7 Steps for Restoring Your Adrenal Health
The adrenal glands may be quite small, each only the size of a walnut, but, when they are tired and need help, we definitely take notice. When your adrenals are tired or fatigued you can experience a host of symptoms from things like
- calm on the outside but troubled on the inside
- tired but still having a hard time falling asleep
- slow starter in the mornings
- crave salty foods
- slow starter in the morning
- inability to handle stress
As adrenal health is a really important topic that has many factors, this post seeks to explore how to support and restore your adrenals through nutrition and lifestyle changes.
Whole Food Vitamin C
Vitamin C is a well known nutrient due to the numerous times that it is mentioned when the topic of oranges comes up. However, due to soil depletion, and modern dietary choices, many people aren’t getting enough vitamin C.
And there is one major factor that affects the vitamin C levels of even most healthy people. Stress. Stress is dealt with by the adrenal glands and the adrenals are where the body stores the most vitamin C. Lydia Joy, from divinehealthfromtheinsideout.com explains further:
“Vitamin C may quite possibly be the single most essential anti-stress nutrient. Why? Not only does it offer cellular protection and immune support, but it provides adrenal support to produce more cortisone and epinephrine. The adrenals store the highest concentration of Vitamin C in the body. The more cortisol made in the body, the more vitamin C is used up. The more stress you live in, the more vitamin C your body needs. Vitamin C is water soluble and gets used up quickly by the body, it is imperative to get it in the diet. However, most people do not consume enough for their bodies needs. It really is critical to supplement, especially if you live a stressful life. And we all know, stress is a huge factor in adrenal fatigue.”
When choosing a Vitamin C supplement, opt for a whole food form of vitamin C. One of the easiest ways to do this is through food powders that are very high in vitamin C like camu camu or acerola.
Potassium and Sodium: Electrolytes
The adrenals regulate potassium and sodium and, they are important minerals that play a vital role in hydration as electrolytes that help retain water in the cells. It is reasonably easy to get sodium in a real food diet through quality mineral salts.
Coconut water is also a great year-round drink as it contains high levels of potassium. This also makes it a wonderful electrolyte drink for post workout and during the summer months.
Tip: to boost the electrolyte power of your coconut water, try adding 1 tsp of homemade salt sole once to your daily drink. Additional sources of potassium include avocados and spinach.
One of the more well known minerals in regards to stress is magnesium. It is also the third electrolyte and helps support methylation.
However, if you have more advanced adrenal fatigue -like weak and tired all the time, then you would do best to be cautious with your supplementing of magnesium and up your levels slowly.
Oral is probably better in this case. Magnesium glycinate is what is generally recommended but, magnesium citrate is better if you are prone to constipation.
Adaptogens and Glandulars
Two types of supplements that are very affective in helping restore the adrenals are adaptogens and glandulars. Adaptogens are a class of herbs that “adapt” to whatever your individual body is needing at that time. They can take a little more time before you start feeling results as opposed to glandulars however, they are a good option for vegetarians. However, it’s best to choose an already formulated adaptogenic herb supplement, rather than trying to do your own thing and choose which ones you think will work best.
Glandular supplements are a great way to boost the adrenal glands when they are tired. Just like liver is touted for it’s amazing amount of nutrients which are beneficial for human health, animal glandulars are specifically helpful for nourishing human adrenals.
Blood Sugar Balance
Address blood sugar balance. The adrenal glands help regulate blood sugar balance and bring it up if it’s too low. If you are consuming a lot of refined sugars/carbohydrates or, if you are just consuming a lot of “natural sugars” you are probably causing insulin spikes which then are followed by “crashes”.
Now the adrenal glands have to bring the blood sugar up. If you are continually doing this to your adrenal glands on a daily basis, you are tiring them out.
The solution? Tweak your real food diet to have a much lower amount of natural sugars and starches and consume quality fats with carb sources to help balance blood sugar. This will not only help your adrenals recover but, will also greatly reduce instances of being hungry or having fatigue that is relieved by eating.
De-stress and Sleep
Incorporate relaxing routines before bed as a mandatory ritual to not only help you sleep better but also to help you unwind at the end of the day. Sleep is essential for helping your adrenals recover and for every aspect of overall health. Click here to read my post on 4 Methods you can use for restorative beauty sleep.
Avoid over exercising as this just puts more stress on your adrenals. Instead, try adding some form of gentle, calming exercise into your day. Yoga is well known for it’s benefits of stretching tight muscles along with deep breathing and self awareness-all very good for both the mind and body.
A second method is to take a leisurely stroll in a quieter part of nature-like a park or beach- to breathe in the fresh air and enjoy the outdoor beauty.