Adrenals are the triangular-shaped endocrine glands that sit on top of the kidneys. The adrenals are the keys to optimal health because they are solely responsible for releasing stress-monitoring hormones.
Further, they assist in producing many hormones (notably adrenaline for short-term stress and cortisol for long-term stress), balancing blood sugar, regulating mineral supply, as well as generating and sustaining the body’s energy levels in relation to the thyroid.
When we don’t take care of them:
Prolonged stress to the adrenal glands wreaks serious havoc to our health overtime:
• Steadily elevated cortisol levels can cause weight gain, particularly around the midsection
• Blood sugar imbalances, high blood pressure memory loss, muscle wasting, dizziness, hot flashes, night sweats and even excessive facial hair
• Overworked adrenal glands eventually crash, leading to adrenal exhaustion and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
The Top 6 Ways to Nourish Your Adrenals:
Solitude: Aim to spend a few quiet minutes alone every day, free from the phone and other technology. This would be the perfect time to perform some meditation, deep breathing exercises (aim for 10 to 20 diaphragm breaths every morning and night) or gratitude reflecting.
Restorative Exercise: Restorative exercise like yoga, Pilates and tai chi provides wonderful support to the adrenals. If feasible, doing these on a daily basis or even 2-3 times a week is ideal.
Sleep: Try to aim for 7-8 hours of sleep a night in order for body repair, renewal and hormonal balance.
Probiotics: Taking a daily probiotic to protect your gut health will boost your immunity strength and natural healing abilities. In turn, less physical stress on your body means less stress on your adrenals.
Wholesome Foods: Chronic stress depletes nutrients. Consuming a nutrient-dense diet of fresh fruits and vegetables will deliver the crucial vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients to the body. Restrict processed sugar and refined wheat products as they caused your blood sugar to rapidly fluctuate, subsequently causing your adrenals to overact.
Reduce Caffeine Intake: Enjoy caffeine in moderation as it stimulates the adrenal glands leading to an energy crash later on. Herbal teas and peppermint tea are great natural pick-ups that don’t overstimulate the adrenal glands.
Sepel, J. (2013, January, 11). Why Nurturing Your Adrenals Is The Key To Optimal Health. Retrieved from: http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-7366/why-nurturing-your-adrenals-is-the-key-to-optimal-health.html
Schroffo-Cook, M. (2010, July 23). 14 Ways to Boost Your Stress Glands. Retrieved from: http://www.care2.com/greenliving/14-ways-to-boost-your-stress-glands.html