List Of Foods That Lower Cortisol
Magnesium-Rich Foods: Magnesium is helpful in regulating the production of cortisol. Some good food sources that are rich in magnesium are spinach, beans, yogurt, almonds, dark chocolate and bananas.
Zinc-Rich Foods: Weve known since at least 1990 that zinc has a natural effect of counteracting the effects of cortisol in the body. Foods that are rich in zinc are lamb, grass-fed beef, chickpeas, yogurt, spinach, mushrooms, and chicken. These foods will make up the majority of your protein dishes. Specifically for you meat eaters stick to lamb, grass-fed beef, and chicken when eating your meals and you will be making a small contribution to balancing out your cortisol levels.
Microgreens: Microgreens are younger iterations of vegetables that contain a much stronger concentration of all the things that make vegetables good as a food group. Since they are highly concentrated, they actually contain as much as 5 times the vitamin content as their more mature counterparts.
Omega 3 Fatty Acids: A 2005 study showed that the presence of omega 3 fatty acids actively helped protect against changes in the hippocampus in response to excess cortisol and cortiscosteroids. The nice thing about this food group is that it can be eaten easily as a snack throughout the course of the day, whereas many of the others are probably more for meals than anything else. Snack on chia seeds, sunflower seeds, walnuts, and cauliflower, if youre looking to balance your cortisol levels.
How To Reduce Cortisol The Stress Hormone
Chronic stress can lead to an elevated cortisol level, resulting in mental, emotional, and physical health issues. Learn how to reduce cortisol naturally.
If its been awhile since youve felt truly relaxed and happy, you may be suffering from a common modern malady an excess of cortisol.
Cortisol is a major stress hormone that contributes to mental health disorders and a wide range of physical illnesses.
In this article, we review the many proven ways to decrease cortisol naturally.
Rachel Macpherson Ba Cpt
Cortisol is a hormone made in the adrenal cortex that is responsible for helping the body utilize protein, glucose and fats. Although cortisol performs necessary functions in the body, there is often a concern when there are high cortisol level symptoms.
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In today’s fast-paced society, elevated cortisol is a problem for many due to its role in the human stress response. Many people are looking for ways to balance the negative effects of excess cortisol through diet and supplements to reduce cortisol.
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Cortisol Studies In Rats
A 1990 study looked at two groups of rats. The first group took a placebo, while the other consumed 200 mg of vitamin C daily. This amount surpasses the daily recommended amount for rats by more than three times.
Both groups were exposed daily to one hour of stress for three weeks. At the end of this time, the researchers found that the vitamin C group had significantly less plasma cortisol levels and stress response compared to the placebo group. The rats that consumed vitamin C were better able to manage stress.
Tend To Your Spirituality
If you consider yourself spiritual, developing your faith can also help improve cortisol levels.
Studies show that adults who expressed spiritual faith experienced lower cortisol levels in the face of life stressors such as illness (
If you do not consider yourself spiritual, these benefits may also be available through meditation, developing a social support group, and performing acts of kindness .
For those with spiritual inclinations, developing faith and participating in prayer can help manage cortisol. Whether youre spiritual or not, performing acts of kindness can also improve your cortisol levels.
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Simple Steps That Lower Cortisol Levels & Increase Weight Loss
What is cortisol? Cortisol is the primary stress hormone secreted by the 2 cap-sized glands that are located on top of your kidneys in response to stress. It has been described as a low-grade adrenaline.
This hormone to assists in fight-or-flight situations. Its job is to quickly convert stored energy sources in the body into usable energy. Today, as a society, we are stressing over bills, going to work, relationships, poor food choices, dehydration, overtraining with exercise, lack of adequate sleep, among others. Every time the body becomes stressed, cortisol is released.
This chronic elevation in cortisol is extremely detrimental to a persons health. It has been linked to, but not limited to, weight gain, adrenal fatigue, hormonal imbalances, heart disease, excessive blood sugar levels, and elevated cholesterol.
Other unwanted side effects of elevated cortisol levels include excess body fat, particularly around the midsection, and depressed sex hormone levels, which kills the love- drive. It also breaks down muscle tissue, which can really hinder results from exercise and even reverse them if the exercise is not strenuous enough.
