One thing I often tell my patients is to never allow themselves to skip meals or to get too hungry. Low blood sugar by itself puts major stress on your body and can really tax your adrenal glands. You may not realize that your body is in constant need of energy, even as you sleep. Cortisol serves as a kind of moderator in making sure your blood sugar stays adequate between meals, especially during the night. So this is why people with compromised energy levels do better by eating smaller more frequent meals. It’s an excellent way to balance your blood sugar and lessen adrenal burden. Cortisol has a natural cycle that works with your circadian rhythm. As you can see in the graph below, cortisol has a natural cycle that works with your circadian rhythm.
But I’m not hungry in the morning…
As you’ve probably heard, breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so It could be for the following reasons: • Corticotrophin-releasing hormone (CRH), which has appetite-dulling effects, begins to enter the bloodstream at a fast rate first thing in the morning. • Decreased liver function, which can accompany adrenal dysfunction or a heavy toxic burden, can also dampen morning hunger. This can be compounded if your bowel function is not optimal. Even if you don’t feel hungry, having a nutritious breakfast within an hour of rising — preferably including a protein — can provide energetic benefits to your metabolism and cortisol levels that last throughout the day. You will have a smoother energy cycle throughout the day if you eat breakfast. • Try to eat lunch between 11:00 AM and 12:00 noon. Your morning meal can be used up quickly. • Eat a nutritious snack between 2:00 and 3:00 PM to get you through the natural dip in cortisol around 3:00 or 4:00 in the afternoon. This could be a few high quality nuts like Brazil nuts or almonds, or a rice cracker with avocado, there are many options here. Get some good cookbooks out of your library and be creative!
Eating regular meals and snacks supports your adrenal glands by:
• Optimizing and ‘smoothing out’ daytime cortisol levels • Preventing the highs and lows of cortisol – your energy levels will be more consistent • Helping to maintain night time cortisol levels, ensuring a more restful, restorative and satisfying sleep