Exhausted despite a full night of sleep? Feeling stressed, overwhelmed and forgetful? Relying on coffee for energy? Constantly hungry and craving salty, crunchy foods? Bloated and gaining weight, especially around your midsection? Feeling lightheaded or dizzy upon standing? If so, your adrenal glands may be to blame.
- The adrenals are two small glands approximately the size of a walnut that sit atop each of your kidneys. Their primary function is to process all incoming stress, but they also play a role in hormone production, digestion, the metabolism and fluid balance.
- When stress is high, the adrenals get overworked and extreme exhaustion, impaired memory, bloating, insatiable cravings and dizziness upon standing may ensue. Healing the adrenals is a critical piece to weight loss, energy, immune health and a well-functioning brain.
- Top tips include: eat a protein-rich breakfast, swap coffee for matcha, avoid intense workouts, upgrade the quality of your salt and experiment with adaptogens.
- To learn more, join us for the Thyroid-Adrenal Reset Lunch & Learn where we provide a deeper understanding of the adrenal glands and additional tips to re-balance naturally.
The adrenals are two small glands approximately the size of a walnut that sit atop each of your kidneys. Tiny, yet mighty, these glands are on the job full-time, especially in our modern, fast-paced world. With a primary responsibility of producing and regulating the stress hormone cortisol, the adrenals also assist in estrogen and progesterone production, mood and energy, the immune system, blood pressure, fluid balance and the metabolism.
From lack of sleep, poor diet, over-reliance on stimulants and over-exercising to environmental toxicity, infections, deadlines and financial obligations, stress inputs are widespread and variable. When demands are high and rest is lacking, the body spends more time in “fight or flight” (i.e. stressed-out mode) than “rest and digest” (i.e. relaxation mode). Over time, this chronically heightened state taxes the adrenals, inhibits digestion, drives inflammation, causes a breakdown of healthy tissues and quickly burns through the body’s fuel, leaving you feeling completely depleted.
The good news: the body is a miraculous, self-healing mechanism. With the right support, you can heal your adrenals and regain energy, mental clarity, strength and hormone balance. Here are our top tips:
- Eat protein within an hour of rising – when you wake up in the morning, you presumably have gone 8 hours without food or water; thus, your tank is on empty. Waiting too long to eat, or even worse, having coffee on an empty stomach to “get going” drives stress pathways and forces the adrenals to start pumping out stress hormones. Balance blood sugar, support the adrenals and jump-start the metabolism by having a protein-rich breakfast such a veggie frittata or Superfood Smoothie shortly after waking.
- Switch to matcha green tea – coffee is a stimulant that can become a crutch for anyone dealing with fatigue. Unfortunately, the jolt of caffeine coming from America’s favorite morning beverage triggers the adrenal glands to shift into “fight or flight” stress mode. Although providing immediate energy, the subsequent crash can be up to 3 times as low as the high. Containing half the caffeine of your typical cup of joe, and an abundance of the calming amino acid l-theanine, matcha provides a more balanced buzz. But not all matcha is created equal–like anything else, quality matters. Our ceremonial-grade matcha powder is USDA certified organic, sourced from Japan and is adaptogenic (see below for benefits). Skip the coffee shop matcha latte options that are laden with sugar, and make your own at home! Not into morning lattes? Matcha can also be added to smoothies, homemade protein balls or sweet treats.
- Reassess your workouts – does your current exercise regime leave you feeling energized or depleted? Adrenaline-pumping workouts such as hour-long runs, high-intensity interval training and spin class often energize in the moment, but create a sense of exhaustion, soreness, intense hunger and irritability within 24 hours afterwards. If that’s the case for you, your body is talking to you and we encourage you to listen. Instead of pushing your stress pathways further with aggressive workouts, try walking, a dance class, yoga, Pilates or rebounding. These activities are more calming and balancing, yet still provide the circulatory, detoxification and mental benefits of higher intensity exercise.
- Use Himalayan or Celtic sea salt – packed with up to 87 different minerals, unrefined sea salt nourishes the kidneys and adrenals, mitigates salt cravings, helps balance blood pressure, aids digestion and calms the nervous system.
- Add adaptogens – this unique class of herbs has the ability to “adapt” to what the body needs when faced with stress, eliciting either an energizing or calming effect on the nervous system. From an Adaptogenic Vegetable Broth to a low-sugar Functional Hot Cacao Drink, we sell a variety of products that feature these superfood powders. Stop in our Kitchen Market Monday through Friday from 9am to 6pm to explore our options!
As a nation that thrives on bigger, better and faster, stress is a driving force for the standard American lifestyle. Although it provides the get-up-and-go that encourages productivity, continuously pushing the stress pathways becomes a viscous, addictive cycle that exhausts the adrenal glands, throws the hormones out of balance and creates systemic inflammation in the body. From exhaustion, weight gain and brain fog to insomnia, irritability, and frequent colds and flu, the impact of stress is widespread. Healing the adrenals is a critical piece to weight loss, energy, immune health and a well-functioning brain. To learn more, join us for the Thyroid-Adrenal Reset Lunch & Learn. During this 90-minute class, we’ll provide a deeper understanding of the adrenal glands and additional tips to re-balance naturally, all while you enjoy an organic, seasonal lunch!