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How Cortisol Effects the Body and Mind Health

Cortisol is also called the "stress hormone," and it's an important part of the complicated dance of hormones that goes on in our bodies. Understanding how it works can mean living an easier and more comfortable life.

To understand how cortisol effects body and mind health, think of it like a director leading an orchestra through a complicated symphony of biological reactions that happen when people are stressed.

Cortisol is made by the adrenal glands and acts as the body's natural warning system, going off when it senses danger or stress. Even though we need cortisol to live, having too much of it in our bodies can be bad for our health.

It is important to know how cortisol affects our mental and physical health in order to live a happy and healthy life.

Top 5 Effects of High Cortisol Levels

High amounts of cortisol can have a big impact on our minds and bodies, causing a lot of different symptoms and health problems. It is important to know what happens when our cortisol levels are high so that we can take charge of our health:

1. Weight Gain:

Risk of gaining weight goes up because too much cortisol makes visceral fat build up, especially around the stomach. This not only changes how we look, but it also makes us more likely to get metabolic diseases like heart disease and diabetes.

2. Weakened immune systems:

Long-term worry and high cortisol levels can make our immune systems weaker, making us more likely to get sick. When the body's defenses against infections are weakened, people get sick often.

3. Out of whack sleep cycles:

The circadian hormone cortisol usually rises in the morning to get us ready for the day and falls as night falls. On the other hand, long-term worry can mess up this normal cycle and make it hard to sleep or cause your sleeping habits to change.

4. Disorders of the mood:

High amounts of cortisol have been linked to more anxiety, anger, and even depression. Cortisol has a big effect on how we feel emotionally. Stress chemicals that are released all the time can make us feel mentally lost and overworked.

5. Gut Sensitivity:

We are especially sensitive to cortisol's effects in the gut, and too much of this hormone can make conditions like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) worse and cause bloating and indigestion.

Ways to Lower Cortisol Naturally

Cortisol is an important part of our stress reaction, but we need to keep an eye on our cortisol levels to keep our health and well-being safe. Thankfully, there are a number of natural ways to keep cortisol levels in check:

1. Regular exercise:

Being active helps keep cortisol levels in check and gives you a way to deal with stress. Strength training and aerobic exercise should be done together for the best effects.

2. Meditation and being more aware:

Being more aware and lowering your cortisol levels can help you deal with mental stress better. Every day, take a few minutes to calm yourself and practice deep breathing.

3. Balanced diet:

Give your body good nutrients that help keep cortisol levels in check and adrenal function high. You should eat less sugar, coffee, and processed foods and more fruits, veggies, healthy grains, and lean meats.

4. Sleep:

Aim for seven to nine hours of good sleep every night. Set up a relaxing routine for the evening, spend less time in front of a screen before bed, and make sure your bedroom is a good place to sleep.

Here are some ways to deal with stress: 

Do some yoga, tai chi, progressive muscle relaxing, or just spend time in nature. Find what helps you stay calm and strong when you're stressed, and do it every day.

Cortisol Reduction Supplements

Along with making changes to your lifestyle, taking different nutrients can help treat high cortisol levels:

1. Phosphatidylserine:

This protein has been shown to lower cortisol levels, especially when there is a lot of stress. In addition, it might help your brain work better and lessen your anxiety feelings.

2. Ashwagandha:

According to research, ashwagandha is an adaptogenic herb that helps the body deal with stress and keep its balance. Ashwagandha could help lessen the bad effects of long-term worry if you take it as a supplement.

3. Magnesium:

Magnesium is very important for keeping the adrenal glands healthy and for keeping cortisol levels in check. Taking pills might be a good idea if you are low on magnesium or show signs of being stressed out, which can make you lose magnesium.

4. Holy Basil (Tulsi):

Another adaptogenic plant, Holy Basil may help lower cortisol levels and make you more resistant to stress.

5. L-theanine:

This chemical is found in green tea and can help calm you down. It may also help lower cortisol levels when you're feeling stressed.

6. Fatty Acids Omega-3:

Fatty acids found in fish oil products have been linked to lower cortisol levels and a better ability to deal with stress.

What foods lower cortisol levels? 

Could some foods lower cortisol levels ? Yes, some foods have been linked to lowering cortisol levels in the body. Eating these foods may help you deal with stress and improve your health in general.

1. Dark Chocolate:

A small amount of dark chocolate has been shown to drop cortisol levels and make people feel less stressed. For the most health benefits, choose dark chocolate that has a lot of cocoa in it, for example greater than 70%.

2. Berries:

Strawberries, blueberries, and blackberries are some of the berries that are high in antioxidants. Antioxidants help fight oxidative stress and lower cortisol levels.

3. Oats:

Oats are a type of complex grain that can help keep blood sugar levels steady and lower cortisol levels when they rise. If you eat oatmeal first thing in the morning, it might help keep your cortisol levels in check.

4. Fatty Fish:

Salmon, mackerel, and sardines are all fatty fish that are high in omega-3 fatty acids. These acids have been linked to lower cortisol levels and a better ability to deal with stress.

5. Nuts and Seeds:

Nuts and seeds are full of nutrients like zinc and magnesium, which help keep cortisol levels in check. Adding different kinds of nuts and seeds to your diet can help keep your cortisol levels in check.

6. Leafy Greens:

Spinach, kale, and Swiss chard are all leafy greens that are high in magnesium. Magnesium has been shown to help lower cortisol levels and make people feel more relaxed.

7. Pomegranates:

Pomegranates are full of good fats and potassium, which can help lower blood pressure and cortisol levels. Adding avocado to drinks or salads can be a tasty way to help your body deal with stress.

8. Yogurt:

Yogurt has probiotics, which are good bugs that help keep your gut healthy. Lower cortisol levels and better happiness have been linked to a healthy gut microbiome.

Along with other ways to deal with stress, eating these foods can help keep cortisol levels in check and improve your health and well-being as a whole.

In summary, Cortisol has effects on our physical and mental health that go far beyond its role as the body's stress hormone. 

Managing cortisol levels and building stress-resilience can be done by making changes to our lifestyles, like exercising regularly, practicing mindfulness, and eating a healthy diet, along with taking the right supplements. Remember that focusing on self-care and stress management and your healthy perspective is not only good for your health, but also important to get by in today's busy world.

Using these techniques every day will help your body and mind to stay in balance, which will help you handle life's challenges with gratitude and determination.

Leo A Eliades, a qualified medical scientist, is passionate about natural health and education. As the founder of BoostCeuticals since 2012, he's an authority on clean label, pure, natural and vegan supplements, empowering individuals to feel better every day. Explore insights at


Cortisol -

Adrenal Hormones - Hormones and Endocrine Function -

Ashwagandha - National Institutes of Health (NIH)

BoostCeuticals - Your Trusted Partner in Health and Wellness

This blog post is proudly presented by BoostCeuticals, your trusted source for clean label vegan supplements that promote pure and natural wellness. BoostCeuticals take pride in providing meticulously crafted, silica and stearate-free supplements without any potentially harmful additives to boost your well-being. Explore their products for your unique health journey.

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