This article was shared with permission from www.drkimsagewellsolutions.com.
Any diet for a healthy lifestyle is similar to the underlying adrenal fatigue diet. Regular meals comprised of high-quality, nutritious foods are extremely important to help maintain proper adrenal function and keep blood sugar levels stable.
The foods we eat (and don’t eat) are one of our first lines of defense against “getting” adrenal fatigue in the first place.
By following an adrenal fatigue diet, you will have overall health benefits and decrease your chances of getting to the place where you need adrenal fatigue supplements.
If you have adrenal fatigue, following the diet will ensure a speedier healing time for you.
In every case of adrenal recovery, diet is a major factor. There are a number of foods that support adrenal function and help replenish your adrenal energy so your adrenals can bounce back to full health and function. But first, you must start by removing any hard-to-digest foods and any chemicals or toxins in your environment.
Dietary Goals For The Adrenal Fatigue Diet
Many of us follow a similar, unhealthy pattern of eating. We skip breakfast, have a sandwich for lunch and then a big meal in the evening. If you have adrenal fatigue, this is not the time to have poor eating habits.
During the acute phase of this illness, your food choices become even more important to your health. If you’re looking to make your adrenal fatigue disappear more quickly, the adrenal fatigue diet is the only plan to follow!
Recovering from adrenal fatigue means getting lots of high quality, dense nutrition in your food. That means eating organic or local foods whenever possible.
You also need to choose the right anti-inflammatory ingredients. Foods such as organic fruits and vegetables, sprouts, eggs, seeds and seaweed are great examples of nutrient-packed foods that will keep your energy levels high.
Amongst other things, eating meals at the appropriate times will also help reduce adrenal fatigue and the in particular symptoms of stage 2 adrenal fatigue. This is when you start feeling fatigued and have trouble staying asleep and usually also need help falling asleep.
Timing is everything!
The first rule of the timing of the adrenal fatigue diet is that it is very important that you eat before 10:00 AM. And you will likely be eating before that if you are a “working person.” Be sure to have breakfast within 30 minutes of waking up, and plan to eat something every 2-3 hours to help keep blood sugar levels stable.
This is vital in helping to replenish the always wanting stored blood sugar supply (glycogen) after the previous night’s energy needs.
At breakfast, you should be eating a high-quality source of protein combined with a few high-quality carbohydrates. A vegetable omelet or two poached eggs with blueberries would be two good examples. A healthy breakfast smoothie packed full of healthy fats would be another.
Since many of you in adrenal fatigue are inactive and have gained weight, our weight loss smoothies are excellent adrenal fatigue diet breakfasts. So are the egg white recipes in our egg white nutrition article.
And a quick note about weight loss.
While you actively have symptoms of fatigue and sleep disruption, weight loss diets are not a good idea. I ‘m just suggesting something healthy and calorie controlled at one meal, not all meals.
When you are better and symptom-free, if you are looking to use metabolism boosting supplements make darned sure you check out what we have because what we have will not re-trigger adrenal fatigue whereas most other metabolism supplements WILL.
We have natural metabolism boosters which work (discounted 15% in our kit) and will not re-harm your adrenals. The same goes for appetite suppressants- even if a product claims it’s a natural appetite suppressant, be very careful if you are purchasing elsewhere.
An early lunch, preferably before noon, is better than a late lunch because your body quickly uses up your morning nourishment and is ready for more before the natural 2nd cortisol spike occurs between noon and 2 PM.
Between 11 and 11:30 AM is usually the best time for lunch. A sample lunch would be a broccoli and chicken salad with a ½ cup of sprouted brown rice with a drizzle of spices and grass-fed butter.
You should eat a nutritious snack between 2 and 3 PM to sustain yourself for the cortisol dip that typically occurs between 3 and 4 PM. When snacking properly, you can actually speed up your metabolism, increase energy, reduce cravings for unhealthy foods, and avoid overeating at meals.
A few examples of healthy snacks would be fresh fruit salad, hummus with carrots, celery and cucumber sticks, or avocado slices on a crisp rice cake.
Your evening meal should be eaten between 5-6 pm and then you’d have one more light snack before bedtime. A great meal for dinner would be crockpot stew with more vegetables than meat and a side of baked sweet potato.
Note: The adrenal fatigue diet should include vegetables that make up 30% of your diet and half of them should be raw.
10% of your dietary calories should be derived from non-acidic fruits and I’ll more into what I mean by that in a bit.
The rest of your carbs (10%) should be sprouted whole grains.
20% of your calories should be from fats, like nuts and seeds, and another 20-30% of your diet should come from animal proteins sources which are free range, grass fed, cage free, wild caught. Finally, the rest of your protein sources (10%) should be beans and legumes.
3 Foods to Avoid
If you are experiencing adrenal fatigue, you will fare the best if you combine fat, protein and complex carbohydrates in each snack and meal. This combination of protein, fat and complex carbs throughout the day in the adrenal fatigue diet, helps provide a steady stream of energy throughout the day.
It is important to remember that foods which are converted too quickly into energy (like sugary snacks or highly processed foods) will quickly let you “crash” and harm your adrenals in the process.
