufferers much relief.  There are also some key nutrients that can be added back into the diet in order to help the body continue towards optimal healing.

I have spent many days of my life struggling with anxiety.  It is NOT a fun feeling.  Anxiety nearly always stems from a diet which will throw off your brain chemistry.  Stress and lifestyle are other factors that can cause feelings of anxiety to escalate and further deplete the body of what it needs to function properly.

If you desire to ditch your anxiety you must first overhaul your diet.  Even if much of your anxiety is caused by stress and lifestyle a proper diet can help the body handle stress more easily.

Do you have anxiety or feel stressed and overwhelmed?
Do you get panic attacks?
Or feel awkward or uncomfortable in social situations?
Do you have obsessive thoughts or behaviors?
Do you have that busy mind that won’t switch off, negative self-talk and/or problems sleeping?
What about emotional or stress eating?
Or do you know someone who does?
Or do you work with clients or patients who have these symptoms?

Anxiety is on the rise and it can at times be eliminated by addressing nutritional deficiencies and biochemical imbalances!

These 5 foods are the worst foods for anxiety suffers to eat and drink.  In order to ditch anxiety these must be removed from the diet.

Refined Sugar – Refined sugars not only deplete the body of much-needed nutrients, but they also cause your body to be on a blood sugar roller coaster. This can further deplete your endocrine glands and wreak havoc on your body. The depletion of the endocrine glands is what will cause feelings of overwhelmedness, depression and anxiety.  Once your endocrine glands are depleted, increased anxiety can occur, as well as disruption of your sex hormones and a decreased libido.  Not only that but increased sugar intake is known to increase your chances of getting heart disease by causing an imbalance in your blood sugar and depleting your body of essential nutrients.    Sugar is also known for feeding cancer cells.  Run away from any refined sugars.  Run far away.

Caffeine – Coffee, a drink that so many find glorious (I am not a coffee drinker), stimulates the adrenal glands which sends the body’s fight or flight mechanisms into action.  This can exhaust the adrenal glands, causing the endocrine system to become exhausted.  When your endocrine system is exhausted it is difficult for it to handle stress.  Feelings of being overwhelmed will come easily, and loud noises will put a person over the edge who has exhausted adrenals.

Fat – Didn’t think you’d see this here did you?  I am a big advocate of fats, especially animal fats from pastured raised animals and wild caught fish, cold pressed nut and seed oils.  I don’t mean to stay away from those.  Actually, fat is a big factor in healthy endocrine function.  However, we do live in a world with horrible rancid fats that can cause free radicals to exist in the body and harm it.  What oils should you stay away from?  Canola oil, refined oils, margarine, and anything that you might find in a fast food restaurant. Never touch olive oil that is in a clear container or any nut or seed oils that have not been cold pressed.

The other problem is that if animals are not pasture raised, they are fed grains that are toxic to their digestive system and their body.  These animals are kept in refined quarters and are so sick they need lots of antibiotics. Yuck!  I recommend ditching any fats that come from unhealthy animals along with strange oils like cotton seed oil.

Refined Flours and Wheat – Breads, pasta, bagels and cookies can all be sources of refined flours and wheat products.  Many people who struggle from depression also struggle from a dysbiosis of the gut.  Other grains such as Rye, Oats and Barley can be culprits as well, if they contain gluten which irritates the digestive tract.   Once the gut is inflamed the digestive tract is not able to absorb essential nutrients to keep the body properly balanced. Many studies have indicated that people with a gluten intolerance have very low levels of serotonin.  Serotonin is a chemical needed in the body to reduced anxiety and depression.

Soy – This food is a hormone and endocrine disruptor and is almost always of the GMO variety. Soy has a very depressing effect on the thyroid and can cause the body to have trouble absorbing iodine, iron and zinc.  All these nutrients are essential to a healthy immune system. Soy is very difficult to digest, especially when it is not fermented.  This protein can also damage the digestive tract.  According to The Mood Cure, “Soy contains mineral-blocking phytates, acknowledged even by the soy industry as interfering with the absorption of antidepressant thyroid hormones as well as the thyroid- and brain-crucial mineral iodine, iron and zinc.”

If you struggle from anxiety try ditching these five foods in order to see if you start feeling better.  The next step is helping your body to get the nutrition it needs from the right foods and supplements.

anxiety-summit-affbanner2Do you need to know more?  Do you want to know more on how to feel better naturally with food and without the use of antidepressants and anti-anxiety drugs?  Make sure you don’t miss The Anxiety Summit!    The Anxiety Summit is a FREE online teleconference event.  Some of the top anxiety experts are being interviewed between June 9th and 22nd to give you some of the very best food healing cures out there!

Need more?  Check out this post on essential oils to use for anxiety and stress.

References:  The Mood Cure by Julia Ross

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  1. Rebekah says:

    I fully understand the good intentions behind this posting, but it is insulting to me. I have had a diagnoses anxiety disorder since the age of seven. It is not as simple as changing diet, there is a lot of work that needs to be done and yes medication is necessary for many of us. I good healthy diet will help just about everyone feel better to some extent, but it is not a magic bullet.

    • Becky Webb says:

      Hi Rebekah! I’m so sorry to hear that this post is making you feel insulted. The most is not meant to be a means to an end, but only a good start for people who suffer from anxiety and depression. There are many more parts to changing the diet besides the contents in this post. I don’t meant to say that it is also a very simple process. However, these simple steps are very helpful for some people to end anxiety. Taking these foods out of the diet are the first steps I would take to allowing the body of someone that suffers from anxiety to heal.

      Myself included, discontinuing caffeine in my diet as well as birth control (If I only knew what was in those things to wack out my body before hand) really helped ease much of my anxiety. As a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner, I have seen many many people find relief from changes in the diet and healing of the gut. Since inflammation of the gut can begin the process of throwing off hormones and chemistry in the brain. With that said, it is different for everyone and therapy is different for everyone but it is possible. No, I don’t believe there is any magic bullet at all. It takes hard work and dedication with ones diet, but it can be done. If you take a look at The Anxiety Summit listed below the post many experts are talking about this very topic and giving much more detailed information on how to help achieve an anxious free lifestyle through changes in diets and supplements that are adjusted for ones specific needs.

      • One the things I’ve learnt us that diet is everything and I have agoraphobia and BPD. After years of medication and horrible weight gain I decided to take my health by the horns.

        I went vegan and just from cutting out dairy alone I lost 65lb. This also had an impact on my hormonal balance rectifying it self. Who knew dairy was such a disrupter?

        I also spent a great deal of time researching ways I could use my diet to replace what the chemicals had been doing but of course without the horrible side effects or weight gain.

