Feeling tired, stressed and exhausted? It could be adrenal fatigue. These symptoms usually arise when the adrenal glands function below necessary level, and are commonly associated with prolonged stress or can arise after acute or chronic infections, such as the flu, bronchitis or pneumonia.
If you feel like you’re heading down that path, there are number of things that can help stop it in its tracks.
1. Make Time for R&R
Take time out of your busy day to relax. This is very important for the health of your adrenal glands. Meditation and yoga are especially good choices that have been shown in studies to lower cortisol levels considerably. Practice mindful eating.
2. Get More Sleep
Make sure you are getting enough good quality sleep. It is when we’re asleep that our body repairs and rejuvenates. The sleep you get before midnight is particularly important for your adrenal health.
3. Magnesium is Your Friend
Magnesium is another important adrenal friendly nutrient. Magnesium helps calm and support the nervous system, improves sleep, reduces stress levels, and helps boost energy production. The best dietary sources of magnesium are legumes, tofu, nuts and seeds, wholegrains, wheat bran and green leafy veggies.
4. Maca Boosts Energy
Maca is a root vegetable native to Peru, which has been used for thousands of years as a nutritious food staple. This Perivan superfood is considered an ‘adaptogen’, as it works wonders for enhancing energy levels and helping you cope with the stressful demands of day-to-day life. Maca contains high levels of B vitamins and magnesium, which are essential for producing energy and helping the body cope with stress. Maca powder can be added to smoothies, protein balls, or sprinkled over breakfast cereal.
5. Increase Vitamin C
The adrenal glands use vitamin C to produce stress hormones like cortisol. When you are stressed your adrenal glands use up a lot more of this important vitamin.
Increase your intake of vitamin C by enjoying citrus fruits, kiwi fruit, broccoli, berries, dark green leafy veggies, tomatoes, papaya and pomegranate.
6. Look at Your Caffeine Intake
Caffeine stimulates your fight or flight response, stimulating the production of stress hormones, namely cortisol, which gives you a temporary boost in energy levels, but can also contribute to levels of anxiety and insomnia in some people, and can further deplete tired adrenals. Swap your morning coffee for a caffeine-free herbal tea instead. Licorice and holy basil are great herbal teas that will support adrenal health.
Watch out for other sources of caffeine in black tea, soft drinks, chocolate and energy drinks. Green tea has lower levels of caffeine, but also contains high levels of beneficial antioxidants that promote good health.
7. Ayuverdic Herbs
Withania (Withania somnifera), also known as Ashwagandha, is a popular Ayuverdic herb that is a highly effective ‘adaptogen’. Withania is used widely by herbalists to improve the body’s resistance to stress along with strengthening the immune system. Withania supports adrenal health and calms the nervous system, making it beneficial for alleviating anxiety in people who feel stressed, strung-out, and exhausted. It also helps promote better quality sleep.
8. Try Chinese Medicine
Siberian ginseng (Eleutherococcus senticosus) has been traditionally used in Chinese medicine as an ‘adaptogenic’ herb, to increase the body’s resistance to stress, beneficial during times of increased physical and mental stress. It is commonly used by herbalists to treat adrenal exhaustion, and helps boost immune function and vitality.
9. Rhodiola Rosea for Mood
Rhodiola Rosea has been used for centuries in Europe as an ‘adaptogenic’ herb, to help reduce fatigue and exhaustion associated with prolonged stress. Rhodiola can also help improve mood and reduce stress levels. It has been found to have an antidepressant effect as it helps improve serotonin and dopamine levels, your ‘feel good’, calming hormones.
10. Consider B Vitamins
B vitamins are vital for maintaining good health and adrenal function. B vitamins are your ‘anti-stress’ vitamins, they help you deal with stress in a healthier way, and are needed to support healthy energy levels. The best vitamin B rich foods are legumes, wholegrains, nuts and seeds, green leafy veggies (folate), chicken, red meat, fish and milk.
Source: Body + Soul