I'm seeing it more and more; adrenal fatigue and exhaustion issues. The reasons as to why are varied and extensive, and for the basics of helping heal and come out on the other side feeling amazing once more, have a read of my
I wanted to add to that list with a few of the goodies that are a little left of field when it comes to diet.
But this is the stuff that gets me excited!! Tailoring a healing plan to the individual with very specific foods. I love this!
A good foundation of fresh fruits and veggies, proteins, fats, carbs and water is always your number #1. But when things aren't working optimally, we obviously need to shake things up to start heading back to our best health ever. Some people do this with drugs. Others with supplements. I first off like to try using specific foods and nutrition for adrenal fatigue; the little gems that we might not eat daily, but that can and will do wonders for our system when we need them. This list below is a few of the strange foodie goodies that will immensely help you (or someone you know) who is healing their adrenal fatigue.
+ Tulsi-Gelatine Jelly
This combo is superman for your hormone health. And if your adrenals are whacked, it goes without saying that your hormones are whacked. Tulsi (also known as Holy Basil) is an adaptogen– a substance that helps the body adapt to stress. It also helps the body balance stress hormones, increases energy and stamina whilst at the same time giving a relaxing quality. Tulsi is also known for boosting the immune system (likely through its adaptogenic properties), promoting a healthy metabolism, supporting healthy thyroid function, and healthy adrenal function (note - adrenal stuff and thyroid stuff always go hand-in-hand), as well as improving sleep.
As for the gelatine, well jelly ain't jelly without this baby, but if it was no good for our hormones we could just stick to sipping tulsi tea. However, gelatine is good for hormones and super duper brilliant in adrenal health. Gelatine encourages healthy hormones, specifically by supporting thyroid function and by supporting progesterone synthesis. It also provides a potent dose of the amino acids proline and glycine for healthy bones and liver function - and if your liver is not up to scratch, it can't detoxify all those hormones you got running around. This gut-loving stuff also supports glutathione production (the master antioxidant important for detox which I spoke about here), opposes estrogen and supports progesterone (a good thing because many, many women are estrogen dominant which causes a whole host of problems), promotes a good sleep with an inhibitory effect on neurotransmitters, and as I said earlier, it also soothes and heals the GI tract (another commonality amongst adrenal issues are gut issues). For a great recipe head over to Empowered Sustenance for Lauren's recipe.
+ Bone broth
I've written previously about bone broth here but I'm happy to bring you more info here. Bone broth is exactly that - broth (or stock) made from (boiling up) bones - chicken bones, beef bones, lamb or seafood. In doing so, the nutrient rich marrow eases out and off the bones, the fats rise to the surface, glycine and proline also come out to play, and we are left with one helluva nourishing, nutrient boosting, gut-repairing, hormone loving, lubricating, anti-inflammatory liquid to drink straight up or use as the base in soups and casseroles. I've personally had a lot of success drinking bone broth; both on my gut and my hormones. It's super easy to make, the recipe I use can be found here, portion it off into freezer containers and drink a cup daily.
I love my ghee! In fact I made my own ghee a couple of weekends ago and posted the recipe here. Ghee is clarified butter, so it's pure fat with none of the protein (whey) that can aggravate some peoples stomachs. It is also better for cooking because it won't burn - you know when butter burns and it goes brown? It's because of the protein content. Ghee has been used in Ayruvedic tradition for ever, and is incredible for any gut issues, skin issues, hormone issues and a whole host of other things. Having adrenal issues, acne, and gut troubles, having ghee daily is doing great things for my health and well being - I actually crave the stuff and love it melted over veggies, stir fry, or slathered over a piece of sprouted toast (followed by nut butter). I'm also experimenting with a ghee face cream for skin conditions... so keep your eyes peeled.