        I’ve found that dark leafy greens play a massive role in managing depression and anxiety. My breakfast is my daily antidepressant. I’m there is spirulina, wheatgrass and barley grass. I also pop in shatavari which is especially good for balancing hormones in women. Ashwaganda is especially great for men.

        There is growing research linking depression to over information. Specially cortisol. The body is telling the Bahrain it’s sick and going into sick mode. Slowly down everything to repair the body. Essentially an auto immune response to stress.

        To alivaite this is I take CBD oil as well as topical CBD ointment. I also use ultra liquid zeolite. All anti-inflammatory.

        Lastly, it has now been proven that your gut health has a major impact on your mental health and here I use fermented ted and cultured food and liquids, such as sauerkraut, kimchi, Kombucha, kefir water, etc. I even make my own fermented ted and cultured ketchup.

        So to those people who don’t think diet can make a massive difference to their mental wellbeing they need to go back to the drawing board in that assumption because it is a very big deal.

        I still have mental health disorders, they didn’t magically go away, but I’m managing it with food better than the chemicals ever did and without side effects or weight gain. I know I which options die rather choose.

        • You really know a lot about this from first hand experience. I get really wound up lately to where it effect my work and studying. I already follow most the things posted in the original article except cutting out the coffee. I am going to really try to cut back on caffeine, I think it will do a lot to lower my anxiety and get me to where I can more easily zero in on the things I need to instead of just have anxiety problems over them. I definitely suffer from over information like you speak of, the world is speeding up and learning so much new information so fast, that you actually trying to keep up with even a fraction of it can actually start driving you completely crazy….which is exactly whats been happening to me for the past two years. Thanks, take it easy.

        • Amanda Vaughn says:

          Where do you find these ingredients.

      • Thank you so much for this article I have been making diet changes the last months and I stopped having anxiety attacks. I am off actovan, stressemme and amitripiline. And feel like a new person. You saved me from a life of constant panic attacks.

    • I agree with you Rebekah. I was diagnosed with GAD and depression when I was 13. and I had a perfectly balanced diet and still do to this day and my anxiety has not decreased nor changed for the better. I’m on my meds and those help with my GAD and depression but its still a problem. Just changing your diet wont Help. Plus I want proof of how inflammation in the gut can begin making brain chemistry and Hormones to become unbalance. Changing diet will help anyone feel better inside their body. but not in their mind.

      • Becky Webb says:

        Kysta, I recommend reading the Mood Cure cited above and also reading The Gut and Psychology Syndrome. For some individuals eating a good diet is not enough, you also need further support digesting fats, proteins and other supplements to heal the body in order to help the brain chemistry while the body heals and gets back on track. And, for many individuals proper fats has been void of the diet for much too long due to doctors directing it because of very poor research and then body has a very hard time digesting it after being void of it for so long. Plus, many people don’t realize that many of the fats they are eating are rancid and cause further distress on the body. These fats are imperative to proper function especially when it comes to mood. The body works as a symphony. It is no separated by parts, balanced brain chemistry is determined by the hormones which produce it the Pituitary gland, the thyroid, and the adrenals.

        • I agree, I’ve had anxiety and depression since childhood but the Grain Brain and other like minded books have made me reevaluate my diet and look at what happened to my gut during childhood. People misunderstand that the gut has more importance than any other area of the body than the brain 🙂

    • Megan Branson says:

      i have suffered with general anxiety for as long as i can remember and an over-breathing disorder that includes panic/hyperventilation attacks for about the last 8 years. i don’t know if all five of these foods directly affect anxiety levels, but i recently cut out 99% of caffeine from my diet – i switched from regular to decaffeinated coffee, stopped drinking black tea, and cut back on chocolate – as part of a pre-op nutrition program, and now the breathing disorder is basically gone and my general anxiety level is much reduced. i really had no idea how much the caffeine i was consuming (two mugs of coffee in the morning, a glass of black tea in the afternoon, and chocolate desserts fairly often) was affecting me or that removing it from my diet would have such a positive effect, but it was and it did and i feel much better

    • Rebekah and Krista: Not all anxiety disorders have the same origins. I have had panic attacks since I was 15 and I can tell you that for me eating right, getting enough sleep, and exercising make an enormous difference to my condition. I avoid caffeine because it can push me into a panic attack. Of course this won’t help everyone, some conditions absolutely do require medication, but please don’t assume that there isn’t a relationship between physical health and mental well-being because for me diet is extremely important in dealing with anxiety as are breathing exercises.

    • I wholeheartedly agree Rebekah. It reminds me of the people who ask if I’ve prayed about my anxiety.

      Trust me. Throughout the years, I’ve tried it all. If I could magically get better by changing my diet or prayer alone, I assure you, I would have started doing it long ago.

      My real issue is that when I was younger, before I had the experience I have now, I would’ve fallen for this hook, line, and sinker.

      As always though, it would fail, I’d blame myself, and go further into isolation.

      A note for those living with anxiety: Never substitute some theory you read on the internet for your medications without discussing it with the doctor who prescribes those medications.

    • I agree with you and it’s always the. Same foods!! No matter what illness you have or what caused it or what you will get from the Fabulous Five!!
      I want to know where people get the idea that they can cure you just with food eliminations? How do they know more than scientists doctors pharmacists?
      Like you I have very long involved history that that is difficult. I’m no just a little nervous to present my work to a group of colleagues.
      And yes pharmaceuticals help, but if avoiding soy wheat sugar fats and caffeine was the cure I’m sure one or more of the loads of professionals would have mentioned it and I’d be cured by now & happy as a lark.
      Are people still this ignorant of mental illness? I am more than offended by this article!

    • One of the biggest problems (My Observations) is that people tend to see black or white when it comes to a n illness or disorder. Everybody and every body is different. These “no nos” on the food list are basically just common sense. How wonderful it would be to have a magical menu plan to include only organic ingredients that is available and affordable to everyone like in the olden days. Oh, wait, people still suffered from anxiety and panic attacks long before there was a name for it. It’s not necessarily what you consume or not… it’s a balance. Most of the time when people with anxiety/panic/depression disorders are told what to do to “cure” their ailments, it honestly makes things worse. It’s all about balance!

    • i agree and if you take all this out of your diet what are to eat?

  2. Thanks for posting this! I have suffered from mild anxiety for years and I know diet can help this. I just love my coffee so much so the caffeine one is hard for me to take in!
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  3. Thank you for this post…depression is something I have struggled with in the past. Could you elaborate on the refined sugars? My sister and I have debated what qualifies as refined sugar and some clarity would be helpful..


    • Becky Webb says:

      Of course! Anything very processed is going to be refined. White sugar is always refined and bleached, honey bought in the stores is pasteurized and heated at very high temperatures. So honey from a local farmer that is raw and unheated is best. Some of the best sweeteners to stick to can be grade B Maple Syrup, coconut sugar, raw honey, you could also use dates added into a recipe. I’d even use sugar like “sugar in the raw” sparingly or organic sugar since it is usually pretty processed still. Even using fruit as a sweetener like bananas can be a better alternative than refined sugars.

