Whole foods diet can decrease high cortisol levels associated with post-traumatic stress disorder

Lynn Griffith
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A new study from UCLA reports that adults can develop symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) even if there in no explicit memory of trauma. (1)

New study shows that symptoms of PTSD can occur without explicit memory of trauma

The study found that at least six previous reports showed that people who have experienced horrible life events, resulting in brain damage, develop symptoms similar to PTSD even though they were unable to recall the events. (1)

Researchers exposed 17 day old rats to a single episode of unpredictable stress.  After 80 days, the scientist tested the animals for memory of the event and measured their fear response. (1)

“We found that the rodents, which failed to remember the environment in which they were traumatized, showed a persistent increase in anxiety-related behavior and increased learning of new fear situations,” Andrew Poulos said. “These heightened levels of fear and anxiety corresponded with drastic changes in the daily rhythms of the circulating hormone corticosterone.” (1)

High cortisol associated with PTSD can impair cognitive performance, create blood sugar imbalance, high blood pressure and other health problems

One of the most prominent symptoms of PTSD is high cortisol.  High cortisol can lead to additional medical problems such as impaired cognitive performance, blood sugar imbalances, high blood pressure and a host of other serious health problems.  If you believe that you suffer from symptoms of PTSD, it is important to evaluate your lifestyle. (2,4)

Exercise is shown to benefit those who experience and increase in cortisol as well as relieves other PTSD symptoms.  Exercise helps release mood-enhancing endorphins in the brain that minimize symptoms. (2)

Whole foods diet helps regulate cortisol levels and reduce symptoms of PTSD

Food provides the body and mind with necessary nutrition to help the body recover from a traumatic event.  Increasing fibrous foods, such as oatmeal, beans, citrus fruits, berries, beets and carrots, will help lower cortisol levels in the body.  Vitamin C found in foods such as green peppers, citrus fruit, tomatoes, berries, broccoli, sweet potatoes, and cantaloupe prevents a rise in cortisol levels.  Consuming foods with tryptophan will help increase serotonin levels in the brain.  Tryptophan is found in goat milk, yogurt, fruit, and peanut butter. (2,4)

Matt Monarch explains in How to Heal with Raw Foods or Cooked Whole Foods that it is not as much about what you put into the body that allows the body to heal.  It’s what you stop putting into the body that aids in healing. (3)

This concept applies to those recovering from PTSD.  Avoid alcohol consumption, as alcohol causes the adrenal glands to produce more cortisol.  Avoid caffeine intake or limit to under 200 milligrams per day.  Remove all forms of gluten as it has been shown to elevate cortisol levels.  Do not eat packaged foods as they are high in salt and other chemicals.  Sodium modifies enzymes that turn cortisone into cortisol.  Stick to a whole foods diet to provide your body the optimum nutrition to heal. (2,4)

Sources for this article include:

(1) newsroom.ucla.edu
(2) www.breathintothebag.com
(3) www.youtube.com
(4) umm.edu.com

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