+ Animal meat
A little bit odd for me perhaps as I was a vegetarian/vegan/raw vegan for quite a few years (about 15yrs combined) and it's only been during the past 6 months I've begun eating animal meat again. I always thought it would be revolting, but as I felt my body edged closer and closer to wanting it, it was actually very easy for me to do - try meat again. I started with fish and only more recently am back eating chicken and beef. Enough about that for now though, why is it so good for adrenal health? In short, it's the protein. It's the animal fats. It's the blood glucose balancing factors. It's the building blocks to get going again. It's some potent minerals that are found in higher quantities in meat. It's the hormone rebuilding. Yes you can get a lot of this from vegetable protein sources, but from personal, clinical, and social experience, animal protein makes a huge difference. If you currently don't eat meat and want to begin too, you may need digestive enzymes with your meals to help, as well as apple cider vinegar before your meals to ensure your stomach acid is at optimal levels for digesting animal proteins.
+ Organ meats; if you can go there
I've been reading a fair bit about organ meats recently and I have to say, they sound like small-powerful-god-sent-nutrient-packages oozing with amazing goodies for our health and well being... if only we could get past the fact that they are what they are. I've also been reading that once we can, it's no big deal, and the effects on our bodies are above and beyond what we could expect from meat alone, and this allows us to go back again and again to organ meats.
However, my first ox tongue experience shocked both B and I; I was more the carnivore initially but the following day I had gone off it all, whereas he initialy didn't want a piece of it, and then finished it off the following days when I couldn't. I'm yet to try anything else. Nutrition wise though... let's look at these -
Liver; one of the most nutrient-dense foods in existence. It is super super concentrated with retinol, which is pre-formed vitamin A (so super duper nutrient wise for anyone with skin conditions - if you can't do liver, take cod liver oil). Liver is also rich in folate, choline, and has plenty of vitamin B12, blowing everything else out of the water - it's got almost three times as much B12 as kidney, seven times as much as heart, and about 17 times as much as tongue or the regular ground minced beef.
I would only buy organic liver though as it is the detoxification organ of the animal (however, let it be noted that toxins are not stored here; they merely pass through for filtration if you like). A super easy way to eat liver is in pate - a recipe can be found here.
Heart; can't say I've had this one and to be honest, I'm not sure I'd do it. If someone else prepared it all and ground it up to go into a dish, sure. But I don't think I'm quite ready to do the whole buy it-prepare it-cook it -chop it thing with a heart. Egh. That aside, heart is a good source of iron, zinc, selenium, and B vitamins, but where heart really shines is its CoQ10 content. CoQ10 is vital for energy production and prevention of oxidative stress, and people with chronic health conditions are often deficient (I see elderly folks buying the synthetic store-bought-tablets all the time). Heart is the best food source of CoQ10, and allow me to shoot some stats at you so you can clearly see how -- pork heart and beef heart contain approximately 127 mcg/g and 113 mcg/g of CoQ10 respectively. By comparison, other high-CoQ10 foods like sardines supply only about 64 mcg/g, beef liver contains 39 mcg, beef muscle meat contains 31 mcg, and pork muscle meat has anywhere from 24 to 41 mcg. And I've read that it tastes similar to a steak. A slow cooker recipe can be found here.
Tongue; I think if you can get used to this, you're onto a winner. When you buy a tongue, be warned, they are freakin' HUGE! B decided to amuse me one evening and brought one home (I had a complete freak out in the kitchen at the sight of it), but that aside, he said it cost $6 - and you could easily get at least 4 meals out of it. So it's a very inexpensive way to get valuable nutrients into your system. Because tongue is still technically muscle meat, the nutritional profile is similar to that of other beef muscle meats - a good source of iron, zinc, choline, vitamin B12, other B vitamins, and trace minerals. As tongue is a fatty cut of meat, it's one of the most tender cuts of beef you can find. A great blog detailing every step to cooking it can be found here. Be warned though; there's some pretty hardcore pics.
So there you go. My dietary suggestions to add in if you're dealing with adrenal fatigue. If you have any others that are super-wham-bam-thankyou-maam when it comes to fixing our little adrenals, please do share below or on the Facebook page as I would love to know.
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