Adrenal fatigue is more common than you think! My last post listed 5 common symptoms, so if you are feeling wiped out and lack energy most of the time, this could be you.
What you can do about it:
Food and nutrition:
You might not like to hear this next part, but if you feed the body a poor fuel, then it won’t perform to its optimal capacity. When our bodies are placed under physical or emotional stress, their need for nutrients is higher, as we are burning through them more quickly. Over prolonged periods, our nutritional stores run low. In adrenal fatigue, they are further perilously reduced. So that greasy, sugar laden burger with fries just won’t cut it!
What not to eat:
Cortisol is a hormone which is important in the regulation of blood sugar levels to provide energy. People with adrenal fatigue usually have decreased blood sugar, as long term production of cortisol starts to wane. When we are tired it’s easy to choose foods that will give us an energy boost.
However, this boost is only temporary and dumps our blood sugar levels to a lower state shortly after. Highly processed, fast foods are often the main choice, but they contain unhealthy refined carbohydrates and fats, as well as poor quality protein. Caffeine and cola drinks push the adrenal glands to produce more cortisol, which over time create weight gain and more lethargy. A vicious cycle is set up, as more junk food is consumed to combat the increasing exhaustion, which leads to even further weight gain.
Please stay away from pies, fried food, pizza, lollies, soft drinks, biscuits and pastry if you want to restore healing. Not to mention any type of fast food outlet that has a drive-through section!
What’s good to eat:
Number 1 is good quality vegetables and fruit. Aim to have 6-8 serves of vegetables daily, ensuring that you have lots of different colours on your plate. Leafy greens, carrots, beetroot, sweet corn, zucchini, mushrooms, onions, capsicum are perfect in either hot stir fries or cold salads.
Eat at least 2-3 serves of fruit daily, preferably fresh, rather than dried. All of these foods are nutrient dense for fuelling your body and are full of anti-oxidants. These protect your body’s cells by cleaning up all the free radicals that are created from modern living.
Sodium rich foods: Salt is not evil (despite popular thinking). In fact, our adrenal glands require salt to function more efficiently. It is true that excess salt intake can increase blood pressure, but most people with adrenal fatigue have very low blood pressure and often feel weak or dizzy.
There’s a big chance that your adrenal glands are crying out for sodium, if you are craving salty foods, or love to heavily salt your meal. But instead of over salting your food, add these sodium rich foods to your diet. Kelp flakes, dulse, green olives, beetroot greens, zucchini and red chillies are great additions to your health. Or you can also use celtic or iodised sea salt in your evening meal. Adding kelp and dulse flakes to your stir fries and salads is another easy way to get a little more sodium into your meals. Your salt cravings should subside, and you should start feeling a whole lot better!
For improved energy:
Good quality carbohydrates: Root vegetables, and grains are your friends here. These include quinoa, brown rice, pumpkin, carrots, buckwheat, oats and whole wheat. Stay away from pasta, packet meals, cakes and pies!
Good quality fats: Increase your intake of fresh nuts and seeds, flaxseed oil and oily fish. Add Olive oil to salads and coconut oil for cooking, and you’ll have it covered. Avoid deep fried foods and hydrogenated oils (read those labels!)
So remember, to enable cell regeneration, repair and healing, it’s vital that we nourish ourselves with the best foods possible. Love your adrenals, and they will love you back.