What foods help control cortisol levels? And which ones should we avoid?

He stress This is a normal part of life. Whether due to job demands, obligations family, or just daily ups and downs, almost all of us experience stress in one form or another. However, when stress persists for a long period of time, the health consequences can be serious. very destructive.

Stress management requires multifaceted approach which can include everything from therapy and medications to relaxation techniques and lifestyle changes. Among these, eating a balanced diet is perhaps one of the best first steps you can take to help your body. cope better with stress.

Cortisol: the “stress hormone”

World Health Organization defines stress as “a set physiological reactions which prepare the body for action.” Anyone can experience these reactions in everyday life, such as during a job interview or a couple’s argument.

However, each person reacts differently to the same stimulus. And there are many factors that can cause a given person to react less well to the same stressors, such as: self-confidence, the psychological tools you need to face them, etc. Some people may experience the same reactions all the time, even if they are not exposed to these typically stressful situations; this is what is known as anxiety.

Constant worry is terrible physical exhaustion. One of the most noticeable effects of stress on our bodies is the increase in the production of cortisol, the so-called “stress hormone.” This is a natural hormone in our body that is produced natural shape as a response to stress, as a response to a stimulus that our body interprets as threat.

When we suffer from anxiety and symptoms of chronic stress, our body produces extra doses of cortisol… and this has a huge impact on our body. When cortisol levels remain elevated for a long time, various conditions can occur. health problemssuch as increased risk of cardiovascular disease, suppressed immune system, hormonal imbalance and digestive problems.

Other problems and physical reactions In our body, in response to stress, hair loss, nausea, tremors, menstrual irregularities, eczema, insomnia, irritable bowel syndrome (…) and yes, also weight gain appear. In addition, high cortisol levels cause us to consume foods rich in fat and sugar. power supply fast, which prepares the body for a response.

How to control your cortisol levels

Support healthy level Cortisol and to help our bodies cope better with stress, we need to make a number of changes to our daily routine and lifestyle. First of all, we must engage in physical activity regularly. It is useful for regulating cortisol levels and also releases endorphins, “happiness hormones” which counteract the effects of cortisol. Secondly, we must include relaxation techniques such as meditation, yoga or deep breathing in our daily life.

It is also important to support correct sleep mode. Because insufficient or poor quality sleep can increase cortisol levels. It is important to establish a regular sleep routine, ensuring that you get between 7 and 9 hours of sleep per night. In general, it can be said that self-care is essential for controlling stress levels and therefore controlling cortisol. However, all of the above will be in vain if we do not conscientiously take care of our diet.

Which foods should you include and which should you avoid?

A healthy and balanced diet It plays a vital role in every aspect of life. But, above all, in the control of cortisol. Few people know that with proper nutrition we can help our body cope with stress better. more effective. There are a few products that can help to reduce cortisol levels. These include:

  • Avocado: They are rich in magnesium, a vitamin that helps regulate blood pressure.
  • Seeds: They are rich in omega-3 fatty acids and vitamins A, C and E, which prevent cell damage.
  • Fermented foods: Like kombucha, yogurt, sauerkraut, kimchi and pickles are rich in probiotics, which can relieve psychological stress.
  • Green tea: Contains L-theanine, an amino acid that helps relieve stress and anxiety.
  • Products rich Vitamin B: Like chicken, fish, eggs, turkey and fortified grains, they can reduce stress levels.
  • Green leaves: Foods like kale, spinach, collards, and chard are rich in folic acid, which helps produce mood-regulating neurotransmitters.
  • Fish: They contain omega-3 essential fatty acids, which prevent cortisol levels from rising during anxiety attacks.

On the other hand, there are foods that can increase cortisol levels and therefore must be avoided as far as possible. And it is not surprising that this list is made up of the top three unhealthy foods, i.e. alcohol, caffeine And processed foods.

Although these three products may be part balanced diettheir uncontrolled consumption can have devastating effects on cortisol levels as they contain compounds or ingredients that are linked to stress, anxiety and depression.

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