What Are Adaptogens?
Recently, we have been hearing and reading more and more about so-called adaptogens. Adaptogens are things that should be added to your diet to, among other things, restore hormonal balance in your body, reduce your mental and physical stress response, and improve your metabolism.
“Adaptogens” is a general term for various versatile and potent herbs and substances that can help balance the body. These are not yet well known in the West. However, these healing herbs have been used in Indian and Chinese medicine for centuries. Adaptogens get their name because of their unique ability to adapt to the needs of the body. They can also provide both calming and energizing effects without being overly stimulating.
What Are the Effects of Adaptogens?
When the body is under stress, the adrenal glands secrete cortisol and adrenaline to prepare for fight or flight. For instance, when stress is frequent or prolonged, cortisol is continuously secreted, resulting in high blood pressure and blood sugar levels. This, in turn, negatively affects the function of the adrenal glands and thyroid gland, increasing the risk of a variety of health problems. Adaptogens positively affect the adrenal system, which manages the body’s hormonal response under stress. Therefore, adaptogens are ideal for supporting the immune system, mood, and energy levels as an adjunct to a healthy lifestyle.
What Are the Types of Adaptogens?
There is no end to the list of adaptogens, but some species are popular among many enthusiasts.
Ashwagandha: This is probably the most well-known adaptogen. This adaptogen helps the body adapt to stressful situations by regulating the production of cortisol, which enhances mood and brings peace of mind. Ashwagandha plays a vital role in Ayurveda and is sometimes referred to as the “royal herb”.
Maca: Maca root grows in the harsh climatic conditions of the Peruvian Andes. These conditions make Maca highly adaptogenic. It can be used to alleviate the symptoms of menopause and to support the cycle. It can also boost libido and provide energy. Maca is highly nutritious and contains high levels of easily absorbed vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals (especially iron).
Reishi: This powder strengthens the natural functioning of the immune system, calms the nervous system, has a positive effect on the heart, and improves blood circulation. What you need to know is that reishi is a mild adaptogen. It needs to be used for a more extended period to maximize the effects of this adaptogen.
Chaga: This mushroom is found in Scandinavia. Chaga is good for the intestines and digestion. It boosts the immune system, improves defenses, and relieves anxiety, stress, and tension.
Rhodiola: Rhodiola Rosea (roseroot) stimulates fatigue and calms restlessness. It helps to clear the mind and improve concentration. It regulates the body’s hormonal response to stress, including increasing dopamine and serotonin in the brain. Roseroot is also suitable for the digestive system.
Incorporating Adaptogens Into Your Diet
Since adaptogens are pure, they are easy to incorporate into your diet. However, a little caution is needed, and it should be used in moderation.
You can mix adaptogens in your coffee or tea or yogurt, or smoothies. Be sure to read the package leaflet carefully for the recommended dosage or do some research on it. If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, it is always important to consult your doctor before using adaptogens. For optimal functioning and adaptogens, it is essential to ensure a healthy lifestyle, including a nutritious diet, good sleep, and adequate exercise and relaxation.
Have you ever tried adaptogens, and have they been beneficial for you? Share your experience with us in the comments below!