How To Reduce Cortisol Levels With Your Diet

A while back I posted on this blog my experience with a nurse checking my blood pressure. She noted my blood pressure was barely elevated and asked if I drank much coffee. I happily smiles and said yes and she stated that this may be causing my cortisol levels to get too high. You can read the original post on lowering cortisol levels naturally here.

For that post I did some research on cortisol because it was a topic that was new to me. What I found certainly didn’t give me any reason to drop coffee from my diet but it did shed light on how stress affects the body. As I note in my guide to living a longer life and as is a main theme to Dan Buettner’s book on Longevity: The Blue Zones, people who have low stress levels tend to live much longer lives. Buettner actually noted that the cultures in which people actually were able to keep stress levels to a minimum always seemed to be able to live longer than their peers.

A while back I’ve written how studies have shown that people who drink alcohol in moderation tend to live longer lives on average and this was backed up in this awesome documentary series I found on YouTube a while back on the world's longest lived people. I’m specifically referring to those centenarians interviewed that still enjoy an afternoon brandy on a daily basis. Drinking like this is a stress relief and shouldn’t be discounted. Other stress relievers include exercise, prayer and meditation, yoga, massage, and vacationing. There are, however, other things you can do to relieve stress in your body in the form of inflammation. Systemic inflammation is correlated with shorter lifespans as I discussed in these posts on the calorie restriction diet and on decreasing inflammation with walnuts a while back.

Foods That Reduce Cortisol Levels

Basically the premise behind lowering your cortisol levels naturally by eating the right foods relies on the science behind eliminating stresses on your body by eliminating inflammation which is sometimes called the silent killer. Basically you can’t always easily tell that inflammation exists. It’s been found that people who don’t floss tend to have higher levels of inflammation and hence live shorter lives. People who eat certain inflammatory foods also tend to live shorter lives and there is a whole host of people who have inflammation in their digestive tract due to the effects of gluten. These days, more people than ever are realizing that gluten intolerance is something that shouldn’t be taken for granted. The inflammation resulting in your intestines may only be a nuisance to you now but it may be adding to your stress levels and causing your cortisol levels to increase needlessly.

To reduce cortisol levels you need to cut out foods from your diet that cause undue stress and inflammation. Common culprits are wheat in those with gluten intolerance. If you don’t know if this applies to you then see your doctor and ask him or her about it. If he or she feels there is a risk for this then you can get a simple blood test to test it out. If you are intolerant to gluten then you should see a remarkable improvement in your systemic inflammation by simply removing gluten from your diet. There are plenty of gluten free meal plans to follow so just find one that works for you if you need to cut gluten from your diet.

Omega-3 fatty acids are also well known to help minimize inflammation throughout the body. These can easily be found in abundance in many common fish varieties and can easily be supplemented with OTC vitamins found at any health food store or grocery store. The best prices will tend to be found online and when shopping in bulk. This is a good option for omega-3 supplementation however anything that is convenient for you should be fine. Other sources of omega-3’s which can easily be found in normal every day food include flaxseed which can be found in many cereals, kidney/navy beans, and walnuts. If you do a lot of cooking you should also make sure to use olive oil more often because this is also a source of omega-3 fatty acids.

Lastly it’s important to decrease the quantity of fatty red meat from your diet. Your don’t have to eliminate it but nutritionists have known for years that lean meats like chicken, pork, and seafood anti-inflammatory when compared to red meats. Protein is an important part of any diet but getting the balance right in quantity of meat in your diet and the right mix of meats in your diet is even more important. If you can decrease the quantity of meat in your meals and replace the lost calories with additional vegetables instead then you should experience a decrease in inflammation and most likely a reduction in stress on the body which could manifest itself as a reduction in cortisol levels.

Of course you want to support your system naturally with your diet and in cases where high cortisol levels are particularly problematic taking a cortisol support supplement may help. In a future article I plan on detailing out additional ways to lower stress in your body with the intent of decreasing cortisol levels and improving your long term health. Thanks for reading!

Natural Treatments For Clogged Arteries

Natural treatments for clogged arteries and other related health conditions are popular but also risky. Before diving into this article please make sure you follow the advice of a trained medical professional who knows your personal situation. As you might expect a blockage of your arteries is very serious and could be fatal. The content of this article is simple informational in nature and shouldn’t replace the opinion and prescriptions of your physician.

