11

Superfood Spotlight: Adaptogens

If you’re stressed, fatigued, anxious and/or bloated, adaptogens can help! This unique class of herbs has been used for centuries in Eastern medicine to boost the immune system and mitigate the harmful impact of stress on the body. The most remarkable thing about adaptogens is that they have the ability to “adapt” to what the body needsbe it a boost of energy or calming effect. Thus, they affect each individual differently. With anti-inflammatory, immune-boosting, hormone-balancing and nervous-system-tonifying properties, adaptogens can be used for everything from fighting cancer to enhancing memory, focus and cognition.

Highlights:

  • Adaptogens are a unique class of herbs that have been used for centuries in Eastern medicine to boost the immune system and mitigate the harmful impacts of stress on the body.
  • Typically sold as a root or powder, or in supplement form via capsule or tincture, adaptogens can be made into an herbal tea or incorporated into soups, smoothies or broth.
  • Our top 5 adaptogens include: reishi, maca, ashwagandha, astragalus and schisandra berry.
  • Nourished® offers a variety of different foods that incorporate these medicinal herbs. Stop by Monday-Friday from 9am-6pm to explore our line of Adaptogenic Lattes, Adaptogenic Vegetable Broth and Superfood Smoothies.

Typically sold as a root or powder, or in supplement form via capsule or tincture, adaptogens can be made into an herbal tea or incorporated into soups, smoothies or broth. Although each variety has a targeted action ranging from stimulating and strengthening to soothing and calming, they (as a whole) work to bring the body back into a state of balance, or homeostasis. They do so by acting on the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, the body’s central stress response system. The HPA axis, which is a convergence of the nervous and endocrine systems, ultimately controls cortisol and other important stress-related hormones. When this interwoven network is optimized, physiological processes such as digestion, immunity, sexuality, mood and emotional health, and energy storage and expenditure, improve.

Although there’re many different adaptogens on the market, the top 5 that we recommend include:

  1. Reishi – known as the Queen of Mushrooms, Mushroom of Immortality, Lingzhi mushroom or Ganoderma Lucidum, this medicinal mushroom has been used to support wellbeing for over 2,000 years in China and Japan. Most recognized for its immune-boosting properties, reishi mushrooms are packed with antioxidants, beta-glucans, amino acids and polysaccharides that help boost natural killer cell activity, a potent cancer fighter that also prevents the spread of infection and tumors.

Want to add this medicinal herb into your regime? Try our Adaptogenic Vegetable Broth. Packed with organic vegetables, reishi mushrooms, and finished with our Detox Seasoning Blend™, this flavorful broth is great for warding off colds and flu, supporting the adrenal glands and boosting liver function.

 

  1. Maca – rich in vitamin C, B vitamins, iron, potassium and copper, maca is energizing, strengthening and libido boosting. It is commonly used to increase athletic performance, rebalance hormones, increase fertility and even helps alleviate menopause symptoms.

Maca’s malty, nutty, rich flavor easily lends itself to sweet preparations such as smoothies, lattes and healthy treats. That, combined with its health-boosting properties is exactly why we have incorporated this Peruvian root into our Fat Burner Smoothie and Adaptogenic Hot Cacao.

 

  1. Ashwagandha – as one of the most extensively researched adaptogens, ashwagandha is the top cortisol regulator, helping to calm the nervous system, balance blood sugar and boost thyroid function. Furthermore, its anti-inflammatory properties relieve pain from rheumatoid and osteoarthritis.

Ashwagandha has a very strong taste, so it’s most often taken as an extract or in supplement form. At Nourished®, we offer an Adaptogenic Matcha Latte that perfectly combines the antioxidant-rich matcha green tea powder with ashwagandha and other power adaptogens, wheatgrass, ginger and homemade cashew milk for a healthy latte that’s just as tasty when served hot as it is cold.

 

  1. Astragalus – this powerful herb is great for boosting the immune system due to its antibacterial and antiviral properties. Plus, astragalus contains heart-healthy compounds such as saponins, flavonoids and polysaccharides that help reduce visceral fat, triglycerides and cholesterol levels.

Enjoy astragalus in a soup or tea, or in the form of a supplement for concentrated healing.

 

  1. Schisandra Berry – often referred to as the “five flavored berry,” schisandra’s flavor profile contains all five taste sensations: sweet, salty, sour, spicy and bitter. It’s considered a harmonizing tonic in Chinese Medicine because it nourishes the entire endocrine system (especially the adrenal and thyroid glands), aids digestion, fights anxiety and supports healthy liver function.

Our Adaptogenic Golden Milk Latte incorporates Schisandra berry’s anti-anxiety properties with turmeric, black pepper, cinnamon and other warming spices that help balance blood sugar, calm the mind and support deep, restorative sleep.

Coronavirus’s impact on the economy and global health combined with the social implications of isolation has led to a world of individuals who need more adaptogens in their life. From stress and sleep to fighting inflammation and boosting the immune system, these medicinal herbs can help rebalance and restore many areas of health. We recommend energizing with maca, balancing hormones with ashwagandha, boosting immunity with reishi and astragalus, and calming the mind with Schisandra berry!

IMPORTANT NOTE: If you’re pregnant, breastfeeding, being treated for a serious medical condition or under the age of 12 years old, consult with your primary care physician before incorporating adaptogens into your regime.

Leave a Reply