“Don’t talk to me until I’ve had my morning coffee.” “I need to eat NOW.” “Is it wine ‘o clock yet?!” – sound familiar?
What about your daily routine? Does it go something like this: Wake up (tired), coffee, breakfast, (stress), coffee, lunch, (tired), coffee, (stress), home, (wired), wine, dinner… can’t sleep.
If this is you, your adrenals may (definitely) need a little TLC.
What is Adrenal Fatigue?
Adrenal fatigue is a condition where your body and adrenal glands can’t keep up with the tremendous amount of daily stress many people experience.
What are the Causes?
Some of the more common causes of adrenal fatigue include;
– gut dysbiosis
– autoimmune conditions
– emotional stress
– excessive exercise
– food intolerances
What are the Symptoms?
Some of the symptoms include; craving sugary treats, struggling to lose/gain weight, struggling to sleep, limited sex drive, body aches, trouble concentrating, racing thoughts, moodiness and irritability, always tired, feeling overwhelmed, and hormone imbalance.
Luckily, you can heal adrenal fatigue with three simple steps: a healthy diet, taking targeted supplements and reducing stress.
1. A Healthy Diet
There are a number of foods that support adrenal function. They help replenish your adrenal energy so your system can come back to full health. Some of the top superfoods for adrenal health include:
– Cruciferous vegetables (cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, etc.)
– Fatty fish (e.g., wild-caught salmon)
– Nuts, such as walnuts and almonds
– Seeds, such as pumpkin, chia and flax
– Kelp and seaweed
– Himalayan / sea salt
These foods help overcome adrenal insufficiency because they’re nutrient-dense, low in sugar, and have healthy fat and fiber.
Remove anything that taxes your adrenals. Foods to avoid include:
– Caffeine: This can interfere with your sleep cycle and make it hard for your adrenals to recover. If you must drink coffee or a caffeinated beverage, then have a limited amount in the morning before noon.
– Sugar and sweeteners: Includes avoiding high-fructose corn syrup and artificial sweeteners as well. Avoid sugary foods; cereals, juice, sweets, etc. Be aware that sugar is an additive in many breads, condiments and dressings. Try to avoid as much extra sugar as possible.
– Processed and microwaved foods: First of all, the microwave has its own dangers, but additionally, most microwaveable foods have many preservatives and fillers that are hard to digest and wear out your body’s energy and digestion cycle. Try to buy food on the outer walls of your grocery store and prepare your own food whenever possible.
– Hydrogenated oils: Vegetable oils like soybean, sunflower, canola and corn oil are highly inflammatory and can lead to adrenal inflammation. Try to only use good fats such as coconut oil, olive oil, organic butter or ghee.
2. Targeted Supplements
Certain adrenal-boosting nutrients are needed to get your adrenal function back up, such as:
– Adaptogens e.g. Ashwagandha, Holy basil or Rhodiola
– Omega 3 Fish oil (EPA/DHA)
– Vitamins B5 & B12
– Vitamin C & D3
3. Reduce Stress
Be kind to yourself. Pay attention to your body. Find balance in your life.
– Rest when you feel tired (as much as possible).
– Sleep 8–10 hours a night.
– Avoid staying up late and stay on a regular sleep cycle — ideally, in bed before 10 p.m.
– Laugh and do something fun every day.
– Minimize work and relational stress.
– Eat regularly and don’t skip meals.
– Exercise but don’t overdo it (good options are yoga, pilates, swimming and walking)
– Avoid negative people and self-talk. Think yourself positive.
– Take time for yourself (do something relaxing).
– Seek counsel or support for any traumatic experiences.
The good news is that you can reverse the effects of adrenal fatigue and start to heal by implementing the three aforementioned simple steps. But remember that a health program should be tailored to your specific needs. What works for one person may not for you. So get tested and seek counsel from your trusted health care provider.