Having said that however it should be noted that there are natural reasons why arteries clog and there are natural ways to address these problems. After all most people who eat foods which can slowly block arteries with plaques and cholesterol do not end up with blocked arteries. In most people the body is able to maintain healthy arteries on it’s own; therefore we can surmise that there are natural treatments for artery blockages and that many of these treatments require a new way of thinking and a new way of living one’s life.

What Causes Blocked Arteries

It’s not a secret what causes blocked arteries. Most people know it whether they do anything about it or not. Plaques buildup in the arteries and slowly cause damage to your circulatory system. When these plaques grow large enough they can start to choke blood flow off to one area of the body and depending on where the blockage occurs the more serious the condition becomes. For instance clogged arteries in the neck can lead to reduced blood flow to the brain which is commonly referred to as a stroke. Blocked arteries can also lead to heart attacks if the heart becomes starved for blood due to blockages in that area.

Sometimes blocked arteries in the legs can even cause these and other problems when blockages break apart and float through the blood stream in the form of clots. In this case it may be a problem in one area of the body compounding one another problem in another part of the body resulting in a situation which is even more serious than the two problems separately. A clot in the legs can easily result in a stroke if the clot breaks off and floats through the blood stream through the neck into the brain.

What many people don’t know about plaques is that they are not entirely caused by eating foods with fat and cholesterol. They are also formed by people who have low levels of HDL cholesterol flowing through their veins as well as people who exhibit high levels of blood pressure despite relatively normal levels of cholesterol.

Basically plaque buildup in the arteries is caused by micro-tares in the inner lining of the blood vessels. This is often the result of high blood pressure. These tares then provide perfect pockets for HDL cholesterol to deposit and settle in while the tear in the endothelium slowly heals. Ideally a person will have high levels of good HDL cholesterol running through their arteries because the HDL cholesterol acts like an usher escorting LDL cholesterol from your body but when there is not enough HDL cholesterol the inner walls of your arteries will harden as the LDL cholesterol remains caught in the damaged artery walls. Once the tares begin to heal the cholesterol is trapped behind the newly formed endothelium and scar tissue resulting in a bulge in the inner lining of your artery walls. Over time these bulges will grow and form blockages and if not addressed early can result in life threatening situations.

How To Treat Blocked Arteries Naturally

To effectively treat blocked arteries and reverse clogged arteries you have to stop the damage from occurring in the first place. Doctors have a whole host of medications designed to help lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels but you don’t have to rely on them solely. In fact taking the medications prescribed by your doctor can be even more effective if you change some of your lifestyle habits which help perpetuate the problems. By taking steps to improve your health naturally you can slowly lay the groundwork for treating clogged or blocked arteries yourself: These are just some of the most important things you can do to treat your arterial blockages:

How To Lower Blood Pressure Naturally
How To Lower LDL Cholesterol Naturally
How To Increase HDL Cholesterol Naturally
How To Lower Systemic Inflammation Naturally

As you read through the linked resources above and begin to implement these natural and simple ideas into your routine you need to make sure you stay connected with your doctor. If he or she prescribes any supplemental medication make sure to follow his or her advice carefully. It is highly likely that your doctor will also advise taking up an exercise routine designed to drop some excess weight. This is not to be ignored. Although countless patients hear this from their doctors every checkup very few really take it seriously. If your arteries are clogged or even if they aren’t a healthy body in a safe weight range is a body that is ready to live many more healthy years to come. Find an exercise regimen that works for you and take it seriously. It could save your life.

If you want to monitor your progress at home you may want to get your hands on a good at home blood pressure monitor and an excellent heart healthy cookbook to plan all your meals in advance. If you are serious about exercising and regaining your health many at home exercise programs come prepackaged with a good meal plan that you should follow… just make sure it’s going to help improve your cholesterol levels and not just beef you up on protein with low carbs.

Lastly, thanks for reading and I hope this helps. Please share this page with the buttons below and make sure to check out my guide to living a longer life.

Leading Causes of Death

Heart Disease is easily the leading cause of death in America. One of the major contributors to heart disease is cholesterol. See the following posts for more on lowering your risk for heart disease:

How To Lower LDL Cholesterol Levels Naturally

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