Improving Your Adrenal Health - By Julie MontaguThe adrenals, which can found at the top of the kidneys, are the glands responsible for secreting hormones around the body and have a particularly important effect on the function of the kidneys. High stress levels can have a massive impact on the way the adrenal glands function, so if this is something you are experiencing then it’s even more important that you take care of them!
Adrenal hormones have the ability to damage cells and burn energy so if they are overactive then your body will quickly become fatigued; this can become a massive problem and lead to a variety of illnesses. Adrenaline and cortisol are the two main hormones secreted by the adrenal glands. It is essential for optimum health that these two things are kept in check. An imbalance of either could lead to memory loss, high blood pressure, weight gain, anxiety, digestive issues and sleep problems – to name a few!
Yoga for adrenal health A great way to combat this problem and strive towards better health, both for your adrenals and all round, is to discover yoga. Restorative yoga poses, which are those that leave the body feeling well rested, are particularly great in this instance. A gentle one to get started with is the legs-up-the-wall pose. As the name suggests, this pose involves lying flat with your legs held straight against the wall. It’s advisable to use a thickly folded blanket or pillow under your hips for support. This pose will calm the mind whilst stretching the muscles and relieving tension.
Supta Padangusthasana, also known as the Reclining Big Toe Pose, is a restorative pose that is particularly great for digestive health and also has therapeutic benefits for high blood pressure. By lying face up on the floor with your legs fully extended you can bend the left knee toward your chest and then push it straight up towards the ceiling. Hold this position for between one and three minutes before repeating with the right leg.
Balasana, which is often referred to as the child’s pose is also beneficial for adrenal health. To conduct this pose, kneel on the floor with your big toes touching, sit on your heels and move your knees to be as wide as your hips. You can then lay your hands on the floor and slowly extend them forward into a full stretch. Holding this pose for between 30 seconds and a few minutes will help to ease any pain in the back and neck as well as relieving stress and fatigue.
A well-balanced diet Coupling yoga with a well-balanced diet is a fantastic way to promote better adrenal health. Combining several amazingly nutritious foods into one meal, like my Cauliflower, Sultana & Almond Salad with Turmeric Dressing, is a fantastic way to provide unrivalled well-being. Taking care of your digestive system by nourishing it with a diet that is rich in fibre, healthy fats and friendly bacteria will help to keep your body operating smoothly.
Even the smallest of issues within your digestive system can soon lead to a bigger problem. This is why it’s so important to be aware of the impact your diet has on your insides! I always advocate food as the best source of preventative medicine; taking care of your general health through nutrition is the simplest and most effective way to avoid any potential medical problems and live well!