Healthy Snack Ideas for Adrenal Fatigue Recovery

By: Michael Lam, MD, MPH; Dorine Lam, RDN, MS, MPH

Healthy snack ideas for Adrenal Fatigue include nutsAdrenal Fatigue sufferers commonly have problems maintaining their blood sugar in what is commonly called reactive hypoglycemia. Serum blood sugar is normal, but symptoms of hypoglycemia can be troublesome. The more advanced the Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome (AFS), the more prevalent this can be. Symptoms include dizziness, anxiety, fatigue, and a sense of being drowned. Frequent healthy snack ideas are the easiest way to overcome this. Carrying some healthy snacks wherever you go is a good practice. However, finding the right kind of snacks may not be as easy. There are limitations on what are considered healthy snack ideas, as inappropriate snacking can trigger adrenal crashes. Taking a snack before bedtime may help you to fall asleep and stay asleep because the blood sugar is more balance. Snacks for sleep issues will be covered in a separate article. Key focuses that help re-balance the blood sugar. An ample amount of salt is important because sufferers of Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome are normally in a state of salt depletion. This is due to aldosterone dysregulation.

The hormone imbalances and sugar crashes of adrenal fatigue syndrome sufferers are easily understood because the hormones directly affect the processes in our body. Are other areas of our body being affected though, and are those helped with snacking? Yes. By incorporating some of these healthy snack ideas, not only is Adrenal Fatigue being helped, but also the wide ranging response known as the NeuroEndoMetabolic (NEM) Stress ResponseSM. When hypoglycemic crashes occur because of low blood sugar, it sends our body into a stress response, which triggers hormones, neurotransmitters, and decreases our metabolism, all part of the NEM Response. In order to fully and steadily recover from adrenal fatigue, this response must be addressed and in balance. Read on for nutritious good snacks to balance blood sugar, and the body.


Nuts are widely available in today’s market, but the focus, for AFS sufferers, should be on both organic and raw nuts. The wide variety of organic nuts and raw nuts available carry different benefits, advantages, or disadvantages. Try to find mixes that contain organic ingredients that are raw. Organic and raw trail mix is good, as it will reduce the level of toxins you add into the body, as well as the danger from potentially threatening byproducts. When we say nuts, please be aware that we are talking about tree nuts, such as almonds, cashews, pecans, macadamias, and so on. Peanuts, even though it is called nuts, are actually part of the legume family. Peanuts are not a good option for those with AFS, not just because peanuts are one of the most common food allergens, but also because the aflatoxins inside can cause more inflammation in the body. Some of these nuts and dried fruits will be discussed below.

Dried fruits are another one of the healthy snack ideasNuts and fruits, when consumed in combination, offer a good mix of protein, fat and sugar. The following dried fruits are recommended to use together with nuts after your AFS is stabilized: Mulberries, Goji Berries, Goldenberries, Cranberries and blueberries.

Nature has given nuts self-preservation capabilities so that they can survive harsh conditions until the environment is viable for growth. These defense mechanisms come in forms of enzyme inhibitors and phytic acid. Normal people may not feel anything from consuming these nuts, but those with AFS will have trouble with the digestion of these toxic substances. Fortunately, soaking the nuts will remove or reduce the toxic substances and will increase the production of beneficial enzymes. With the increase of enzymes, the result will be an increase in the amount of vitamins contained within the nuts. All nuts consumed by AFS sufferers should be soaked in water for at least twelve hours before undergoing a salt enrichment dehydration process. Salted trail mix is an important consideration when choosing good snacks. Most regular table salt has gone through a refinement process and contains additional chemicals or additives. The additives can add stress to your body, especially for those in the advanced stages of AFS. Himalayan salt is a good, natural option over table salt for salted trail mixes. It provides a higher content of minerals and is easier to digest. No matter what you choose, salt should be added to the nuts during the soaking process. This creates an even amount of salt in the nuts, compared to only adding granules of salt on the nuts as salt has a hard time sticking to the nuts as it is and will most likely fall to the bottom of the container. Roasting is a good way to make the salt stick to the nuts, but this process can destroy the nutrient in the nuts and is not recommended.

Other Healthy Snack Ideas for Adrenal Fatigue

Turkey or Other Sources of Protein

The protein and fats found in the meats helps to balance blood sugar.

Dates are also one of the healthy snack ideas

Hummus and Vegetable Sticks

Hummus is made with garbanzo beans or chick peas, tahini (sesame butter) and olive oil, as the main ingredients, providing protein and fats to keep the blood sugar more balanced.

Nut Butter and Rice Crackers

Nut butter provide the protein and fat that is needed to balance the blood sugar.

As you feel better, you can incorporate good snacks such as yogurt, cottage cheese and avocado.

Conclusion: Healthy Snack Ideas

In summary, incorporating healthy snack ideas during the day between meals can help balance your blood sugar during non-meal times and can provide good instant energy. Always try to get a good organic, natural, and raw combination.

Healthy snack ideas

© Copyright 2013 Michael Lam, M.D. All Rights Reserved.

