Which Foods Can Raise and Lower Cortisol?

Food and cortisol are closely linked. And with the right diet, you can find you reduce stress and feel better. Cortisol at the wrong levels can cause many issues, so it’s important to understand which foods can affect cortisol levels and how this can happen.

Reducing cortisol for athletes and bodybuilders is considered essential to help maintain healthy testosterone levels for performance.

In this article we’ll cover these topics:

  • What is Cortisol?

  • How Does Cortisol Affect You?

  • Is Cortisol All Bad?

  • Foods That Contain Cortisol

  • Foods That Lower Cortisol

  • How to Naturally Lower Cortisol Levels

What is Cortisol?

Cortisol is a hormone that is produced by the adrenal gland. It is released in response to stressors or triggers, such as excitement, anger, fear, or pain.

Cortisol can have an effect on various aspects of your health, including your immune system. Cortisol helps control the body’s response to infection by boosting immune cells and increasing inflammation.

A spike in cortisol levels can also lead to weight gain and make you more prone to diabetes and heart disease.

How Does Cortisol Affect You?

Cortisol is a hormone released by the body in response to stress. It is usually released from the adrenal glands which are situated on top of the kidneys. Cortisol has many functions in the body, one of which is controlling blood sugar and also helps in immunity and memory functions.

Cortisol shortens time to reach peak, reduces variability in level during the day, and lowers baseline cortisol levels when it peaks. Cortisol has a diurnal cycle with maximum levels at 8:00 am, after that levels go down until they reach their lowest point at 8:00 pm.

Cortisol causes a variety of reactions in the body, including increased heart rate, high blood pressure, higher blood sugar levels, and a suppression of immune system. These reactions can lead to serious health problems such as heart disease and diabetes.

An individual's cortisol level can be elevated because of stress from their home life or work life or because of other factors such as smoking or drinking alcohol. However, managing day-to-day stress, exercising regularly and eating healthy can help lower cortisol levels and prevent serious health consequences. Some supplements can help with cortisol levels.

Why Do Humans Need Cortisol?

Cortisol is a hormone produced by the body as a response to stress. The word “cortisol” comes from the Latin word “cortex”, which means “bark” or “rind”, referencing its discovery as a natural substance in the bovine cortex.

Cortisol helps regulate blood pressure and blood sugar levels. It also aids in fat storage and metabolism, bone strength, immune function and memory formation.

Cortisol is an essential stress hormone that should be released at appropriate times of day or night for a healthy functioning of the human body.

Foods That Can Raise Cortisol

Since cortisol is a hormone that’s naturally released when we feel stressed, it is also found in foods that have been chemically processed or have been sitting on the shelf for a while. This means that our diet can affect our levels of stress and anxiety.

Foods high in carbohydrates and sugar can lead to increased cortisol levels because these types of foods cause a spike in blood sugar. In turn, this causes the body to release more cortisol to help regulate blood sugar levels, which leads to feeling more stressed-out.

  • Potatoes

  • Sweet Potatoes

  • Apples

  • Bananas

  • Mangoes

  • Pears

The Protein and Cortisol Debate

The effects of higher protein intake on cortisol levels have been a point of significant debate. The first argument is that higher protein intake leads to a spike in cortisol, which is the body's natural stress hormone. The second argument is that the increased protein intake does not affect cortisol levels at all because cortisol is regulated by many factors, including how much protein one eats.

There are no conclusive studies on the effects of protein on cortisol levels. However, there are tests that suggest that consuming more than 20-25g of protein per meal may increase cortisol levels for some people.

Foods That Help Lower Cortisol

In a stressful situation, cortisol is a hormone that is released by the body. Cortisol shows up as a form of stress on the body. Foods that help lower cortisol can help reduce or remove stress from the body, which in turn will lead to more energy and focus.

Some of these foods include:

- Veggies: They are high in potassium, magnesium and vitamin C

Consuming vegetables has been proven to help lower cortisol, a hormone that is released when we are under stress. Vegetables have a high fibre content and this helps to reduce cortisol levels by stabilizing the blood sugar levels.

Vegetables can be used as part of a healthy diet for people who are stressed or anxious. In addition, they provide vitamins and minerals for the body and can help to improve moods. The high fibre content in vegetables also means that blood sugar levels are stabilized so the production of cortisol is decreased.

- Oatmeal: It’s full of fiber and has a low glycemic index

Oatmeal is a complex carbohydrate and it contains a high amount of fiber and protein, which can help lower cortisol levels.

Oatmeal contains beta-glucans, which play an important role in the regulation of the immune system. Beta-glucans are polysaccharides that can stimulate the production of white blood cells and other immune cells to fight infections and diseases. They also help decrease inflammation in the body which has an overall effect on cortisol level and the effects of cortisol.

- Fish: Omega 3 fatty acids can reduce cortisol levels

Omega 3 fatty acids are considered to be the “good fats” that help lower cortisol levels in the body.

Cortisol is a stress hormone which is produced in the adrenal gland when you are under stress. Generally, when you are stressed, your brain sends signals to the adrenal gland to release cortisol to regulate your blood pressure, heart rate and other bodily functions. People with low-level chronic stress may produce too much cortisol which can wreak havoc on their health.

Why is cbd good at lowering cortisol

CBD can reduce stress and even lower cortisol, which is a hormone that’s created by the body as a reaction to stress. CBD is also good for anxiety and depression, as it can help people feel more calm.

We should know that CBD is not psychoactive like THC, so it does not make you high or stoned.

It has been shown to help with chronic pain and inflammation, as well as with mood disorders like anxiety and depression.

What’s amazing about CBD is that research has shown it helps us with physical and mental health without any side effects at all! Great stuff.