Diet is one of the major components in healing from adrenal fatigue. So this article looks at what to eat, when to eat and covers some important dietary tips to get the best out of what you do in the healing process.
This is a small snippet of information from my eGuide the Adrenal Fatigue Handbook, Meal Plans & Food Guide.
Adrenal Fatigue Diet
Eat Plenty Of Fresh Vegetables
Most people I come across do not eat enough vegetables, in fact sometimes vegetables are hard to be found in the menu plan 🙁 This is not a good situation when it comes to adrenal health and other things for that matter. Vegetables provide a wide array of valuable vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals, flavonoids, and fibre. They are also highly alkalising and balancing foods, so you need to make sure you’re getting plenty of them.
5 servings minimum every single day should be the aim. One serve is approximately half a cup of something. Now that really isn’t a lot but like I said, most people might get around 1-2 serves and it’s simply not enough. Keeping a food log is a great way to evaluate exactly what is going in, don’t rely on what you think you’re eating.
Many people with adrenal fatigue have a high acid body so despite all the amazing nutrients contained in these wonderful foods, they are also going to help balance out the body’s ph levels so that you are more neutral and alkaline. Particularly focus on eating more cruciferous veggies, broccoli, kale, cauliflower, brussel sprouts etc.
The overall message here: Just eat more veggies 🙂
Moderate Fruit Intake
It’s fine to eat fruit but just watch your limits because fruit is high in sugar and if you eat too much it will spike insulin and place extra load on the adrenals. Best practice is to always eat fruit with a fat source as it slows down the uptake of glucose into the blood stream. Fruit should be avoided in the morning and replaced with a solid meal containing protein fat and carb, such as a big veggie omelette with avocado. Eat your fruit later in the afternoon or evening.
Eat good quality protein sources to help build energy into the body. The B vitamins found in protein are important for energy production, building all the cells in the body, protein is part of enzymes and coenzymes, helps with fat metabolism and the synthesis of neurotransmitters, maintaining nerve cells, DNA synthesis, and many other important functions.
Whole protein sources include: meats, liver, eggs, nuts, fish, poultry, shellfish, chicken and so forth.
Partial protein sources (if you eat them): beans and legumes, whole grains such as buckwheat, brown rice, quinoa and so forth. These foods do contain protein but they also contain quite a high level of carbohydrate. It’s always best to combine a bean with a grain in order to get a more complete protein, but don’t displace your veggies as a results.
I’ve got a whole guide to healthy proteins over here.
Wholegrains, Beans & Legumes
For those that do eat grains, beans and legumes, there are a few rules to abide by. It’s essential to eat a gluten free diet because a protein chain in glutenous grains is known to mess with hormones. Glutinous grains include wheat, barley and rye. So anything containing these is out of the picture. Only eat wholegrains such as buckwheat (no it’s not wheat it’s actually a seed), quinoa, brown rice, whole oats, wild rice and so forth.
Avoid kidney beans because no one can digest those properly. Choose adzuki, chickpea, mungbeans, lentils or split peas. Make sure you prepare them well and don’t buy them in a can. Some of the organic brands are okay but check ingredients for additives. And if including beans and grains, limit your portions to 1 cup per day only and don’t displace your need for adequate veggies.
Eat your fat
Contrary to popular belief fat does not make you fat. In fact we need it for many of the bodies functions, one of those is in manufacturing hormones. We need dietary cholesterol to manufacture hormones effectively, this includes the many hormones that the adrenal glands produce. You will get some dietary cholesterol from eating meats but adding additional sources of healthy fat is also a good idea.
Use olive oil, flax seed oil, walnut oil, coconut oil, and butter. I often drizzle my meals with some extra virgin olive oil. The great part about olive oil, flax seed oil, walnut oil is that they are Omega 3 oils that help reduce inflammation and balance out our Omega 6/3 ratio. Often we’re tipping the scales more toward Omega 6 and we want to maintain a balance between the two. So up your intake of Omega 3s.
Eat Celtic Salt
It sounds strange because we’re always being told to minimise salt, but there’s a big difference between refined table salt, and healthy, regenerating celtic himalayan salt. The adrenals quite like a bit of additional salt and you’ll find it helps to bump up your energy levels.
Try adding a bit of salt to your morning drink and it’s also beneficial later in the day when you might experience those energy slumps.
As discussed yesterday, coffee is on the out, so start drinking those herbals. Dandelion root is a great substitute for coffee and also promotes liver function and detoxification. Regular tea is on the black list too but green tea is fine. And there is also a huge selection of other herbals you can thoroughly enjoy.
During summer I make iced herbals and they make a great substitute for sodas and fruit juice. My kids always loved them when they were young too. Steep some fruity tea bags in hot water to make a strong mixture, place in a bottle in the fridge and drink with some ice. Very refreshing.
Do you drink enough water?
Most people don’t. Try to get 1.5 litres of water a day into your body. Start early and it’s really not that difficult to get through. Avoid tap water though, it’s full of toxic chemicals. Only drink filtered water.
Adrenal Fatigue Diet Tips
- Start the day with a lemon and apple cider alkalising, detoxifying drink – recipe over here. Add a little celtic salt to the recipe to help sooth the adrenals.
- Eat breakfast within 1 hour of waking – don’t leave it too long to get your cortisol levels into gear.
- Don’t skip meals especially breakfast – you need to get your blood sugars up at the beginning of the day so skipping a meal is not a good idea.
- Don’t wait too long to eat meals so that you are really hungry – with adrenal fatigue, the body has a difficult time storing energy, so often it’s best to eat smaller meals at more regular intervals.
- Have a carb, a protein and a fat at every meal – this is a good balanced approach and will give you more sustained energy. If you do eat wholegrains, beans and legumes, limit those to 1 cup per day and make sure you still include loads of vegetables in the carb mix.
- Don’t overeat – this places additional load on every digestive process and your adrenals too.
- Don’t get overly hungry – Eat an early lunch because the body utilises the morning energy quickly, or at least have a good mid morning snack that will get you through. It’s important not to let yourself get too hungry because the body starts freaking out and having those extra snacks or meals helps to level out cortisol levels.
- Use healthy fats on every meal – drizzle your veggies, salad or dish with olive oil, walnut oil, flax, butter or coconut oil.
- Have a snack 1 hour before bed – snack on a piece of fruit and some nut butter or yoghurt, chicken strips with avocado dip, cheese or sweet potato, or anything of your choosing – as long as it’s healthy of course 🙂
Well that’s the basic rundown of the adrenal fatigue diet and a few diet tips to make the most of it.
If you can implement these steps you will start to see big changes ocuuring.
I’d love to know your thoughts and any questions so please leave your comments below.
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