Many women today are stressed out. It is normal for people to turn to food during times of intense stress. The right foods can help you manage your stress and reduce your cortisol levels. Did you know that some cortisol lowering foods can help give you stress relief throughout the day? Continue reading to learn more. Try these 8 stress relieving foods today to decrease cortisol.
Cortisol is known as the “stress hormone”. When our bodies are in stressful situations, our adrenal glands release this hormone as a way to protect the body. If a person is under long term stress, cortisol levels can raise to much higher than normal levels. You can help decrease cortisol in the body by not only reducing those external stressors, but through the power of food. Here are my favorite 8 foods to lower cortisol.
Chocolate is one of the foods that many people crave during times of stress. If you love chocolate, then you should choose dark chocolate over milk chocolate.
Dark chocolate has antioxidants that can help reduce the stress hormones, such as cortisol, in the body. In fact, there was a study done that showed that people who ate 1.5 ounces of dark chocolate per day were able to lower their stress. Dark chocolate is one of my favorite cortisol lowering foods. Try my recipe for matcha dark chocolate almonds, as the perfect stress reducing snack. Matcha tea, dark chocolate and almonds are 3 stress lowering foods in one easy to make snack.
Drinking a cup of warm tea can instantly help you alleviate your stress. Certain types of tea, such as lavender and chamomile, have been shown to have a relaxing effect on the body. Tea is also filled with nutrients that can help keep you healthy. My favorite brand of tea is by Pique. I love Pique’s Sun Goddess Matcha green tea, especially mid day, to give me a boost of energy.
Stress depletes the B vitamins in your body. B vitamins help you control your flight or fight response. Nuts are filled with potassium, which can help lower your blood pressure.
Salmon is a great source of omega 3 fatty acids, which are good for your brain. There was a study done that involved people who took an omega 3 fatty acid supplement for 12 weeks. The results of the study showed that the subjects were able to reduce their anxiety by up to 20 percent.
You can easily get the recommended amount of omega 3 fatty acids by having two servings of salmon per week. If you don’t like salmon, you can try other great sources of food that are high in omega-3 fatty acids. Those foods include tuna, sardines, flax seeds, walnuts, chia seeds, and even avocados. By adding in these foods, you can help decrease unhealthy cortisol levels.
Healthy carbs can help increase serotonin in the body. If your serotonin levels are higher, then it will be easier for you to handle stress. It will also boost your mood. Sweet potatoes, legumes and bananas are sources of healthy carbs.
Warm milk is a remedy that people have used to help aid with sleep for many years. In fact, warm milk can also help you alleviate stress throughout the day. Not only does warm milk have a relaxing effect on the body, but it is also high in vitamin D and calcium.
My favorite milk is a plant-based milk, preferably unsweetened almond milk. Almond milk is not only great to enhance those serotonin levels, but is also high in magnesium. Magnesium is an important nutrient that also helps improve the quality of your sleep.
Oatmeal can help your body produce more serotonin. It is also high in healthy carbs. The complex carbs in oatmeal are digested slowly, so they will not cause your blood sugar to spike.
Why is oatmeal a cortisol lowering food? Well, because it’s a healthy source of carbohydrate. Carbohydrates have been shown to increase our serotonin levels, the happy feel good hormone. An increase in serotonin levels not only boosts your mood, but helps you cope with stress better.
In addition, oatmeal is a fiber rich food, which helps to feed the gut microbiome. Remember, our gut manufactures 95% of the body’s serotonin supply. When serotonin levels are reduced, there is a subsequent increase in cortisol levels. So if the goal is to reduce cortisol, then the focus should be on increasing serotonin levels with the right foods.
Citrus fruits, such as grapefruits, oranges and strawberries, are high in vitamin C. There was a study done that showed that people who took 3,000 milligrams of vitamin C were able to lower and reduce their cortisol levels.
Even though you can get vitamin C from citrus fruits, you will likely have to take a supplement in order to reach 3,000 milligrams per day.
Let’s Discuss How to Fight Stress With Food
Were you surprised at how easy it is to help the body cope with stress by eating the proper nourishing foods? Share your experiences in the comments below. Which one of the 8 stress relieving foods will you try today? If you want to read more about healthy eating, join the latest nutrition challenge.
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