Cortisol is a stress hormone produce by adrenal glands is released by the body to deal with emotional, mental and physical stress. This vital hormone makes numerous chemical interactions within the body. Cortisol receptors are found nearly in every cell of the body and serve many essential functions like helping us to keep awake and alert; preventing fatigue, balance blood sugar levels, help with metabolism, and reduce inflammation and balancing fluid levels.
Though this hormones aids the body in performing so many important functions, but high cortisol level in the blood overtime can disrupt certain chemical balances in the body, which can result in increased appetite, sudden weight gain, high blood pressure, negatively impact mood, disrupt sleep, reduce energy levels and which can eventually lead to increased risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes. But good news is that cortisol level can be stabilized naturally by taking following steps.
Ways To Lower Cortisol Level Naturally:
1. Reduce Cortisol With Anti-inflammatory And Whole Food Diet:
You can lower high cortisol level by eating a diet based on whole foods and avoiding processed, sugary foods . High sugar, high –glycemic diet like refined grains, packaged foods, sugary drinks and snacks are dietary contributors to inflammation and high-cortisol level. Following an anti-inflammatory diet high in antioxidants, fibers and other essential nutrients will help in balancing hormones, help to maintain a healthy weight, boost your energy and sleep well at night.
Include protein and healthy fats, and vitamin B5 and Folic acid rich food like beans, fresh fruits, veggies, nuts, seeds, and eggs and fish, melon and orangesetc.in your diet. Some other cortisol- reducing foods include dark chocolate, green tea and black tea. Dehydration increases cortisol level; so drink enough water.
2. Eat Probiotic And Prebiotic Foods:
Probiotics foods like yogurt, Kimchi, sauerkraut encourage the growth friendly gut bacteria and prebiotics such as soluble fiber provides food to these bacteria. Hence eating both probiotics and prebiotics helps to reduce cortisol levels and are supportive to brain health . Some best prebiotic foods are asparagus, barley, garlic, banana, tomatoes, mustard greens, dark chocolate, cocoa powder onions and lentils.
3. Exercise Regularly:
Regular exercise for 30 to 60 minutes is a great way to lower cortisol, manage stress, and improve metabolic functions, balance hormones . Exercise will help your body produce more dopamine and endorphins and help to reduce anxiety, depression and lethargy. But moderation is the key. Over exerting yourself can increase cortisol production intense exercise can raise cortisol right after exercise for a short period but it decreases at night time.
4. Get Enough Sleep:
Getting enough sleep is crucial for production of cortisol . Even the quality of sleep also influences cortisol level. Lack of god night’s sleep disrupts your hormonal pattern and contributes to fatigue and other problems like sluggish metabolism, brain fog, and additional stress. Optimize your sleep by eating, healthy food, relaxing, doing moderate exercise on regular basic. Incorporating magnesium rich food in your diet can also help to improve the sleep quality.
5. Manage Stress By Using Stress Reduction Techniques:
Chronic stress continuously releases stress hormone cortisol and this can have negative impacts not just on your brain but on your heart, blood vessels, digestive system, lungs and sensory organs. The elevated level of cortisol can affect your heart rate breathing, pain, muscle tension and even your sleep and appetite and can be harmful to your mental and physical health. Most stress reduction techniques helps to lower excess cortisol, the stress hormone. Here are proven stress reduction techniques.
One of the best ways to reduce stress and gain control on your thought is through meditation . Meditation reduces cortisol by increasing the level of serotonin and endorphins (Feel-good brain chemicals). Studies show that daily meditation or healing prayers even for 15-20 can promote significant reduction in the cortisol level.
2. Deep Breathing Exercises:
By voluntarily changing our breathing pattern, we can change the message that is sent to the brain through body’s respiratory system . Deep breathing can kick the body’s natural relaxation response by activating parasympathetic nervous system. You can learn deep breathing techniques and practice throughout the day to keep cortisol level in check.
Acupuncture is another trusted techniques practiced in traditional Chinese medicine for thousands of years which can help to control stress naturally and help reduce other symptoms like poor circulation, sleeping problem, muscle and joint pain etc .
4. Spending Time In Nature:
Spending time outdoors like going for a walk, Seal Beach, can help to lower cortisol, lower blood pressure and promote relaxation . Listening to music or doing things that you like most like playing a sport, gardening, art work etc. can also promote relaxation and help lower cortisol level.
6. Take Supplements:
Fortunately, there are lots of supplements available which can reduce the negative effect of stress . Omega 3 fatty acids have been found effective in lowering cortisol level. Similarly B complex vitamins have been found to support healthy adrenal functioning and reduce elevated cortisol level.
Herbs that effective in combating stress hormone production are known as adaptogens . These herbs are effective in increasing your resilience to emotional, physical, mental and environmental stress by lowering the stress hormone cortisol along with stimulating the function of adrenal glands naturally. The best adaptogenic herbs that are effective in reducing cortisol are: Ashwagandha, Holy basil, Ginkgo, Rhodiola Rosea and Ginseng. These herbs work with body to maintain stress hormone level.
8. Cut Cortisol By Massage Therapy:
A relaxing body massage can keep cortisol under control, reduce stress by stimulating the production of dopamine and serotonin (The feel good hormone)
9. Use Essential Oils:
Essential oils are known to fight stress and balance hormones . The essential oil like lavender, bergamot, frankincense have been shown to lower cortisol, improve immunity, promote good sleep and reduce inflammation. There are several ways to use them. You can diffuse the, massage the body by mixing with carrier oil, use in bath soaks etc.
Becoming aware of stress as soon as it triggers is the best step you can take to lower cortisol level and cope with stress.
Caution: Please use Home Remedies after Proper Research and Guidance. You accept that you are following any advice at your own risk and will properly research or consult healthcare professional.