Worried about the high cortisol level in your body? Eat right to ease your problem; know about foods that have an impact on cortisol levels.
Foods That Have An Impact On Cortisol Levels
Most of us are highly stressed about work, life and various other problems. Several studies and increasing awareness has made it clear that elevated stress hormone (cortisol) levels can increase your health risks. However, diet plays an important role in several lifestyle disorders, as it has a great impact on stress levels too. If you know the foods that have an impact on cortisol levels, you can plan a healthy stress relieving diet for yourself.
Cortisol is the main stress hormone of the body. It increases the amount of glucose, or sugar, in the bloodstream and increases the brain’s ability to process the glucose. Cortisol also helps in the repair of tissues, impacts the digestive, immune, and reproductive systems, and affects the growth processes. The level of this hormone usually peaks in the morning, and is at its lowest around midnight.
Foods do not contain cortisol, but what you eat can affect the cortisol levels in your body. Nutrition is a potent tool for balancing cortisol levels by improving the release of related metabolic and performance boosting hormones. As foods can have an impact on cortisol levels, certain nutrients and foods can help lower your cortisol levels. So, more of such foods should be included in your diet to control their cortisol level. Some foods on the other hand can cause an increase in stress and spike the cortisol levels too. Thus, these foods should be avoided, by all means to avoid increase in cortisol levels.
Let us know about foods that have an impact on cortisol levels and plan a diet accordingly.
Foods That Increase Cortisol Levels
Doctors believe that cortisol levels respond rapidly to the food one eats. The glycemic index of a food affects the body’s cortisol levels for about 5 hours after it is eaten. The glycemic index reflects the way a food will affect the blood sugar level of the body.
Foods with a high glycemic index elevate the cortisol levels. Products high in sugar, highly refined starches, other refines and processed foods are examples of such foods. These foods have an impact on cortisol levels and cause harmful results. Low fiber carbs, high fat foods, caffeine, fat-free flavored yogurt, trans-fat, alcohol, factory farm beef, fruit juice, vegetable and seed oil, chips, cookies, cereals, chocolate, allergy causing foods like shellfish, and green nuts, should be avoided as these can pump up the cortisol levels. Skipping meals can also raise cortisol levels.
Foods That Lower Cortisol Levels
Those who wish to reduce their cortisol level should have foods with a low glycemic index. The good choices of such foods include eggs, poultry, lean meats, fish and vegetables. If a person has a normal cortisol level in the morning, they can keep it on a track by eating foods with a low glycemic index in every five hours. To prevent an upward swing in cortisol, it is recommended to balance sugars and grains at meals with animal proteins. Vegetables tend to balance themselves in terms of the glycemic index, but they are not low enough on the index to offset consumption of grains.
Foods that have an impact on cortisol levels in a positive way and thus offering beneficial results must be included in your daily diet. If you wish to reduce your cortisol level have foods like cold water fishes like salmon, sardines, white fish and anchovies, walnut, flaxseed, eggs, swiss chard, dark chocolate, Greek yogurt, organic beef liver, pumpkin seeds, citrus fruit, cherries, berries, asparagus, tomato, turnip, sweet potato, red cabbage, cauliflower, peas, mango, kiwi, fortified cereals, papaya, white beans and spinach.
Thus, it is clear that foods have an impact on cortisol levels in different ways. Make sure you include those foods that lower cortisol levels and avoid those that increase cortisol. This can greatly affect your stress levels and help to reduce your risk of several lifestyle disorders to a great extent.