Cortisol is hard to escape. Stressors of every kind initiate cortisol release, whether it is related to work, family, your love life, or your workout. Scientists at the University of Vienna have found that fat intake can take the edge off your cortisol levels. Published in the online journal PLOS One, the experiment entailed giving various diets to four different groups of socially stressed guinea pigs.
The groups that were given feed laced with either chia seeds or walnuts experienced the greatest decrease in cortisol levels, compared to the group that was given straight feed or feed mixed with peanuts. Researchers also noticed that while stressed animals are usually very still, the chia and walnut groups were more active than the other animals. Chia seeds are loaded with omega-3 fatty acids, while walnuts have a greater ratio of omega-6 fatty acids, indicating a value in maintaining a balance between these two valuable nutrients.