Many people find they experience sharp blood sugar spikes around 30-40 mins after consuming fruit or fruit juice. Symptoms include feeling wired and shaky, with these dissipating after around an hour. In this case, we often have nothing to blame other than the fruit sugar itself. But should we?
The answer is a categorical NO. Blood sugar spikes such as these shouldn’t be occurring, and if they do, they’re symptomatic of weak adrenal glands. The adrenals sit above each kidney, and are responsible for producing a number of hormones, including cortisol, which controls our stress response. Too little or too much hormone production, and we can start to experience imbalance. Symptoms such as fatigue, cravings in particular for salty foods due to mineral depletion, a weakened immune system, low blood pressure, and low fasting blood sugar, are all some of the problems.
This final symptom is why those who have impaired adrenals experience sugar spikes or sugar metabolism issues- it has nothing to do with the sugar itself. Blood sugar levels should remain in the 75- 100 range, being at around the 75-85 mark when in a fasted state, (meaning after no food for 8 hours or more), to around 100 after consuming fruit. Any lower or higher than these can indicate weak adrenals, and why some of us can get that uncomfortable “shaky” or “jittery” feeling and crash after consuming fruit.
Most of us suffer some degree of adrenal fatigue or malfunction- our modern, stressful lifestyles alone wreak havoc on the adrenals over time. So how can we build them back up?
Firstly, we at Raw Island recommend continuing to consume simple sugars rather than avoid them- the monosaccharides found in fruit are easiest for our bodies to process, and over time if we detox on a high-fruit diet, our adrenals will start to function better. Start off with smaller fruit meals or drink juices slowly over a longer period of time until you feel yourself able to handle larger volumes. To aid this process, it can be extremely beneficial to supplement with herbs too- botanicals such as liquorice root, ginseng and schisandra are wonderful additions, helping to promote cellular energy, raise low cortisol levels, and balance the nervous system, resulting in stronger adrenals. You’ll know your adrenals are strengthening once your blood sugar levels remain stable and within a limited range after consuming fruit sugar.
Complex sugars- the polysaccharides which make up starches such as bread, pasta and other grains should be avoided, as these contain too much complex sugar for the body to process, leading to too great of an insulin response. Similarly, meat, animal products and caffeine over-stimulate the adrenals, leading to their weakening over time.
Luckily, the adrenal glands are relatively easy to build back up, and you can be on your way to renewed health after a fruit or juice detox period, adding in complimentary herbs, followed by maintaining a high-raw diet.
We know this way of life isn’t sustainable for most of us, but detoxing every so often can be an incredible way to strengthen yourself in between your normal day-to-day diet.