When it comes to eating for good adrenal health, look for foods and ingredients that are nutrient dense. That means lots of good healthy fats, protein, and rich in Vitamin C and Magnesium. And don’t forget to the gluten free veggie starches, like sweet potatoes! Timing is everything with these foods in order elevate or lower cortisol levels.
Funny how all this week I’ve posted about comfort in the form of foods. Well, the healthy way to eat them at least. I guess you could say I was craving all kinds of comfort (physically and emotionally).
You see, we live in a society that doesn’t often allow for breaks. I’m very guilty of that. In fact, I’m often a workaholic. These past few months have been evident of that due to our current situation. Yes, my husband retired from triathlon. Yes, he is still coaching but also trying to find a ” real job” to support us. Yes, we are in a BIG transition after 8 years racing triathlon. And you know what? I think we thought it was going to be easier. Smooth sailing into a new stage of life.
But in actuality, it’s been challenging and somewhat scary. We’re also emotionally drained. But hey, that stuff happens, life has it’s ebbs and flows and we must learn how to shift perspective. Which is what I’m working on now, and I’m thankful for a husband who constantly reminds me of that (and he’s put up with my crazy wife emotions, God love him!).
I know I’ve mentioned it several times before (Here) because we’ve gone through it before. Our past bouts of adrenal fatigue have usually been due to hard training or even over training, but this time around, I think our every day “fear of the unknown” and “what the heck do we do now?” mental stressors have poorly affected our adrenal health.
Oh and if you don’t know what Adrenal Fatigue is, Laura (Ancrestlize RD) wrote a great post on Chris Kresser’s blog about it here.
What is Adrenal Fatigue?
When the body is exposed to stress, the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis (or HPA axis for short) is activated, and a cascade of hormonal changes occur to eventually cause the release of cortisol (our stress hormone) from the adrenal gland. Normally, when a stressor goes away, negative feedback cycles serve to turn off the HPA axis and reduce the release of cortisol. In the modern world, however, many of us are constantly activating our HPA axis.
Ugh, I saw it coming. Irritability, tiredness, emotionally drained, craving caffeine, digestive issues, etc. Although this time I took IMMEDIATE action. Actually, I’m still in the midst of taking action for us Crazy Cotters.
Reducing duration/intensity of workouts; that means more walking, no running. Taking action also meant means trying to get to bed earlier, saying no when we can to things that add more to our schedules, and focusing on making healthy recipes for adrenal health.
I’m also excited to be part of Laura and Kelsey’s paleo rehab adrenal fatigue program. These ancestral RDs are amazing and full of great information. Not to mention extremely supportive. I figured I better jump on board so that we really now how to care for our adrenal health in all situations. Plus it’s a great educational program for any of you HEALTH professionals. There are multiple stages of adrenal fatigue, and it can get quite complicated to understand it all, which is another reason why i recommended Laura and Kelsey’s program. YOU LEARN more and can apply to your own situation.
For a full overview on adrenal fatigue, I highly recommend listening to their talk on Balanced Bites Podcast.
Okay, enough serious talk. Let’s get to the good part of this post. The food.
What to include in your diet to support a adrenal health?
- BREAKFAST! It’s important is to make sure your blood sugar is regulated. So eating a good breakfast that’s protein rich and/or good fats will do wonders.
Need some ideas for a protein rich breakfast? Try Purely Twin’s Breakfast Pizza (Grain Free)
- Sea salt. I wrote about this here. Sea Salt (think magnesium) can definitely help to feed the adrenal glands when they become depleted. Which they do if you are constantly burning them out. When you have any form of adrenal fatigue, your salt levels can become extremely low due to the reduction of aldosterone (hormone). So ya, we’ve been adding pink sea salt to everything!
- Foods that can support digestion and boost immunity – That means high in Vitamin C, K, resistant starch, and probiotics.
- Good CARBS/Starch. This can be tricky. I think most people are told to avoid carbs at night, but for us, adding in resistant starch or starchy vegetables can really help with sleep and lower cortisol levels. That being said, it’s also important to pair those CARBS with GOOD fats in the form of EPA/DHA omegas. EPA and DHA may also have a positive effect on levels of cortisol as well as help fight inflammation.
- And last but not least, foods that Support SLEEP. This might include natural herbs as well as foods rich in serotonin (the calming hormone).
Remember my Cherry Sleeptime Shake? Well, made it again. Extra sleep can help lower cortisol, getting your body out of the “adrenal resistance” stage. Try my “sleep solution” for a good night’s sleep.
Cherry Sleep Time Shake
- 4oz. Tart Cherry Juice for serotonin
- 6oz water
- 1-2 scoops Whey protein – slow release protein digestion and to keep blood sugar regulated
- 2 tbsp 100% unsweetened Cocoa for antioxidants and flavor
- 2 droplets full (around 2 mL) Valerian Liquid extract – Herb to calm the nervous system
- Blend and drink
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Thanks to all my fellow health loving friends for letting me share their recipes! I really hope this information and these foods will help ignite and nourish your adrenal health. I know they have for me!
Pin them for later, try them out, let me know what you think. They are all delicious and pretty easy to make! NO STRESS, haha!
What are your favorite recipes for adrenal health?
Cheers to FRIDAY!!