Control Your Cortisol, AKA The Primary Stress Hormone, By Eating More Of These Foods

There’s been research that suggests changing your diet can reduce stress levels greatly.

But not everyone can afford to change their diets entirely just for the sake of reduced stress. The idea sounds tempting, of course. But the amount of effort and discipline one would need to alter their diet might just end up stressing them more in the long run.

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In the meantime, instead of completely changing your diet, you can just lean more towards eating some of these foods to alleviate your stress. The following items help you decrease cortisol, the primary stress hormone, in your body.

Food Groups You Can Eat To Naturally Lower Your Stress Levels

Magnesium-Rich Foods

Although not quite as popular as, for example, vitamin C lately, magnesium has been listed as one of the top supplements that Americans take based on a survey.

Magnesium plays many roles in the body, as it helps regulate blood pressure and blood sugar, supports muscle and nerve functions, and much more.

Examples of magnesium-rich foods are: almonds, avocados, dark leafy greens such as spinach, roasted peanuts, peanut butter, oatmeal, cashews, and (preferably at least 90% cacao) dark chocolate.

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Omega-3-Rich Foods

Similar to magnesium-rich foods, omega-3-rich foods are also capable of reducing inflammation. It’s common for people to consume omega-3 supplements daily.

Omega-3 is linked with heart health, as it helps make hormones in our body that regulate blood clotting. It’s also been linked to boosted immunity and improved brain and skin health. Omega-3 is also suspected to reduce the risk of depression and even improve one’s mood.

The best source of Omega-3 is eating fatty fish like salmon, tuna, or sardines. Other examples of Omega-3-rich foods are: walnuts, chia seeds, avocados, flax seeds, olive oil, and pastured eggs. other sources also include products from grass-fed animals.

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Gut-Healthy Foods

This has been discussed in the linked article at the beginning of this list. More info about good bacteria and their effects on our health can be read here. Eating a gut-healthy or psychobiotic diet, is proven to alleviate stress levels. Happy gut, happy life, or so they say.

Having a healthy gut by eating these types of foods can lead to an increase in immunity, mental health, gastrointestinal disorders, and cardiovascular diseases. Keeping your gut healthy also helps maintain weight and improve sleep quality.

Examples of gut-friendly foods are: fermented foods such as kimchi, yogurt, pickles, or kombucha, and other easily accessible options are garlic, banana, apple, oats, and onion.

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Vitamin B-Rich Foods

For those waiting to see a section that finally contains other meat options other than fish, this one’s for you! Vitamin B foods help you with metabolizing cortisol.

Vitamin B affects our energy levels, brain function, and even down to our cell metabolism. More specifically, foods high in vitamin B12 help keep your body’s blood cells and nerve cells healthy.

Examples of vitamin B-rich foods are: Beef, organ meat, chicken, eggs, asparagus, clams, fortified cereals, and other dairy products such as milk or cheese.

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Vitamin C-Rich Foods

Similar to the previous item, vitamin C is also able to stabilize cortisol levels. Other than being a famous antioxidant, vitamin C also boosts our immune system.

Vitamin C promotes the production of collagen, a protein that helps wounds heal. Due to this fact, there are people who mistakenly believe that vitamin C also lightens skin. That’s not the case, although vitamin C is able to inhibit melanin production which helps fade dark spots and hyperpigmentation on the skin.

Examples of vitamin C-rich foods are: oranges, lemons, red and green peppers, strawberries, tomatoes, citrus juices, broccoli, and parsley.

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You’ll never stress eat anymore with all these different options to choose from! Just by eating some extra things from this list, you’ll be able to lower your stress levels. Remember that this isn’t a restriction. This is just a friendly guide to what you are able to for a more healthy you!

PHOTO: Unsplash/Thought Catalog

Watch the video below to know more about cortisol and what foods you can eat or should avoid!

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