Alternative Healthcare

5 Easy and Natural Ways to Regulate Cortisol

5 Easy and Natural Ways to Regulate Cortisol

CortisolYou’ve probably heard about cortisol and that your cortisol levels affect your health in a variety of significant ways but if you are like most people, you don’t know practical and effective ways to regulate your cortisol for optimal health. Because of this, most people never start taking the steps to improve their cortisol levels, despite the significant impact it can have on their lives. Fortunately, there are many simple, natural, and highly effective ways to start regulating your cortisol levels.

First, it is important to understand exactly what cortisol is and how it impacts our health. Cleveland Clinic sheds some light on cortisol and the critical role it plays in our health and wellness, “​​Cortisol is a steroid hormone that…affects several aspects of your body and mainly helps regulate your body’s response to stress…Cortisol is a glucocorticoid hormone…They suppress inflammation in all of your bodily tissues and control metabolism in your muscles, fat, liver and bones. Glucocorticoids also affect sleep-wake cycles…Cortisol is an essential hormone that affects almost every organ and tissue in your body.”  Your cortisol levels influence every system in your body including your Nervous system, Immune system, Cardiovascular system, Respiratory system, Reproductive system (female and male), Musculoskeletal system, and Integumentary system. Some of the most obvious signs of cortisol dysregulation include  fatigue, muscle and weight loss, mood swings, and skin changes.

Since cortisol levels may impact our daily lives, as well as our long-term health and wellness, it is important to start making changes that can help regulate your cortisol levels as soon as possible. Below, we look at 5 easy and natural ways to start regulating your cortisol levels:

5 Easy and Natural Ways to Regulate Cortisol:

  1. Get Quality, Consistent Sleep
    • Try implementing consistent sleep and wake times into your schedule so that your body can get into a natural rhythm. Aim for 8 hours of sleep and, upon waking, drink a glass of water before having things like coffee. 
  2. Exercise Regularly
    • Consistent exercise helps lower stress and regulate cortisol. And bonus – exercise releases endorphins which make you feel good, relieve pain, reduce stress, and improve your sense of well-being.
  3. Implement Meditation/Deep Breathing Exercises
    • When you slow and control your breathing during meditation and deep breathing exercises, it stimulates your parasympathetic nervous system, naturally lowering your cortisol levels.
  4. Eat a Nutritious Diet
    • Processed foods, sugar, and saturated fats impact your cortisol regulation so it is best to limit them and focus on fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, prebiotic and probiotic-rich foods, nuts, seeds, and drinking plenty of water. 
  5. Take Adaptogenic Herbs
    • Adaptogens are herbs that naturally help the body balance cortisol levels. Some examples of adaptogenic herbs include Licorice Root, Ginseng, Rhodiola, and Ashwagandha.

 

August 23, 2022
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