For sufferers of adrenal fatigue, knowing what and how to eat is of paramount importance. That said, given the sheer amount of information around the subject of food, it can be difficult to know what to enjoy and what to avoid.
When it comes to creating an eating plan to reduce your fatigue, it isn’t as easy as you might imagine.
- Confusing labeling laws make choosing healthier options a minefield
- Packaging and storage have a detrimental impact on the nutritional value of your food
- Modern farming methods mean that even fruits and vegetables can contain chemicals that are hazardous to health
Because we’re no longer producing our own food in the same way as our ancestors once did, it’s incredibly difficult to know if what you’re putting into your body is really beneficial for your well-being.
Food And Adrenal Health
The issue of food and adrenal health is a complex and often confusing subject. The aim of this article isn’t to tell you what to eat, but to make you take a step back and think more deeply about the choices you might unwittingly be making that could be contributing to your adrenal exhaustion.
Are all of those “healthy” items in your basket really what they claim to be?
Let’s take a closer look at a few of the most deceiving products on the supermarket shelf. Are you buying these foods in the mistaken belief that they’re good for you?
There’s no way around it – sugar is bad for you. But when energy levels are low it can be difficult to resist the temptation to eat snacks that can give you a temporary lift. If you’ve ever tried to cut sugar out of your diet entirely, you’ll know just how tough that can be. The advertising folks know that savvy shoppers are looking to find healthier options, and so the market for products like agave syrup and other sugar “alternatives” has inevitably boomed over recent years.
Fact: In 2010 the alternative sweeteners industry netted $1.2 billion in sales!
Don’t be fooled. These products are just as harmful as refined sugar for your adrenal health.
Agave nectar is about one and a half times sweeter than refined sugar and contains about 20 more calories per tablespoon. In the past, people have claimed that agave is lower on the glycemic index than regular sugar, but it turns out that there’s little scientific evidence to support this fact.
Ultimately, agave is no better for you than high fructose corn syrup or any other type of sweetener. Until we have hard evidence that agave doesn’t cause sugar spikes in the same way as regular sugar, it should have no place on your adrenal fatigue healthy eating plan.
There are many reasons why drinking coffee is a bad idea for anyone following an adrenal health plan. Like sugar, caffeine is an addictive substance, and it t can be really hard to kick the habit. Decaffeinated products are a better alternative, but remember that they still do contain small amounts of caffeine. They can also be hard on the liver, and the production process involves the use of toxic solvents.
A label saying that a particular brand is decaffeinated doesn’t guarantee that it’s 100% caffeine-free. This is down to the fact that the USDA only requires products to be 97% caffeine-free in order for manufacturers to make the claim on the label. The average cup of decaf coffee contains around 6mg of caffeine, which is enough to have a mildly stimulating effect. A small cup every now and again may seem harmless enough, but if you’re buying it as a replacement for your regular coffee, consider that you might be undoing some of the hard work you’ve put into sticking to a healthy eating plan.
A healthier alternative might be chicory coffee or dandelion coffee. These can have positive effects on your digestion and detox pathways too.
Keep in mind that there are many popular carbonated drinks that also claim to be “caffeine free.” If in doubt, check the label or contact the product manufacturer for peace of mind.
Non-Organic Fruits and Vegetables
The number of chemicals sprayed on fruit and vegetables to keep them pest free is steadily growing.
Fact: According to a data analysis conducted by the Environmental Working Group, 98% of the apples sampled in a study were found to contain pesticides. Some contained up to 48 different types!
This is a sorry state of affairs for us all, but aggressive farming practices have particular implications for anyone dealing with adrenal fatigue.
Pesticides weaken your immune system and place stress on your endocrine system. They also overload the liver, which may already be having a hard time if you’re suffering from adrenal fatigue.
Consuming fresh fruits and vegetables is a fundamental cornerstone of any adrenal fatigue eating plan, so with this in mind, it makes sense to always buy organic. The financial cost may be higher, but the substantial health benefits usually make it worthwhile switching.
If you’re really serious about regaining control of your energy levels, you can’t afford to take it on trust that that the products in your store cupboard and in your shopping basket are always what they claim to be.
Get informed about how and where your food is produced, read the labels closely and do your research around which brands offer the best products for your current state of health.
If you’re unsure about what to eat for optimal adrenal function, or are looking for advice about how to further clean up your diet, stop by our forum and ask a question. Our book and videos also contain lots of information on how to optimize your diet for adrenal fatigue recovery.