  4. Stephanie says:

    I stumbled onto this article and could not believe what I was reading! I have suffered from Bi-polar my entire adult life. I have been dealing with being medicated for the bipolar depression and anxiety for about 15 yrs now. In Jan of this yr I started a weight loss routine. Calling it a life style change. By March I was no longer eating any processed foods at all. I perimeter shop only and continue to do this today. I love the lifestyle and I can tell you with 100% honesty I did not realize it was because of the foods at the time but I quit taking my anxiety and depression pills in march. I used to take a high dose of anxiety pills two to three times a day. I never put the two together that it could be from the foods I was eating but I stopped having a need for this medicine when I switched to no processed foods. I still take one dose of medication a day for the bi-polar as I am afraid to quit that crutch but all other medication is out of my life and this is coming from someone that took 6 pills a day and now I take two (one is just to help me sleep). I feel amazing everyday. To anyone who doesn’t believe you need to try it out. Nto an end to everything but it changed my life so much by eliminating those foods.

    • Becky Webb says:

      Congratulations Stephanie! What a wonderful testimony! Thank you for sharing it!

      • Drusilla Anuszkiewiez says:

        I find this really farfetched to read that ditching these foods will help anyone in their struggle with depression and anxiety. I’ve been battling with depression for the past 11 years, for the past 6 years with bipolar and anxiety and the past 2 years with social phobia. I’ve changed my diet a long time ago and cut out some foods because it triggered migraines in me. These included caffeine (chocolate, never drank black tea, coffee), all dairy (including margarine. I never use soy anyway, so what have I been left with using from this list? Refined sugar and flour. Yes, cutting out these foods will make your body feel good, but living without it already has had no effect on my mental health issues. I don’t get migraines anymore, but my mental illness is a daily reality. To therefore claim that cutting out these foods will help people with mental health issues in particular, is farfetched and unfounded.

        • Becky Webb says:

          Farfetched is an extremely interesting assumption. It is hardly farfetched since thousands have found that in their healing protocols have used these steps among other things. This is not a “cure all” post, it is simp and sweet and by no means a extended protocol for wellness. However, it are things that do seem to need to be done with every client across the board. Refined sugar completes for your Chromium receptors (this will cause anxiety, inflammation, etc. in the body and wheat flour causes irritated and inflammation in the digestive tract.) Chromium is necessary for proper mental health and so is cutting out the inflammatory response in the body. That is great that you don’t get migraines anymore. However, believing that nutrition does not help with mental health issues is very sad indeed. You can find thousands upon thousands of studies out there where it certainly has as well as testimonials when working with a knowledgeable and experienced practitioner.

          • Dustin Weddle says:

            I am sorry you are getting so much backlash from this post. I would almost dare to believe that some of these people who are arguing with you are defensive due to the fact that they may not be eating as properly as they think they are. Not to say some aren’t, this method may not work for everyone, but there is really no need to get so defensive and have such a victim mentality about it. I have dealt with severe clinical depression, and anxiety for as long as I can remember. It has been a huge obstacle in my life, and I still deal with it, I do notice very much how much of a difference what I eat makes though so I find your post to be incredibly valid if for nothing else than personal experience, though this is something that I’ve read many times, so there is obviously something to it. Exercise also makes a dramatic difference.

  5. Colleen says:

    I just want to chime in on the discussion above. Its important to point out depression and anxiety have many causes. I have had multiple bouts of major depression over the years. This was mostly based on childhood abuse and distorted thinking patterns. Cognitive behavioral therapy helped me immensely. However, recently I became depressed and developed paralyzing anxiety. I went back to therapy and it didn’t help. I tried meds and they messed up my mind completely. It wasn’t until I went 100% gluten free and started working with a naturopath on a supplement regimen that I got relief (I was ill for a year and a half prior). It turns out I had adrenal fatigue from extreme weight loss and stress. Depression and anxiety in this case were the symptoms of the underlying disorder, not the disorder itself. So you’re both right. Each person is different and you may need to try different approaches each time you become sick. Taking a “diet change only” will help approach just alienates people. Its a balance between a lot of lifestyle factors.

  6. I just want to point out something about gluten. I agreed on all the other points (my anxiety is a lot more manageable when I don’t eat a lot of sugar or drink caffeine), but I think gluten is VERY misunderstood. Gluten is a protein, nothing more, made up of gliadin and glutenin. The ONLY people who have any sort of problem with gluten are people with Celiac Disease, and people with Non-Celiac Gluten Intolerance (otherwise called Gluten Sensitivity). The only way to find out if you have a problem with gluten is to see your doctor. If you do not have either of those issues, then eliminating gluten from your diet will do nothing. It’s just a protein.

    • Becky Webb says:

      Gluten is protein that is highly difficult to digest. There are a couple of problems with it. 1. Traditional cultures would soak grains in a acid medium such as a sourdough starter or kefir in order to break down the difficult to digest proteins in the grain. This also helps to digest the gluten. Or, they would sprout the grains which would also make the wheat more digestible. 2. Our modern grains have been hybrid in order to contain much more gluten than ancient grains ever did. Our bodies were never intended to digest gluten as it is in modern day. Celiac is an autoimmune disorder that is caused by an inflamed and irritated gut. Over time a gluten sensitivity could also potentially cause this same problem. I find that a very very large percentage of the population has a either a gluten sensitivity or discomfort. And, a great way to find out if you have a problem with gluten is to actually take yourself off it and to see if you feel better. Many people whom I work with do. They find that irritating lifts, anxiety lessens, or they have a deceased sense of foggy brain. I myself have never been diagnosed with any problem with gluten or noticed a sensitivity and don’t feed it to my family very often, but once I do eat it again I find that I suffer from a great deal of fatigue.

      • Celiac disease is not an autoimmune disorder that is caused by an inflamed and irritated gut. It is an autoimmune disorder that occurs in response to the protein gluten. The body’s inappropriate response to gluten is what causes the the inflammation in the small intestine, and else where in the body for that matter.

        If someone is feeling better from “eliminating gluten” from their diet, it is likely because they are in turn eating healthier. If someone chooses to continue eating the same general meals but substituting gluten free cupcakes for their normal cupcake counterpart, I do not believe that they would feel better just because the cupcake is “lacking gluten”.

  7. Sara Holloway says:

    I hav a 12 year old that has anxiety so bad,an dont know what to do for him,drs say to young for meds,so they put him on add meds that didnt help,he has had this since kindergarten.

