Adrenal fatigue is an illness that many consider to be a myth. However, its symptoms are very real, and can directly affect one’s day-to-day activities. These symptoms include tiredness and weakness, and happen even though you get plenty of sleep and rest. Other landmarks of adrenal fatigue include an intense craving for salty foods, and a predisposition to other types of illnesses and infections.
The disease is caused by a malfunction of the adrenal glands. These glands secrete such hormones as adrenaline and cortisol, which the body produces in excess during moments of stress. These hormones prepare the body for an increased response (fight or flight), but during prolonged periods of extreme stress the adrenal glands tend to produce less and less of them. This is when adrenal fatigue sets in, and you start to feel sluggish.
The good news is that adrenal fatigue can be very easily addressed through naturopathic interventions, without the need for artificial medications. Simply follow these recommendations, and you’re on your way to recovery.
Food & Nutrition Diet (Meal Plan) for Adrenal Fatigue
#1 Recommended Breakfast Diet for Adrenal Fatigue
Since adrenal fatigue is something that concerns the endocrine system, it is important to have meals that are rich in various vitamins and minerals. Nutrition-dense breakfast food include eggs and fish, along with colorful vegetables such as bell peppers. Lean meats are also good, along with legumes. You may, for example, cook up a nice omelette with bell peppers, some mushrooms, and some string beans. Fruit juice is a good breakfast beverage, too, along with dairy.
#2 Recommended Lunch Diet for Adrenal Fatigue
While breakfast is the most important meal of the day and shouldn’t ever be skipped, many people tend to downplay the importance of lunch. If you have adrenal fatigue, this won’t do. Make sure you eat the moment you become hungry.
A sandwich made of whole-grain bread and filled with slices of meat or poultry would be a good lunch for those on the go. All of these ingredients are good for adrenal fatigue, too. A salad is also good, as leafy vegetables contain the nutrients needed for the restoration of adrenal function.
It is also right to address the craving for salt — but only in moderation, as too much of it could cause a whole host of other health issues. Use only natural sea salt, and in moderation.
#3 Recommended Dinner Diet for Adrenal Fatigue
A high-protein dinner with natural meat sources is ideal for dinner. High-protein foods include beef, meat (lean), poultry, and fish. Avoid processed meats, as these have most of the protein stripped away. A side dish of vegetables, especially those with high fiber content, could help cleanse and reset the workings of the body.
#4 Recommended Snack Diet for Adrenal Fatigue
A serving of low-sugar fruits (those that aren’t too sweet) would be good for a snack. Alternatively, you can try high-protein and high-fiber foods such as nuts, beans, legumes, and seeds such as pumpkin seed, sunflower seed, and flax seed.
#5 Recommended Drinks for Adrenal Fatigue
Aside from fresh (never canned or boxed) and dairy, water is the only other drink you should be having for adrenal fatigue. Water is known not only for cleansing the body, but also for balancing its functions. Keeping hydrated creates the optimal internal environment in which the adrenal glands can reset their function.
#6 Recommended Herbs for Adrenal Fatigue
Licorice is a good herb for adrenal support, and has been known to help the body adapt to sudden changes such as extreme stress. Licorice helps the body feel the effects of cortisol for longer periods, therefore reducing the strain on the adrenal glands.
Another herb that is a known adaptogenic and can help normalize adrenal function is Ashwaganda, commonly used in Ayurvedic medicine. This is very useful in addressing the insomnia that comes with adrenal fatigue.
#7 Recommended Fruits for Adrenal Fatigue
People with adrenal problems may be more sensitive to sugar, so while fruits are great, low-sugar fruits are preferred. Good fruits include pears, apples, kiwi, cherries, grapes, mangoes, papaya, plums, and the like. While oranges have great Vitamin C content which helps improve the immune system, they tend to have higher sugar content as well so they should be avoided.
#8 Recommended Vitamins for Adrenal Fatigue
All vitamins and minerals are important, but some even more so when improving and re-adjusting the rates of metabolism. B-Complex Vitamins are especially useful, aside from also helping boost your energy levels. Of course, Vitamin C is also good as it improves your immune system and also boosts the ability of the adrenal glands to produce cortisol.
#9 Recommended Minerals for Adrenal Fatigue
Magnesium is an important mineral in terms of maintaining energy flow, and the sad fact is that so many people are deficient in it. Lack of magnesium causes muscle cramps and other symptoms that are connected to adrenal fatigue.
While not strictly minerals, probiotics are also important supplements in order to maintain a good level of gut flora. This gut flora helps improve digestion, and helps the body absorb more nutrients.
#10 Discouraged Food for Adrenal Fatigue
The most important thing to avoid is sugar — this directly upsets the body’s balance. Sugar intake causes an energy spike, which results in an energy crash as it wanes. As the body adjusts to low sugar content, it begins craving for more leading to a downward spiral.
This is the same case with caffeine, as caffeine crashes tend to be even worse. Alcohol, of course, should be avoided at all costs.
While there is still a debate going on about the real cause behind adrenal fatigue (or even if it really is a medical condition), it is important to realize that the adrenal gland has an important role to play in the human body. When these glands fail, it is important to restore them to their active state in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
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