Stress is almost unavoidable in today's modern, fast-paced world - a concern for us all as it impacts both our physical and mental health if left untreated.
Short term exposure to stress can suppress your immune system, increase inflammation, disrupt sleep and cause fatigue, increase appetite, create blood sugar problems and increase abdominal fat.
Prolonged periods of stress, or chronic stress, can lead to physical symptoms such as digestive issues, autoimmune conditions, depression, anxiety and disease.
Try lowering your cortisol levels with these eight simple tips.
1. Replace your coffee with Matcha.
Whilst a cup of espresso in the morning will definitely wake you up, it also elevates cortisol - your stress hormone. People with adrenal imbalance often reach for stimulants like coffee and sugar to keep them going. But too much stimulation can further suppress the adrenals, and will only aggravate the problem.
Try replacing your morning coffee with a cup of Organic Matcha Tea. This beautiful energising drink, contains l-theanine - a rare amino acid that promotes a state of relaxation, supports the adrenal system and the way your body reacts to stress.
2. Eat an anti-inflammatory diet.
Stress causes inflammation in our body, so eating a diet that's rich in anti-inflammatory foods can help reduce this impact. Nourish your body with plant-based foods, lean proteins, healthy fats and support your diet with good supplements such as turmeric, ginger, vitamin C and probiotics.
Healthy Chef Natural Immune Support is rich in potent anti-inflammatory ingredients such as ginger and turmeric, to support your adrenal health as well as your immune health. Enjoy a teaspoon a day mixed in water or in your favourite smoothie.
3. Swap intense workouts for gentle exercise.
Exercise and physical activity produce endorphins – your brain's feel-good neurotransmitters, which make you feel on top of the world after a workout. However, exercise also causes stress and strain on the body, so the length and intensity of your workouts can have a big impact on your cortisol levels.
High-intensity workouts and consistent long-duration exercise can raise your cortisol level. Try swapping a couple of your high intensity workouts for gentler forms of exercise such as yoga.
These days my exercise regime consists of walking, pilates and yoga.
4.Optimise rest + recovery.
To reduce your cortisol levels after exercise it's important you prioritise enough time for your body to rest and recover. Listen to your body and allow it the chance to recover properly before your next workout.
For complete recovery, you need to consider the quality of your diet as well as your lifestyle.
Diet is very important, as the body’s nutritional needs increase under stress. Things like eating the wrong type of carbs, taking stimulants or not eating enough protein can place further stress the body.
5. Eat the right protein.
To support your body’s repair process, it's essential that you're eating a sufficient amount of protein. Studies show that protein plays a vital role in keeping our immune system healthy and preventing the development of immune and inflammatory diseases.
Protein also has a stabilising effect on blood sugar. High stress levels can lead to hypoglycaemia or other blood sugar imbalances.
Increasing protein intake can boost energy levels, reduce jitteriness, agitation and mood swings, improve sleep, and sharpen brain function.
Good sources of protein include fish, organic chicken, grass-fed meats, cultured natural yoghurt, organic eggs, seeds, nuts, nut butters and milks, quinoa, hummus, tahini, tempeh, green peas and Healthy Chef Protein.
6. Try meditation.
Mediation is an effective tool to calm your mind and allows us to clear away the information overload that builds up and contributes to our stress. Some forms of meditation are: guided meditation, mindfulness meditation, Qi gong, Tai chi, focused breathing, and yoga.
I’ve personally found meditation very challenging with my active mind… But I am working towards three meditation sessions a week, which is rather awesome for me.
Switch off your devices and unplug from technology. This can be a difficult one for most people, myself included. However, unplugging is one that can have the greatest impact as we use our devices every day.
In fact, the constant texts, emails, phone calls, dings and notifications from our devices actually release cortisol by keeping our brains on “high alert” and increase your feelings of distraction.
Try turning off your notifications or only checking your phone at scheduled times during the day, to reduce distraction. If you're heading on holidays, why not try a total digital detox?
8. Get enough sleep.
Research has shown that our adrenal glands recover best when we go to bed between 9 and 10 pm. This will also help you avoid a late evening cortisol spike which could make it harder to get to sleep and sleep soundly.
Chronic Stress Treatment
Too much cortisol for too long can have serious, negative effects on your health. Thankfully, you can now receive personalised treatment from the comfort of your own home via the Healthy Chef eClinic.
Healthy Chef eClinic Practitioners take a personalised approach to your health concerns, providing you with a comprehensive health assessment to develop a treatment plan that is tailored specifically to YOU!
- Nutrition counselling and support
- Lifestyle guidance and advice
- Naturopathic and/or nutritional testing
- Supplement recommendations where necessary.
Use code: ECLINIC10 for 10% OFF your first consult.