Today I’d love to introduce you to the power of Mother Nature by teaching you a bit about adaptogens.
Adaptogens are my newest obsession, particularly ashwagandha. It does magic against stress. And helps many other functions, as you’ll soon find out.
WHO CARES ABOUT STRESS?!
You do, my friend.
Stress is a tricky little fellow. Without stress, we wouldn’t even be here – our ancestors survived because of the “fight or flight” response in life threatening situations. However, nowadays we don’t have many saber tooth tigers chasing us, but we do have many other situations we perceive as stressful.
The problem is when these happen often – stress becomes chronic. Constant state of stress has a huge (negative!) effect of our bodies. When we’re stuck in stressful state, our bodies suffer & our health is on the line. Risk of disease increases, our immune system weakens, we age faster, we feel shitty & we can gain weight. (1)
As you can see, hormonal imbalance that comes as a result of stress can really wreak havoc in our bodies. This doesn’t leave much space for enjoying life. (Btw, if you’re interested in learning more about hormones, I highly recommend reading WomanCode by Alisa Vitti – she’s fun & knows hormones.Stress can really wreak havoc in our bodies. This doesn’t leave much space for enjoying life. Click To Tweet
Therefore, it’s crucial to make stress release our priority. Of course, there are tons of methods to release stress, which I will adress in the future, but for now, lets focus on adaptogens.
WHAT ARE ADAPTOGENS?
Adaptogens are beautiful healing herbs used for ages in Ayurvedic medicine to combat stress & help our bodies adapt to it. They support our metabolic processes, help restore our body & achieve balance.
They help us fights stressors & cope with stress effectively. These wonderful plants tend to normalise our body functions.
Adaptogens also help regulate our immune system, as well as neuroendocrine system. They produce nonspecific response to stressors, which means they adapt to our unique needs to keep us in harmony. (2)
I find this the most amazing fact about adaptogens – how they adapt to our personal needs. Isn’t nature amazing?
Many adaptogens are also antioxidants & protect our organs; such as heart and liver. They have anti-inflammatory properties as well.
Of course, more scientific reasearch is needed when it comes to these herbs, but what we know for now is absolutely promising. They’ve been used for thousands of years to increase vitality, showing great results so far.
Some examples of adaptogens are rhodiola, holy basil, astragalus, reishi, asian ginseng, panax ginseng and many more.
Today, I’d like to focus on ashwagandha because it’s my new best friend & I want you to meet her (him?) + use it!
Beautiful herb that serves a lot of body systems. It is used for mental & physical vitality. Studies show it significantly reduces stress & concludes that “Ashwagandha root extract safely and effectively improves an individual’s resistance towards stress and thereby improves self-assessed quality of life.” (3)
It is said that ashwagandha improves physical & mental performance, as well as learning ability & memory. It decreases stress & chronic tiredness. It’s great against insomnia, nervousness & restlessness.(1)
Ashwagandha also has antioxidants & anti-inflammatory properties. It’s stabilises mood & helps fight anxiety. (5)
It could be beneficial for normalizing thyroid function! (6)
Studies found ashwagandha may be beneficial for memory, executive function, attention, and information processing speed. (7) Brilliant, if you ask me!
Another brilliant benefit ashwagandha has is increasing muscle strenght + size & it decreases musle damage – ladies who love resistance trainings, you need it in your life!! (8)
Plants like ashwagandha are why I fell in love with nutrition - food is so freakin’ amazing!! Click To Tweet
Long story short, ashwagandha is simply magical!
And just like that, ashwagandha became my new best friend. I take a teaspoon twice a day; once with my morning coffee – just a bit of coffee, a lot of nut milk & cinnamon + a teaspoon of ashwagandha powder. Delicious. I swear it puts my brain on fire – I feel so focused & ready to conquer the world since I started drinking this routinely. Absolutely amazing.
Since it helps insomnia & restlessness, I also take it in the late afternoon in my gorgeous drink which I’ll share with you at #recipemonday – stay tuned!
All I’ll say is that, after trying bazillion of things to help me fall asleep easier, I hit a jackpot. Spending 2 hours rolling around in the bed, stressing about how “I have only X hours left to sleep” is history. I still can’t sleep when other people are around, though – perhaps I need a bigger dose for that. They breath so loud, I just can’t.
Joking aside, I find ashwagandha awesome & I’m super glad to have it in my life. Which is why I’m sharing all the info with you – so that you can include this magical herb in your “self-love meets nutrition” practice. It’s totally worth it!
Can’t wait till Monday to share my cute afternoon drink with you guys!
Let me know if you found this useful; I love getting feedback!
Do you take any adaptogens? Which ones? Do you find it awesome?
Want me to cover some other ones as well? Let me know so that I can write exactly what you want to read!
Lots of love,