Feeling Depressed After Eating: Relation Between Food and Depression

Food is a big influencer in our life. It can make you sad. It can make you happy. Also, it can make you depressed at any time. A portion of great healthy food can remove all of your stress. On the other hand, an irritating meal can cause severe anxiety. It is quite possible that you are feeling depressed after eating. 

Food can make you depressed when you are not enjoying the meal. Or it can make you depressed when you are concerned about your weight, but you can’t control your dietary fat intake. Or there can be any other reason. Actually, there are lots of causes that can lead you to depression after eating. Therefore, you are searching for the causes and solutions. Do not worry; we are here to help. In this article, we will discuss the relation of food with depression and anxiety.

Feeling Depressed After Eating

Feeling Depressed After Eating

As mentioned above, there can be a lot of reasons that can lead to depression after you have taken your meal. The possible cause is your concern about your weight. When your weight is constantly increasing, and you want to control that, you will possibly want to control your diet.  

But for most people, it is very difficult to avoid their favorite food. Therefore, when you can’t control your eating even after you want it strongly, it can make you sad. Then you may feel a little low on yourself. Slowly, these negative thoughts can grow anxiety and depression.  

Another possible relation between growing severe depression and eating disorders is the quality of food. When you are enjoying your meal, it will change the whole scenario. Healthy and fresh meals lessen a person’s stress and make life more beautiful. Food is something you can’t live without. Therefore, it is very necessary to ensure good quality food that you enjoy. Not only food, when you don’t enjoy any other activities of your life, that can lead you towards depression.

Depression is a very sensitive mental health issue that can grow for any reason. It is something you don’t notice depressive symptoms like all other illnesses. This is an inner feeling, and the symptoms start to show their existence when it’s too late. 

However, we experience that when a person is depressed, eating disorders show up. There are many who want to come out of depression through eating. Constant eating can cause depression and enjoyable good quality food which can rescue depressed people from their mental illness. 

Food and depression: How are they related?

Simply put, here is what happens: Nutrition affects the metabolism of our brain. They measure the messengers, which we call serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine. These neurotransmitters are responsible for controlling our corporal welfare, happy feelings, stress feelings, or emotions. Serotonin marks pain acuity, sleep, and certain moods. Dopamine provides us with a good emotional experience. This is why serotonin is measured as a pleasure hormone. We need norepinephrine in mental illness issues or stress. It makes us attentive, observant, inspired and prepared to act.

When essential nutrients are deficient due to poor or insufficient nutrition, fewer pleasure hormones are formed. The critical steadiness of neurotransmitters is irritating, and this has negative thoughts or a detrimental effect on our mood.

Why Do I Feel Sick After Eating? – Causes of Food Depression

Causes of Food Depression

Inflammatory food increases the peril of unhappiness. Our emotions and depressive symptoms usually go up when we have sweet foods. Actually, everyone recognizes that the sweet feeling of the taste of chocolate, or cream cakes or ice cream removes our bad feelings. But beware! high-fat diets can cause provocative developments in the body that raise the peril of mental illness.

When soreness occurs, a rich number of cytokines increases in the brain. Cytokines are the messengers which are there to stimulate immune cells. When the immune cells fight inflammation, the cytokines break down again. That is not for enduring provocative diseases. If so, the cytokines are eternally raised up. And that is not so good for our mental health. The scientists suspect that cytokines disrupt the critical balance of dopamine and norepinephrine and reduce the construction of pleasure hormones. This inequity leads to an increase in symptoms of depression.

We have already mentioned that many factors can cause stress in your diet. Now, let’s look at some of the possible causes.


When you feel anxiety after eating sugar, that is quite possibly for reactive hypoglycemia. It is a condition in which a person’s blood sugar rate drops after eating something high in sugar. Then it increases the production of blood sugar. 

As a result, it makes a person confused, depressed, and anxious. The typical symptom of feeling irritable after eating due to hypoglycemia is constant sweating, shakiness, or increasing heartbeat. Having alcohol, coffee, or these kinds of drinks on an empty stomach can also cause this problem. 

To avoid this issue, you have to increase certain foods in your diet, like eggs, fish, or other kinds of lean proteins, some healthy fats, and fiber foods. If the hypoglycemia doesn’t improve after changing diet, you should consult a professional. 

Other Food Triggers

Some certain foods have the ability to make your feelings uncomfortable after eating. Including caffeine, cheese, and cured meats, other processed foods have the ability in and of selves. These types of foods have histamine, which works as a neurotransmitter. Refined carbs, sugar, and flour (White) can cause increased production of adrenaline that leads to panic attacks after eating. 

To counteract these foods, you can reduce having sweet juices or soda. Instead, you drink more water or herbal tea. Always pick the vegetable item for your diet. Have fruits regularly. Last but not the least, add some foods to your diet that have fatty acids with omega-3 bonds and probiotics. 

Allergy Factor

Food allergies or other food sensitivity issues can work as a trigger factor for feeling nervous after eating. Constant eating of these types of foods can cause anxiety symptoms after eating. More specifically, it can cause a panic attack or anxiety after eating. You may feel difficulty breathing, swelling throat, or nausea, vomit, and pain in the stomach. You have to find out your own food sensitivity, and then you have to avoid those foods. 

Eating Habits

The human body is something most relatable to habits. A certain food habit makes your body used to that certain dietary pattern. When you change your eating habits, your body takes time to get used to that pattern. Sometimes the body refuses to cope with that habit. 

Therefore, this change in food habits makes a person depressed after eating. So, if you want to change your food habit, change it slowly. Give your body system to get used to it. 

