Combating Adrenal Fatigue Through Diet
Diet plays a key role in treating adrenal fatigue. The food that you eat is essentially the building blocks of what your body is made of, and a lack of key nutrients can be devastating to your body’s ability to deal with stress.
There is not one “magical diet” that will cure adrenal fatigue. Everyone is different, and we all respond to food differently. While there is not one diet that will reverse adrenal fatigue, there are building blocks that we can all use to build a diet catered to our bodies.
While experimenting with various diets based off of these building blocks, make sure to pay attention to how you feel. That is the best indicator for how your body is responding to the foods that you are giving it.
You should be eating healthy foods throughout the day. Having constant nutrition will help your body recover and take in the foods that you are eating. Studies have shown that nutrition is better absorbed in small, frequent meals rather than larger meals with longer durations between them. For more information on this, look at this study.
Here is a table with an example of meal frequency throughout the day.
By having frequent meals, your body will be fed the constant nutrition that it needs to recover from adrenal fatigue. Now the question is, what should I eat?
If you are like most people, carbohydrates are the main macronutrient that you eat. Breads, noodles, cereals, all of these are carbohydrates. While they can be very helpful in your road to adrenal fatigue recovery, they can also be a hindrance.
There are some carbs that are really good for you; some that are not. There are a few ways of telling if it is good or not for you.
Is it processed?
Not so good
Does it contain lots of sugar? (15 grams or more)
Not so good
Does it have a high (55 or above) glycemic index?
Not so good
Does it come from nature?
Does it have a low (55 or less) glycemic index?
Is it a vegetable or fruit?
This chart is not a comprehensive way of knowing if a carb is good for you, however, it will give you some good guidelines to go by.
Having a variety of good carbohydrates will help your body get the nutrition it needs.
Fats get a bad rap. When you think of fats, you might think of heart disease, strokes, or a multitude of other not so good things. However, fats are one of the best things that you can give to your body; if they are good fats!
Some fats are bad for you, and will give you worse health. These are called Saturated and Trans Fats. You should do your best to stay away from these.
Other fats are very good for you, and essential in any diet. These are Monosaturated and Polyunsaturated Fats. Here is a link on some more details on the two groups. For the sake of simplicity, here are some examples of bad vs good fat.
Fatty red meat
High fat dairy
Plant based oils
For more examples of which fats are good or not, go to this website.
Fats are essential for recovery. They provide a very large building block of a good diet, so don’t be afraid to have good fats in your meals and in your snacks.
Proteins are the building blocks of much of your body. They are used to send signals throughout the body, to carry hormones, to build and maintain muscle, and for other basic functions of the body. There are some proteins that are better than others, and some that may affect people differently. As we go through some types of protein, make sure to research how each one will affect your body.
Animal Based Proteins
Since the dawn of humanity, we have eaten animal proteins to survive. We can roughly split animal meats into two categories; dark meat (or red meat) and white meat. The main difference between the two is the type of fats that it contains. Red meats typically have more bad fat, while white meat has less overall fat and good fat. Some examples of white meats are; chicken, fish and turkey. These are all low in fat, and what fats they have are generally better for you (for example, omega 3 fatty acids in fish). Make sure to add these to your diet if you want a well balanced, nutritional diet.
Milk Based Proteins
Milk has proteins in it (who would have known!) and these can be very helpful in getting a quick source of protein in your diet. Another benefit of milk based proteins is that they have very high absorption (typically 95%). Milk protein is generally split up into two types; whey and casein.
Whey protein is the most popular form of milk based protein in the world. If you have every had a protein shake, you have probably had whey. It is absorbed very quickly into the body, which makes it ideal for situations where you need a meal quickly. Since it takes so little time to absorb, this protein may leave you satiated for less time then other protein types, which can be a negative factor if you are trying not to gain weight.
Casein is very similar to whey, except it takes a lot longer for the body to break down and absorb. This can be a good thing if you are trying not to gain weight, and not so good if you are trying to gain muscle of weight. It is, just like whey, an excellent choice of protein.
Plant Based Proteins
Plant based proteins can be very good for your body. There are many plants that have protein in them. If many are eaten, these will provide you with a good source of protein. However, these should not be your only source of protein as they are not absorbed very well by the body (45-55%). Therefore, a mix of plant based protein with milk or animal based proteins will give you the best result.
Hopefully these building blocks have given you a good idea about how to eat in order to reverse adrenal fatigue. A mix of the good building blocks given here will insure that your body has the proper nutrition to help your body recover. The key to this diet is to be consistent with it; doing it here and there will not be nearly as effective as doing it consistently!
Also, make sure that you research which foods are best for your body. As we have stated before, some foods are better than others for people’s bodies. Some might do well on one diet with good building blocks, another might not do as well. Experiment and remember to take the time to feel how your body reacts to each food!