The adrenal glands are essential to our wellbeing. We have two of them, and they have an important role in producing hormones we need. Contrary to popular belief, they are not symmetrical. The right adrenal gland is triangular shaped, while the left one is shaped like a half-moon. Both adrenal glands are located above the kidneys, meaning in the middle of the lower back area. They are located particularly in this area as they have a strong impact on the kidney function through the release of aldosterone. As a matter of fact, the word “adrenal” derives from the Latin ‘ ad renes’ , which means near the kidney.The adrenal glands consist of three layers, all of which have their own, specific function. They are as follows:
- The Capsule: The adipose capsule is basically a protective layer made up of fat, surrounding each of the adrenal glands. The major function of this layer is to protect the adrenals from any potential damage.
- The Cortex: The cortex makes up 80 percent of the adrenal glands and it contains three separate zones: the zona glomerulosa, the zona fasciculata and the zona reticularis. Its major roles include production of hormones like DHEA, DHEA-S and androstenedione, production of corticosteroids ( which suppress inflammation, keep blood pressure in check, and enerate energy from non-carbohydrate foods), and production of mineralocorticoids like aldosterone.
- The Medulla: It secretes pinephrine (adrenaline), norepinephrine, and dopamine and its major role is to help us manage stress.
As mentioned above, the adrenal glands have critical role in producing hormones, such as adrenaline and steroids. These hormones boost immunity, regulate blood pressure, improve the metabolic rate, and also help the body handle stress better. Any problem with the adrenal glands may lead to certain health issues, particularly affecting sleep patterns and the health of your nails and hair.
The good news is that choosing the right food and incorporating good-for-you ingredients in your daily diet may help boost the function of your adrenal glands. The recipe below is one of them: