Spring is a perfect time to take stock of your typical routines and habits, and identify where you can make changes to rebalance your body and give your immune system a boost. There’s something about the warmer, lighter days that injects a bit of optimism into the air, and motivates us to try something new.
Supporting your hormones:
If you’re looking for direction, consider supporting your hormones and giving your adrenal glands a much-needed break. We all know how exhausted we feel when we have to work overtime, or for a few hours on our day off, and our adrenals are no exception. Your adrenals are two, small yet mighty glands, that sit just above your kidneys and resemble the shape of guitar picks. They form part of our endocrine system (which also includes the thyroid gland, pituitary gland, pineal gland, ovaries and testis), and they secrete hormones throughout the day, including our stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline.
Where do I start?
If you drink coffee on a daily basis, you may be unknowingly exhausting your adrenal glands and compromising the natural rhythm and flow of your hormone production. Drinking coffee can stimulate the release of cortisol which is not so great if you’re already stressed, overworked, overwhelmed or running on empty. Raised cortisol can then block the release of our sleepy hormone, melatonin, from the pineal gland and interfere with your sleep/wake cycle. Creating a new habit like switching out your daily cup of tea or coffee for something more therapeutic can be a great place to start.
Making the switch:
Dandelion or chicory root are great options. Both can be bought roasted and ground and prepared the same way you would a regular coffee, which means you can maintain your usual morning ritual while you make the transition. It’s important to honour a routine you’ve created for yourself that brings you happiness. You can even try making a little extra, keep it in the fridge overnight and make yourself an iced ‘coffee’ the next morning!
Dandelion and chicory have health benefits too. They activate bitter receptors found on the tongue which sends a message to your liver to process and remove toxins from the body (perfectly timed for an internal spring clean!) Dandelion root has a diuretic effect, which can help reduce bloating that may have been caused by water retention, and if that wasn’t enough, dandelion and chicory are both prebiotic foods meaning they can help feed and nourish the good bacteria residing in your gut, helping it to thrive.
When creating healthier habits for yourself it’s a good idea to start small so that they become long-lasting. This is a great time of year to offer your body an opportunity to break patterns that weren’t serving you well and get your health back on track. If you’re looking for more information or are interested in personal nutritional advice, please either send a message to email@example.com or contact me via Facebook.