Caffeinated beverages might make you feel great for a short period. However, they add significant stress to your adrenal glands and endocrine system.
Giving up that morning cup of coffee, tea or caffeinated soda may sound daunting, but it’s an important part of recovering from adrenal fatigue. Many people experience short-term withdrawal symptoms from caffeine, but they are gone in about a week.
You can avoid headaches by reducing coffee by 1/2 cup per 2 days.
After quitting caffeine, many adrenal fatigued suffers report a more consistent energy level throughout the day without any of the crashes associated with caffeine intake. Obviously, this caffeine ban applies to energy drinks. You can still have a small square of dark chocolate that won’t hurt.
2. Sweeteners and Sugar
Eating less sugar is an important part of the adrenal fatigue diet as well as avoiding eating sugary foods, cereals, sweets, high-fructose corn syrup and artificial sweeteners.
Excess sugar will actually tax your already impaired adrenal glands. The sugar crashes which follow a spike in blood sugar inevitably lead to more sugar cravings.
If you are seeking a way to make food taste sweeter, the only safe alternative is pure stevia.
3. Hydrogenated Oils
Vegetable oils like soybean, canola and corn oil are highly inflammatory and can lead to adrenal inflammation. Use good fats such as coconut oil, olive oil, organic butter or ghee.
5 Adrenal Fatigue Diet Must Haves
Every day, you should include 6-8 servings of a wide variety of vegetables in your adrenal fatigue diet, especially those that are naturally highly colored (bright green, red, orange, yellow or purple). Vegetables provide essential vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and a high amount of fiber.
It is a good idea to vary how you prepare vegetables because different nutrients are made available through different cooking methods. The less you cook vegetables, the more nutrients they retain.
People dealing with adrenal fatigue and blood sugar problems should go light on fresh fruit, especially in the morning. Fruits contain a significant amount of potassium and fructose, which is a detrimental combination for those with exhausted adrenals. The best fruits are apples and berries. Acidic fruits (notably citrus) should be avoided.
Getting enough quality protein is a good way to keep your energy levels high without causing spikes in your blood sugar. Good choices include beef, wild fish, eggs, free-range chicken, and good quality whey concentrate protein powders. Always try to buy your meat organic if possible. You can often save money by purchasing at your local farmer’s market.
4. Seeds and Nuts
Roasted nuts and seeds may taste a little better, but raw versions are much healthier. Store nuts and seeds in a cool area, as their high fat content can make them turn rancid under warm conditions. In fact, to keep your raw nuts fresh the longest – freeze them to delay rancidity and oxidation.
The best types of nuts to include in the adrenal fatigue diet are walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts and macadamia nuts. Healthy seeds include sunflower and pumpkin seeds as well as chia and flax seeds.
Adding superfoods to your adrenal fatigue diet will add nutrient-dense foods that are easy to digest and have healing qualities.
These foods help overcome adrenal insufficiency because they’re nutrient-dense, low in sugar and have healthy fat and fiber. Here are the best examples.
AWS Red and Green Superfoods
Cruciferous vegetables (cauliflower, broccoli, Brussel sprouts, etc)
Seeds, such as pumpkin, flax, and chia
Chicken, turkey and wild caught salmon
Nuts, such as almonds and walnuts
Celtic or Himalayan sea salt
Kelp and seaweed
In most cases of adrenal fatigue, salt (in moderation) benefits those who add it to their adrenal fatigue diet. Unless you are one of the rare people with adrenal fatigue and high blood pressure, add some salt to your food.
A sea salt or Celtic salt is preferred, as these are the kinds which contain the valuable nutrients. Your body’s needs actually cause some of the symptoms of adrenal fatigue ( weakness and dizziness) for salt.
This is an easy one to accomplish daily in the adrenal fatigue diet! Try to get 1.5 liters of water into your body.
Staying well hydrated is important no matter who you are, but if you are suffering from adrenal fatigue, then it becomes doubly important. You can take it a step further by adding a little sea salt or lemon to your glass of water.
Once a day it’s a good idea to add a pinch of baking soda to your glass of water, lemon and sea salt as almost 100% of those with adrenal fatigue are “acidic.”
I am not a believer in having everyone drink alkalinized water but for those with this issue, this “adrenal fatigue cocktail” is important.
The Adrenal Fatigue Diet Soup
Here’s a great vegetable soup recipe which has been shown to be helpful for adrenal support.
It is rich in minerals and alkalinizing to help balance the acidity that usually occurs in people experiencing adrenal fatigue and stress. It has a calming, settling effect.
And it’s tasty too!
1 cup tomato juice
1 medium onion, chopped
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chicken broth
1 zucchini, sliced
16 oz. green beans
1 cup spring water
1 teaspoon paprika
2 tablespoons raw honey
Combine ingredients and simmer for one hour until vegetables are tender.
Pepper to taste.
Doing this adrenal fatigue diet will speed up your recovery. But there is no way that you will get better without the right treatment regimen.
I have taken care of many many patients with adrenal fatigue so if you’re not sure what’s wrong just ask me. If you know, you have adrenal fatigue I have done all of the work for you regarding the supplements and other products you need for a full recovery.
Here are a few more great articles to help you with adrenal fatigue.