  8. Pat Gerrero says:

    i have dealt with anxiety and depression in the past. I have gone both routes, traditional meds and then naturopathy with supplements and food sensitivity testing. I stopped eating refined sugar and most processed foods and never felt better. I am a therapist and advocate for everyone to seek help of a therapist to work through the emotional aspects of this but agree that food sensitivities and eliminating those foods camps help to reduce and even eliminate anxiety and depression. Also, diet sodas are completely toxic for the brain and should be eliminated. So to sum up my experience is that a holistic approach can help with reducing and eliminating anxiety and depression. Please contact an ER if your symptoms of depression are severe or you have thoughts of harming yourself or anyone else. You are worth it and you can heal from ypthese symptoms!

  9. I’ve ditched these but I still struggle with depression and anxiety. I don’t think foods have anything to do with it.

  10. So I just started having severe anxiety like 3wks ago I used to get them when id smoke in 2012 so I stopped and anyway I just started havin them out of no where like really and what makes me panick is that I get short of breathe and I freak the f**k out!!): I hate it I havent been to a doctor because no insurance but self medicating with blue zanex I only take 1pill a day but how much can I take and I dnt take a whole pill at once ill take half in the morn half at night…it scares me because I have a new family a about to be 6mon old a home to maintain things I have to do anyway my point was or question is there anything I can do besides self medicaid or change my
    Diet? Until I can see a doctor?? (: please help thnx

  11. Sometimes no diet can help. About chocolate, it’s been proven to help with anxiety, so I don’t see the point. I have been dealing with PTSD, anxiety, panic attacks, agoraphobia, claustrophobia and now fibromyalgia for many years and have tried everything, even those diets and unfortunantly makes no difference.

    • Flor, Unfortunately “no diet” would mean not eating at all. Our culture has the term “diet” sound like a very poor word. I don’t advocate weight loss diets or any kind of crazy diets but a lifestyle change. Working with a skilled practitioner could prove very helpful to you if you were willing to make some changes. Sometimes we just need a little bit of direction from those who have spent lots of time working with individuals such as yourself.

  12. I have suffered anxiety attacks for well over 25 years. I am a healthy woman, eat balanced, nutritional meals with no medical concerns. I am all about home cooking, no prepared foods and healthy natural snacks. Guess what ? It hasn’t helped my anxiety attacks in the slightest !!!

    I further have an issue with someone pretending to know something about anxiety attacks, that can recite so many “points” of things to include and avoid, yet cannot figure out how to do communicate it without typos or grammatical errors !

    I highly suggest perhaps a trip back to grade school for the basic in education before you try branching out into an area you know nothing about.

    signed: sick of everyone with the “fix it” to something they don’t understand…

    • Becky Webb says:

      Debbie, so sorry whatever you tried didn’t seem to work for you. This post wasn’t an attempt to ‘fix it’ and is simply suggestions and ideas that the majority of people that I worked with have found necessity when dealing with this type of condition, including myself. This is my personal page and I simply wanted to share some thoughts from my experiences in hopes that they are encouraging and helpful to others. This is clearly not the case with you and I apologize if I offended you in some way. Disagreeing with this post is fine, as you can see from other comments. However, I would appreciate a more cordial response, especially since you have attacked my character and not simply been disagreement with the content stated. Telling me to go back to grade school was a juvenile comment and not very productive in this discussion.

      And, as I have mentioned before, I actually do know a lot on this topic as I have struggled with it for many years as I stated in the post. Again, I am sorry you struggle with this and I hope you find the answers you are looking for. Sorry this post wasn’t helpful for you. The information is taken for some of the best experts in the field, plus personal experience.

  13. Emily rose says:

    First, I want to say that as I saw the link to this post I was almost positive I was going to open it to find that animal products (dairy, eggs, and meat) were on this list. I am truly appalled that they are not. I cannot begin to stress the negative effects of these “foods” on the mind and body. I put “foods” in quotes because this is not what they are. Regardless of what the human population is stuck on believing, facts are facts. Do some research. Look at bloodwork and moods of people on a 100% plant based diet. You will not find one that is depressed or suffering from anxiety. I can personally speak from experience. I was diagnosed with a mild anxiety disorder and placed on Valume when I was 16 years old. Today I am a 100% vegan, and I haven’t been anxious or depressed not one time since eating this way. Eating brutal death and mistreatment will NEVER have positive effects on a human being. Please take time to study the findings of Dr. Douglas Graham, T. Collin Campbell, and Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn. Start preferably with the documentary “Forks Over Knives.” This documentary is based on the medical research of T. Collin Campbell and Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn. Both of these men were born & raised on dairy farms, but came to find the negative effects on animal products. All I ask is that you check it out, in the hopes that it will show you the truth behind the terrible diet Americans believe is “healthy.”

    • I’m sorry Emily. I don’t agree with you in the slightest. Although I am very happy that you have experience little to no anxiety since you have been on a plant based diet I whole heartedly believe that good and properly conducted research points to meat in the diet as being very healthy if it comes from properly sourced foods. Unfortunately, many of the people you talk about here have studied the effects of meat from our current food system which is poorly sourced and full of all kinds of toxic chemicals. I believe that a plant based diet can be helpful for short term detoxing, but in the long term it can be extremely harmful to the body. Look into the work of Weston A Price, Francis Pottenger, and other great researchers like Chris Kessler. I have found their research to be extremely valuable and valid. Although it is always important to have plenty of plant based foods in the diet 6-9 cups of day of veggies meat provides the amino acids that are needed for healthy emotional functions and endocrine functions in the body.

  14. Marcie Moya says:

    Pls help me understand what is gluten. Is that all flour products? Does oatmeal have gluten? I do eat some nuts–almonds, pumpkin seeds, or cashews. I NEED TO KNOW PLEASE because I eat oatmeal every day. Does Cheerios have gluten?
    I do believe in everything I am reading here. I broke my Sugar addiction in April 2014 and I quit drinking coffee. I never ever drink sodas or fruit juices. I very seldom eat processed foods but I still am suffering from a mental imbalance that hits me without warning. Anxiety attacks is all I know what to call it and IF I do have a sweet dessert IT IS DEFINITELY a problem.
    My Dr sent me to as mental clinic for pills but I refuse to go. Please help me to understand gluten.

  15. Hey it does help those that are insulted you shoild try it before nocking it I do drink way to much coffee but I dont drink soda anymore I also switched to an anti inflammatory diet my mood has changed and I have far less issues than I did long time ago dont get insulted when people trying to help.

    • That is awesome Tom! Unfortunately, some people just aren’t ready to hear it. It really pulls on my heart that people think this information is dangerous and misguided. I am definitely not advocating for individuals to stop taking medications because I am not a doctor and do not have the authority to do so. But, when practitioners work together and a client changes their diet it really can make an incredible difference.