Dr. Lam’s Key Question

Depending on your goal or your health condition, juice extractor on fruit will give you a lot of sugar and nutrients while adding slices of fruit into water does not.
5 - "Thank you Doctor for your reply"
Thank you Doctor for your reply? I find it very wonderful that you are willing to give your time to this subject.


  • Veronica says:

    Does snacking during the day only help AFS sufferers if they have hypoglycemia?

  • Trudy says:

    Wow, great. We can have good healthy snacks!

  • Janine says:

    Will roasting effect the nutrition in the nuts? I like to roast nuts, I’m wondering if it is ok to do that after soaking them.

    • Dorine Lam RDN says:

      The nutrients would be the same but the fats may change.

      Dorine Lam, RDN, MS, MPH
      Registered Dietitian and Senior Holistic Nutritionist

  • Ellie says:

    Are peanuts the only nuts that contain aflaxtoxins?

    • Dorine Lam RDN says:

      Aflatoxins can also occur in some nuts such as pistachio, walnuts, and Brazil nuts. You can also find them in corn, peanuts, cottonseed, and milk.

      Dorine Lam, RDN, MS, MPH
      Registered Dietitian and Senior Holistic Nutritionist

  • Will says:

    Is it best to soak all nuts before eating them?

  • Kole says:

    Is rhubarb a good choice for AFS snacks?

    • Dorine Lam RDN says:

      It should be ok if taken in moderation.

      Dorine Lam, RDN, MS, MPH
      Registered Dietitian and Senior Holistic Nutritionist

  • Gloria says:

    Thanks for your article on snacks for adrenal fatigue! I have a craving for eating mixed dried herbs e.g. thyme, basil, sage, parsley which have a salty taste! Can you give any information on this? Thanks

    • Dorine Lam RDN says:

      Please share how you prepared your mixed dried herbs and how you eat them. Do you eat them plain?
      I think you need to watch your quantity because once herbs are dried, you can ingest them easily because they are so delicious. All the herbs that you mentioned have some sort of medicinal properties, so make sure to watch the amount you take.

      Dorine Lam, RDN, MS, MPH
      Registered Dietitian and Senior Holistic Nutritionist

  • Finch says:

    I know you mention cottage cheese when one starts to feel better, but what about other kinds of cheese such as cheddar sticks?

  • Dorine Lam RDN says:

    Yes, apple or other “lower sugar” fruit is good.

    Dorine Lam, RDN, MS, MPH
    Registered Dietitian and Senior Holistic Nutritionist

  • Logan says:

    I understand that generally we would want to avoid fruits high in sugar and potassium like honeydew and bananas. But, would it be ok to add in an apple or other “lower sugar” fruit into my diet instead?

  • Lester says:

    If snacking and keeping up blood sugar levels doesn’t help, what direction can we turn to?

    • Dr.Lam says:

      You need to focus more on the underlying issue but also then have to look outside for more causes in addition to metabolic problems. They can include hormonal issues, for example.

      Dr Lam

  • chris smith says:

    Hi Dr lam, I can’t nuts because i have copper toxicity, Is the any other snacks that i could take easily at work, and before bedtime?


    • Dorine Lam RDN says:

      Eggs, turkey, avocado, coconut oil, oatmeal w coconut oil are all good bedtime snacks.

      Dorine Lam, RDN, MS, MPH
      Registered Dietitian and Senior Holistic Nutritionist

  • Ed says:

    How often should someone who is suffering from adrenal fatigue snack?

  • Audrey says:

    Can complex carbs help with balancing blood sugar levels?

  • Ronny says:

    You don’t have to tell me to add snacks in my diet twice – yum!

  • Gayla says:

    Your wealth of knowledge on AFS is so wonderful, especially the details of “why” things are better at each stage and the essential oil page. The info on diet, snacks, sleep are such a wonderful help to me as I am trying to recover from mild AFS.

  • Haley says:

    Would you recommend alternating the different snacks at night?

    • Dorine Lam RDN says:

      You can try many different snacks that has protein and fats. Nuts, chicken, turkey, eggs, cottage cheese, and even oatmeal works well.

      Dorine Lam, RDN , MS, MPH
      Registered Dietitian and Senior Holistic Nutritionist

  • LJ says:

    Hi there,
    Are organic vegan shakes, such as Marvellous Superfood Nutrient Pure Protein (hemp protein, rice protein, cacao powder, Palma jaggery and Madagascan vanilla) a wise choice of snack?

    • Dorine Lam RDN says:

      Your shakes sound like a good snack choice for AFS.

      Dorine Lam, RDN , MS, MPH
      Registered Dietitian and Senior Holistic Nutritionist

  • Danny says:

    I’ll have to start doing some more snacks to help. Glad to have found this article!

  • Priscilla says:

    What about peanut butter? Organic?

    • Dorine Lam RDN says:

      Organic butter are good to use for cooking or on snacks.

      Dorine Lam, RDN , MS, MPH
      Registered Dietitian and Senior Holistic Nutritionist

  • Suzy says:

    Hi Dr Lam, would beef jerky be an okay snack? I’m not a big fan of nuts.

  • Rayce says:

    Is it better to get unsalted nuts and put on my own sea salt? I like to control the amount of sodium I get because of heart issues.

