You’ve probably done some research and have found a lot of competing information out there on the best nutritional approach to recover from Adrenal Fatigue.
Here’s the truth: the right approach will depend of your stage of Adrenal Fatigue, where you’re at, your lifestyle and current obstacles. It’s as much about the correctly timed macronutrients as it is about the consistency, the implementation and the long term habits you set up for your journey to recovery. So which diet, or eating plan do you follow for the quickest and best results?
An essential checklist of the right nutrients is the answer.
Here are the top 10 nutrients you need to include in your diet for Adrenal Fatigue recovery to support your adrenals, brain and body to aid in better sleep, correct your cortisol curve and circadian rhythms and in turn, increase your energy naturally.
Thus, I give you my Top 10 Nutrients to Include in Your Adrenal Fatigue Recovery Diet:
The building blocks of a healthy body and metabolism, protein will give you energy as well as curb those 3pm sugar cravings. When you crave sugar, it’s your bodies way of telling you it either hasn’t had enough protein over the course of the day, or that you’re low in energy and fatigued. This is where a lot of comfort eating and self-sabotage can come into play, especially when you’ve had a big day, you’re feeling frazzled or sorry for yourself. A good strategy is to prioritise protein with each meal which has the effect of keeping your blood sugar levels stable and adrenal glands happy.
Best Sources: The best sources are whole-foods such as lean chicken, fish such as snapper, tuna, prawns, eggs and red meats such as beef and lamb sparingly. If you’re short on time and want an easily and quickly absorbed protein, I recommend collagen or a lean protein powder, making sure it’s clean (preservative and sugar/sweetener free with no fillers) and at least 90 grams of protein per 100g.
2. Omegas 3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acids or essential fatty acids (ALA, DHA and EPA) help build cells, control your central nervous system (CNS), strengthen your cardiovascular system, stop you from getting colds and being sick, and helps your body absorb the nutrients you eat. But the best thing about omega’s are they actually improve your bodies response to how you react to insulin. The more insulin sensitive you are, the better your body responds to stabilising your blood sugar and burning body fat. The bottom line is this: the more insulin sensitive we are, the less resistant our body is to holding onto the carbohydrates we eat and the quicker we metabolise them, which makes sustainable weight loss a whole lot easier.
Best Sources: The best way to get omega’s into your diet are through eating deep sea fish such as wild caught salmon (way more omegas than farmed plus sustainable for our environment), walnuts, flaxseeds, sardines, scallops, prawns, linseed, a good quality olive oil and grass fed meats, which have six times more omega’s than grain-fed varieties.
3. Iron for Energy
I went through a stage where I wasn’t eating much meat and wasn’t really replacing it with anything else. I felt lethargic, run down and constantly tired. I went to get a blood test done, and discovered my iron levels were in a critically low range. I was making it hard for my red blood cells to carry oxygen around my body which was making me feel tired, weak and really annoyed at everything and everyone.
Best Sources: There are heaps of foods you can get iron in naturally such as nuts, spinach, kale, pumpkin seeds, oysters, liver if you’re into offal (very healthy but a very acquired taste), beans, lentils, brown rice, watercress, swiss chard, asparagus and spices like cumin, turmeric, oregano, pepper and basil.
Note: If you decide to take an iron supplement, vitamin C is the gateway nutrient that allows you to absorb it much more effectively so make sure you take both of these in combination with each other.
4. Vitamin C
Vitamin C is used in a lot of skincare as it’s an antioxidant that helps protect cells from free-radical damage from the pollutants in our environment, promoting good immunity as well as helping us lower our risk of certain types of cancerous cells from forming and boosting our bodies production of vitamin E.
Best Sources: Spoiler alert: those delicious, chewy orange vitamin C tablets are pretty useless. Instead eat some kiwi fruits, strawberries, oranges, cantaloupe, broccoli, grapefruit, brussels sprouts, cauliflower or kale and garnish with lemon and parsley to get your daily intake.
5. Vitamin A
Vitamin A is what promotes good vision (yes, carrots have lots of vitamin A in them!), bone density and nice teeth and skin. It protects us from infections, boosting our immunity.
