Healthy adrenal glands keep your body functioning at top capacity. How do you fuel the glands that fuel you?
Our adrenal glands are two glands that sit on top of our kidneys. They are made up of the adrenal cortex—the outer part of the adrenals that produces the hormones essential to life, and the adrenal medulla—the inner part that is responsible for producing the non-essential hormones. Though the adrenal gland is very small, it actually produces over fifty different hormones. Simply put, the role of the adrenal glands is to create and regulate the hormones we need to live and function well.
But, through the stress of modern life, chemicals in our food, water, and air, medications, and poor dietary habits, our adrenal glands can become fatigued, exhausted, and eventually fail. When our adrenal glands get fatigued, it isn’t able to efficiently and properly produce or regulate our hormones, and this can lead to a number of problems such as thyroid issues, general fatigue and lack of energy, and many other serious problems. In fact, because the adrenal glands are responsible for creating and regulating the hormones that are essential for life, when they are fatigued, every system and organ in the body is affected. Our metabolism is affected, our fluid and electrolyte balance is affected, our sexual drive, our heart and cardiovascular system is negatively affected, and many other vital functions are decreased.
What stresses, or stimulates, the adrenal glands?It’s important to keep our adrenals functioning well and efficiently if we wish to experience vibrancy, energy, and optimal wellness. Because food is the most powerful “drug” we can put in our bodies, it’s key to understand which foods deplete and which foods nourish those glands. Stimulating foods, even healthier green teas, still put some degree of stress on the adrenal glands, rather than replenishing, restoring, and nourishing them. When we derive energy through nourished adrenals over stimulated adrenals, we’ll be in a great, balanced state that allows for more optimal health and wellness.
Processed Sugary foods
Highly processed and sugared foods wreak havoc on the adrenal glands because excess sugar, especially from processed sources, is incredibly taxing to the adrenals.
Drinks such as soda pop & fruit juice should always be avoided, as they are high in sugar and offer no real nutritional value.
Refined and highly processed carbohydrates are essentially sugar.
Energy and “Breakfast” Bars & Drinks
Many energy, breakfast, and other types of processed bars are highly processed, have added sugars, and are lacking in true nutrition from whole foods sources. Be cautious when buying them and choose the healthier options.
Even black coffee without any added sugars stimulates the adrenal gland; this is why so many people heavily rely on coffee daily to keep their alertness and energy up.
Yes, this even includes green tea; though there are benefits to green tea, all teas stimulate the adrenal glands rather than nourish them.
Energy drinks are among the worst offenders that over stimulate and deplete the adrenal glands. Caffeinated drinks also fit into this category.
Foods that nourish and support optimal adrenal gland function are where it’s at.
It's important to be nourishing those adrenals, and knowing what foods do that best makes the job a whole lot easier.
Properly prepared fresh vegetables (either raw, lightly steamed, or slightly roasted) are one of the most nourishing foods for the adrenals.
Healthy fats are essential to a properly functioning adrenal gland; make sure to include the most important fats:
- Grass-fed (organic) butter
- Unrefined coconut oil
- Raw (soaked/sprouted) nuts and seeds
- Extra-virgin olive oil
Magnesium Rich Foods
Foods high in magnesium help to support optimal adrenal function, some examples of foods high in magnesium include:
- Raw nuts and seeds
- 100% (organic) whole grains
- Blackstrap molasses
- 100% raw cacao (fermented is ideal)
- Brown rice
- Fresh beans
- Vegetables, particularly dark greens and beets
Eggs (for those non-vegans out there)
Eggs, particularly the egg yolks, provide not only healthy protein, but the healthy fats and other nutrients that directly help to support ideal adrenal function
Dehydration causes stress on the adrenal glands, but make sure you hydrate with a water source as clean and pure as possible
In a nutshell, clean, pure, organic, fresh, and whole foods are going to nourish and boost the adrenal glands. Foods high in sugar and highly processed should be avoided.