Supporting Adrenal Glands During the Holidays
Stress seems to be the new norm, doesn’t it? Most people, when asked about their lives, will respond with a long list of activity, concerns, and overwhelm. And while this is the general operating mode all year long, it seems particularly amped up during the holiday season when additional tasks and gatherings are added to already full plates.
Our adrenal glands play a big role in our body when it comes to stress. These two small organs located above the kidneys produce hormones and perform many essential functions such as regulate our metabolism, immune system, blood pressure, blood sugar levels, and yes, our stress response. When our bodies perceive stress, the brain signals the adrenal glands to release cortisol. While cortisol plays many positive roles in the body, chronic high levels can lead to high blood pressure, weight gain, headaches, low libido, irritability, and anxiety.
So let's take a look at 5 ways you can nourish your adrenals while they cope with the busy holiday season.
Maintain steady blood sugar levels
Low blood sugar triggers the adrenal glands to secrete cortisol so it is important to help your body maintain steady blood sugar throughout the day. Try eating every 3-4 hours and when you eat, be sure to include complex carbohydrates, protein, and healthy fat which breakdown slowly, releasing sugars into the bloodstream in steady doses.
Supplement with key vitamins & minerals
Vitamin C and the B vitamins are crucial to the production of the adrenal hormones. Magnesium helps relieve stress and anxiety and is a great support to adrenal health. Try incorporating foods rich in Vitamins C, B and Magnesium into your diet, like brussel sprouts, nutritional yeast and dark leafy greens. Then you can also supplement to support your adrenals further.
Follow your circadian rhythm
The body’s cortisol levels rise naturally in the morning and drop in the evening. When we push ourselves into too much evening activity or too many late nights it throws off the natural balance of cortisol, eventually making it difficult to fall asleep at all and even more difficult to wake up in the morning. Following a more natural rhythm of day time activity and evening relaxation will ultimately put less stress on your adrenals.
Herbs such as rhodiola, ginseng, holy basil, and ashwagandha are in the category of adaptogens, which help normalize adrenal function and adapt to your particular biochemical needs. Basically, they help you produce stress hormones when you need them and stop when you don’t.
Practice daily stress management
Perceived stress is what kicks our adrenal glands into gear, so learning how to slow down, take deep breaths, meditate, and train our minds to not focus on the negative will give our adrenal glands a much needed break. Also, finding small ways throughout the day to de-stress will help you manage your stress in the long run. From a 15 minute walk, to enjoying a cup of tea, find a stress management practice that works for you.
So in the midst of the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, practice these tips to keep your adrenal glands in top form.
If you are wanting to find out more about how stress can affect your adrenals, check out this article where we talk about adrenal fatigue vs. adrenal deficiency. https://herbesthealth.com/blogs/news/the-difference-between-adrenal-fatigue-and-adrenal-deficiency?_pos=6&_sid=534f6a322&_ss=r