5 Steps To Rebuild Your Adrenal Health:
Since many sufferers of adrenal fatigue also have a thyroid imbalance, it is recommended that you test for and treat it accordingly.
The five steps to rebuild the adrenal health include:
- Heal the gut
- Diet changes
- Stress reduction
- Emotional healing
- HEAL THE GUT
Improve digestion. Poor digestion wears the adrenals out. It is vital to focus on diet as one of the most important factors in healing the adrenals. Essential minerals in particular help to nourish these organs.
Cleanse toxins. Cleansing can have a huge impact on the adrenals. An overburdened liver may make it almost impossible to bring the adrenals back into balance. To support the adrenals, we must give the liver the extra detox support it needs.
Conquer infection. It is interesting to note that microbes in the body pick up on stress. Stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline can make bad bacteria and yeast like Candida even more virulent and toxic to the body. Displacing the harmful microbes with the help of good, probiotic microbes is one of the best ways to get rid of long-term infection.
Rebuild the gut. Rebuilding the gut with friendly probiotics can not only prevent adrenal fatigue in the future, but it can improve whole-body health. It can boost immunity, control inflammation, support weight loss, clear the skin, aid detoxification, and even reduce the risk of disease.
Replenish good bacteria. Restoring good levels of friendly bacteria in the gut (e.g. Bifidus) will aid recovery. This will allow better food digestion, nutrient assimilation, and strengthen immunity. When the body can easily digest and absorb, it can create energy more efficiently.
- DIET CHANGES
Diet is a huge factor in every case of adrenal recovery. It is important to first remove any hard to digest foods and any toxins. Then, we add in nutrient-dense foods that are easy to digest, low in sugar, have healthy fat and fibre and have healing qualities.
Food to avoid:
- Sugar and sweeteners
The stress response increases sugar and junk food cravings. It is important to avoid sugary foods, cereals, sweets, etc as much as possible since they are “empty” calories, anti-nutrient and they elevate insulin.The excess insulin causes blood sugar levels to crash, often leading to hypoglycemic symptoms and more cravings, creating a dangerous cycle.
A third of sugar comes from soft drinks, two-thirds from hidden sources including: lunch meats, pizza, sauces, breads, soups, crackers, fruit drinks, canned
foods, yogurt, ketchup, mayonnaise, etc. So always read the labels.
Seek the benefits of raw honey or stevia as alternatives.
Eating a low-carbohydrate diet also is essential since fluctuating sugar levels stress the adrenals. It is important to go lightly on fruits, especially in the morning. Fruits contain a significant amount of fructose and potassium, which is a detrimental combination for those with exhausted adrenals.
This can interfere with sleep and make it hard for the adrenals to recover. Caffeine remains in the body for an average of 8 to 10 hours. If you must drink coffee or a caffeinated drink, then have a limited amount in the morning before noon.
- Excess animal protein
Since most people don’t have enough stomach acid to fully digest animal protein, relieve the burden on the adrenals by following the rule of 80/20 – eat 80% vegetables and 20% protein.
Aim for quality protein rather than just quantity.
Also, ensure you only eat grass fed and free range meats instead of grain fed meats, which contain too much omega-6, along with pesticides, herbicides, antibiotics, and hormones.
- Processed foods
These nutrient-poor foods strip the body of vital minerals, making the blood acidic and weakening the adrenals. Also, avoid microwaveable foods which have many preservatives and fillers that are hard to digest and wear out the body’s energy and digestion cycle. Put simply, “just eat real food” instead.
- Soft drinks
Chemical-laden, sugar loaded and often caffeinated, soft drinks can contribute to inflammation and nutrient deficiency, making the state of the adrenals even worse.
- Hydrogenated oils
Vegetable oils like soybean, canola, corn, sunflower and safflower oil are highly inflammatory and can lead to adrenal inflammation.
Most deep-fried foods are fried in hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated fats. They contain toxic free radicals formed when the oils break down with heat that can cause oxidative tissue damage throughout the body.
Try to only use good fats such as coconut oil, olive oil, organic butter or ghee.
Top superfoods to add:
- cruciferous vegetables (cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts etc)
- fatty fish (e.g. wild-caught salmon)
- chicken and turkey
- nuts (e.g. walnuts and almonds)
- seeds (e.g. pumpkin, chia and flax)
- kelp and seaweed
- Celtic or Himalayan sea salt
- berries (e.g. blueberry, goji)
Ideally, eating the right foods to heal the body is recommended. However, due to soil depletion (from over-farming and unhealthy farming practices), much of the fruits and vegetables don’t have the same amount of nutrition that they did even 50 years ago.
Certain adrenal-boosting nutrients are therefore needed and include:
- withania (or ashwagandha)
- holy basil
- stinging nettle
- siberian ginseng
- licorice root
- fish oil (EPA/DHA)
- vitamin B5
- vitamin B6
- vitamin B12
- vitamin C
- vitamin D
- STRESS REDUCTION
It is important to reduce the effect stress has on the body by making the appropriate lifestyle changes which include:
- Rest when you feel tired
- Sleep 8-10 hours each night
- Avoid staying up late (ideally in bed before 10 p.m.)
- Laugh and do something fun everyday
- Address any work and relationship stress (communicate your feelings)
- Eat regular meals and reduce caffeine & sugar addiction
- Moderate exercise (gentle walking, yoga, qigong)
- Avoid negative people and self-talk
- Take time for yourself and do something relaxation (no “guilt”)
- Seek counsel or support for any traumatic experiences (recent or past)