Ways to Eat to Support Adrenal Health
- Use fresh, whole foods, preferably organic, locally grown, seasonal food for meals and snacks.
- Avoid preservatives, added hormones, artificial colors, dyes, and chemicals.
- Include lean protein with each meal and snack to help stabilize blood sugar and stave off cravings for refined sugars and caffeine.
- If you buy prepared food, try to buy it at a health food store or grocery offering natural, whole foods.
- Try to prepare extra nutritious snacks to have on hand so they are ready and available when you are having cravings.
Beverages also make a difference in supporting adrenal health. Here is a chart showing the alternatives.
|Drinks that contain caffeine||Ginseng [Panax sp.] Eleuthero/Siberian ginseng [Eleutherococcus senticosus] (in the morning)|
|Alcohol||Herbal teas like chamomile, passionflower, valerian|
|Gatorade||Vegetable juice (with salt), like V-8|
Tip: If coffee is a must, try to have one cup in the morning with a nutritious breakfast.
A Note On Salt and Adrenal Imbalance
My patients are always surprised when I tell them to give in to their cravings of salt during periods of adrenal fatigue. Salt cravings in adrenal insufficiency are related to low levels of a steroid hormone called aldosterone. This hormone helps the body maintain salt and water as a way to help regulate blood pressure. When cortisol goes up, aldosterone goes down. Like cortisol, aldosterone fluctuates throughout the day, and is also influenced by stress. Chronically low levels of aldosterone can impact electrolyte balance, and sodium intake is one way to help correct this imbalance.
If you experience lightheadedness when you get out of bed in the morning, or when you get out of a hot bath or shower, you may have hypotension or low blood pressure. This is a common side effect of adrenal insufficiency, so adding good quality-salt, such as Celtic sea salt, could be helpful to manage those symptoms.
A Final Tip On Choosing The Right Foods and Beverages
When we make necessary dietary changes, we may often feel stress, which of course does not help break the stress-patterns that have already depleted our adrenal glands. This is when I remind my patients to not feel bad if they veer off course once in a while. Feelings of self-disappointment that are associated with bingeing may lead to a desire to abandon the course of action. Doing your best 90 percent of the time is all I ask, because guilt is not a healthy way to support your adrenal glands!
Other Nutrients Valuable To Adrenal Health
Vitamins and minerals and micronutrients found in a pharmaceutical-grade supplement (Click here for information on Women to Women’s high-quality, specially formulated supplements) are essential to restoring adrenal health, and supporting the entire endocrine system. Not only can they help the healing process, but they can provide extra nutrition to our cells, and support proper adrenal functioning every day. Here are some important ones.