Friday 31 March, 2017 0 Comments

Due to the increased stress of modern living, Adrenal Fatigue is a condition affecting more and more people. Here at the clinic we are seeing a marked increase in the number of adrenal fatigue cases. In this blog I want to talk about treating adrenal fatigue with food. What to eat, what not to eat, when to eat and how effective food really is when dealing with adrenal fatigue.

If you are unsure what adrenal fatigue is, or it you have it, we have a series of blogs on this topic.

You can find out more about the key causes of stress, take our Adrenal Fatigue Questionnaire or read about the hallmark signs of Adrenal Fatigue

Adrenal fatigue happens when your adrenal glands are unable to sufficiently meet the demands of stress. Because of the nature of modern life, we are generally exposed to far more stressors than our ancestors were. Things like traffic, increased demands at work, the unrelenting expectation to be available through email and social media, the marked rise in both parents working and increases in the cost of living are all factors creating stress every day.

Your adrenal glands mobilise your body’s response to every kind of stress. It doesn’t matter if stress is real or perceived. Your adrenals produce hormones that regulate energy production and storage, immune function, blood sugar responses, your nervous system and other processes that enable you to cope with stress. When we are constantly relying on these hormones - because we are in a constant state of stress - your adrenals become over taxed and overtime stop working effectively. When this happens you experience some degree of adrenal fatigue.

So how can we fix it with food? Does what we eat play a big role in the health of our adrenal glands. Absolutely.

Dietary recommendations

One of the key aspects of managing and recovering from adrenal fatigue is to minimise the amount of stress and cortisol production you put your body under. Stimulating substances such as caffeine, sugar, refined carbohydrates and alcohol all raise insulin and cortisol within the body. This places strain on your adrenal glands to keep producing cortisol, consequently, they are unable to produce other vital hormones in effective amounts. Here are some effective dietary guidelines for treating adrenal fatigue

Here are some effective dietary guidelines for treating adrenal fatigue.

  • Eliminate caffeine for a period of time. At least one month. Wean down your coffee to decaf, then try weak black tea or green tea. Ideally, you would eliminate everything.
  • Strictly no sugar. For people with severe adrenal fatigue, this also means natural sweeteners. Try it for one month and see how you feel. Recent studies show that sugar cravings dramatically subside after 3 days.
  • No refined grains. White starches and refined grains are glucose which result in blood sugar spikes and insulin load. This raises cortisol and depletes your adrenals.
  • Eat protein within half an hour of waking. This helps balance your blood sugar levels and will help elevate cortisol in the morning (when it is supposed to be at it's highest, giving you energy).
  • Keep your blood sugar levels as stable as possible. Low - and high - blood sugar is stressful on your body. Eating fat and protein with every meal will help balance your blood sugar until the next meal time.
  • Include quality carbohydrates such as kumara or pumpkin especially at dinner. Latest research suggests gentle carbs are calming on our nervous systems and promote sleep. Some examples are pumpkin, potato, kumara and white rice. For some people - especially women - utilising ketones (fats) as a source of fuel is more stressful than utilising gentle carbohydrates. Good whole food carbs are nourishing if consumed in the right quantities. Assess your hunger and energy after eating carbs. You will have eaten the right ratio of carbs to fats and proteins if you are full for 4-5 hours after eating.
  • Initially when making this changes keep quality snacks such as nuts, hard boiled eggs, biltong, tuna or veggie sticks and dip close by. Don't let yourself get starving.
  • Drink liquorice tea, it's soothing to your nervous system and your adrenals.

Adrenal superfoods to include

Organ meats are among the most nutrient-dense foods on the planet. Eating animal products - and all of the animal - is virtually essential for healing adrenal fatigue. In my new, 'What's Your Health Story?' seminars, I tell people that it is significantly harder to heal adrenal fatigue if you are vegetarian or vegan. It isn’t impossible but it takes a long time and significant amounts of money to invest in extra products, herbs and supplements to support your adrenals. 

The best superfoods to include are liver, bone broth and gelatine. You can get two types of gelatine. Collagen hydrolysate is a form of gelatine that doesn’t set when mixed with liquid. It’s great for adding to smoothies, drinks or bone broth for a complete amount of protein. The second type is gelatine, which can be blended with fruit and liquid to form gummies. This is great for adding to children’s diets. Gelatine helps to seal and line the gut which keeps nutrients inside the intestinal tract while lowering an immune response to the food we’re eating.

You can source gelatine and collagen hydrolysate from iherb. In a future blog I will be posting a recipe for gelatin gummies.

I myself was vegetarian for six years. Even after eating animal products again and consumed foods based solely on their nutrient density, treating my adrenal fatigue was only possible once I started taking glandular extracts. It is through my own experience with Adrenal Fatigue that I developed our Adrenal Regenerator product. It is glandular adrenal extract from healthy cows, which helps to rebuild our own.

Ben Warren on Tour Now 


We are all unique. Our genetics, our environments, our lifestyles, our emotional wellbeing. There is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all approach to health and wellness or a single solution to your health concerns. If you want to learn more about your personal health story, Ben is touring to 30 cities around NZ presenting his new, 'What's Your Health Story?' seminar now. Learn more here.  





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