Without warning, stress can wreak havoc on your body and leave you weak and defenseless. Especially when stress is unending, it can result in the deterioration of your adrenal function. When this happens, you can suffer from adrenal fatigue and the best way to combat it is to pay a closer look at your everyday nutrition.
Stress and Your Adrenal Glands
When your body comes under stress, your adrenal glands do what it can to help you respond to it. Primarily, it signals the release of more cortisol. This is your body’s main stress hormone, which is responsible for initiating a fight or flight response against stress.
To prepare for your stress response, cortisol would regulate certain functions in the body. First, it would increase energy production and supply the body would relatively more glucose. While this is happening, the cortisol would also prevent insulin production to help prevent glucose storage since your body needs it to deal with the stress. This hormone would also increase your heart rate and force blood to pump faster. At the same time, cortisol would also temporarily suppress your immune system since it is not necessary when it comes to stress response.
Typically, when the stressful episode is winding down, your adrenal glands respond by reducing the amount of cortisol being secreted in the body. As this happens, the functions that cortisol also interfered with would return to normal.
The problem is, nowadays, the type of stress that people tend to experience is chronic. That is stress that seems to have no end. Because of this, your body could continue to have elevated levels of cortisol. This triggers a significant hormonal imbalance in the body which causes Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome (AFS).
Typically, adrenal fatigue affects the body in stages. In the beginning, your body would still be able to perform a normal function. However, you may notice that you can no longer achieve peak performance. As it worsens, you may also experience weight gain, sluggishness, and irritability. Reduced exercise tolerance and chronic fatigue can also manifest over time.
If nothing is done to relieve your condition, your body could enter the worst stage, which is an adrenal failure. At this stage, you would already be suffering from significant pain in the abdomen, legs or lower back. You may also experience dehydration, low blood pressure, diarrhea and even loss of consciousness.
The best way to avoid reaching adrenal failure is to work on relieving yourself of the condition as soon as possible. This starts with taking a closer look at your nutritional health and making sure it can effectively help remedy AFS.
How Nutrition Can Aid in Adrenal Recovery
Especially when you are already suffering from AFS, having optimal nutrition is critical. After all, your adrenal glands are going to need some good nourishment to be able to recover from all the stress it has been dealing with.
When it comes to coming up with a diet plan to aid in adrenal recovery, it also helps to figure out exactly which type foods would be most beneficial to you. These include:
Fatty fish such as salmon is incredibly good for adrenal recovery because it is rich in omega-3 fatty acids. This is exactly what your body needs to be able to stop stress from disrupting your hormones overall function. In fact, one study conducted by Hôpital de la Cavale Blanche found that supplementation with fish oil can neutralize the effect of mental stress on cortisol levels and energy expenditure.
Olives are would make a good snack for adrenal recovery. This is because it contains a naturally occurring compound called oleuropein. Research has shown that this compound can help lower cortisol levels.
Coconut oil is known to have anti-inflammatory properties, which you would need for adrenal recovery. At the same time, a 2015 study showed that ingesting virgin coconut oil can result in lower cortisol levels.
Supplements for Adrenal Fatigue
To help make sure you are nutritionally ready to support your body in fighting off AFS, you may also want to consider taking adrenal fatigue vitamins and other supplements.
Keep in mind, however, that it may be best to consult with your physician or nutritionist before starting on any supplements for adrenal fatigue. This is because you may have an intolerance or allergy for any of its ingredients. At the same time, it is also possible that one or more of these supplements may not interact well with any medication or other nutritional supplements you have already been taking.
That said, here are a number of vitamins and other supplements that you can readily include in your adrenal fatigue nutrition plan:
Vitamin B5 is necessary because it produces Co-enzyme A, which helps break down carbohydrates, proteins, and fats in the body.
Vitamin C is an antioxidant vitamin that plays a key role in cortisol production. With chronic stress, your body would not be able to produce enough cortisol for long and would need help from this vitamin.
There are several herbal supplements that you can also take to aid in adrenal recovery. One of which is licorice root that has been known to help maintain your energy levels while stimulating hormone production. In addition, there is also Siberian ginseng, which can help in boosting energy levels.
As you can see, a proper adrenal fatigue nutrition plan matters a lot in relieving the body of harmful symptoms. Make a commitment to taking better care of health by doing your best to avoid prolonged stress too. This would give your adrenals a better chance to recover fully as you nurse it back to health.