So far, we’ve touched on how diet affects your adrenal glands, but what specifically should you eat? When working with clients with chronic fatigue and adrenal dysfunction, I always focus first on healing the gut and reducing inflammation, followed by supporting liver function and hormone clearance, and lastly recommending a sustainable, lifelong habit of eating for health. These three components are crucial to restoring truly optimal health and combating the effects of adrenal dysfunction.
Here are some simple eating habits you can incorporate into your life:
Eat plenty of green leafy vegetables by incorporating 1 large salad consisting of baby greens like kale, arugula, spinach, and chard. How much green stuff? Ideally, 3 cups tightly packed.
Eat at least 2 cups of cruciferous veggies like broccoli and cauliflower daily
Enjoy a breakfast smoothie containing the following: 1 scoop of a plant-based or animal protein isolate protein powder (see this article for ideas) ½ cup of frozen berries, 1-1 ½ cups of almond, coconut, or flax milk, 1-2 tbsps of flax seeds, 1 handful frozen spinach, & 1 tbsp of almond butter-blend and enjoy!
Stick with lean, grass-fed meat whenever financially feasible
Use coconut oil to cook with
Eat a small-moderate sized meal every 2-3 hours, rather than 3 large meals a day, to keep your blood sugar stable.
Eat white granulated stuff. This includes sugar in all its forms and white flour. Remember, if it’s white, it’ll probably keep you up at night.
Skip breakfast. Many people don’t make time for, or even dislike, eating breakfast. It is a learned habit! A good breakfast will keep your blood stable through the day and your adrenal glands happy.
Eat carbohydrates alone. Carbohydrates are anything that your body turns into sugar once you eat it. That being said, some carbs are better than others. Complex carbs like sweet potatoes or squash keep your blood sugar stable longer. Simple carbs like candy, cake, and cookies will spike your blood sugar in short order, which will cause it to drop precipitously an hour later. Remember, even though fruit is a more healthy option, it is a simple sugar! Always eat protein or fat with your fruit-a nut butter works well in a pinch!
Chug coffee or energy drinks all day long. A cup of quality coffee in the morning upon waking to “get your going” is pretty harmless, and may in fact be beneficial! But consumption of caffeinated beverages past noon is just setting yourself up for a restless night. If you absolutely cannot forgo your mid-afternoon caffeine fix, try green tea instead.