Prolonged stress, will make the levels of both hormones above become constant high and it will reduce our ability to cope with stress. This condition is called adrenal fatigue.
Adrenal fatigue can occur gradually, can also rapidly and suddenly, depending on your environment and genetics. Adrenal fatigue can affect the whole body. In severe cases, it can cause health problems or worsen an existing disease. Diseases that can be affected by adrenal fatigue include high blood pressure, acne, heartburn, asthma and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
Get More Sleep
Make sure you are getting enough good quality sleep. It is when we’re asleep that our body repairs and rejuvenates. The sleep you get before midnight is particularly important for your adrenal health.
Magnesium is Your Friend
Magnesium is another important adrenal friendly nutrient. Magnesium helps calm and support the nervous system, improves sleep, reduces stress levels, and helps boost energy production. The best dietary sources of magnesium are legumes, tofu, nuts and seeds, wholegrains, wheat bran and green leafy veggies.
Maca Boosts Energy
Maca is a root vegetable native to Peru, which has been used for thousands of years as a nutritious food staple. This Perivan superfood is considered an ‘adaptogen’, as it works wonders for enhancing energy levels and helping you cope with the stressful demands of day-to-day life. Maca contains high levels of B vitamins and magnesium, which are essential for producing energy and helping the body cope with stress. Maca powder can be added to smoothies, protein balls, or sprinkled over breakfast cereal.
5. Increase Vitamin C
The adrenal glands use vitamin C to produce stress hormones like cortisol. When you are stressed your adrenal glands use up a lot more of this important vitamin.
Increase your intake of vitamin C by enjoying citrus fruits, kiwi fruit, broccoli, berries, dark green leafy veggies, tomatoes, papaya and pomegranate.
Look at Your Caffeine Intake
Caffeine stimulates your fight or flight response, stimulating the production of stress hormones, namely cortisol, which gives you a temporary boost in energy levels, but can also contribute to levels of anxiety and insomnia in some people, and can further deplete tired adrenals. Swap your morning coffee for a caffeine-free herbal tea instead. Licorice and holy basil are great herbal teas that will support adrenal health.
Watch out for other sources of caffeine in black tea, soft drinks, chocolate and energy drinks. Green tea has lower levels of caffeine, but also contains high levels of beneficial antioxidants that promote good health.
Consider B Vitamins
B vitamins are vital for maintaining good health and adrenal function. B vitamins are your ‘anti-stress’ vitamins, they help you deal with stress in a healthier way, and are needed to support healthy energy levels. The best vitamin B rich foods are legumes, wholegrains, nuts and seeds, green leafy veggies (folate), chicken, red meat, fish and milk.
Nutrition plays a big role in stress management. There are many natural herbs and minerals that have been shown to help ease emotional stress. Here are:
1. Vitamin B: The need for vitamin B complex increases during times of stress and infection. Vitamin B5, for example, is known as an anti-stress vitamin. B5 is needed for the synthesis of some stress and sex-related hormone controls produced by the adrenal gland. Therefore, vitamin deficiency can impair adrenal function. Adults are encouraged to consume 5 milligrams of vitain B5 daily.
2. Lemon Balm: The fresh lemon scent is believed to have a very soothing effect, helping to reduce anxiety and improve sleep quality.
3. Magnesium: This mineral helps in many ways, supporting the adrenal glands, muscles and stress nerves to be more relaxed and help you sleep more soundly. (dcw)