Cortisol is released in response to fear or stress, and has been linked to innumerable health issues when stress is experienced over the long-term. Anything from weight gain, increased joint and muscle pain, insomnia, heart disease, and decreased immune function. Here are the best foods and drinks to consume when you’re feeling stressed. Nuts: like walnuts, almonds, pecans and hazelnuts help maintain healthy cortisol levelsFatty Fish: Wild salmon, mackerel and sardines can all help prevent cortisol from risingBerries: the antioxidants and vitamin C in berries can help ensure the cortisol hormone level is maintained properlyLeafy Greens: Spinach, kale, chard etc. contain magnesium, which relaxes muscles, and calcium which is calmingDark Chocolate: have specific antioxidants, or flavonoids, that actually reduce cortisol specifically,Green Tea: can decrease cortisol, increase endorphins and oxytocin, relax muscles, and improve your moodProtein: which you should be eating every 3 to 4 hours, can help balance your hormone levels and keep cortisol from spiking, making you more stressed.
Salt can trigger more cortisol and a boost of serotonin, but then drop off, leaving you feeling worse than you did before. Sugar The same for sugar, which has an immediate impact on blood sugar levels, causing quick spikes and drops. Caffeine When you’re stressed about getting things done, your first inclination may be to drink coffee or soft drinks to stay awake and finish. Just don’t do it first thing in the morning since cortisol is released in the early morning and is its own “upper” of a sort. Studies found it’s best to wait till 9:30 for your coffee, and try to stick to just one cup.