Food of Month: Beans for Adrenal Health


I have a personal history when it comes to overcoming adrenal fatigue. When I was about 29, I was suffering from complete adrenal exhaustion. I was tired all the time, had no energy, could not sleep at night, and suffered from the pain of having eczema over almost my entire body. And the main factor for my dis-ease was stress. I was so stressed out, I had over-worked my adrenal glands to the point of complete exhaustion.

I educated myself and worked diligently for a long time to re-build my adrenals. This is not a process that happens over night. Anyone who is suffering with this now, know that there is light at the end of the tunnel — you just have to be patient.

I learned that the food that strengthens, nurtures and supports the adrenal glands is beans. All kinds of beans and that includes lentils. Your adrenal glands are responsible for the production of several important hormones and play an integral role in our response to stress. In order for them to function properly, they need magnesium and potassium rich foods.

Beans are high in both of those, along with calcium, B vitamins, iron, and zinc. And the worse thing you can eat to weaken your adrenals is sugar. Sugar over taxes the work of the adrenals and blows your sodium/potassium ratio way out of balance. When healing from my adrenal exhaustion I completely eliminated sugar form my diet for 6 months. And that included all healthy, natural sugars as well, such as fruit. My body was in such a state of exhaustion and over stressed, it could not handle even healthy sweets.

I am happy to report that my adrenals are working fine now. I still have to watch my stress levels and make sure I don’t take life too seriously. Here is my Corny Bean Pie Recipe. It can be made, cut into pieces and then frozen. That way you will always have a wonderful, homemade bean recipe ready to eat, to help strengthen your adrenals.

Corny Bean Pie

1 1/2 cups black beans (can substitute 3 (15 oz.) cans of black beans)
1 (4 inch) piece kombu
6 garlic cloves
1/2 onion (diced)
2 T. dark miso
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. sea salt
2 T. tahini
1 1/2 cups cooked brown rice
1 cup corn

4 T. olive oil
pinch sea salt
1 cup corn meal
1/2 cup whole oat flour
5 T. water

To prepare filling: soak black beans over night. Discard soaking water, then put in pressure cooker with enough water to cover. Add kombu. Pressure cook for 15 minutes. Drain water from beans. Discard cooked kombu. Or, you can substitute 3 cans black beans, drained. Put garlic and onion in food processor. Chop them up. Add beans and rest of filling ingredients. Puree until smooth.

To prepare crust: mix together the olive oil, sea salt and water. Mix in the corn meal and oat flour. You should get a firm dough that will stick together. Wrap dough and refrigerate for 30 minutes until cold. Roll out the crust in between two pieces of plastic wrap. Put in an oiled pie shell. Pour filling on crust. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.
Let sit 10 minutes before cutting and serving.

~ Valerie Wilson


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