Published: 06/02/2011 - Updated: 06/20/2016
Glands are organs whose function is to synthesize substances such as hormones and then release them usually in the bloodstream (endocrine gland) and inside a body cavity or outer surface (exocrine gland).
The glands are divided into three groups:
- Endocrine: those that secrete their products into the bloodstream.
- Exocrine: send their products into a tube that secretes its product on the surface. Exocrine glands are divided into three groups according to their different mechanisms to unload their secreted products.
- Mixed: produce both secretions.
Main functions of the glands:
- Its main function is to manufacture products called hormones, which are chemical messengers that are incorporated into the blood to reach the cell to which they are intended, as its special feature.
- The glands of internal secretion (endocrine) control the growth or sexual changes among other functions.
- The external secretory glands (exocrine) have their own lines in the secretions like sweat, saliva, tears and breast milk. Also discharge their secretions directly to other internal organs like the liver.
- Mixed secretory glands, like the pancreas, produce digestive juices that reach the small intestine as well as insulin and other hormones that are needed to process sugar.
For proper operation and maintenance of the glands, it is necessary to take a proper diet to nurture and grow glandular functions under optimum conditions which depend on a long list of tasks in the body.
The diet for the glandular system includes:
- Foods rich in vitamin E such as wheat germ, nuts, avocados, cold-pressed essential oils, etc.
- The glands are nourished mainly from iodine and silicon. These two minerals are real food for the glands. The silicon is found mostly in oats, brown rice, parsley, lettuce, tomato, rice flour, sage, thyme, prunes, raw egg yolk, etc., while iodine is found in seaweed, shellfish, carrots, onions, tomatoes, pineapple, raw garlic, pears.
- To activate the inactive glands, sodium-rich foods are the most recommended. Celery, figs, beans, cucumber, goat cheese and milk, lentils, raw egg, etc., are some foods high in sodium. Some symptoms of sodium deficiency include irritability, nervousness, depression, poor concentration, swelling of the face and body, etc.
- For the adrenal glands, it is best to relax, as the emotional exhaustion caused by anger wear and pressures these glands. Besides practicing relaxation and maintaining healthy lifestyles doing exercise outdoors and having quality food, you need to understand the emotional world and find new ways to deal with anger. To stimulate these glands, it is recommended you drink borage tea and fresh carrot juice with parsley.
- For the pituitary gland, it is best to stimulate it with lemon or chamomile tea. Also the chlorine-rich foods like radishes, all fresh greens, cucumbers, carrots, chicory, coconut, blue fish, etc. When there is a deficiency of chlorine in the body, the liver becomes sluggish and glands get swollen.
- Thyroid: The best to nurture and maintain healthy thyroid are fresh vegetable juices which often include lettuce, watercress, seaweed, celery juice, etc. This gland is very sensitive to emotional states, and becomes weak or sick when the person has the feeling of being humiliated or being trapped in bad situations.
- The thymus: the head of the immune system. This gland is nourished with fresh vegetables and fruits due to its wide variety of minerals. When thymus is not working properly, the immune system attacks the body in an unbalanced way.
- Pituitary: watercress and fresh green vegetables are the best food for the pituitary. Alterations in the pituitary are manifested by swelling of the hands.
In general, to nourish and rejuvenate the glands: drink tea, oatmeal, include sesame in the diet, one teaspoon a day. Fresh vegetable juices are good for excellence and help maintain the overall health of the glandular system. Avoid refined flours that are truly toxic to the glands as well as white sugar, fried and sausages.
Besides food, you should seek a quiet life constructively and creatively, to avoid excessive pressure and mental exhaustion as well as understand emotions and have dominion over them, don’t get carried away by anger, guilt or feelings of contempt. Exercise is essential for glandular health promotion; you should do it daily, and choose an activity you enjoy.