Adrenal Fatigue is a term used to describe the overworked adrenal glands due to chronic stress. Our adrenal glands are located just above our kidneys and are responsible for the production of hormones that regulate blood pressure, like cortisol. When we take too much stress, it becomes difficult for the adrenal glands to work properly, thus they are unable to produce the required amount of hormones.
This condition is diagnosed as Adrenal Insufficiency which is the chief cause of Adrenal Fatigue. Symptoms include aches, low blood pressure, digestive issues, hair loss, weight loss, loss of appetite, chronic fatigue, nervousness, weakness of muscles, depression, diarrhea, etc.
To know more about the symptoms and ways to avoid it, read this article especially compiled with a food-based approach.
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Can Adrenal Fatigue be cured through Diet?
An adrenal fatigue diet helps improve the level of stress that affects the Adrenal Glands. This food-based treatment regulates your body and promotes the proper functioning of the Adrenal Glands. This in turn stimulates healthy blood pressure and improved levels of stress.
Although this food-based approach is still being tested, it has proved to improve the condition of patients mentally and physically. Adopting healthier choice of foods and a balanced diet has helped improve the symptoms of Adrenal Fatigue.
Good Foods for Adrenal Fatigue
Foods rich in proteins, starchy carbohydrates, and fat are good foods for adrenal fatigue. A combination of these three provides a steady energy source that puts less stress on your adrenal glands.
Proteins for the Treatment of Adrenal Fatigue
For the treatment of Adrenal fatigue, you need good quality protein that is found in eggs, fish, meat, and various other plant sources. These work best when lightly cooked or eaten raw so that the amino acids present can be delivered. However, meat has to be fully cooked.
Seeds and nuts also provide complete protein to your body. Strict vegetarians also experience Adrenal Fatigue, which could be cured by including eggs, goat milk, and yoghurt in their diet. Protein can also be taken from dairy products, but these may be indigestible for certain people due to milk allergies.
Carbohydrates for the treatment of Adrenal Fatigue
Carbohydrates are categorised into starchy, non-starchy, or sugary categories. Grains are a source of starchy carbs, and vegetables are a source of non-starchy carbs. Whereas, fruits can be eaten for sweet or sugary carbohydrate intake.
Carbohydrates have a slow metabolism rate in the body which enables them to assimilate energy and nutrients for a longer period. Remind carbohydrates can be acquired from brown rice, whole oats, barley, whole wheat, etc.
Vegetables for the treatment of Adrenal Fatigue
Vegetables provide essential nutrients, minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants which help in relieving adrenal insufficiency by controlling the effect of stress on the adrenal glands.
Research suggests that a minimum of three high-coloured vegetables should be eaten in a day, and these can be steamed, fried, broiled, grilled, or baked.
However, overcooked vegetables should be avoided as many nutrients do not survive the heat and are lost. Therefore, it is important to include six to eight servings of vegetables in your meals.
Fruits for the treatment of Adrenal Fatigue
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Fruits should be consumed very carefully as many fruits contain chemicals. It is best to opt for organically grown fruits. Fruits like mango, plum, papaya, apples, pears, kiwi, cherries should be taken to reduce adrenal fatigue. However, fruits like figs, bananas, oranges, grapefruits, and dates should be avoided.
Fats for the treatment of Adrenal Fatigue
Foods with fats and oils make people feel better for longer as they contain cholesterol. Cholesterol is essential for the adrenal gland for the production of steroid hormones. A minimum of 20% fats should be included in our daily intake to assimilate adrenal activity throughout the day.
Some oils that can be heated and consumed include butter, refined peanut oil, coconut oil, palm oil, refined avocado oil, sunflower oil, etc. these do not become toxic on heating and can be consumed.
Apart from these, omega 3 fatty acids and the omega 6 group are extremely essential for our adrenal health. These fatty acids can be found in pumpkin seed, flaxseed, sunflower seed, nuts like cashews and almonds, and fresh coconut.
Bad Foods for Adrenal Fatigue
Consuming the wrong foods can cause adverse effects on your adrenal glands and increase adrenal fatigue. Foods to be avoided include:
White Flour and Sugar
White flour and sugar foods are strongly craved by people suffering from adrenal fatigue. Their consumption worsens the symptoms and quickly increases blood sugar level, causing an increased insulin response. The excess insulin production leads to a crash in blood sugar levels inducing more cravings. These foods deplete the body of essential nutrients required to recover.
Deep-Fried and Junk Food
When food is fried in hydrogenated oil, it is often reheated causing toxicity. Therefore deep-fried foods cause many problems. In addition, fast foods and junk foods contain poor quality nutrients and a deadly combination of white flour, hydrogenated fat, and sugar which causes a spike in the symptoms of adrenal fatigue.
Addictive Food and Caffeine
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Consumption of addictive foods places a lot of stress on your adrenal glands, therefore these should be avoided. Caffeine also over-stimulates your adrenal glands leading to fatigue, although it makes people feel good temporarily, it exhausts the adrenal glands leading to the severity of the adrenal fatigue symptoms.