Today I wanted to talk about adaptogens. Adaptogens are herbs or foods that can help you mitigate stress – amazing! Which means it will help your body deal with stress a lot better. Today I am going to share with you 3 amazing adaptogens and how stress works.
Adaptogens help the body adapt to stress in a cool way. Check out the video below to find out more.
The stress response
When we have a trigger or alert to stress (an exam, or dead line) we enter into the alarm phase and start to release cortisol. Cortisol helps us direct energy (glucose) to the muscle cells. As the cortisol rises to a peak we reach the resistance phase. Then, cortisol starts to drop and we enter into the phase of exhaustion. For example, this happens once the deadline is met or the exam written. Our energy at this phase is much lower than normal. This is the crash.
Cortisol is Not Horrible
This is normal BUT if this is happening several times a day this is when it becomes an issue. This cycle starts to wear on our endocrine system and exhaust our adrenals. This is when adrenal fatigue can start and low energy. We live in a stressful environment and we don’t mitigate stress well. We can mitigate stress with a multitude of things including lifestyle along with adaptogens.
When You Add Adaptogens
This helps with the resistance phase and lowers cortisol and increases energy in the exhaustion phase. So it help to create a more balanced release of energy.
My Current 3 Favorite Adaptogens
- Ashwagandha – a root traditionally used in Ayurveda. It has the properties of increasing energy and decreasing stress typical of adaptogens. I use it before bed in tincture form to help calm my system for meditation and sleep. You can use it throughout the day as well.
2. The 2nd adaptogen is Tulsi tea – You can use ti throughout the day. It contains tons of antioxidants as well. Traditionally it is used before meditation to calm the nervous system to have a deeper meditation. I like to have it before bed as well as the hot tea is soothing and I find it works fairly quickly! This would be great throughout the work day as well to nourish your body if you are busy.
3. The 3rd adaptogen is Maca. I use it as a powder. It is a root that is grown in the Andes. You can think of the environment as being harsh so the plant must adapt and be resistant as well. You can think of it as giving us these amazing properties. Since this is a whole food it will contain carbohydrates, amino acids, antioxidants. Maca is touted as a premier adaptogen to help with fertility and as a libido enhancer. Of course all adaptogens help with balancing hormones because cortisol is a hormone. If cortisol is imbalanced it will affect other hormones as well. Think about it, if you are stressed your body will not want to or be able to carry a baby.
I hope this has inspired you to add in adaptogens. I would suggest alternating between adaptogens every month or so so that your body doesn’t ‘adapt’ too much to it and lessens the effect.
If you have any questions let me know! If you have a favourite adaptogen leave a comment, I would love to hear about it 🙂
To stressing less,
Certified Holistic Nutritionist.