  16. An intelligent diet and removing as much ‘toxicity’ from your diet as you can, is guaranteed to improve anyone’s health and mental well-being. Especially in an age when most people have been led down the path of refined sugars and processed foods, which are simply ‘poor’ choices for anyone truly concerned about their health.
    However Becky, I believe that you should have included one more extremely important item to your list, though it may not apply to everyone: Fluoridated-Tap-Water.
    Unfortunately I live in a town that still puts Fluoride in the tap-water, despite all the controversy over this subject. But the bottom line is that Fluoride is a ‘toxic’ substance and people should avoid drinking their tap-water if it is fluoridated.
    There have been many studies done on the subject which point to negative-impacts such as an increase in oxidative stress, neuronal degeneration and damage to the hippocampus among others. Which makes me really wonder why any government would condone it’s use in our drinking water?
    Until one realizes of course, that there is no money to be made from a healthy population.

    • I complete agree Edward. Staying away from Floridated-Tap-water will certainly reflect poorly on your health. I can do SO much damage.

  17. Becky,
    I appreciate that you responded to each individual that posted. That’s really cool! I have anxiety and depression. I guess that it’s good bye to caffeine. I really want to eat healthy and feel better. I used to think that I would never have to try and stay fit. Now, with anxiety and depression, it’s time to take the first step.

  18. I wholeheartedly disagree with this. Firstly, anxiety and depression are two separate disorders. They often occur together but they are not the same thing, do not have the same treatments nor the same pathology. Secondly, anxiety and depression can be psychiatric disorders on their own or be symptoms of another illness. Advising people that a good first step to addressing these issues is a simple change in diet is misguided and irresponsible. The cause could be a serious underlying physical condition, so the first step should be to see a doctor.

    Speaking as someone who has struggled with mental illness for 20+ years, it’s not a simple thing to treat. I agree with Rebekah that this article is overly simplified and insulting.

    • Charlene, That is completely unfortunate that you think that. In my experience the disorders go completely hand and hand. No, clients do not always have anxiety and depression together, but many times they can and they are related. Yes, I do agree that they can also be symptoms of another illness. The majority of the time those illnesses are related to a dysbiosis of the gut, which is why what you eat can be very important in changing your health and your mood. Mental illness is not something to take lightly. Holistic approaches look at the entire body system as a whole and simply not just a part. A good holistic practitioner will do so and bring many all these elements into play when helping support the body to heal.

  19. Great post. Many people live life on auto pilot not realizing the effects that food can have over them. I know I did for many years. But once I began to educate myself, and become conscious of what I was putting in my body that was contributing to my anxiety, I began to notice more times of peace and calmess. My anxiety story – http://www.theanxietyguy.com
    Dennis Simsek recently posted…To Get Out Of A Life Funk, Ask Yourself These 9 QuestionsMy Profile

  20. I changed my diet last year and it seemed to have worked for awhile. Now about a year later I’m experiencing anxiety and panic attacks a lot 🙁 I’m not giving up and will continue to eat better and hopefully this anxiety and panic attacks will slow down.
    Great article.

    • Becky Webb says:

      Thanks Laura! Stress can also have a lot to do with it. Food allergies can also have a lot to do with it. Trudy’s book would be also a great way to get more of a complete protocol. http://amzn.to/1wQASc8 Frankincense essential oil is also known to ease tension. 😉

      • You’re welcome. I have been under a lot of stress lately. As for food allergies I have been checked for allergies, thyroid etc etc etc. Again I think it may be stress. I will check out the book and read some more about Frankin cense essential oil as well.

  21. I am appalled that people are appalled by this post! I feel that what you put in your body significantly changes the health and well-being, as well as many off the illnesses we encounter – including depression & anxiety (for instance, if you smoke cigarettes year after year after year, you WILL face serious consequences). I have been living with depression and extreme anxiety for 30 years. I am now in my 50’s. I think people can be totally disillusioned by their condition when for 30 years your doctor tells you “it is a chemical imbalance”, “you are crazy”, “you HAVE to be on medication”, blah, blah, blah. This is not the way for anyone to live – I am now on a quest to figure a way to get out of this mess! By taking the medication, does it make you feel better – maybe, but probably not. Does it cure you? NOT EVER, not even close.

    Becky – starting off with the book “The Mood Cure” as a reference, you have hit the nail on the head. I actually moved to Sedona, Arizona where the center is located. I cannot afford to go the center, but I tell you, they make very valid points. Things happen on this sacred ground in Sedona that really turns your thoughts inward to see what is really going on (and no, that is not hokum!) The reason I say that is I met someone several weeks ago handed me “The Mood Cure” and said “Read it!” Now I’m reading this post. Coincidence???

    After moving here, I was getting a baseline of doctors set up. The first being a psychiatrist. I am now vigilant in trying other things to “save myself”. I asked him about the anti-anxiety medication that I have been on for 30 years. I told him I eventually want to be free and clear of it. He said “That will never happen. Pharmaceutical companies make these drugs for a reason.” That to me is an unacceptable answer. I then went to an herbalist (who has studied Western & Eastern practices – and understands the interactions between prescription meds & herbs). She was the first one to ask about my diet. SUGAR – SUGAR- SUGAR!!! She and a dietitian had the same answer for me – SUGAR is what is KILLING me – slowly and gradually. All the medications the doctors have given me and progressively increase the dosage time after time also play a HUGE factor in the way my body reacts and feels.

    If you are on prescription medications, and they really do work for you – then great! Just look in to the cumulative effects. But if they are not working, find the answer that makes sense to you.

    • Becky Webb says:

      Thanks for your honest comment Khole! I wish you all the best on your journey. What we put in our body certainly does make a difference in our lives and our emotional balance. The more we ignore it the the worse we are going to allow our bodies to decline. I really hope you enjoy the mood cure! It is a fantastic place to start and a fabulous book!

  22. David Swanson says:

    why is it that “I” crave food and beverages from these 5 groups, especially in the throws of high anxiety and/or depression ?

  23. Good post Becky! I’ve read through nearly all of the comments and I am amazed at how many don’t realize that anxiety and depression are the symptoms of, in more cases than not, more than one thing. I suffered with both for years, since I was a kid, and it took a dietary change, counseling, a couple specific types of therapy, mind work, exercise, and prayer to change it all. Once I started really trying to heal, I found that just trying to change one of those areas weren’t going to cure me of my depression or my anxiety. You’re right when you say that these foods should be avoided the best they can if someone is suffering from D&A; and I appreciate that you come across that this isn’t meant to be a “cure all” post. There are numerous factors to healing D&A and a diet is most certainly one of them!!

