Adapto…..WHAT? Adaptogens is the buzzword everyone is talking about! From bloggers, to pro athletes, to the grocery store clerk, we’re hearing this word everywhere. But what exactly are these crazy things and why do they matter? Read on and join the adaptogens party.
WTF is an adaptogen?
Adaptogens are plants and herbs that help the body resist physical, chemical, and biological stressors. They help balance the cardiovascular, immune and glandular systems which are ESSENTIAL to the health of our bodies.
What are adaptogenic herb benefits?
Adaptogenic herbs are an accessible solution to introducing a bit more balance into your life.
Adaptogenic foods assist the body in these three key ways:
1. Stress Resistance
Since we are constantly experiencing environmental and psychological stresses, adaptogens work to alleviate the nervous, endocrine, and immune systems that feel those effects. By regulating their responses, our overall health and resiliency increase while stress decreases.
2. Returning the body to its natural homeostasis
When the body is stressed, the adrenal system gets out of balance. Adaptogens help the body to normalize the body back to its regular functioning state.
3. Balance over time
Adaptogens will benefit the body most when taken routinely. The adaptogenic science kicks in by training the body’s systems to handle stress and the effects stress has on the body.
How do adaptogens know what I need?
Keep it simple:
Adaptogenic foods target our adrenal system. (The one that produces stress hormones). From there, the adaptogens become associated with the stress hormones and work to regulate that stress. Incorporating adaptogenic herbs for hormone balance therefore reduces the fight or flight feelings our body’s experience when they are stressed out
Get nerdy with it:
Adaptogenic science: adaptogenic plants have compounds within them that directly target the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis (HPA), or adrenal system. Our adrenal system is composed of adrenal glands that produce hormones to help regulate our metabolism, immunity, blood pressure, and responses to stress. Since stress hormones significantly affect our physical and psychological health, introducing adaptogenic herbs for hormone balance is a great practice to help sustain a healthier lifestyle.
Reducing stress leads to a healthier lifestyle because when our bodies are stressed, they also become inflamed. This type of inflammation affects our sympatho-adrenal system (SAS) and leads to our minds believing we are under a life or death type of threat. We commonly know this response as fight or flight. Fight or flight is a term that comes from the type of stress we as human beings responded to thousands of years ago when we were approached by actual imminent danger like a predator in the wild. It is still relevant because thanks to evolution, our brains and therefore our bodies are conditioned to respond to any type of daily stress, even something like starting a new project at work in the same way that our bodies would have responded to that danger thousands of years ago. Yikes.
How often should I take adaptogens?
Adaptogens are like sunscreen: incorporate into your daily routine for the best benefits. When adaptogens are taken consistently over time, they develop an association to your body’s needs. They strengthen various systems within the body by building its ability to resist stress.
Where are adaptogens from?
Adaptogens have actually been used for thousands of years in Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine! They are a common homeopathic remedy and the best resolution to stress less.
Not your average history lesson:
Although the term adaptogens is relatively new, they have actually been used for thousands of years in Chinese and Ayurveda medicine (which has historical roots in the Indian subcontinent). Ayurvedic medicine is the oldest known form of medical science and stems from the Sanskrit words “ayus” meaning life, and “veda” meaning knowledge. This “life knowledge” that Ayurvedic medicine incorporates by utilizing adaptogens has also been traced to medicine practices in Tibet, Islam, and early Europe. In the United State, adaptogens entered our history in WWII where pilots and helmsmen (people who operate submarines) utilized adaptogens to regulate the extreme stress and fatigue they experienced from their high demanding roles.
Want to experience adaptogens?
No fear, the tastiest adaptogenic protein bars are here! These healthy snacks will satisfy taste. Whether it’s with your morning coffee or before your evening workout, bars that are powered by adaptogens are a great way to fuel your hustle. Some of our favorite adaptogens are:
Feelin fatigued? Cordyceps are here to help fight it! Who isn’t looking for a bit more energy and immunity these days?!
Great for overall immunity! These bad boys work with the body to help off viruses and strengthen overall vitality to infection. What a great way to improve your quality of life!
Boost that brain power! The lions mane adaptogen will keep you fierce and functional as they support gut health and are loaded with antioxidants.
Try them all! See which adaptogen works best for you and your superpowers.