1. Salted Water
This one is particularly good for patients that suffer from high levels of stress and adrenal dysfunction. The sodium chloride helps to replace the salts excreted in high levels during high stress periods. This is particularly useful for patients with high cortisol levels and problems with energy and cognition. I like to use pink himalayan salt as it contains more trace nutrients that your average table salt.
The trick to it is to add enough salt so that it tastes good. This is a rather ingenious way to determine the right amount as it is relying on your body's own feedback system as to how much salt is needed. So if it tastes like seawater to you, you've gone to too far. If you can't taste it at all, you have too little. It just needs to be a little hint of the flavour to be just right for your adrenal health and it should taste pleasant to you because your body needs it!
2. Green Vegies
Not only are green vegies useful as fibre (which helps bowel motion and the removal of toxicants and waste products), these vegies also contain key constituents that are required for liver detoxification.
If you don't have enough of these in your diet, you can run into liver detox problems and by association, your hormones will not be happy :(
3. Cardiovascular Exercise
Cardio exercise ie walking, running, swimming – anything that gets your heart rate up; not only is it important to cardiovascular health, heart pumping exercise like this helps our lymphatic system to function. Our lymphatic system helps to bring all waste products from tissues and toxicants back to the liver to be detoxified and filtered out.
Without proper exercise, out lymphatic system can become congested, meaning that toxicants and hormonal waste material stagnate or recirculate in the body (we most definitely don't want that!). So get out there and get the heart going to help clear yuckies from our lymphatic system.
4. R & R (Rest and Relaxation)
This is a nice one. Getting some rest and relaxation can have a profound affect on the kind of hormones you are producing and also helps to give the liver a chance to detox yuckies and balance hormonal levels.
At least 3 times a week there needs to be a significant period of rest and relaxation. Whether its going for a massage, having as nap, being intimate with your partner or spending time with friends that make you feel happy. These are all great ways to help stabilise and modulate hormonal production and help the liver to do its job (FYI heavy drinking binges do not count as R & R, sorry!)
So when I say bitters, I mean any food or beverage that stimulates the vagus nerve. The vagus nerve is the thing that is stimulated when you get that tingly feeling in your mouth and then all of a sudden you have produced lots of saliva. This nerve helps to “juice up” the digestive tract. It helps to stimulate all the organs of the digestive tract to switch on and get cracking. This includes the liver. So by consuming bitter foods and beverages, you are helping to keep the digestive tract stimulated so it can digest better, detox better and handle hormone balancing better.
Some key bitter foods/beverages include:
- Lemon (in food or as lemon in warm water)
- apple cider vinegar (in food or as lemon in warm water)
- rocket & spinach
- globe artichokes
- citrus fruits
- red wine (in moderate doses ie a glass of wine before/at the beginning of diner)
- bitter melon
- kiwi fruit
Jaz is a Naturopath, Pathology Testing Adviser and educator. She practice as a Naturopath in Melbourne, Australia and via skype worldwide. She teaches fellow practitioners on pathology testing and educates pracs and the public on the bridge between Naturopathic care Biomedicine.