Talking about adrenal fatigue, what it is and some of the best foods to help with adrenal fatigue.
Hello friends! How’s the day going so far? I hope you have a great one! Today, I want to talk a little bit about adrenal fatigue. This is a big topic and one close to my heart because I suffered from chronic stress for many years. I couldn’t figure out why my hair was falling out, I was tired all the time, and my hormones were out of whack. A big contributing factor: stress. Stress affects many processes and systems in the body and can take its toll.
Please keep in mind that this post is not medical advice and is not intended to diagnose, prevent, treat or cure any disease or illness. I’m sharing my own experience, some things I’ve learned, and things that generally help with a healthy lifestyle. 😉 If you have questions, always, talk to your doctor. I’m not a doctor (obviously).
What is Adrenal Fatigue?
There is some debate about adrenal fatigue (more below), but it affects a lot of women, which can lead to hormonal imbalances and poor health. Adrenal fatigue can occur when you are chronically fatigued.
Your adrenal glands sit above your kidneys (like a lil hat), and produce various hormones, including cortisol. Cortisol is our “get up and go” hormone, helping us wake up in the morning, respond to stressors, and take action. Cortisol is often blamed for a lot of things, but when it’s secreted at the right time, it’s a good thing.
When you are under chronic stress, it reduces the ability of the adrenal glands to produce cortisol. This is why high cortisol eventually becomes low cortisol; The adrenal glands can no longer keep up with the demand and burn out. This can cause cortisol to be produced at inappropriate times, such as late at night (which can lead to feeling “tired and wired” before bed) or in the middle of the night (when you wake up scared or stressed and can’t get back to sleep).
It can cause symptoms that include:
– Poor mood
– Brain fog
– Craving for sugar or salt
– Poor treatment and recovery from illness and exercise
– Sleep disturbances
– Inability to sleep
And so much more.
You may hear people say that adrenal fatigue is not real because it is not fully supported by science. But, there is a big problem with people constantly feeling stressed and tired. What you’re experiencing may be due to HPA axis dysfunction: when the signals between your brain, pituitary gland, and adrenal glands get mixed up due to chronic stress.
Even if the adrenal glands are functioning properly and you are under a huge amount of stress that affects your daily life, It’s worth making some lifestyle changes to help your body cope with chronic stress.
Your body is under stress:
Here are my favorite powerhouse foods that nourish and calm during stressful times.
10 Best Foods for Adrenal Fatigue
(Or even friends who know they need extra nutrients)
1) Broccoli and leafy greens
Broccoli is high in fiber and helps flush out excess estrogen that is digested rather than stored in the body.
High in healthy fats and protein!
3) Sweet potatoes and other squashes
Sweet potatoes support healthy progesterone levels and many women don’t consume enough carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are the body’s preferred energy source, and sweet potatoes are nutrient-dense and taste like a warm hug with cinnamon and a little peanut butter on top.
4) Olive oil and other healthy fats help reduce inflammation
Stress causes inflammation in the body so healthy fats help bring everything back into balance.
5) Beef liver and other organ meats
Don’t let organ meats scare you! Check out this post.
6) Adaptogens, reishi mushroom, ashwagandha and rhodiola
My faaave is this gold powder (use code FITNESSISTA) mixed with warm almond milk before bed.
It is a superfood for your liver. Toxins stress the body and liver support helps ensure your body is processing everything adequately.
8) Bone broth helps support a healthy gut, which can be affected by stress
High in nutrients and protein too!
A superfood! We love canned smoked ones. They are high in copper, selenium, B12 and zinc.
10) Fruit, especially berries and apples
These can also be helpful during times of stress as it signals the body that it is getting nourishing carbohydrates and can relax!
Some other things that can help with adrenal fatigue or general stress are:
– Healing and regular contact with loved ones.
It helps the body tune into the parasympathetic system (to relax and digest), lower cortisol, and increase our feel-good neurotransmitters.
– Blood sugar balance.
The more I learn about blood sugar balance, the more its importance moves up my personal preference ladder. Check out the books Why do we get sick? And The glucose revolution.
– Adrenal support.
There are various supplements that help with adrenal support. Talk to your doctor or physician, but this is one of my favorites.
– Reducing workout frequency and intensity.
I recommend strength training and walking to all my female 1:1 clients. If you’re looking for a balanced fitness plan based on step-by-step strategies to get you the best results, check out Fit Team.
– Daily sunlight For vitamin D, can help regulate sleep, and is a mood booster 🙂
– Nutritional Strategies!
Here are some techniques I like to emphasize:
Increase intake of leafy, green vegetables and cruciferous vegetables
Protein! Make sure you’re getting enough protein and try to aim for about 4 palm-sized servings a day. Gradually increase your protein intake so that you don’t become debilitated. If you’re not tracking, there’s a good chance you’re not hitting your protein goals. Also, try adding in organic turkey, which contains tryptophan; It is a precursor to serotonin, a feel-good neurotransmitter.
Try an adrenal cocktail. Here is a post about adrenal cocktails and how to use them.
Prioritize sleep. Sleep tips are in this post!
Organ meats. Again, don’t let these discourage you and remember that a little goes a long way.
Avoid white flour and processed, packaged foods. Of course there are healthy options that come in a package (frozen vegetables and fruits, oatmeal, canned goodies, etc.) but I’m talking about sugary white flour products like packaged cookies, cakes, crackers, breads, etc.
Magnesium can calm the brain, especially if you go with magnesium glycinate or magnesium L-threonate. I also enjoy this topical magnesium and use it every night. Stress can deplete the body of minerals, so I want to make sure I’m getting enough minerals in my day through mineral drops and supplements.
Lately, I’ve had a lot of requests for 1:1 coaching – I love that everyone is focusing more on their health in the spring and summer! – and 3 spots left. If you are interested in working with me, you can apply here.
Have a wonderful day and I’ll see you soon!