Best Sources: Get your Vitamin A in by eating ; carrots, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, spinach, papaya (my fav!), kale, tomatoes, beans, lentils and broccoli.
6. Vitamin E
Vitamin E is very effective in protecting our body especially our skin from environmental pollutants like UV rays and free radicals like car fumes and gases. Vitamin E has also been found to protect against prostate cancer (tell the men in your life you care about!) as well as Alzheimer’s.
Best Sources: Some foods that have bounties of vitamin E are green leafy vegetables like spinach, asparagus, chard, and sunflower seeds and almonds and cayenne pepper which is also great for the metabolism!
A nutritional approach high in fibre helps control blood sugar levels, encourages healthy bowel movements, lowers your cholesterol levels, and helps lower the risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease and some cancers.
Best Sources: Some foods with a high fiber content that are low GI are quinoa, barley, wild rice, millet, black beans, chickpeas, flaxseed, eggplant, raspberries and ground cinnamon.
8. B Complex Vitamins
The B Complex vitamins are essential for Adrenal Fatigue recovery and include; B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), B5 (pantothenic acid), B6, B7 (biotin), B9 (folate) and B12.
This group of vitamins are said to be natural mood enhancers, helping the body to produce energy and form red blood cells. They are also known to have many additional benefits ranging from reducing anxiety to alleviating skin conditions, regulating digestion, producing hormones and the healthy function of our nervous system.
Best Sources: Some good food sources of these B complex vitamins are green leafy veggies like spinach, asparagus, broccoli, asparagus, citrus fruits, eggs, cauliflower, as well as parsley, beetroot, lentils, cabbage and good ol’ lettuce.
We need calcium for the normal development and maintenance of our skeleton, neuromuscular function and cardiovascular health.
Ladies, listen up. Osteoporosis, or low bone density which is mostly prevalent in western cultures (funnily enough where we consume the most amount of dairy, more on this HERE) is one of the major causes of morbidity amongst Australian women, especially our sisters over the age of 50.
A lack of three things cause osteoporosis; calcium, vitamin D and exercise, which is known to strengthen bones especially resistance training. This type of training may not be appropriate for your stage of Adrenal Fatigue – please run it past me, or another qualified Health Professional, who can work out a progression plan for you.
Best Sources: Tuck into green leafy vegetables which will give you more calcium than commercial dairy, opting for things like kale, broccoli, edamame, bok choy as well as white beans, oranges, almonds, figs and sardines.
10. Low GI Carbohydrates
Depending on who you speak to, carbohydrates are a very polarising macronutrient that I consider essential to the functioning of a healthy human being. However, the correct timing of carbohydrates is ESSENTIAL for Adrenal Fatigue recovery, so you don’t feel low in energy, experience brain fog and afternoon energy crashes.
Best Sources: Low GI carbohydrates such as sweet potato, quinoa or brown/wild rice rock!
Your next steps?
- Grab a copy of my Phase 1 Adrenal Fatigue Nutrition guide, packed full of tasty, easy to make recipes that show you how to time your macro’s properly for your level of Adrenal Fatigue.
- If you’re ready to re-set your adrenals and start your journey to recovery, then book your pre-interview to my Fatigue to Flourish Adrenal Fatigue Wellness Coaching Program, where we co-create your vision to recovery by creating the strategies, habits and action steps YOU need to your long term recovery, the consistency in healthy, nourishing meals that will support the healing process of your gut and adrenals and re-wire how you deal with the unconscious mental triggers keeping your adrenals stressed and holding you back from true recovery.
About the Author
Anna’s mission is to connect, support and empower people who are stressed, overwhelmed and fatigued to start taking control.”
Anna does this through her Fatigue to Flourish Wellness Coaching program, workshops and online challenges by working together with you to create your powerful vision, in her four key pillars: unlocking your hidden mental triggers to stress, increasing your energy naturally, wholefood nutrition – energy eating like a BOSS and positive emotions – optimising your emotions for deeper engagement, connection and life satisfaction.
Anna’s Fatigue to Flourish Wellness Coaching Program look at your current approach and develop strategies, habits and behaviour change for instant relief from fatigue, overwhelm and frustration whilst regaining energy, vitality and your zest for life.
For more info please visit fatiguetoflourish.com.au