    • Dorine Lam RDN says:

      If you want to control your own sodium, then it is better to get unsalted nuts and add your own.

      Dorine Lam, RDN , MS, MPH
      Registered Dietitian and Senior Holistic Nutritionist

  • Walter says:

    I noticed raisins aren’t in your list. Is that because of the sugar they add? What if I dry my own fruit?

    • Dr.Lam says:

      Raisin is high in sugar intrinsically , whether you do it yourself or not.

      Dr Lam

  • Junior says:

    Thank you Dr Lam for your knowledge on this subject. I have been suffering with AFS my whole life I believe. I’m just starting to regain pieces of myself back with the help of your website as well as your book.

  • Luthien says:

    Dr Lam
    I am one month into recovery from stage 3C adrenal exhaustion. I started out only tolerating raw eggs and broth. Now I have more energy and have been eating raw eggs, broth, cooked spinach and raw nuts. I digest well in the mornings when I have more energy but much more slowly in the afternoon. I believe I am very nutrient deficient because I had malabsorption for 5 months. I want to start adding in raw vegetables as per your AF dietary recommendations but I am wondering if I should hold off on that and keep thoroughly cooking my vegetables until I have a much healthier digestive system.
    Your articles have been an invaluable source for me during my self-guided recovery. Thank you so much.

  • Leah says:

    I suffer from adrenal fatigue and Lyme disease and babesia. I have been getting worse and worse. I can not eat cashews or nuts anymore as my body has developed an allergy. I am scared that my adrenals are definitely getting worse as it is hard to get out of bed and my body is weak. I try to eat every hour, but my body is now low glucose on my latest blood test. Is there any way to schedule a phone consult with you?

  • G from Canada says:

    Thank you for the prompt response, Dr. Lam. Last question, do I have to eat a snack even if I am not hungry. And is taking a saliva test a must although I was diagnosed by a naturopath and I have all the symptoms of AF. Thanks so much again!

    • Dr.Lam says:

      The more advance your AF, the more proactive you need to be to take snack before you feel hungry. We do not use saliva test without careful consideration . We have found that a detailed history is far more productive. It has its place under the right situation, but it can also be confusing as well. Click Laboratory Testing for more information.

      Dr Lam

  • G from Canada says:

    What if there is a strong salt craving? I easily give in to chips. Please advise. Is air popped popcorn ok also? Thanks

    • Dr.Lam says:

      Corn is quite hard to digest and should be avoided in AFS. Drink water with salt if you have salt craving is a better consideration.

      Dr Lam

  • Ntsebo says:

    Thank you Dr for answering my questions and for the information. I’ll try my best to eat healthy snacks because I think I’m an AFS sufferer though it has not been medical confirmed but I have all the symptoms

  • Donna Allgaier-Lamberti says:

    Thank you Dr. Lam. I have just been diagnosed with adrenal fatigue and Hasimoto’s. Although I already eat organic and GMO-free foods, I feel like I have everything to learn and your site has been very helpful. Please know that you work is being noticed and is helping many people. I for one am grateful.

  • Rebecca Brooks-Guelfi says:

    Thanks for your tips Dr. Lam. I am reading all of them 🙂

  • Moawey Espinosa says:

    What about the fat content in the nuts ? when would that be considered ?

    • Dr.Lam says:

      Good Fat such as that from nuts is good for AFS because it offers a slow form of calorie release.

      Dr Lam

  • Nancy says:

    How do peanuts cause inflammation in the body? Can it be balanced out by eating natural anti-histamines?

  • sandra schomaker says:

    What is your opinion on using far infrared amathest biomats to treat AFand a host of other AI diseases.. they don’t have electro magnetive fields. I’m not finding your website very friendly to me. This is my second or third attempt to ask a question and I’ll be the first to admit I’m a 72 yo (with AF) electronic moron! That however, does not mean I’m not astute and inquisitive. I can’t handle the AF and this overly sensitive tablet. Perhaps if I managed to get through you could say a snail- mail would be acceptable. I’m nothing if not thoroughly confused and hane a lot of questions. Thank you for your valuable input and patience with me trying to get the most from a communication that’s not exactly in my wheelhouse.

  • Maranda says:

    How do we create a personalized approach to treating AFS?

    • Newsletter says:

      if your fatigue is mild, read my book which has a lot of tips on how to self-navigate. Try to avoid glandulars and herbs unless you are young and strong is a key. If you dont know where you stand, take my Adrenal Fatigue Test online from my homepage and I will be able to give you more detailed assessment. The more symptoms you have , generally the more advance you may be in and the more careful you should be in designing your recovery approach because the body can be very sensitive and you can crash or get worse.

      Dr Lam

      Dr Lam.

  • Newsletter says:

    Many of you have written separately to ask me about the blood type diet. When you are in AFS, the blood type diet does not work as well as in normal situation because the blood sugar and metabolic imbalances. A proper adrenal fatigue diet therefore has to factor that in, and a lot of it depends on the stage of adrenal fatigue you are in, your constitution, and clinical history. A good recovery plan therefore needs a personalized approach.

    Dr Lam