July 10th, 2020
WHAT ARE ADAPTOGENS? NATURE’S MEDICINE EXPLAINED
Adaptogens have been used for centuries to help the body adapt to stress and promote overall well-being. But what are they, how do they work, and where can you find them? Here is everything you need to know about adaptogens!
Stress is one of the few things we ALL have in common. It’s the body’s natural reaction to any change that requires an adjustment or response. Stress can occur at any time, like when you’re stuck in traffic or when you start a new job.
Now, imagine there was a magic potion that could better equip you to handle life’s stressful moments. Well, that’s where adaptogens come in! Except they aren’t magic, they’re natural herbs and plants.
Adaptogens are used to help you adapt to stressors of all kinds, and each one has its own benefits.
But what are they, and where can you find them? Keep reading to learn how adaptogens work, and which ones are right for you!
WHAT ARE ADAPTOGENS?
Think of adaptogens as power-ups in a video game – they give you strength and endurance to keep going!
Adaptogens have been used for centuries in both Indian Ayurveda and Chinese medicine. Today, they’re often recommended by naturopaths and holistic doctors to help patients better adapt to stress.
Here’s how they work.
When your body is stressed it goes through a three-stage response called general adaptation syndrome (GAS). The three stages of GAS are: alarm, resistance, and exhaustion. Adaptogens exert an anti-fatigue effect and help you stay in the resistance phase longer – which allows you to persist through any physical or mental stressors. Think of adaptogens as power-ups in a video game – they give you strength and endurance to keep going!
By regulating our response to stress, adaptogens can help:
- Reduce cortisol levels
- Increase energy
- Improve blood sugar levels
- Balance hormones
- Reduce inflammation
- Prevent chronic stress
According to multiple studies, adaptogens possess therapeutic effects and may promote general well-being. And, depending on the type of adaptogen, they’ve also been shown to boost cognitive function, lower anxiety, improve moods, and increase endurance.
POWERFUL ADAPTOGENS AND THEIR BENEFITS
Ashwagandha is a medicinal herb that’s been used for over 3,000 years, especially in Ayurvedic medicine. Multiple studies have shown that ashwagandha can help reduce stress and anxiety. In fact, during a 60-day study, ashwagandha root extract reduced stress and insomnia in patients by 69%. This Ayurvedic herb has also been shown to support adrenal function, improve fertility, and even increase muscle mass. Experience the stress-reducing benefits of ashwagandha in our calming Golden Mellow mix and our chocolatey Magic Mushroom mix. To learn more about ashwagandha and its impressive benefits, click here!
Cordyceps, also known as “Himalayan Gold” are functional mushrooms with incredible adaptogenic properties. Traditional healers and Tibetan medicine have used Cordyceps for centuries to treat a wide variety of ailments – from the common cold to cancer. We included Cordyceps in our Chocolate Protein mix because of their ability to support athletic performance. They’ve been shown to boost endurance, improve physical abilities, and combat muscle fatigue. Read more about Cordyceps here!
Reishi mushrooms are considered adaptogens due to their ability to help you manage stress – but they do a lot more than just that! These functional mushrooms have been shown to improve mood, decrease anxiety and depression, and reduce fatigue – making reishi one of the best adaptogens for anxietyThey’re also considered a powerful anti-inflammatory, and can help protect your immune system. Want to know more? Here’s everything you need to know about reishi mushrooms!
Maca is an adaptogenic superfood best known for its ability to improve sexual and reproductive health in both men and women. But that’s not all! Maca has also been shown to be effective at balancing hormones, reducing anxiety and depression, improving memory, and boosting athletic performance. Plus, it’s packed with several vitamins and minerals! We love maca SO much, we use it in our Energy Bomb, Plant Protein, Forever Beautiful, Power Matcha, and Moon Balance mixes! Learn more about maca here!
Turmeric is a popular golden spice used in Indian cuisine. With over 13,700 scientific studies supporting turmeric’s health benefits, it’s hard to dispute this spice has SUPER powers. What makes turmeric so powerful is the active compound curcumin, which is a natural anti-inflammatory. It’s this potent compound that gives turmeric its adaptogenic properties. Studies have found that consuming turmeric can prevent chronic inflammation, reduce depression, and reduce symptoms of PMS. Our favorite way to experience the many benefits of turmeric is in our golden milk!
HOW TO ADD ADAPTOGENS TO YOUR DAILY ROUTINE
Adaptogens are fairly easy to find, especially in health food stores and Asian markets. However, depending on the adaptogen, you may find the taste to be bitter or pungent, therefore it is best to combine them with other fruits and vegetables, specifically superfoods. Combining adaptogens and superfoods, give your body double the nutrients, and DOUBLE the benefits.
There’s no right or wrong way to consume adaptogens, but in order to effectively incorporate them into your routine, try following this rule: take stimulating adaptogens like cordyceps and maca in the morning/early afternoon, and take depressant adaptogens such as ashwagandha in the evening. Adaptogens may take a while to show effects and some health professionals recommend taking occasional breaks from consuming them, in order to retain their effectiveness.
Physical and emotional stressors are a natural part of life, and while there’s no denying the many benefits of adaptogens, it’s important to remember that there is no cure-all for stress, and they may not work for everyone.
NOTE: Anyone currently on medication, who has a preexisting condition, or is pregnant should consult a doctor before consuming adaptogens.
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Written by Reigna