The adrenal glands are two small organs that sit around the middle of the back, above the kidneys. They produce hormones, including reproductive hormones and stress hormones that help you produce life, grow life, and survive life. Cortisol is probably the most notable adrenal hormone that is produced in response to stress.
Adrenal glands, as all endocrine organs, are susceptible to hormone fluctuations based on a number of factors, including diet, food allergies, stress, lifestyle, and resting habits. A Paleo diet with a heavy focus on vegetables and healthy fats can be an excellently supportive food plan for adrenal health, and overall hormone balance (including the thyroid, pituitary, and reproductive organs).
The top 4 Paleo food that support adrenal health are rich in nutrients and can be enjoyed regularly for not only adrenal support, but also for a focus on total body wellness.
Salmon — Rich in omega-3s and protein, salmon is a superfood for adrenal health because hormone balance is closely tied to blood glucose balance. Eating protein and fat regularly helps to control the rate at which glucose is burned or stored, and keeps the blood sugar more stabilized. Wild-caught salmon can be enjoyed frequently throughout the week, and is an excellent protein and fat source even for pregnant women and young children.
Featured recipe: Winter Slaw with Quick Salmon Cakes
Canned wild salmon makes a quick and easy topping to a hearty winter salad. This salad is easy to transport; simply pack the vegetables and dressing separately. Cook the salmon patties in advance and then put it together quickly when you’re ready to eat.
Poultry — Lean meats like chicken and turkey help to promote proper hormone balance because they’re easily digestible sources of protein that are low in saturated fat. While Paleo certainly doesn’t shy away from quality sources of saturated fat, like coconut oil and beef, some men or women who are struggling with excess cortisol or unbalanced hormones will rebound more quickly when they decrease overall saturated fat and don’t rely on it as their only source of meat or protein. Chicken, turkey, and pork certainly have their places in a well-rounded Paleo diet, and these versatile meats are also rich in nutrients like the spectrum of B vitamins (which are good for nervous system support, and consequently, reducing stress levels) and selenium, which is a potent antioxidant nutrient.
Featured recipe: Slow Cooker Maple Bacon Chicken Legs
Chicken legs turn into a melt-in-your-mouth meal with this easy slow cooker recipe. Simmered in a maple-flavored sauce, the chicken takes on the right amount of sweet and salty to satisfy. For an even quicker preparation, you can skip the searing of the chicken and just throw the chicken in the cooker with the chopped bacon, but the searing does add an extra layer of flavor.
Watercress — There are probably millions of blog posts relaying why broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and cauliflower are good for you, but watercress is a lesser-known vegetable of the same family that is equally as nutritious. Watercress is a superfood in its own right, rich in nutrients that can help to lower blood pressure, decrease risk of diabetes and heart disease, reduce risk of cancer, and improve blood sugar stability. As mentioned above, keeping blood sugar stable goes a long way in supporting the adrenal glands in their job of producing hormones that exist in a delicate balance within the body.
Featured recipe: Warm Watercress and Pine Nut Salad
This simple recipe is quick to throw together, and can be utilized as a side dish or appetizer, or can be upgraded to the main event by pairing it with some chicken, turkey, or salmon.
Cantaloupe — Most think of melons as being fruit that contains excess sugar, but in reality, cantaloupe has one of the lowest glycemic loads of all fruits. Rich in nutrients that support blood pressure, digestion, and hydration, cantaloupe is also anti-inflammatory and rich in vitamin C, which is a water-soluble antioxidant vitamin that is necessary for numerous processes within the body, including collagen production for joints, skin, and hair. Cantaloupe is also rich in vitamin A, potassium, and folate.
Featured recipe: Prosciutto Melon Wrap-Ups
When you need an elegant and simple appetizer idea to serve at your next event, these prosciutto and melon wrap-ups will not disappoint. They use simple Paleo ingredients, plus they’re quick and easy to make the day of your event. When finished, they plate-up beautifully — if they ever make it that far. We seem to have problems keeping them on the plate for more than a few seconds.