Cortisol levels can be managed if you eat these! Find out what they are…
Cortisol is a hormone produced by the adrenal glands, which are small glands located on top of each kidney. It’s often referred to as the “stress hormone” because its levels increase in response to stress. It has an important role to play in our body as it has many functions such as:
- Stress Response: In stressful situations, cortisol is released to help the body cope by increasing blood sugar (glucose) levels, providing an immediate energy source for the “fight or flight” response.
- Regulation of Metabolism: Cortisol helps regulate metabolism by influencing how the body uses carbohydrates, fats, and proteins.
- Immune Function: It has anti-inflammatory properties and helps regulate the immune system’s response to infections, injuries, or stressors.
- Blood Pressure Regulation: Cortisol helps maintain blood pressure and cardiovascular function.
- Emotional Regulation: It can influence mood, motivation, and fear responses by interacting with brain regions involved in these processes.
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Cortisol Release Is Influenced By
The release of cortisol in our bodies is impacted by many factors such as:
- Stress: Physical or emotional stressors can trigger a temporary increase in cortisol levels.
- Sleep: Poor sleep patterns or inadequate sleep can disrupt cortisol rhythms.
- Exercise: Intense or prolonged exercise can temporarily elevate cortisol levels.
- Diet and Nutrition: Certain foods and nutrients can impact cortisol levels.
- Medical Conditions: Conditions such as Cushing’s syndrome or Addison’s disease can cause abnormal cortisol levels.
What to eat to decrease cortisol and stress levels?
- Avocados- they are rich in potassium and healthy fats and can help regulate blood pressure, reducing the impact of stress on your body.
- Blueberries- Packed with antioxidants, these little powerhouses not only boost your immune system but also play a role in lowering cortisol levels.
- Dark chocolate- when eaten in moderation, they help us regulate our cortisol levels and satisfy our sweet tooth.
- Green tea- known for its L-theanine content, green tea has calming effects that can help reduce stress and lower cortisol levels.
- Leafy greens- they are rich in magnesium and also help in decreasing cortisol levels in our body.
Foods to Limit
- Caffeine: While some people find it stimulating, excessive caffeine intake can elevate cortisol levels. Moderate consumption is advisable.
- Highly Processed Foods: Foods high in refined sugars and unhealthy fats can lead to inflammation and exacerbate stress-related responses.
- Alcohol: Excessive alcohol consumption can disrupt sleep patterns and increase cortisol levels, impacting stress management.
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