Since I wrote my first post on adrenal fatigue a couple weeks ago, it seems like everyone’s talking about it! Sarah, the Healthy Home Economist, wrote a post last week called Six Little Known Signs of Adrenal Fatigue. Other bloggers have posted recipes for foods that can help adrenal fatigue, like Soli @ I Believe in Butter’s Zucchini with Tomatoes. It’s a hot topic right now!
And for good reason. I still believe that adrenal fatigue is one of the biggest “unknown” health crises facing us right now. Our adrenal system affects our entire health picture because our adrenals control all our hormones. If our adrenals are not healthy, we face chronic stress, infertility, diabetes (insulin is affected), and who knows what else!
9 Tips for an Adrenal Health Diet
Getting our adrenal health under control should be a priority for everyone. Knowing what to do is not always easy, so I’m going to discuss a few things here (some of which I’ve done personally and have found have really helped).
- Consume more high-quality sea salt
- Consume more healthy, saturated fats
- Abstain from all refined grains and sugar
- Abstain from caffeine
- Consume plenty of protein
- Consume plenty of fresh vegetables
- Consume limited amounts of fruits, avoiding high-sugar fruits (bananas, raisins, dates, figs, oranges, grapefruits, apples)
- Don’t drink too much water!
- Eat regular meals and include (healthy) snacks when hungry
This diet isn’t very different from a typical healthy diet. The only difference is limiting fruits, really. It’s also important to be more vigilant than usual about avoiding junk and consuming only nourishing foods.
Those with adrenal fatigue will crave fat and salt. There is a reason for this! Your body needs the high-quality fats and salts to improve. Sodium levels are often lower in people with adrenal fatigue, so your body needs more in order to recover.
A homemade electrolyte drink is the best way to get this, as commercial drinks are full of sugar, artificial flavors and colors, and other junk. It is important not to drink too much water because plain water can further throw off your electrolyte balance by providing too much fluid and not enough sodium!
If you are drinking as much as the “experts” say, so that your urine is clear and you are needing to go every hour or so, you are drinking too much! You may even feel thirstier and also like water isn’t hydrating you.
Homemade Electrolyte Drink Recipe
1 quart filtered water
1 – 2 tbsp. raw honey
Juice of 1 lemon
1/2 tsp. high-quality sea salt
Mix all ingredients together and sip on this throughout the day. You can drink as much as you like. I’ve been drinking this almost every day for a few weeks now and have noticed it really helps. You can also add a pinch of salt to anything else you’re drinking, too (smoothies, plain water, fresh-pressed juice — cranberry juice is very good for you!).
7 Additional Ways to Protect Adrenal Health
There are additional steps you can take towards recovery, as well. Your lifestyle can be as important as your diet because excess stress is one of the ways your adrenals become damaged in the first place. Managing and hopefully eliminating (some) stress is a good way to help them function more normally again. Try these things:
- Get to bed at a reasonable hour. This means between 10 and 11 each night.
- Take time to relax before bed, perhaps with a book or a cup of tea (I like ginger). Start winding down by 9 so that you are ready for bed by 10 or so.
- Remove unnecessary stress from your life.
- Avoid negative people and situations whenever possible.
- Take time each day to breathe, pray, and relax.
- Include joyful activities in your life (hobbies, nights out with friends, family activities, etc.)
- Make your health a priority.
You can recover from adrenal fatigue, and enjoy excellent health!
For myself, I followed my food cravings. This meant a lot of sea salt, butter, bacon, and cheese. I craved fat, primarily from dairy. I cut the last bit of junk I was still indulging in, and whenever we were out, I’d bring food with me or select a restaurant with appropriate options (more on that coming hopefully soon…I know it’s a struggle to find where and what to eat while out!). I focused on myself and my healing.
Every night I sat down by 9 or 9:30 to read (Nourishing Traditions!) and have a cup of ginger tea, and sometimes a small snack (sprouted bread with butter, slices of raw cheese, etc.). I went to bed by 10:30 or so. I concentrated on clearing my mind of unimportant things, telling myself I would get to them the next day (at night). At bedtime, I would tell myself “Tomorrow is time enough,” referring to all the “should haves” that were still in my head.
The result was that in only a few weeks I began to feel better. I fell asleep quickly at night and went back to sleep easily after my son woke me (we’re “sleep training” him now, gently, with no crying…more on that later too). I woke to feel generally rested. This was true even if my son had me up several times: I’d still feel tired, but it was a recognizable, I-got-woken-by-the-baby tired, not an I-didn’t-get-refreshing-sleep tired.
For more information, please click on all the links I’ve included in this post! There’s a lot more research out there backing up what I’ve said, both here and in my original post. It’s very important that you understand this and the health implications!
Have you specifically used an adrenal health diet to heal, or prevent adrenal fatigue?