Previous Experience

When a person experiences a food that is bad in taste, or experiences food poisoning he or she will be uncomfortable having that particular food in the future. Sometimes, it will create anxiety symptoms, therefore, depression after having that particular food again. It is the same for food in a particular place. So, you have to make your mind strong that the food will not be the same, it will be good. Otherwise, you have to avoid that particular food or place.  

Eating Too Much

This is something we experience after getting into depression. Many depressed people start to eat more and more. They find it a way to deal with depression. However, eating too much prior to depression can become the reason for depression. Eating more than usual becomes an eating disorder and increases your weight. Therefore, depression from eating too much creates further deep depression when you can’t control your eating disorder and weight.  

How conscious nutrition can alleviate depression

 nutrition can alleviate depression

Well-being, food, and weight are closely related. Anyone who falls into depression can no longer cope with everyday life as before, and eating and drinking often get out of sync. With the illness of the soul, appetite changes. Some affected people hardly like to eat anything and lose weight. Others try to comfort themselves with food and often with sweets, which can lead to a sugar-driven craving spiral.

Common to almost all depressed people are that they often lack the drive and strength to take their meals regularly and eat a balanced diet. As a result, the body lacks important nutrients.

Weight changes due to antidepressants

In addition, many drugs for depression promote weight changes. That is indirectly through their depressant effect or directly through drugs that interfere with appetite regulation or sugar metabolism. Weight loss can lead to dangerous underweight, especially in older people. In turn, those who gain weight unintentionally as a result of medication and are helpless in the face of this side effect are further burdened in their depression.

Therefore, patients who start drug therapy should monitor their body weight in the first few weeks and inform their doctor of any undesirable changes. The doctor can then provide medical advice in good time – if necessary, with other medication. It should be noted that antidepressants cannot be discontinued or switched from one day to the next. In any case, weight changes must be taken seriously because they are a cosmetic problem and can lead to high blood pressure or metabolic syndrome.

Nutritional therapy as a supporting pillar

Nutritional therapy

Since underlying inflammation often plays a role in developing and persistent depression, an anti-inflammatory, low-sugar diet has a supportive effect against the condition. According to recent studies, it should be considered an important pillar in depression therapy.

Another important step is to reduce any excess weight because abdominal fat produces pro-inflammatory hormones. Beyond a low-sugar diet, mindfulness training helps with weight loss.

This change to a healthier diet is always a complementary treatment approach. The nutritional approach to depression is particularly promising when increased body weight and inflammation are present.

Key tips

  • Adhere to meal structure: Be sure to eat three regular main meals. Don’t skip a meal, but don’t snack in between either. Good aids for more structure are weekly plans and shopping lists. Perhaps consider who can support you in eating fresh and healthy on a regular basis.
  • Practice mindfulness: Eat mindfully, with pleasure, without feeling anxious. Be good to yourself. Give your body what it needs. Stay away from substance abuse.
  • Emergency rations: Prepare for a” dark day” by keeping healthy snacks on hand, such as nuts, dried fruit, vegetable chips, or dark chocolate, and possibly a well-satiating medical protein shake.
  • Drink enough: Drink before the feeling of thirst sets in – a total of two litters a day or more. Water and unsweetened teas are recommended, not sugary drinks. 

Healthy mood boosters: Food against depression

Food and psyche are more closely related than you think. A healthy diet and clinical nutrition with plenty of vegetables, fruits, nuts, whole grains and legumes can reduce your risk of depression. If depression is already present, changes in eating habits may support treatment. Eating healthy food alone is not a panacea for depression, but there are foods that positively affect our psyche.

Diabetes, arthrosis, or heart disease – many physical ailments are positively or negatively affected by diet. Whether this applies to psychiatric patients is not yet clear, but it is increasingly being studied scientifically. Preliminary results of various studies show that good nutrition can positively affect stress and reduce the risk of developing it early.

What foods help to fight depression?

foods that help to fight depression

A healthy diet that fights inflammation, lots of essential nutrients, and good fats can help your body regain balance. You will surely be on the right track with plant-based, balanced, mixed foods, including fresh vegetables, fruits, and healthy fats. Reduce foods that cause your blood sugar to rise dramatically. This includes products of white flour, sugar, and sweets. Also, be aware of trans fats.

Instead, eat high-fiber cereals and opt for plant-based protein sources such as nuts, seeds, legumes, and mushrooms. Many types of vegetables, fruits, and herbs contain phytochemicals that fight inflammation. Omega-3 fatty acids also help the body fight inflammation. They are found mainly in oily marine fish (salmon, herring, mackerel) as well as linseed oil and walnut oil.  

Foods That Increase Happiness Hormone Production

Some foods have a constructive consequence on our spirit. They increase the creation of some messenger substances like serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine.

Factors that increase serotonin levels are Potatoes, Figs, Sesame, Nuts, Walnuts, Spinach, Fennel, Black Chocolate, Pumpkin seeds. Also, some spices like Saffron, ginger, turmeric, lavender, cinnamon, and rose petals. 

Factors that increase dopamine are Carrots, Nuts, Bell Peppers, Avocados, Bananas.

Supportive factors to construct norepinephrine: Organic vegetables, Pineapples, Oats, Almonds, Bananas, and Apples. 

Final Thoughts

Now that you know the reasons behind your feeling depressed after eating and their solution, we must warn you something. A healthy and fresh diet has a positive effect while dealing with depression. 

But it is never a replacement for professional mental health support. Professional treatment is mandatory for severe depression. Also, this article is for giving you a general idea about the mental health issue due to food habits. But if you have developed depression in yourself severely, it is always recommended to take support from mental health professionals. Only professionals can provide medical advice correctly.

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