Feeling tired, stressed, and noticing a weight gain when you don’t recall changing your fitness routine or diet? Your cortisol levels are probably a little out of whack – or a lot.
According to studies conducted in many universities, there’ s a direct and substantial link between heart disease and high cortisol. The studies proved that a high level of cortisol could cause an increase in strokes and heart attacks.
What is Cortisol?
Cortisol is primarily a stress hormone, which is released from the adrenal glands. Too much of cortisol for too long leads to problems. It provides us with a burst of negative energy throughout the day when you’re stressed. It also performs as an anti-inflammation hormone. Cortisol can cause havoc on your mind and body.
Triggering cortisol is easy. When you hear bad news, argue with your partner, run late to an important event, or feel stressed and pressured, you tend to release this unstable hormone. Keep in mind that unhealthy food habits can also trigger cortisol. Top four sources of stress are money, work, family responsibility and health concern.
If your body’s stress-response system is activated for a long time, it can cause overexposure to cortisol and other hormones used to overcome stress. By this time, most bodily processes will get disrupted. These are the reasons why a high cortisol level will put you at a higher risk for health problems, such as depression, anxiety, impaired digestion, insomnia, weight gain, and severe heart disease.
There are several ways you can calm or control your cortisol. These anti-cortisol methods include changes in both food and lifestyle.
When you are stressed, you feel the positive vibe of cortisol – you feel the energy, the focus, the charge, the ascent. You feel smart and on your game, but just for a moment. If you stay stressed for more extended periods, your Cortisol will switch from being good to bad.
Facts About Cortisol
Cortisol is an essential hormone in the body, secreted by the adrenalin glands and involved in the following functions:
– Proper glucose metabolism for energy
– Regulation of blood pressure
– Insulin release for blood sugar maintenance
– Immune function
– Inflammatory response
Cortisol level is generally high in the morning, between 6-8AM, then it continually drops to its lowest point between midnight and 4 AM. There are several ways you can calm or control your cortisol. These anti-cortisol methods include changes in both food and lifestyle.
Steps to Lower Your Cortisol Levels
1. Avoid or skip the food which triggers cortisol, such as carbohydrates, alcohol, sugar, aspartame, and caffeine.
2. Eat more anti-inflammatory foods – or just healthy food. Inflammation in your body or bad eating habits will trigger the release of cortisol so try taking anti-inflammatory foods, such as low sugar fruits, vegetables, probiotic foods, omega 3 rich foods, and in spices you can go for turmeric and ginger.
3. Increase your consumption of foods with vitamin C. Vitamin C help reduce cortisol. Some vitamin C foods are berries, citrus, and bell peppers. You can also take supplements for this vitamin.
4. Eat high-fiber foods. Fibre helps balance blood sugar, which can increase cortisol levels. Fibre-rich foods also balance healthy hormones. It’s best to choose whole grains over refined grains.
5. Exercise but not too much. There are many useful anti-cortisol activities and exercises to do. These include yoga, ASMR, walking, deep breathing techniques, Qi Gong, meditation, massage, Tai Chi, Reiki, swimming, EFT Tapping, and more. Do these activities or exercises on a daily basis to keep your body fresh and healthy.
Do these simple things to reduce your stress:
1. Regularly switch off electronic devices to relax and refresh your mind.
2. Monitor your media or data consumption to avoid addiction and tiredness.
3. Keep yourself away from unnecessary arguments and stress.
4. Always try to ask for help if you feel stuck in a problem to avoid worrying yourself out.
5. Always try to create a relaxing, peaceful environment for yourself.
6. Deep breathing and meditation
7. Take some time for yourself
8. Relax with massage