Best Foods to Snack On: How to Heal Adrenal Fatigue

By: Michael Lam, MD, MPH; Justin Lam, ABAAHP, FMNM

how to heal adrenal fatigue and eat healthierSugar cravings are extraordinarily difficult to beat. It is too easy to grab that donut, and eat it on the go – instead of preparing a healthy snack. Sugary temptations hang over our shoulder like a little devil, making the decision to not reach for that candy bar a battle in the long war of resisting junk food. We all know consuming sugary products is counterproductive for our health goals after learning how to heal adrenal fatigue, yet we all have trouble leaving it out of our diets because it is just so tasty and addictive.

How to Heal Adrenal Fatigue

With our minds and our taste buds trained into loving sugar, it is not an easy task to quit these cravings. Sugar cravings can be related to adrenal fatigue and are typically found in conjunction with hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). The adrenal glands produce many hormones, some of which help to regulate your metabolism and blood sugar. If your adrenals are fatigued – most commonly due to chronic stress – they will no longer be able to effectively regulate your blood sugar, leading to hypoglycemia. When your blood sugar starts to drop, the body will send out signals to try and bring it back up. One of the easiest ways to reduce hypoglycemia is to eat sugar – thus the body’s cravings for sugar.

Sadly enough, sugar is existent everywhere throughout our lives, with the ever tempting chocolate that melts in your mouth and satisfying sugar rush from fizzy sodas. Our nation is becoming more and more overweight, suffering from inflammatory conditions, and flooded with the rising numbers of citizens with type 2 diabetes.

Resisting the Temptation of Sugar

Fortunately, all is not dire and lost. There is a solution, albeit difficult, and that is to retrain the mind and taste buds with healthy alternatives that replace the addictive qualities of sugar. It is best to wean yourself off safely and conservatively in stages. While you’re at it, it would be best to remove all temptations in the house. That means removing all those candy bars you have stocked and hidden away for a rainy day. No matter how much willpower you think you have, it would be best not to leave them hanging around to taunt you.

Let’s change up your pantry staples with some healthy options that contain essential vitamins and minerals such as zinc, calcium and magnesium. All of these are very useful in reducing your stress levels that can very well trigger your cravings for sugar quite often. They can also have the added benefit of tasting naturally sweet. There are great options available for your fridge, and they are absolutely loaded with essential antioxidants.

Snacking Sugar Alternatives

How to heal adrenal fatigue and eat rightWe will begin with carrots, great as a grab and go snack that is a natural source of sugar that is loaded with vitamin C and magnesium. Carrots will help keep you feeling full and even lower your blood sugar level. Eating healthy doesn’t mean you have to completely forego chocolate, you just need to find the right chocolate. Dark chocolate with a value of 90% cocoa solids or higher is actually filled to the brim with magnesium and is loaded with fiber, iron and antioxidants. What you will want to do is find vegan or organic alternatives to avoid dairy and GMOs. Then you will have a perfectly great alternative for guilt free food that is best enjoyed in small portions.

Other foods to fill up those pantries and fridge of yours are: frozen berries, grape tomatoes, cashew nuts, and almonds. These are all great alternatives with essential vitamins and minerals that will provide great benefits for your health and still taste delicious.

A great tip to start the day is to begin by consuming greens. No matter what form they are in, eating greens at the beginning of the day is a great way of flooding the body with minerals and vitamins such as magnesium, B vitamins and chlorophyll. They will benefit and support the health of your adrenals, which are usually not in balance when you have regular and intense sugar cravings.

Reasons to Heal Adrenal Fatigue

We sometimes play off stressful influences in our lives not realizing just how much of an effect they have on our health. Stress and adrenal fatigue are closely interrelated and share many mechanisms of action. Adrenal fatigue can be seen as a collective or spectrum of debilitating symptoms. It can be attributed to the metabolic deregulation or dysfunction of our adrenal organs. The ability of an individual to cope with stress is key to his or her survival and at the center of this defensive mechanism are the adrenal glands. Our adrenal glands sit just above our kidneys and play an important role of producing and secreting cortisol, one of the main anti-stress hormones produced in our bodies.

It is but one part of a complex system in our body that can be classified as the NeuroEndoMetabolic (NEM) stress response, which is one mechanism of our biological system put in place to deal with chronic stress. The many signs and symptoms of adrenal fatigue stem from an imbalance in the NEM stress response and can include; gaining and having difficulty losing weight around the waist, having a high re-occurrence of the flu or other respiratory diseases, lowered libido, memory problems, having no energy in the morning and afternoon, cravings for sugary or salty foods, exaggerated symptoms of PMS, musculoskeletal pain in the back or upper neck and hypoglycemia. These signs and symptoms, as you can imagine, are affecting individuals from leading a happy and healthy life; that is why it is vital we know how to heal adrenal fatigue.

One of the strategies one can adopt when concerned with how to heal adrenal fatigue is to provide the body with a balanced diet including the seven foods mentioned previously. These foods are filled with the proper essential vitamins and minerals. These food alternatives are a great dietary supplementation, not only for beating sugary food cravings, but for adrenal fatigue. At the same time not loading our body with potentially harmful and toxic by-products from the consumption of junk food and sugary temptations.

Well Rounded Recovery

How to heal adrenal fatigue and eat healthierWhat other strategies can we adopt if we want to know how to heal adrenal fatigue? Keeping the stressful influences in our lives in check. Mentioned previously was the NEM’s model, which is a holistic medical perspective on the body’s defensive mechanism towards stress that threatens our survival. The NEM stress response can be seen as a complex web or electrical circuit board filled with many components or systems and organs which all play a specific role in mediating the stress we experience in our lives. When these stressful factors begin to pile up and reach a point that is insurmountable, the body is imbalanced and the NEM stress response begins to display debilitating symptoms such as adrenal fatigue. This can be caused by the hormonal response of the body reacting to improperly functioning adrenals and can bring about other symptoms such as an intolerance for exercise, hair loss, infertility and a low functioning thyroid. The thyroid is responsible for regulating our body temperature and the general speed as to the speed of our biological response to stress.

When considering options in how to heal adrenal fatigue, we need to consider not only our dietary habits but just how much stress we are piling on ourselves; so it is important to eat well and to reduce the stressful influences in your life whilst providing the body with the appropriate time to rest and recover.
© Copyright 2017 Michael Lam, M.D. All Rights Reserved.

How to heal adrenal fatigue and eating better