What Kind Of Vitamin C
As I shared in my post on making creamsicle gummy snacks, many vitamin C supplements that claim to be derived from sago palm or something else may sound like theyre natural, but often they contain at least some synthetic C.
For a truly food-based source, I rely on dried fruit powders, preferably those that have been dried at low temperatures to preserve vitamin content. One of my favorites, acerola powder, has substantial levels of vitamin C and bioflavinoids plus naturally occurring pantothenic acid and magnesium, which aid in absorption. However, because I feel its important to rotate supplements every once in awhile, I also use baobab fruit powder and a few others. You can find the brands I buy on my shopping page.
Now, as I said at the beginning of this this is pretty much an UNrecipe, but heres how I pull all these recommendations together in my daily life.
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Cortisol Levels & Weight Gain
If you want to try lowering cortisol naturally, eating a variety of healthy foods may help you lose weight. Because a high cortisol level has been shown to negatively affect metabolism rates and generate abdominal fat, by eating healthier and lowering your cortisol level, you can lose weight more quickly.
How To Decrease Cortisol With Supplements
Changing your diet is a long-term strategy for reducing cortisol, but you might want to jump-start your efforts with supplements to get results faster.
Fortunately, theres an entire group of supplements that specifically work to minimize the negative effects of stress.
These unique substances, known as adaptogens, are herbal remedies that increase your resilience to mental, physical, and environmental stress.
They work by reducing the stress hormone cortisol while strengthening function of the adrenal glands.
Adaptogens neither stimulate nor sedate, but instead act like a thermostat, bringing your body into a balanced state known as homeostasis.
Here are the main adaptogens that have been found to effectively reduce cortisol:
Not sure which supplements to start with?
Its always wise to make sure youve got your essential nutrient needs met first.
Confirm that you have adequate intake of vitamin C, magnesium, zinc, and omega-3 fatty acids.
Next, Id suggest starting with ashwagandha.
This traditional Ayurvedic remedy excels in stress reduction and decreases cortisol significantly more than many other supplements.
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What Type Of Vitamin C Is Best
There are many kinds of Vitamin C available in the market depending on the level of acidity. Ascorbic acid is the purest form of Vitamin C found naturally in foods, both synthetic and dietary. Some people can find it difficult to absorb Vitamin C in ascorbic form and may prefer gentler forms to better suit their needs.
In such cases, Vitamin C with bioflavonoids is comparatively gentler. Bioflavonoids are polyphenolic compounds found in plants. They are essential for ascorbic acid to get fully utilized and metabolized by the body. Simply put, bioflavonoids help in better absorption of Vitamin C into the bloodstream.
Apart from that, flavonoids help to reduce oxidative stress as well. When included in the diet they have been shown to have significant antioxidant properties as well as anti-inflammatory properties.
Therefore, a composite form of ascorbic acid along with bioflavonoids is better as bioflavonoids double the effectiveness of ascorbic acid in the body and are also easier on the stomach.
Interesting Facts About Vitamin C And Adrenal Function
- The highest concentration of vitamin C in the body is stored in the adrenal glands.
- Vitamin C is utilized by the adrenal glands in the production of all of the adrenal hormones, most notably cortisol. When you are faced with a stressful situation, your vitamin C is rapidly used up in the production of cortisol and related stress-response hormones.
- In adrenal fatigue, your adrenal glands “panic” when they don’t have enough vitamin C available, and, in what seems like an odd paradox, they release MORE cortisol. This not only increases your immediate anxiety, but as this state of high cortisol is prolonged, it wreaks havoc on your blood sugar, blood pressure, and contributes to the dreaded accumulation of belly fat.
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E: Exercise + Emotions
Exercise is great for your heart, bone health, weight management and metabolism, but it is also a key part of managing your stress. Exercise acts as a natural stress reliever by decreasing cortisol levels and boosting endorphins which help decrease pain, act as a natural mood booster, and help you sleep. As endorphins increase, your stress levels decrease. So while you may be feeling tired from your adrenal fatigue, exercise can actually help boost your energy during the day and give you a more restful nights sleep at night.