  24. As much as I agree that healthy eating is a major part of a healthy mind, by this post I wonder if there is anything in the world I can actually eat that’s not for a rabbit?
    I’ve had depression for over 12 years, I cook homemade meals and eat pretty healthy. By cutting out everything you won’t have much to live on and have a boring food life. It’s not about cutting things out completely, it’s about control of how much you consume. I still eat chocolate and drink soda I just don’t add them to my diet as much.

  25. This is a good list. I have Panic Disorder, which I refuse to take medication for, and the biggest thing I’ve done to help manage panic attacks is cut out caffeine. I mean, even green tea will cause them. My well-being has improved so much from that one simple change. I still get them occasionally in certain situations, but it was seriously as if someone flipped a switch. It’s been an amazing relief!

  26. Hey, I was wondering what you meant when you said “Never touch olive oil that is in a clear container….” I almost always buy olive oil in a glass or clear container. Could you elaborate on this? What about this is bad?
    I love this post by the way. I can’t wait to try this. I’m also considering consuming more magnesium rich foods. I heard that that can cause anxiety, which I have pretty bad. I love going the natural way with things!
    Thanks for your time 🙂

    • Becky Webb says:

      Hi Blythe, Olive oil in a clear contain is going to be rancid as olive oil that is exposed to light will become rancid. When purchasing olive oil always purchase it cold pressed and in a dark glass or tin container.

      • Okay. That makes sense. I have purchased extra virgin olive oil in a dark glass container before. I’ll keep my eyes out for more like that. Thanks 😉

  27. Okay, so after reading all of this, which is certainly interesting, what exactly CAN/SHOULD we eat? I feel like for those of us with severe anxiety that this article completely cuts out almost everything available for consumption.

    • Becky Webb says:

      Hey Christy, I would consider a Paleo diet at least for a few months while you can decrease inflammation with severe anxiety. There is plenty to eat! Fresh fruits, veggies, meats, and healthy fats! It will make a huge difference!

  28. I love, Love, LOVE that you are encouraging people and trying to show how our diets effect us on many levels. Our eating habits do matter! And not just to lose weight and reduce high cholesterol and high blood pressure. About a year ago I came across the book “Eat To Live” by Dr. Joel Fuhrman. The more I read it the more it clicked with me. It is exactly what your post is all about. Dr. Fuhrman’s motto is “the prescription is food.” I fully understand medications are necessary for some illness and conditions, but our diets can greatly reduce the need for some. Our diets CAN effect us mentally and give us the energy to move physically which also greatly effects us mentally. Keep sending us great information!

  29. The surprisingly dramatic role of nutrition in mental health


    this is a very interesting vid

  30. Thanks for the post. I know changing diet alone won’t ‘fix’ depression and anxiety, but it can help in some (SOME!) situations, and I think that’s what a number of people commenting here are not picking up. It’s the same as everything in mental health: what works for one person won’t for another. A lot of people can help themselves by changing their diet. For others it won’t make the slightest difference. Some people recover better with a certain type of medication, others can’t handle that particular drug. It’s all individual.
    I would say (from a non-scientific, non-dietician point of view) that you have nothing to lose in changing your diet, and quite likely lots to gain. Even if it makes no difference to your mental health, cutting out refined foods is sure to help your physical health. Personally, I am battling to give up as much refined sugar as I can, but when it comes to chocolate I fail badly. It’s hard work. Just concentrate on what works for you, rather than giving others a hard time for recommending what works for them.

  31. It’s so much more than diet! I agree, but it is also so much more than popping a pill also! It take changing a lot of things in your life! Sleep habits,diet, therapy, learning yourself, your triggers, copeing skills, it’s something that is a struggle every day but don’t be offended by what this it is still helpful information !

  32. Charlotte says:

    I had this spotlight disorder that even going to store to have groceries, I panicked because I somehow felt that every pair of man’s eyes were staring at me. I hate that feeling, as if I was catching too much attention. Gladly, IT WAS JUST MY FEELING, after all and there’s a natural treatment to this psychological disorder. It is true that a healthy and balanced diet would be the best natural remedy to untangle anxiety with l-theanine 200mg intake because it has calming properties. It is one of the natural antidotes to stress. I gradually cutting off refined sugar in my diet to avoid fluctuation of blood levels.

  33. I knew that caffeine is bad for stress and anxiety. However, I didn’t even realize that fat and soy were also depression contributors. I am a huge fan of oriental foods. With that type of food comes a lot of soy sauce. Is this a form of soy that would affect my anxiety and depression?

    • Becky Webb says:

      Hi Bryan,

      If you live in the United States many forms of soy are GMO which are going to jack with your digestive tract. I would say any forms of soy that are GMO are definitely off limits. Soy can also mess with your endocrine system, and if you have anything pulling on your thyroid it can pull it further which can also downward spiral anxiety and depression. The only kinds of soy that may be ok would be some forms of fermented soy. There is a great alternative to soy called Coconut Aminos http://amzn.to/1Spl4YY I highly recommend trying to make your own versions of Chinese food at home. You might REALLY enjoy this cookbook since it may contain better versions of some of your favorite foods: http://amzn.to/1M7JaId

  34. I for one can tell you that eating refined sugars, wheat and soy were/are have an effect on my moods and the way I feel. It took me s long time to figure that out by process of illumination on my own. I read a lot of books and journaled what I would put in my mouth and documented how I felt. I’ve never been diagnosed with depression or anxiety but I can say that watching what you do eat has an effect on a person’s mood. Again, from my experience, my hormones were also better balanced when I avoided the foods, my joints didn’t ache and my moods were easier to control. There were days I would be mad at the world and didn’t know why. Changed my diet and I did feel a difference. It is hard to change some things in your diet but when you know you will feel good tomorrow…it’s worth it!!

  35. Marci Schlup says:

    While most of this post is well taken, I do have an issue with your characterization of “non pasture raised” animals. Cattle are not raised in feedlots, they are raised in pastures and finished, or fed out, in a feedlot for a short time before slaughter. Also, the animals are not “so sick they are given lots of antibiotics”, rather they are given antibiotics IF they get sick. I would much rather an animal be given an antibiotic than allowed to suffer an illness simply to maintain an “organic” label. Please, PLEASE talk to farmers and ranchers about their production practices. A large majority of them would be more than happy to explain why they do what they do and answer any questions that you have. And remember, these are the people who are tasked with feeding an ever increasing population. They are just trying to do that while using our natural resources as efficiently and responsibly as possible.

    • Thanks for your comment Marci, but are you a rancher? Have you ever smelled the animals miles and miles away outside of a feedlot? That smells is actually unnatural. Even though most animal’s waste doesn’t smell spectacular, there is a very distinct smell that comes from sick animals. And, really, IF those animals get sick? They are eating foods that are unnatural to them. They do get sick and they have digestive issues.

