Diet For Adrenal Fatigue

Even in the best of times, you need food to survive and be healthy. Adrenal fatigue is definitely not the best of times, so the food choices you make become even more important to your health. When your adrenals respond to stress your cell metabolism speeds up, burning many times the number of nutrients normally needed. With adrenal fatigue, the cells have used up much of the body’s stored nutrients, creating a nutritional void. Good quality food is the best source for replenishing these nutrients.  

The Connection Between Adrenal Fatigue and Low Blood Sugar

If you have adrenal fatigue, when you eat is almost as important as what you eat. By eating the right combination of natural, high quality food at frequent, regular intervals, you can help avoid low blood sugar and make a difference in your adrenal health and energy levels.

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When to Eat

 One of the major dietary mistakes made by people with low adrenal output is not eating soon enough after waking. If you have adrenal fatigue, it is very important that you eat before 10:00 AM. This is vital in helping to replenish the waning stored blood sugar supply after the previous night’s energy needs.

An early lunch, preferably before noon, is better than a late lunch because your body quickly uses up the morning nourishment and is ready for more. Between 11 and 11:30 AM is usually the best time for lunch. You should also eat a nutritious snack between 2 and 3 PM to sustain yourself for the cortisol dip that typically occurs between 3 and 4 PM. Your evening meal should be eaten between 5 and 6 PM.

A few bites of a high quality snack before bed can help get through sleep disturbances.

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What to Eat and Drink

If you are experiencing adrenal fatigue, you will do best combining fat, protein and complex carbohydrates (like whole grains) at every meal and snack. This combination helps provide a steady stream of energy throughout the day. It is important to remember that foods that are converted too quickly into energy (like sugary snacks or highly processed foods) will quickly let you down

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 In most cases of adrenal fatigue, salt (in moderation) benefits those who add it to their diet. Unless you are one of the rare people with adrenal fatigue and high blood pressure, add some salt to your food. A sea salt or Celtic salt is preferred, as these are the kinds containing the valuable nutrients. Some of the symptoms of adrenal fatigue are actually caused by your body’s needs for salt.

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 Good quality protein from meat, fish, fowl, eggs, dairy and various plant sources (soy and other legumes, nuts and seeds) is an essential part of any adrenal fatigue diet. Try to avoid processed proteins such as packaged lunch meats and processed cheeses. Proteins generally have more nutritional value and are easier to digest when eaten lightly cooked or raw.

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 Every day, you should include 6-8 servings of a wide variety of vegetables in your meals, especially those that are naturally highly colored (bright green, red, orange, yellow or purple). Vegetables provide essential vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and a high amount of fiber. It is a good idea to vary how you prepare vegetables, because different nutrients are made available through different cooking methods.

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Adrenal Recovery Soup

The following vegetable soup recipe has proved helpful in adrenal support. It is rich in minerals and alkalinizing to help balance the acidity that usually occurs in people experiencing adrenal fatigue and stress. It has a calming, settling effect. This soup, called “Taz,” comes from Dolores S. Downey’s “Balancing Body Chemistry with Nutrition” seminars.

  • 16 oz. green beans
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 zucchini, sliced
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 cup tomato juice
  • 1 cup spring water
  • 2 tbsp. raw honey
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • 1 cup chicken broth

Combine ingredients and simmer for one hour until vegetables are tender. Pepper to taste.

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People with adrenal fatigue and blood sugar problems should go lightly on fruits, especially in the morning. Fruits contain a significant amount of fructose and potassium, which is a detrimental combination for those with exhausted adrenals. However, it is preferable that any fruit that you do eat is organically grown. Below is a short list of fruits people with adrenal fatigue tend to do well with, and ones they should avoid.

Preferred Fruits Fruits to Avoid
papaya bananas
mango raisins
plums dates
pears figs
kiwi oranges
apples grapefruit
grapes (only a few)

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Summary of What to Eat

Here are 9 easy rules to follow:

  1. Eat a wide variety of whole, natural foods
  2. Combine a healthy fat, protein and carbohydrate source with every meal
  3. Eat lots of vegetables, especially the brightly colored ones
  4. Salt your food to a pleasant taste
  5. Eat mainly whole grains as your source of carbohydrate
  6. Combine grains with legumes (beans), or legumes with seeds or nuts to form a complete protein
  7. Avoid fruit in the morning
  8. Mix 1-2 tablespoons of fresh essential oils (cold pressed olive, grape seed, safflower, flax, etc.) into grains, vegetables and meats daily
  9. Eat high quality food; it becomes you.

By following these simple guidelines, your food intake can help support your adrenals and prevent low blood sugar.

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