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30 Foods that Lower Cortisol

About Cortisol

Cortisol is identified as one steroid hormone, one among the glucocorticoids produced inside the adrenal glands. Nearly every cell does contain receptors for cortisol and this is the reason it can have numerous actions. Its actions are dependent on the type of cells it acts on. These impacts comprise of controlling the levels of blood sugar and in this way, it regulates metabolism, influences memory formation, controls water balance and salt, performs the job of an anti-inflammatory, helps in the growth of the fetus, and influence blood pressure. High cortisol levels can cause a number of problems like high blood pressure, osteoporosis, fast weight gain, particularly in the abdomen, chest, and face and it is in contrast with slender legs and arms, muscle weakness, increased thirst, mood swings, like depression, irritability or anxiety and skin changes to name a few. Hence, it is very important to lower the cortisol levels and bring it back to normal. The natural way to lower cortisol levels is by having certain foods which serve the purpose.

30 Foods that Lower Cortisol

For lessening the levels of cortisol, the following 30 foods are highly helpful:

Papaya: This fruit is a rich source of Vitamin C and helps in lowering cortisol levels.

Oranges: This fruit contains RDA (recommended dietary allowance) of 88% in one 100-gm serving. Oranges are also identified as a good source of potassium and fiber and it contains plentiful of cancer-fighting citrus limonoids.

Kiwi for Lowering Cortisol: This fruit is hugely helpful in fighting depression, anxiety, and fatigue and thus lowering cortisol.

Pineapple to Lower Cortisol: This yellow-colored fruit can add 79 mg of vitamin C as it comprises bromelain. Bromelain is considered a digestive enzyme which helps in breaking down food and it also lessens bloating.

Kale: Kale contains vitamin A of 133% and almost one-and-a-half times of the suggested quantity of vitamin C and thus helps in lowering cortisol levels.

Strawberry: You can add it to your salad, snack or take it in your oats for getting the required amount of vitamin C to de-stress.

Brussels Sprouts to Lower Cortisol: This cruciferous vegetable is an extraordinary foundation of heart-healthy omega-3s. When you have a disliking for sprouts, fish or other foods that are rich in nutrients, such as flaxseeds and walnuts then this veggie is a good choice.

Red Bell Pepper: This veggie has got an impressive vitamin C content which helps in reducing cortisol levels and it also aids in weight loss.

Broccoli: Besides being a fine vitamin C content, this veggie has potent cancer-killing compound, known as sulforaphane and helps in reducing cortisol levels.

Grapefruit for Lowering Cortisol: This fruit contains high vitamin C and one grapefruit per day will assist to keep one away from stress hormones.

Cantaloupe to Lower Cortisol: This fruit is hugely helpful in keeping your stress levels at bay thus, reducing your cortisol levels. The inclusion of this vitamin C-rich fruit makes a stimulating fruit salad.

Guava: This fruit is also one of the foods that are rich in vitamin C. Besides vitamin C, this fruit contains a developed concentration of a cancer-fighting antioxidant, known as lycopene.

Cauliflower: This veggie is one nutrient-dense food that endorses flat belly.

Passionfruit: Besides being a rich source of vitamin C, this fruit is also a powerful source of vitamin A plus satiating fiber.

Mango for Lowering Cortisol: This juicy fruit besides proving vitamin C also de-stresses you and hence lowers the cortisol. It also helps you to slim down.

Spinach: This is also called tender green mustard and it is one of the finest vitamin-c filled vegetables and it can be included in your Asian-inspired stir-fries.

Fortified Cereal: When a person finds difficulty in finding vegetables and fruits in his diet, he chooses fortified cereal and it can supply you with favourable nutrients, particularly vitamin C.

Banana Pepper: This pepper can be included in your sandwich for boosting the levels of vitamin C.

Tangerines to Lower Cortisol Levels: This citrusy, sweet fruit supplies almost 90% of your whole day’s intake of vitamin C thus reducing the cortisol levels.

Turnips: This veggie is another source of rich vitamin C and it also contains fiber in huge quantities that encourages satiety.

Tomatoes: Tomatoes are excessively beneficial for your health as they contain vitamin C besides higher levels of polyphenols.

Cherries: Cherries contain nearly 81% water/volume and one cup of cherries supplies one-fourth of your whole day’s vitamin C.

Green Peas to Lower Cortisol: One cup of green peas comprises of nearly 8 times the protein a cup of spinach provides and it is also a source of vitamin C.

Black Currants for Lowering Cortisol: This fruit is used in juices or jams and it provides nutrition in a big amount. Black currants contain vitamin C which is twice the antioxidants the blueberries provide. This helps in reducing the cortisol levels.

Sweet Potatoes: These fruits contain potent antioxidants which stabilize the levels of blood sugar and lessen the insulin resistance.

Red Cabbage: This veggie is also a good choice to get vitamin C.

Raspberries: This fruit is sweet, tasty and it is rich in antioxidants, vitamin C, and insoluble fiber which help in reducing cortisol levels.

Asparagus to Lower Cortisol: This vegetable contains high levels of vitamin C and folate and folate is regarded as a nutrient that fights depression. Thus, it helps in reducing cortisol levels in the blood.

Potatoes: Potatoes supply you with fiber and potassium and is a rich source of vitamin C.

Blueberries: Blueberries are hugely responsible for improving your brain power, lowering blood pressure, lowering belly fat.


High cortisol levels results from processed foods, high-stress levels, and lack of exercise and very rarely, tumor turns out to be the cause of higher cortisol levels. This is, for this reason, you must see a doctor and concentrate on cortisol-lowering mechanisms, such as exercise, mindfulness, protein-rich food, fruits and a diet consisting of vegetables.


  1. Healthline – What Is Cortisol?: https://www.healthline.com/health/what-is-cortisol
  2. Medical News Today – What to know about cortisol: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/322108
  3. WebMD – How to Reduce Cortisol in Your Body: https://www.webmd.com/diet/ss/slideshow-cortisol-connections
  4. Verywell Mind – The Role of Vitamin C in Your Health: https://www.verywellmind.com/vitamin-c-89408
  5. Harvard Health Publishing – Listing of Vitamins: https://www.health.harvard.edu/womens-health/listing_of_vitamins
  6. Healthline – 9 Foods That Can Help Reduce Your Risk of Chronic Inflammation: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/9-anti-inflammatory-foods
  7. Healthline – 17 Foods That Help You Sleep: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/foods-that-help-you-sleep

Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:July 26, 2023

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