Are you often tired for no reason, feel stressed out and run down, have trouble getting up in the morning, or need caffeine, sugary or salty snacks to keep going? These are all symptoms or indications of adrenal fatigue, which you may be suffering from if you answered “yes” to one or more of these questions.
There are a number of lifestyle changes you can make to overcome adrenal fatigue, starting with the regular consumption of healthy smoothies containing ingredients known to support the adrenals.
Below I’ve listed the top smoothie ingredients that nourish the adrenals, most of which are adaptogens.
Adaptogens increase the ability of an organism to adapt to environmental factors (stress, diet, toxins, disease, etc) and to avoid damage from such factors without causing any side effects from its use. In English, they help the body adapt to stress.
Adrenal Supporting Smoothie Ingredients
Maca: One of the ultimate energy boosting superfoods, maca can reduce the effects of cortisol on the adrenal glands (and other organs) caused by stress from work, disease, exercise, PTSD, a high pressure lifestyle, or any other factor. Maca helps alleviate mental, emotional, and physical stress on the body. It also increases stamina, endurance, and strengthens the immune system while acting as a powerful adaptogen.
For more information on one of my favorite superfoods, see my epic post on maca.
Eleuthero Root or Siberian Ginseng: One of the most popular adaptogenic Chinese herbs, ginseng has traditionally been used to strengthen, nourish, and stimulate the adrenal glands. Herbalists often prescribe ginseng to treat fatigue, stress, and lethargy. Not only does ginseng help reduce stress, but also boost energy levels, improve endurance, increase mental alertness, and enhance the immune system. The ginenosides found in ginseng are what helps to counteract adrenal stress.
Ashwagandha: Popular among Indian Ayurvedic practitioners, Ashwagandha has traditionally been prescribed to help relieve stress and strengthen the immune system after an illness. It’s often referred to as Indian ginseng because of its adaptogenic and tonic effects. Ashwagandha helps normalize and balance adrenal hormone levels, which is very beneficial to those suffering from adrenal fatigue.
Ginger: While not as powerful as the herbs listed above, ginger is also an adaptogen that helps normalize adrenal hormone levels.
Green Tea: An adaptogen in its own right, green tea supports the adrenal glands to help reduce stress. Green tea also helps reduce depression and anxiety by aiding the nervous system.
Nettles: The abundance of vitamins and minerals in nettle tea is very nourishing to your adrenals.
Sea Salt: An easy smoothie add-on that’s often overlooked is a dash of a high quality salt, such as my favorite, Celtic sea salt. Here’s a great article on salt and adrenal fatigue.
A few other substances known to support the adrenals that you are free to research on your own include Wild Yam, Rhodiola, and Cordyceps.
Other lifestyle changes may be needed to overcome adrenal fatigue as diet alone might not be enough. Reducing stress in your life, getting plenty of rest and a good night’s sleep, walking and other low intensity exercise, reducing your exposure to toxins, and doing some detoxification work are all helpful in putting adrenal fatigue in the rear view.
I didn’t know it at the time, but several years ago I suffered from a mild case of adrenal fatigue. Getting up in the morning for work was a real chore, and my energy levels had definitely tapered off from my earlier years. I turned things around by improving my diet, with smoothies being one of my key upgrades.
The adrenal boosting smoothie ingredients should be integrated into your current smoothie regimen at your own pace. As is the case with any new supplement or vitamin, start off with a small dose and work your way up. If the ingredients above are all new to you, start by integrating one at a time into your smoothies, and diet.
Depending on your current state of health you may want to consult your health care provider before using the more potent herbs ginseng and ashwagandha.
If you don’t have a source for any ingredient listed above, I recommend Mountain Rose Herbs.
Edit: the original recipe called for 1 fresh banana, which I have since replaced with 1/2 avocado. Foods high in potassium can worsen adrenal fatigue – bananas, melons, dried figs, dates, raisins, oranges, etc.
Adrenal Support Smoothie Recipe
- 1 cup green tea, chilled or room temp (substitute nettles tea)
- 1/2 medium avocado
- 1/2 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
- 1/2 tablespoon maca (add more if you’re acclimated :))
- 1/2 teaspoon ginger spice or fresh ginger, grated
- A dash of Celtic sea salt
- 1/2 tablespoon honey to sweeten (substitute maple syrup or stevia)
- 1 teaspoon ashwagandha powder
- 1 teaspoon Siberian ginseng (powder or open up capsules and dump into smoothie)
- 1 cup spinach or kale to go green
- Additional superfoods such as cacao, goji berries, coconut oil, bee pollen, and spirulina.
Place all of the ingredients into your blender and blend for around 30-45 seconds or until your desired consistency is reached.
- Calories: 261
- Fat: 15g
- Protein: 4g
- Carbohydrates: 34g
- Fiber: 10g
- Sugar: 18g
- Vitamin A: 4% RDA
- Vitamin C: 32% RDA
- Calcium: 5% RDA
- Iron: 13% RDA
Let me know what you think of this adrenal support smoothie by leaving a comment below. Happy Blending!