Tip: Dont overdo it. If you are feeling even more fatigued after exercise, you are over doing it which is actually stressing out your adrenal glands more than it is helping. Decrease your exercise to an amount where you notice a boost in your energy afterwards and then slowly increase your exercise from there as tolerated.
here for more information about finding the right exercise for you.
Note: I frequently use NET for patients to help identify and work through both past and present emotions that may be contributing to current stress as well as the stress response. Identifying the underlying and usually deep-rooted emotions is vital to being able to work through them.
How To Reduce Cortisol Naturally
Dr. Lin stresses that a big-picture approach is key to maintaining healthy cortisol levels and feeling less stressed. These go-to strategies are good for the body and the mind.
Exercise benefits health from head to toe. So its no surprise that it helps with stress relief, too, possibly by reducing cortisol levels. Studies show, for instance, that exercise can bring down cortisol levels in the elderly and in people with major depressive disorder.
Almost nothing beats a good nights sleep. When youre not sleeping well, you tend to be more anxious, irritable and stressed, Dr. Lin says. Like exercise, sleep is important for health in all sorts of ways including managing stress and keeping cortisol in check.
Sleep deprivation may increase cortisol levels. The increased cortisol can impair memory, contribute to weight gain and even accelerate the aging process. In other words: Dont skimp on shut-eye.
Spending time in the great outdoors is a great way to lower cortisol and calm your brain. The practice of forest bathing essentially, hanging out in the woods and breathing the forest air can reduce cortisol levels and lower stress.
When it comes to de-stressing, cortisol is just one piece of the puzzle, Dr. Lin adds. No one food or pill can deliver you to blissful calm. But healthy choices can set your body up for low-stress success.
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What Is Cortisol And What Does It Do
If youre wondering, what the heck is cortisol? youre probably not alone most people have never heard of this hormone that can have a tremendous impact on health, especially heart health. Basically, youve got to keep cortisol under control to stay healthy. In other words, while Nature designed cortisol to be your friend, it can easily become your enemy.
Cortisol is one of several stress hormones your body churns out when you experience stress. Your sympathetic nervous system gets triggered, and those stress hormones prepare you for fast, and sometimes dramatic, action.
Cortisols job, specifically, is to ensure that your body has enough energy to cope with the danger it perceives. It helps narrow arteries and increase blood pressure it also raises blood sugar and blunts insulin sensitivity. You might be scratching your head right now and youre right, all of these effects are not good for your body. The thing with cortisol is, its a survival mechanism: you want it when you need it, and definitely not all the time.
More Stress Reduction Techniques And Activities That Lower Cortisol
Here are a few more stress reduction techniques and relaxing activities that have been shown to work, at least in part, by reducing cortisol.
A mind-body stress relief technique thats gaining in popularity is the Emotional Freedom Technique, usually referred to as tapping.
It works on the same principles as acupuncture, but no needles are involved.
Acupressure points are simply tapped with the fingertips.
This is a simple technique that anyone can learn to do on their own.
It takes only ten minutes to do a session of tapping.
Amazingly, just a single tapping session can slash cortisol levels and decrease the severity of stress symptoms by 50%.
Numerous studies support what most of us already know that getting a massage is profoundly relaxing.
A review of the current research on the benefits of massage found that a massage significantly reduces cortisol and increases the feel-good neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine by 28% and 31%, respectively.
I like to call lavender the Swiss army knife of essential oils because it does so many things.
Its relaxing properties are legendary and we now know that one of the ways it works is by reducing cortisol.
Interestingly, inhaling any scent good or bad affects cortisol levels.
Unpleasant smells increase cortisol while smells you find pleasant decrease it.
These synthetic fragrances are made of chemicals that can literally make you sick.
Spending Time in Nature
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Foods That Lower Cortisol
Posted by Dr. Ian Stern Admin on August 03, 2019
Weve all been stressed at one point or another. You know the feeling of being anxious before an important exam, interview, or presentation. Your heart heart beats loudly, thoughts racing, your breathing speeds up, and you feel your face getting flushed.
