The adrenal glands are two tiny glands that crown the top of each kidney. These little glands should be your best friends because when they are nourished and taken care of, they will take care of you!
Adrenal glands secrete hormones, regulate metabolism, modulate stress response, control water balance (bloating), fuel your sex drive, and partner with your brain to keep you adaptable. You've heard of cortisol, the belly-fat-stress hormone? Guess who plays a big roll in managing it, Brother and Sister Adrenal Glands!
Below you'll learn a couple secrets to nourish your adrenals, which in return will have you doing double takes when you walk by the mirror, feeling like a god or goddess, performing well under stress, and kicking some serious ass in all aspects of your life! Your adrenal glands are your key to vitality.
Eating for Optimal Adrenal Function:
1. EAT PROTEIN RIGHT WHEN YOU WAKE UP
So many people skip breakfast. Sure, sometimes it works; intermittent fasting (IF) has it science-backed benefits. But, for most people, women especially, getting at least 30 to 50 grams of protein in first thing in the morning will far outweighs the benefits of IF.
When you eat protein in the morning it does a few things:
1a. eating protein tells your brain that you are satiated, and don't need to over eat. This happens because protein increases the amount of leptin (the "I’m full" hormone).
1b. eating protein first thing in the morning helps t balance blood sugar. Cortisol spikes in the morning as a means to wake us up; this is a normal part of the circadian rhythm. However, as cortisol spikes, so does blood sugar. Protein balances that spike
1c. high quality protein (see here) provides a whole plethora of micronutrients: amino acids, vitamins, minerals, all of which are ESSENTIAL for adrenal health
2. ADD SALT
Yes, SALT. NOT Sodium Chloride, or table salt, but REAL MINERAL SALT.
Your body requires salt to work properly. Salt maintains cellular hydration, water balance, water and nutrient reabsorption, and keeps you feeling on point. Pick up some true Pink Himalayan Salt or "Real Salt" (from Utah). These salts contain essential minerals and electrolytes.
Yes, eat. There is a lot to be said for structured eating (for another post, but for now...)
Eat breakfast when your wake up.
Eat lunch at 11:30am
Eat a snack at 2:30pm
Eat a delicious, protein and vegetable packed dinner at 6:30pm
You don't have to use those times, but the point is that when you withhold nutrients from your body, it stops functioning well. Adrenal fatigue can lead to weight gain. It's common that many people (women especially) will restrict food all day, which ironically can cause fat gain and muscle loss. Not ideal.
Our bodies need nutrients to rebuild and rejuvenate. Our cells are always turning over. Deplete your cells and they will cause anarchy.
One more time: EAT!
4. EAT MORE WHOLE-FOOD-FOCUED SATURATED FATS.
Before you have a myocardial infarction because you still think saturated fats are the devil reincarnated as a nutrient, take a deep inhalation, read this list,:
Cacao (darker than 80% or the beans or nibs)
Pasture-raised lamb, beef
... and EXHALE ... all whole foods!
Health, whole food saturated fats are the key to making healthy cholesterol. Cholesterol is the primary building block for sex hormones like estrogen, testosterone, pregnenolone, etc. These sex hormones are made from cholesterol. They are the fuel for you vitality.
Let me repeat: Saturated Fats = Health Cholesterol = Balanced Sex Hormones = VITALITY
5. EAT THE RAINBOW
Vegetables, vegetables, vegetables. Sometimes less is more. Not the case here. Eat them like you love them.
6. STOP DOING CHRONIC CARDIO EVERYDAY
Lift weights, hike, get yo yogi on, do HIIT, but please, no more chronic cardio. Please!
Note: if you are in adrenal fatigue or are trying to prevent it, this is paramount.
7. ADD A LITTLE BIT OF BOTANICAL SUPPLEMENTATION
I love Gaia Herbs, Adrenal Health. I have taken in for about 6 years since a dear friend and Master Reflexologist recommended it during my crazy college years. I still take it. Take it. You won't be disappointed (no they do not pay me to say that)!
All right, now you know the basics. Apply one of these concepts per week, then continue until you have mastered all of them. Continue to follow for about 2 to 3 months and share your results with firstname.lastname@example.org!