When you think about adrenal fatigue, you probably attribute it to stress. That’s totally reasonable, considering physical and mental stress is the leading cause of adrenal fatigue in our society today. We live lives so full of stress that it’s a miracle anyone gets through it without experiencing adrenal fatigue at least once in their lives.
But beside stress, there are a whole host of other things that can cause adrenal fatigue. Lack of sleep, for example, can lead to adrenal fatigue because it eliminates your body’s ability to recover overnight. Exposure to toxins and pollutants can also contribute to adrenal fatigue. So can sudden traumas, like a death in the family or the loss of a job. The sudden shock to your adrenal system can send the whole thing out of whack.
Another huge cause of adrenal fatigue, and the one we’re going to talk about today, is your diet.
The standard American diet is a massive culprit in our society’s rising incidence of adrenal fatigue, and for two really big reasons:
One, the foods we’re eating are stressful on our systems.
When we eat a diet full of foods that are difficult for our bodies to break down, digest, and use, we’re putting more stress on our adrenal system. We produce more cortisol and insulin to manage these foods, and over time, if that’s the majority of what we’re consuming, our body has a hard time keeping up with the demand. Adrenal fatigue is a likely result.
Two, our diet is directly responsible for a collection of damaging chronic illnesses.
Heart disease, obesity, diabetes, and cancer have all been linked to the standard American diet. Chronic illness is another big drain on our adrenal system and it’s been shown that people suffering from long term diseases are more likely to suffer from adrenal fatigue as well. When our diets are setting us up to get sick, they’re setting us up for adrenal fatigue and exhaustion as well.
Thankfully, our diet is one of the things we’re in the most control of when it comes down to managing our adrenal fatigue, and it’s really as simple as making sure you eat more of the foods that can help boost your adrenal health and cut out the foods that are making your adrenal fatigue even worse.
Top 10 Foods To Boost Your Adrenal Health
Coconut oil, coconut milk, coconut butter, and pretty much any other form of coconut is excellent at helping boost your overall health. However, for adrenal fatigue, coconut oil is one of the best things you can have. Coconut oil helps speed up your metabolism and nourishes your cells. It also helps protect your liver from damaging free radicals and neutralizes harmful toxins in your system. It naturally aids in detoxification. It speeds up your metabolism, increases your body function, and helps your thyroid function. On top of all of that, coconut oil also helps balance your blood sugar and helps support your immune system. All of this can make it a huge asset in helping manage and alleviate your adrenal fatigue.
For much the same reason as coconut oil, olive oil is a great alternative to many of the cooking oils most people use today. Olive oil is rich in omega 3 oils, which help reduce inflammation as well as balance our omega 6 and omega 3 ratios.
Avocados are considered one of the most nutrient rich foods on the planet. They’re chock full of essential fatty acids, nutrient-dense healthy fats, dietary fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Avocados are critical to a healthy diet. Recently, avocados have also been shown to help people lose weight thanks to the fiber and phytochemical content!
These vegetables are full of essential nutrients that help your adrenal glands function in a high level. They’re rich in glucosinolates, which help you detox naturally, and indole-3-carbinol, which has been shown to greatly reduce the risk of breast, colon, and lung cancer!
Here’s a list of some of the best cruciferous vegetables you should definitely add to your diet:
- Bok Choy
- Brussel Sprouts
- Collard Greens
- Mustard Greens
Fatty, Wild-Caught Fish
The biggest benefit to oily fish is the amazing omega 3 content. As I mentioned above with avocadoes, omega 3 helps fight off inflammation and balance your omega 6 and omega 3 ratios, both of which help your adrenal health. On top of that, fatty fish is a great source of lean protein. It also helps prevent cardiovascular disease, reduces your risk of rheumatoid arthritis, protects against oral and skin cancers, protects your vision, improves your memory, and more! Remember, though, you want wild-caught fish if you can. It keeps their nutrient levels balanced and healthy!
Here are the best oily fish:
Chicken and Turkey
When it comes to meats, these two options are great. They are full of lean protein, which helps you keep your energy levels high without causing blood sugar spikes. Again, make sure you find free-range, hormone-free sources to keep your diet as free from toxins as possible!
Nuts, especially walnuts, are considered brain food. Walnuts have been shown to improve your mood, and again, they’re another food rich in omega 3 fatty acids. Nuts in general are a good source of healthy fats, which can keep your energy up and prevent spikes and crashes.
Much like nuts, seeds are a great source of healthy fats, proteins, and they’re perfect to snack on throughout the day. Nuts are also very nutrient dense, giving your body a boost of the nutrients it needs to stay healthy.
Kelp and Seaweed
These two superfoods are excellent for adrenal health. They have a high protein count, high mineral content (specifically iodine, calcium, iron, and magnesium), and more vitamin C than oranges! They help with thyroid health and are also anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and anti-inflammatory.
Himalayan Sea Salt
Salt has gotten a bad rap, but there is a huge difference between processed table salt and Himalayan or Celtic sea salt. First, himalayan salt is not heavily processed, which means there aren’t a bunch of weird ingredients in it. Second, himalayan salt has been shown to contain 60 trace minerals to help you stay hydrated and maintain proper adrenal and thyroid function, powerful electrolytes, and digestive enzyme enhancers (basically, making you absorb more nutrients from the foods you eat!).
If you fill your diet with these amazing superfoods, you’re sure to notice an improvement in adrenal health! On the other hand, you should also make sure you avoid anything on THIS list…
The List of Forbidden Foods Making Your Adrenal Fatigue Worse
I could write an entire book on how bad sugar is for you, but let’s just cover the basics. First, your body has to produce a bunch of cortisol and insulin to help break down sugar, which stresses your adrenal glands. Second, sugar has been linked to dangerous diseases like heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and cancer.
In small doses, caffeine may not be a huge problem. However, if you’re drinking more than one cup of coffee in the morning, it can lead to problems sleeping, which makes it hard for your body to rest and recover. Additionally, having too much caffeine stresses your system out, and most people drink their caffeine with a lot of extra sugar on top.
Anything made with preservatives or fillers to extend its shelf life is harder for your body to digest. When your digestive tract is under a lot of stress, your adrenal glands work harder, too. This can lead to adrenal fatigue, or at the very least make the fatigue you’re already experiencing worse.
Unlike the healthy fats and oils I’ve talked about above, hydrogenated oils (soybean, canola, and corn oil) are extremely inflamatory on your body. That means they can also lead to adrenal inflammation.
Boost your diet with adrenal support supplements.
On top of eating the best foods for adrenal health, you can also boost your adrenal system by making sure you’re taking the best adrenal support supplements. Make sure you look for supplements with the best ingredients for adrenal health:
The best support supplements should have the following ingredients:
- Holy Basil
- Vitamin B12
- Vitamin C
One of the best adrenal support supplements on the market is FlexNatural’s Adrenal Support. You can find it on Amazon.
Taking care of your diet is a critical part of taking care of your adrenal function. Make sure you eat the healthiest foods from the best sources and cut out sugars, caffeine, processed foods, and hydrogenated oils!