I'm Dana Lewis.

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Nutrition Hacker.


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5 Superfoods to Lower Cortisol and Boost Your Mood

In our fast-paced world, stress is inevitable. If it’s not something at home stressing you out, it’s something at work. There are a million things on any given day that can put us on edge. How are you handling it? Maybe not as good as you think. Your body has a way of showing the stress in ways you might not recognize. 

Stress triggers the release of cortisol, the body’s primary stress hormone. It’s a delightful (yes, that’s sarcasm) little hormone that spikes inflammation and has significant impacts on both mental and physical health. 

𝗦𝗶𝗴𝗻𝘀 𝗼𝗳 𝗛𝗶𝗴𝗵 𝗖𝗼𝗿𝘁𝗶𝘀𝗼𝗹:⁣

👉🏻Irritability ⁣

👉🏻Weight Gain despite your efforts⁣

👉🏻Exhaustion ⁣

👉🏻Mood Swings⁣


👉🏻Digestive Issues ⁣

👉🏻Difficulty Sleeping ⁣

👉🏻Feelings of Anxiousness ⁣

👉🏻Tired all day⁣

👉🏻Wired at night ⁣

Sound like someone you know? Yeah, me too. I had the same problem. For years. I’ve learned how to manage stress and the good news is you can too. Part of the solution is as simple as making mindful choices about your diet. 

Certain foods are known to help lower cortisol levels and improve overall well-being. Here are five foods that can help you harness the power of nutrition to help you relax and reduce stress naturally.

1. Bananas

Bananas are more than just a convenient snack. They are rich in potassium, which helps regulate blood pressure, and vitamin B6, which is crucial for the production of serotonin—a neurotransmitter that promotes relaxation and mood improvement. These benefits indirectly contribute to reducing cortisol levels.

Pro Tip: Opt for bananas that are slightly green with no brown spots. Unripe bananas contain prebiotic fibers that support gut health, which is linked to lower levels of stress and anxiety.

2. Green Tea

Green tea is a powerhouse when it comes to stress reduction. It contains an amino acid called L-theanine, which has been proven to reduce cortisol levels and promote relaxation without causing drowsiness. Additionally, green tea is packed with antioxidants that offer numerous health benefits.

Pro Tip: Enjoy a calming mocktail with the perfect balance of L-theanine to help you unwind at the end of a hectic day.

3. Avocado

This nutrient-dense fruit is rich in monounsaturated fats, which are associated with lower levels of cortisol. Avocados also contain potassium, which helps regulate blood pressure and counteract the effects of stress on the body. Incorporating avocado into your diet can contribute to better stress resilience and overall health.

Pro Tip: Add avocado to your morning smoothie or spread it on sourdough toast for a nutritious and stress-busting breakfast.  A little goes a long way: make sure you have the proper portions for balancing cortisol, with my simple guide.

4. Fatty Fish

Fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel, and sardines are excellent sources of omega-3 fatty acids. These essential fats have been shown to lower cortisol levels and increase stress resilience. Omega-3 fatty acids also possess anti-inflammatory properties, benefiting overall health.

Pro Tip: Aim to include fatty fish in your diet at least twice a week to harness their full benefits. Try a salmon salad for lunch or grilled mackerel for dinner.

5. Dark Chocolate

Indulging in dark chocolate can be a delightful way to manage stress. Dark chocolate contains antioxidants that can reduce the stress hormone response. It’s essential to consume it in moderation and choose dark chocolate with at least 70% cocoa content to reap these benefits.

Pro Tip: Enjoy a small piece of dark chocolate as an afternoon treat to help curb stress and satisfy your sweet tooth.

There is a clear connection between diet and our capacity to cope with life’s challenges. I include a daily mocktail in my nutritional arsenal to help manage the stress even more! 

The adage “you are what you eat” is true! What we consume not only fuels our bodies but also influences our mental and emotional states. Foods rich in essential nutrients can enhance our mood, boost our energy levels, and help us manage stress more effectively. By choosing these foods we are actively shaping a healthier, more resilient version of ourselves.  To take the confusion out of it: I created a simple guide to help you lower cortisol and inflammation, one bite at a time. YES!  It can be that simple! Cheers to your health! 

I'm Dana Lewis

Hi there!

When my fit husband died at forty from a cancerous tumor with little to no symptoms, it left stress to blame and lots of questions to be answered. As I began searching for answers, I learned about the microbiome and the power of this second brain. Ten years later, I am honored to be able to take what began as my pain and share it with you.