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How to Reduce Cortisol Levels


Cortisol is a hormone that is produced by the body to help deal with mental and physical wear. It can also increase blood pressure depending on what emotion a person is feeling at the time during which he or she is undergoing some sort of physical, emotional or mental stress. Especially high levels of cortisol, although stemming from mental issues, can have specific physical consequences. These consequences include weight gain, increased appetite, increased risk of stroke or cardiovascular conditions caused by increase of fat deposits, etc.

A number of steps can be taken to deal with high levels of cortisol. Beginning to pursue a more balanced diet, for one, can be a great building block towards mental health wellness. Diets that feature a lot of fruits and vegetables, while limiting processed sugars and flours are perfect for decreasing cortisol levels. Furthermore, low-glycemic index foods in particular -- like eggs -- also help lower cortisol levels. Beans, fish, whole grains, peas, beans, sunflower seeds and melons are all also advisable.

As is usually the case, daily exercise also plays a big role in cortisol levels. Exercise can produce endorphins which counteract stress and anxiety, which in turn decreases cortisol production. A daily dose of working out coupled with 20 or so minutes of relaxation time can work wonders for people attempting to reduce their cortisol levels.

Finally, herbs, vitamins and other doctor-approved supplements often do the trick for people who are fully committed to lowering their cortisol levels. As with anything else though, plenty of falsely advertised products are floating around the marketplace, so it’s important to consult with your physician before committing to any specific brand.

Anyone seeking out new or more innovative ways to lower cortisol levels should consult with their doctor at their earliest convenience.
photo of peas by John Nyboer

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