      I did formally live in Nebraska and had the opportunity to see many many feed lots. That is not the conditions that I want my meat to come from. I also talk to many local farmers in town and purchase my meat from them so I do see how the farming practices are very very different.

      And, its no secret that pediatricians are seeing kids develop earlier and earlier. There are TONS of hormones in our food. I don’t disagree with you that farmers have reasons that they do what they do, however knowing many farmers myself I know that many times they just follow the crowd like everyone else. Subsidies from the government also help these unhealthy practices. I would recommend reading The Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan. You can snag a copy here: http://amzn.to/1VNkuI6

  36. Thanks for the info…..I have most of this food in my kitchen, I’m definitely going to start making changes in my diet.i drink coffee sometimes 2x a day and drink a soda for energy,I suffer from post.
    Partum,depression I’m on medication, but I just wish it would go away….I’m get anxiety while I’m working and hot flashes often as well as diarrhea, maby changing my eating habits will help….

  37. Great post Becky! I think part of the issue is that we as a society have been programmed to believe that meds fix it all, and that it scares people when info is thrown at them that indicates differently. I understand that some may need meds, but it’s also important to understand the role food plays as well. I speak from experience. I was diagnosed with Type 2 and have anxiety I took meds, but I also ate exactly as you indicated above and exercised regularly. I got off my anxiety meds and my diabetes meds. The best I ever felt in my life…EVER! Unfortunately, menopause kicked in and the diabetes and anxiety came back, as well as a few bad eating choices. I control menopause with Paxil, because I refuse to put synthetic hormones in my body. I’m attempting to go back to the way I ate before. The point is, taking care of yourself is a lot of work, and can be discouraging. It’s definitely a life change that requires constant monitoring, and is not a quick fix like meds. Sorry I rambled, but I feel you made a very valid case on healthy life style changes.

  38. Yikes! Looks like you got a lot of flack for this one. I agree that changing your diet can do wonders for easing anxiety and depression. It’s not a cure, of course, but it does help. I write about stuff like this all the time, so I understand. There are a lot of scientific studies that link dietary changes to improved mental health. Honestly, I think it’s just common sense. (And this is coming from someone who has suffered from anxiety her whole life!) Keep on keepin’ on!
    Jaime A. Heidel recently posted…10 Powerful Home Remedies for Yeast InfectionMy Profile

    • Well said! There is not cure for this form of chronic illness. Diet, vitamins, supplements, weekly exercise are fantastic coping tools, skills, management ways above and beyond a pill. I’m not saying medication should be avoided or not taken…

  39. Hi Becky,
    Can you recommend a good book for rehabbing from sugar? I know I need to eliminate sugar and processed food from my diet but it’s so hard to give up, I really feel that I am addicted. I go through withdrawal when I don’t have my daily dose of chocolate!!!! HELP!

    • Hi Marcel, If you’d like a book the 21 Day Sugar Detox book may help you: http://amzn.to/1NZlV4L (referral) I have found that it can be helpful to take all white sugars out of the diet (always) and eat only low sugar fruits. The best low sugar fruits such as berries and green apples if you chose fruit. Adding coconut oil with just a dab of honey can help curb sugar cravings and as well as adding stevia to the diet so that your brain gets that sweet taste, but the sugar isn’t spiking your blood sugar levels.

      I will have to write a post on this soon!

  40. As a psychologist, I can say that food indeed have impact on our minds as well as on our bodies.

    Medication should be the last resort, after therapy, after a change of lifestyle and after developing healthy habits. All these should be taken in to consideration before taking meds.

    But, even tho I know I said food does have an impact, it is not that big of an impact.
    People with anxiety should primarily change their overall lifestyle and perhaps start doing therapy where they can discuss and find out what causes their stress and anxiety. It can help a lot!

    http://www.mentalandbodycare.com – Keep your mind and body healthy!
    Alex recently posted…Exercise routines for the officeMy Profile

  41. Thank you for this great article! It worries me that food is so often neglected when treating anxiety. I completely agree with you about a healthy diet! I’ve kept my anxiety and panic attacks under control with clean eating and ketogenic diet. Sugar and wheat really wreak havoc in our brains and make just symptoms worse.

  42. I have struggled with depression, anxiety and obsessive thoughts for over 20 years. It has only been within the last 8 months or so that I have realized that my intake of sugar, caffeine, chocolate and wheat affects my mental state. I have also stopped taking birth control pills. I still take antidepressants and sleeping pills, among others, to counteract the side effects of the antidepressants. My friends and family have noticed a marked improvement in my mood and I can recognized the difference between when I feel sad and when I feel depressed. It would make sense that diet affects depression and anxiety, as well as other mental and physical illnesses and it also makes sense that diet is only one piece of the complicated puzzle. Yoga, meditation, counselling, group therapy and mindfulness have also helped me in my journey thus far. I’ve just started reading “Healing Depression the Mind-Body Way” and I know it is going to be a great tool to add to my kit. The important thing is to try many things (but not all at once!) and keep trying new things. Not everything will work the same for everyone. Gradually modifying your diet and getting any amount of exercise are a great way to start for anyone, mental or physical illness or not. One day at a time, one thing at a time, one step at a time.
    Rianna recently posted…Everything ChangesMy Profile

  43. I love this. And I do think one of the most important pieces of information here is about the state of being which are the animals at the time of their slaughter, if they are not pasture raised and grass fed.
    Animals are treated brutally and experience major stress levels during their days of confinement. They are pumped full of crap to make them fat, all the while their bodies are so stressed, releasing massive amounts of hormones. Not to mention all the gmos and antibiotics they ingest….where do you think it all goes from there They do not evaporate into thin air. No. They are ingested by humans when a person “assumes” they are eating a healthy piece of meat.
    If you “think” you are eating good, think again until you are cutting out that as well. Eat certified organic, pasture raised, grass fed, free range, etc. or grow your own so you really know.
    This is the real world we live in. Not many foods can be trusted from big chain stores. Go local, or farm your own.
    There is a difference, a big difference.

  44. Check out the documentary “death on a factory farm” (hbo)

  45. Unless one juices every meal, every day. This is not the average person living with a mood disorders reality. This article sounds great on the web/paper. It’s not very practical – curiously and seriously – how can any American (on a budget!) remove all five of these ingredients? Especially since they are common preservatives in all foods, approved by the fanatically FDA (sarcasm) We can’t…

    • Becky Webb says:

      Sorry Brian, but I don’t agree with you at all. I fed a family of 5 this way on an EXTREMELY small budget for a very long time.

  46. Where do you get your information? You are so wrong when it comes to beef production it isn’t even funny. American beef is the safest in the world, whether it is “natural,” pasture raised, grain finished, or from a feedlot. We have withdrawn periods to insure there is no antibiotic residue, and grain is not toxic to cattle.

