If you want to stop Adrenal Fatigue dead in its tracks, the first battleground must be your diet. There are several benefits in taking charge of your diet: It won’t cost you money to visit a naturopath or doctor and you might notice an immediate change in your overall well-being from your diet alone.
The AF diet is simple: Avoid foods that make your AF worse and instead you should eat foods that will help assist in your recovery (and prepare/eat them in the right way).
There are a few other things you need to keep in mind with this diet:
- Eat at the right time
- Consume nutritious whole foods
- Avoid foods that you have allergies or intolerances to (eg: lactose intolerant)
There are 7 elements of the diet:
- Identify food intolerances & sensitivities
- Eat at the right time of the day
- Eat more protein,fat and less sugar (natural sugars included)
- No caffeine
- Stay hydrated
- Eat foods like seaweed, bone broth and fermented foods.
Identify food intolerances & sensitivities
Allergies and sensitivities are very important because they prevent your body from absorbing nutrients as well as cause sleep/energy issues. Less nutrition equals less energy your body can expend. There are 2 ways you can manage your food sensitivities and intolerances:
- Take over-the-counter supplements to help strengthen your digestive system. Glutamine is an amino acid that lines your intestinal walls. It is in turned used as a source of fuel for your intestinal lining. Herbal remedies such as slippery elm or licorice can also coat your intestines and protect it from foods that irritate it. Taking supplements can also help you digest your food better.
- Avoid the food altogether. Sometimes this is easier said than done. If you aren’t sure which food is causing you irritation, try eating that particular food for lunch. If after a few hours your bowels feel irritable, or stomach is upset, there is a very good chance you have a mild allergy to the food.
Eating at the Right Time of Day
Skipping breakfast is a daily routine millions of people perform, unaware of the consequences that can arise from missing the most important meal of the day. By the time breakfast arrives, your body hasn’t had any food for almost 12 hours. Food is turned into energy and this energy is what gets us through the day.
Eat more protein, fat and less sugar
Instead of eating sugar cereals or other sugar-laden unhealthy “quick breakfast” snacks, try cooking an egg or a vegetable omelette. Eggs are high in protein and a diet high in protein and fat can help reduce AF symptoms. A fruit smoothie will also help give your body the energy it needs to make it through the day.
The vast majority of the frozen breakfasts or cereals in your local supermarket contain high amounts of sugar. This excess sugar is negated by the cortisol produced by your adrenal glands. It’s one of the things that can lead to AF over time. After your body comes down off the sugar high, it starts craving more. If you don’t get more sugar into your body you will feel lethargic and this could lead you to drink a lot more caffeine.
The best foods for AF suffers are: eggs, dairy, fish, fowl along with soy, legumes, seeds and nuts. You should try to avoid sugars and processed foods such as lunchmeats and processed cheeses. 6-8 servings of vegetables per day will also help get your body back on track.
No caffeine/Stay hydrated
These two go hand in hand. The caffeine in your coffee is a diuretic. Meaning it causes water loss through urination and sweating. Caffeine also directly stimulates your adrenal glands which in turn produce an extra amount of cortisol. Over a period of time the glands will become depleted. This is why most caffeine addicts cannot function without a cup of coffee in the morning.
People who suffer from AF are often heard remarking that caffeine does nothing for them. This is due primarily to the fact that their adrenals are depleted due to over stimulation (by caffeine) and as such they are unable to respond to anymore influxes of the drug.
Giving up coffee, tea and any other caffeinated beverages is key to helping you recover from AF. You will most likely experience some form of withdrawal symptoms, but these usually subside a week or so after your last drink of caffeine. People with AF report that their energy levels throughout the day stabilize when they give up caffeine altogether. Staying hydrated also helps your body in its recovery from AF.
There are 3 foods that can actually help speed up your recovery from AF. Seaweed is one of them. Seaweed is rich in minerals and phytonutrients and can be added to a salad or rice. Seaweed can be found in most supermarkets nowadays.
Bone broth is another food that can help the healing process. Bone marrow is chock full of nutrients. In order to get at the bone marrow, all you need to do is make a bone broth. This involves boiling a bone for several hours, then drinking the (cooled) soup/broth that arises forth. You can supercharge the mixture by adding various leafy green vegetables to the mix.
Fermented drinks are also good for your body. They are somewhat rare in North America but you can find them under brand such as Kombucha and Kvass. They sometimes have a very mild carbonation to them and can be flavored in one of many flavors. Just make sure the sugar content is low as consuming a sugary drink will defeat the purpose.