Monday, August 27, 2018

How Food Affects Adrenal Fatigue

"The battle is real" - as my friend says.

And when it comes to Adrenal Fatigue and food, it is a tough battle wage.

I don't know what it's like for others, but for me it was a vicious cycle. Giving into fatigue led to mindless eating, and mindless eating usually meant unhealthy "comfort" foods" that would put my body in a relaxed state that only fed the fatigue. And so the cycle went.



The fact is that much of our diet causes chronic inflammation to our organs and arteries. Inflammation puts stress on our bodies, which causes strain for our already over-taxed adrenals.

The trick is to stop listening to our emotions that want to be soothed with chips, cookies, and burgers, and go for the foods that will help heal our bodies, reduce inflammation and boost our metabolism.
Before we get into the dos and don'ts, I just want to say that I am trying my best to follow this plan. I'm not there yet, but I am much better than I used to be. I eat far fewer carbs, far more protein, far less junk food and sugar...but I could eat more leafy greens.

Don't skip breakfast

One of the biggest mistakes people make is skipping breakfast or making breakfast a carb-fest. Dietary experts claim that the best way to start your day is with a protein-rich breakfast 30 minutes after waking. This helps to jump-start your metabolism, plus it helps to keep you feeling fuller longer.

Nix the caffeine

One of the very first things you must do to help good adrenal function is to stop the caffeine habit. Caffeine is a stimulant. It agitates your body and causes your adrenal glands to work needlessly. Replace caffeinated drinks with water and herbal teas.

Cut the carbs

While one needs carbs in their diet, we can all agree that our society consumes far too many carbs and far too few leafy greens. Carbs cause our blood sugar to spike, and in moderation this is okay. But proteins help our energy levels to work at a slow, even pace. To help your adrenal glands function better, switch to a lifestyle of lower carbs, higher protein and a large daily dose of leafy green vegetables.

**Update! In February 2017 I began a Ketogenic lifestyle.**

Gut-healthy foods

To help with good digestion, begin to add foods into your diet that are rich with probiotics. Natural yogurt, homemade sauerkraut, kefir and other fermented foods. These foods promote good health in the body, which aids the body in warding off viruses. By doing so, it cuts down on the stress your body would otherwise face.

Other foods you should eat

Colored vegetables
Sprouts
Ground flax
Brown rice
Oats
Berries
Honey
Fresh/raw seeds and nuts
Black beans
Eggs

** Update 2018 - This list has been edited since writing it. I have crossed out the carb-heavy foods as I truly believe that only whole-food carbs can be advantageous for adrenal fatigue sufferers. Leave behind the grains and sugar, and reach for a sweet potato!**


Avoid

Sugary fruits
Refined grains
Sugar
Caffeine
Starchy foods
Trans-fats

Two More Tips:

1. Food allergies and/or sensitivities put a lot of extra strain on the body. Many times we don't realize that we have a food allergies or sensitivities until we've eliminated those foods from our diet.

I am lactose intolerant, and I've noticed that anytime I have food with milk or cream in it, my body suddenly feels horrible. An easy way to determine a food allergy or sensitivity is to do an elimination diet. Once you've eliminated all foods that typically cause a reaction, introducing them back into your diet one-by-one will help you determine whether you need to avoid a certain food altogether. Typical allergies or sensitivities are: dairy, eggs, gluten, nightshades, and nuts.

2. Candida is an abundance of yeast in the body that can cause fungal infections. The result is a body that falls prey to viruses and an assortment of symptoms very similar - and connected to - adrenal fatigue. Following a Candida diet, that restores your friendly bacteria and stops the yeast overgrowth, will help to reduce stress in the body.

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