Are You Taking Care Of Your Adrenal Friends?

Are You Taking Care Of Your Adrenal Friends?

I´m sure you heard about the adrenal glands but just to refresh your memory they are two small pyramid shaped glands that sit like a warm hat in the top of your kidneys.

These glands produce hormones like adrenalin, cortisol, estrogen, testosterone and many others. They also assist your body in regulating temperature, blood sugar levels, sodium/potassium levels and are directly connected with your immunity.

In Winter the adrenal glands, together with your kidneys have to work extra hard in regulating your body temperature so they always need some extra help from you!

There are several conditions they manifest of the adrenals not functioning at their optimum and being fatigues, aka adrenal fatigue.

So what can we do?

With appropriate movement and some minor changes in diet and lifestyle you can improve the function of the adrenals, so here´s some simple tips that have long term effects:

  • Avoid cold foods and drinks. One of the first words I learned here in Japan was “kori” which means ice. So no Kori in your drinks. Anything you drink make it warm. The same applies to food. Keep the cold salads for summer and try to eat all meals warm.
  • Include leafy green vegetables and sea vegetables in your meals, they are great for mineral balance and keep your adrenals soft and moist, opposed to dehydrated and tight.
  • Warm spices like ginger, cumin or cinnamon also help to add that little extra warmth in your body, make sure you use plenty of those. As for salt please use only good quality salt like sea salt, flower or rock salt.
  • Broths are ideal for winter, either plant based just with vegetables (including sea vegetables: kombu, arame, hijiki and nori) or if you eat meat bone broths are actually quite good to nurture the adrenals, especially if you are experiencing fatigue.
  • After a warm shower replace the use of moisturizers for oil. Sesame oil with some drops of your favorite essential oil is great to keep the warmth retained in the body. The best time to do that is before bed. One of my favorite rituals of the day!
  • Fundamental to good adrenal health is rest. Sleep early and wake up early and if you have to choose between one of them, sleep early In Winter is actually is ok to sleep more as your body goes into hibernation mode. This is definitely a Winter luxury that I hope you can afford.
  • Sauna and steam are a great way of staying warm and also enjoy the Winter. If you go to sauna make sure your head is always cool (cold small towel on the top of your head) and make sure you have a blast of cold water after sauna. This is an amazing tonic for the adrenals and improves your immune function.
  • Lastly, the no no´s for the adrenals are caffeine, nicotine, alcohol, poor quality salt and stress.

As much as you can avoid those or at least practice moderation.These adjustments in routine and diet can make your Winter quite an enjoyable time, where you can have pleasure in the simplicity of the season. Being home, cooking a warm meal, watching a movie, cuddling, being anti-social or simply doing nothing can be exactly what we need to do to make the most of this cozy season.

Enjoy!

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