    • Becky Webb says:

      I’m not sure where you get that information, but I lived in Nebraska. I’ve been to the feedlots. Grains can be difficult for HUMANS to digest and it is ALMOST IMPOSSIBLE for cattle to digest. I’ve smelled the feedlots. Yuck! Grassfed cows DO NOT smell like that, it is certainly only sick cows that smell that horrible! There is quite A LOT documentation on raising meat and the difference on meat quality. I HIGHLY recommend you check out “In Defense of Food” by Michael Pollan you can get it here: http://amzn.to/1l4rAKF You can also check out this Science Daily article that articulates what happens in the belly of cattle nicely. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/05/010511074623.htm I also recommend you read some of Joe Salatin’s books such as this one: http://amzn.to/1Pqj8xB

      • I raise cattle, and am pretty sure I know more about cattle raising, feeding, nutrition, and health than someone who has driven past a feedlot. You are way off base with your assumptions about how safe beef is as a food stuff. I suggest you actually talk to someone involved in the beef industry or atleast read some credible science based literature on the subject.

        • Becky Webb says:

          Great Jennifer. I understand there are disagreements in the industry just like most other industries out there. I actually know several cattle farmers very very well and desire to eat grass fed meat for not only the nutritional value, but for the value it places on the lives of the animals.

  47. Great post Becky, having an Anxiety attack and panic attack is so hard …
    Been so stressful this fast few weeks also that’s why my anxiety triggers again.. , I got panic attack since we station in Japan and I believe this is because of the trauma that I get during the Tsunami .
    I tought I’m good and not gonna have anxiety anymore but last night oh my god l, don’t know what to do, but I don’t wanna take my meds that the doc gave it to me..
    I believe this is all the food that I ate everyday … I love eating sweets and junk foods but now, I want to change my healthy lifestyle and my healthy diet ..I did eating healthy before and it works . Also, the Lavender oil helps a lot and the chamomile tea ..
    How about the making Juice everyday like Fruits and Veges and make it juice do u think I will help too?

    • Becky Webb says:

      Hi Leslie, I’m not a huge advocate of juice on a regular basis, I feel as though our body does need the fiber and our make up of chewing and digesting is there for a reason. However, I do think that short term cold pressed, raw juice cleanses can be beneficial to aid in detoxing the body. I would advocate completely avoiding juicing, but I do think it should be used in moderation. If you have any problems with maintaining healthy blood sugar levels, which also seems to cause anxiety, spikes in blood sugar with certain juices can be problem. It sounds like a LOT but always work slow and work up. Dr. Whals recommends 9 cups of veggies a day. I think that this can be a very good guideline and goal to work towards. Even increasing what you eat now by a cup or two daily can be very helpful for the diet. It is amazing what vegetables can do for health and most of us don’t enough enough of them!

  48. Good list, although I would add chocolate, even if it is just hot cocoa made with dairy free milk. It is huge for me, if I have even the tiniest amount, it sets me off. Might be just me though, I haven’t met anyone else who has said the same thing. And just a quick note, I have massively life changing anxiety, tried meds, they didn’t help, diet is the only thing that does make a difference. It isn’t irresponsible to draw attention to the importance of this intervention, despite what anyone says to you. Thanks for getting this information out there.

  49. Scare mongering about soy makes me question the validity of other information on this site.

  50. Lisa Taylor says:

    Yuck to your advocacy of eating animal protein, grass-fed or not. Either way it’s immoral and unethical and unnecessary. 99% of “food” animals are raised on factory farms and treated as nothing more than products.

    Yet they feel and suffer as much as a pet cat or dog. That alone is enough reason not to eat them but they also contain saturated fats and cholesterol. And animal farming is one of the biggest causes of climate change. Grass-fed animals emit more methane than those factory farmed.

    I suffered from Generalized Anxiety Disorder most of my adult life. It wasn’t until I adopted a vegan lifestyle that fear disappeared. The more plant foods you eat, the better your mood. I’ve experienced it firsthand.

    I do agree with you about sugar wholeheartedly and gluten, only because I have RA and, like many sufferers, I’m gluten-sensitive.

    • Becky Webb says:

      Yes, many animals are raised on factory farms, but I don’t purchase my meat from places that supply them. I purchase meat from farmers who take great value in raising their animals. Vegan diets can be helpful for many people short term, but I have met very few people that benefit from them long term. I did read one article that said your gut can only assimilate to eating vegan if you were fed it from birth. I don’t know how true that article is, but I do know that there can be great value on animal protein in the diet.

  51. Great post! It looks like this is still a hot topic two years later! I’m saddened to read so many nay saying comments. Perhaps, like a previous commenter stated, the defensiveness comes from the idea that making such a drastic change to ones diet seems too difficult. Or maybe they are disillusioned by the fact that the answer (or part of it) was simply right under their nose the whole time. It is interesting that so many accuse you of not having enough expertise to make these claims but what expertise do they have that you don’t? We are all trying to figure out what is best for ourselves and I appreciate that you have passed your wisdom along to others, like me!

    I myself do not feel any digestive unease when eating gluten, but after feeling insanely tired and fatigued for years I decided to cut it out of my diet. It wasn’t a noticeable change overnight but after a few months I started to feel a difference. Then, after cutting coffee out as well, I felt even better! I know I need to cut out sugar, but that one is so hard! I think I’m ready though and your post has given me a nudge.

    • Becky Webb says:

      Hi Sarah! I’m so excited to hear you are feeling better! Thanks so much for the encouraging note! I’m excited that you are on the upswing with you health.

  52. This is an interesting article. I keep reading that there are reasons I should consider ditching wheat and/or gluten. I have migraines and depression/anxiety. Can you tell me how long it is recommended that I try this to determine if it will impact my health in a positive way?

    • Becky Webb says:

      Hi Michelle,

      It will impact your health, how much I don’t know. It may depend on other things you have going on foundationally. Gluten/wheat does seem to stick around in the body for a very long time. Longer for those who have impaired function. You may want to find some good quality enzymes and probiotics while you do your wheat free trial run. I would recommend at least a month or two.

  53. I do not believe this is farfetched, but not everyone’s problems have the same cause. I have struggled with severe depression and panic disorder most of adult life. I have tried all means of controlling them, but medication is the only thing that works. Diet changes mentioned in this article didn’t help, only made me feel more like this was my fault. Exercise does help, but it’s not a Magic bullet either. I then have had friends who read articles like this one tell me I’m not trying hard enough or you will feel better once I change diet, meds, or whatever the article is suggesting. I am a RN and understand where the research has shown in many cases diet helps, but not everyone fits into the same box. I do wish there was a disclaimer to these articles. Maybe more people would understand the daily fights people with these disorders have.


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