This happens because when you experience stress, your body releases a hormone called cortisol, which increases your heart rate, raises your blood pressure and blood glucose levels, rushes blood to the head and heart, and temporarily shuts down systems in the body that are unessential for dealing with stress, such as reproduction and digestion.
This can be helpful in the short run, when dealing with a particular stressor. However, if our cortisol levels remain elevated for prolonged periods of time , it can lead to a variety of health problems. Some of these include high blood pressure, high risk of heart attack or stroke, an increased risk of developing diabetes, low libido, depression, anxiety, and mood swings.
Its important to find natural ways to lower cortisol. Below are some scientifically proven methods.
Supplements And Foods That Reduce Cortisol
Because excessive and chronic stress can result from and create a vicious cycle of inflammation, imbalanced neurotransmitters, and poor nutritional status, it can also be reversed by food and supplements that support healthy levels of all of these.
Cortisol reduces inflammation in the body, so when chronic inflammation from poor diet and stress keep cortisol levels high, glucocorticoid receptor resistance occurs, resulting in your body’s failure to downregulate its inflammatory response.
Chronic inflammation and the resulting stress and high cortisol are at the root of most modern diseases. Therefore, a whole foods, anti-inflammatory, nutrient-dense diet is best for stress management. If you have known food sensitivities or suspect that you do, figuring this out and then avoiding those foods will play a huge part in reducing inflammation. Check out the Paleo Autoimmune Protocol to learn more about how to do this.
HPA axis dysfunction is also related to neurotransmitter imbalances, so eating foods that support this balance will help quell cortisol release. Neurotransmitters are primarily comprised of amino acids, B vitamins, and minerals. A deficiency of any of these three crucial compounds can leave you with inadequate neurotransmitter building blocks. The main vitamins associated with cortisol are B vitamins, mainly due to their use in the GABAergic system and GABAs control of cortisol, vitamin C, and vitamin D.
Foods That Reduce Cortisol
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Satisfy Your Core Nutritional Needs First
Having a nutritional deficiency is a physical stressor, so its imperative that you meet your daily requirements of vitamins, minerals, and particularly, essential fatty acids.
Stress is a notorious nutrient drain and virtually everyone under stress could benefit from a high-quality multivitamin-mineral supplement and an omega-3 supplement in the form of fish oil or krill oil.
Most multivitamin supplements are relatively low in magnesium, so consider taking additional magnesium separately.
Magnesium is extremely important for combating stress and its estimated that 75% of us have an inadequate intake.
Whether It’s Work Money Or Family That’s The Cause Most Of Us Have More Stress In Our Lives Than We’d Like It’s Pushing Our Bodies To The Breaking Point And We Don’t Know How To Manage Stress Let Alone Eliminate It Dr Oz Is Revealing How To Lower Your Stress In Less Than 5 Minutes
Commit to improving your overall mental and physical health by taking just 5 minutes a day to reduce the stress in your life. Here’s Dr. Oz’s 5-step plan that takes less than 5 minutes and costs next to nothing.
Step 1: Viva Vitamin C
Vitamin C allows the body to quickly clear out cortisol, a primary stress hormone that increases sugars in the bloodstream. Although helpful in a fight or flight scenario, regularly elevated levels of cortisol in your body suppress normal functioning of the digestive system, reproductive system and growth processes. Vitamin C helps to regulate cortisol and prevent blood pressure from spiking in response to stressful situations.
Grab an orange, a kiwi or try a supplement of 3,000mg for maximum benefit.
Step 2: Have a Cup of Black Tea
It seems that slowing down your day an enjoying a cup of tea would be a calming practice in itself. And when you order black tea, you’ll get the calming benefits of flavonoids, which help block fight or flight divisions in the nervous system. Black tea does contain caffeine though, so limit yourself to one cup.
Step 3: Snack on Pistachios
Pistachios are one of the lowest calorie, lowest fat, and highest fiber nuts. They are also full of nutrients that can help prevent heart disease, lower cholesterol and help stop cell damage. During times of stress, this nutritious nut helps lower your blood pressure and heart rate. One serving is roughly 50 kernels – so crack into a few!
Step 4: Massage Your Ears
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