Given the hypoglycaemia that occurs with adrenal fatigue, it is important that carbohydrates are not consumed in isolation, as this leads to a rapid blood sugar rise and fall, leaving the body starving again. Eating carbs alone enhances stress placed on the adrenals and can actually induce an Addisonian Crisis in those with Addison’s! Meals should ideally be a combination of protein, fats and maybe some starchy carbs, however I feel best eating purely fats and protein.
Salt, particularly Celtic sea salt, in an imperative addition to each meal. Electrolyte imbalance (sodium is wasted and potassium retained) is a common symptom associated with adrenal fatigue and salt cravings are simply the body calling out for what it needs most. So if you have a salt craving, get the salt shaker out and use it! I even add 1tsp of Celtic sea salt to each 750ml bottle of water I drink!
If you are worried about your salt intake, please don’t be; when we are having enough salt, our bodies will tell us by dulling our cravings and losing our taste for it.
Conversely, foods high in potassium should be avoided (especially in the morning – this means no more fruit for breakfast, sorry)! High potassium foods worsen adrenal fatigue by enhancing already existing sodium-potassium imbalances. If you are going to eat a high potassium meal, it is important that an adequate amount of salt is consumed with it. For example, if you are going to have a piece of fruit, make sure you sprinkle it liberally with Celtic sea salt. This may sound incredibly bizarre, but most people with poor adrenal function will find it actually tastes better!
Poor adrenal function lowers hydrochloric acid which is required for the adequate breakdown of food, particularly protein. Given protein is critical to adrenal recovery, it is best to take a HCL supplement with meals to assist in digestion. The best sources of protein are organic and grass fed meats and eggs, which all place the least strain on the digestive system.
Whilst many of us love fruit, people with poor adrenal function should moderate fruit consumption. Fruit exacerbates pre-existing hypoglycaemic issues in those with adrenal fatigue, and particular fruits such as banana, are very high in potassium, which puts our electrolyte balance further out of whack! If you absolutely love fruit and don’t want to give it up, I would recommend eating your fruit later in the day (after lunch) and consuming it with a heap of fat (coconut cream or nut butter work well here) to slow the digestion of the sugar and avoid the rapid insulin spike and fall. Any fruit (and vegetable for that matter) should be organically grown as people with adrenal problems are particularly sensitive to chemical sprays and pesticides used in commercial farming.