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Cortisol Blockers – Stress Relieving Foods

You know that stress from work or emotional turmoil can make you irritable, depressed and tired, but you might be surprised to know that it can also make you fat. Our bodies are programmed to help us survive, so when we're under stress, they release chemicals to help us escape a dangerous situation. Among these chemicals is cortisol, which is responsible for managing energy production in the body during times of danger. Ideally, this chemical is meant to be released by the endocrine system to respond to an imminent need and then stored until it is needed again.

In the modern world, not much of the stress we experience in our day-to-day lives is physical in nature. Our stress is often ongoing, lasting for periods of days, weeks or even months. As a result, our bodies may continuously release cortisol, even though we are in no real danger, and we end up with an excessive amount flowing through us. Because one of the main responsibilities of the chemical is fat storage, excess cortisol in the body leads to more fat being deposited on your stomach and abdomen.

Many over-the-counter products are now available to supposedly block the effects of cortisol or prevent its release in order to help with weight loss; however, their benefits are open to debate. Independent labs have not rigorously tested the products, and reviews of the products online show mixed results.

This doesn't mean that there is no hope for fighting against cortisone-related weight gain. Many nutrients found in the foods we eat have the ability to block the effects of cortisone. Among these are:

- Lean protein- found in seafood, white meat poultry, milk, cheese, yogurt, eggs, soy, and lean cuts of pork and beef like tenderloin

- Polyphenols - found in abundance in dark cocoa, blackberries, flaxseed, chestnuts, hazelnuts, olives and artichokes

- Flavonoids - found in spices, fruits, red and black beans, whole grains and wine

- Vitamin C - found in citrus fruits, broccoli, bell peppers, Brussels sprouts, strawberries, mustard greens and kale

- Vitamins B5 - found in crimini and shiitake mushrooms, calf liver, cauliflower, cucumber, avocado, asparagus and broccoli

- Vitamin B6 - found in summer squash, bell peppers, turnip greens, garlic, shiitake mushrooms, tuna and spinach

- Phosphatidylserine - found in calf liver, Atlantic mackerel, Atlantic herring, eel, tuna, chicken legs, white beans and soft-shell clams

- Magnesium - found in leafy green vegetables, halibut, pumpkin seeds, green beans, salmon, spelt, cucumber and bell peppers

When you find yourself going through stressful situations at work or in your personal life, rework your diet to include more of these stress-fighting foods. They can help minimize the effects of cortisol to keep you slimmer.

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