What is cortisol? Cortisol is a very destructive hormone. It is a stress hormone, it makes belly fat and there is a lot of theories and mixed confusing ideas about cortisol. Cortisol is a really important hormone that you really need a certain amount of it but we do not need too much and we do not need too little of it. If it is too little we are going to have inflammation and a lot of immune system problems. It’s too much we are going to have a lot of other additional issues including stress states in the body, blood sugar issues, high blood pressure and a whole bunch of other things. But cortisol, if it is too high, is very destructive on the body, on the aging process. It breaks down your collagen, it makes you look older. So we want to keep that and want to bring it down to a normal level. So there is actually six ways to do it naturally.
In the first part, we are going to decrease body stress. Do you realize that all the stress that you have ever experienced is stuck in your body to some degree? So stress accumulates; your body is like a sponge and it holds stress. Try to reduce stress as it will help you to lower level of cortisol. We do acupressure to increase the sleep.
Cortisol is made outside adrenal gland on top of the kidney and it reacts to stress. Cortisol if it is too high is very destructive on the body, on the aging process. It breaks down your collagen, it makes you look older. So we want to keep that and want to bring it down to a normal level. As you age, the opposing hormone called growth hormone, which is anti-aging, goes down. It bottoms out at age 50 so in other words, the relative relation of low growth hormone to cortisol is inversely proportional. Cortisol naturally goes higher because it is unopposed. It has nothing to push it down. So anything that increases growth hormone will help lower cortisol.
Growth hormone is made by your pituitary gland and it works through the liver. It activates during sleep, so if you can get more sleep or do something to improve your sleep then you will help yourself lower cortisol. More sleep but not necessarily taking a drug, but doing it naturally. More sleep, more growth hormone, less cortisol.
Insulin-like growth factor
That is a hormone which is similar to growth hormone and it regulates fat burning. It actually helps regulate blood sugar when you are not eating. Insulin regulates sugar when you are eating and IGF regulates sugar when you are not eating and primarily when you are sleeping. If you are just grazing all day, eating all day long and never giving the body a chance not to eat, then you will not trigger growth hormone unless you are sleeping really well. I recommend do four to five meals a day if you really want to stimulate this and not have too many snacks.
Getting sun on a regular basis is very powerful to lower cortisol. You go to the beach, you get sun and you feel calmer. Then you take a nap. Sleep and sun lower cortisol, so really what you need to do is go to the beach for about six months and get sun and sleep.
Sun will help you to absorb vitamin D3. D3 is really good to help lower cortisol but realize that when you take it, get it in daily dosages of 10,000 international units. If you are getting about 15 to 20 minutes of sun every day you do not need Vitamin D because you are going to get it from the sun. The days that it is cloudy, take the D3. One 10,000 IUs but make sure you are taking Vitamin K2 with it.
Walking is way better than any type of exercise to lower cortisol. Long walks, getting space, very therapeutic can way help you to lower your cortisol.
Increase your potassium. Normally in your body, you need 4700 mg a day. That is seven to ten cups of salad a day. This will help you to balance cortisol as well. Because potassium supports part of the nervous system that helps recovery. It is called the parasympathetic nervous system. That opposes the flight or flight mechanism. That is the anti-cortisol thing. So potassium is very good.
There is also another thing Vitamin B1. It is very important. Make sure you get your B1 through nutritional yeast and not synthetic vitamins. Nutritional yeast is a natural form of B1 and take a teaspoon or a tablespoon, put it in some yogurt, mix it all up a little bit and then eat it. If you do not like the taste put it in peanut butter, something likes that, applesauce. B1 is a very good thing.
A little calcium before bed is also very beneficial; calcium citrate or calcium lactate. Do not consume calcium carbonate that is a very bad one. Calcium is also very helpful before bed as it will help you to sleep.
Increase aerobic exercise but not the one that you do. I am referring to power yoga. With proper training and essential workout clothes, it is going to create a lot of relaxation. Also, there are low-intensity workouts like Pilates; they are very helpful in reducing cortisol.
Well, there are things that you can do. But there are certain things that you should not do and that would be hanged out with stressful people. Now there are two types of people. People that bring you up and people that bring you down. Just avoid those negative, covert, hostile people and that is important. Basically, this is about changing your environment with people, mainly people, whether it is a stressful environment you live in job wise or whatever. Just keep improving that because that can severely affect your general state of being and cortisol. That is how you will lower your cortisol.