Let’s dig deeper to find out all about adaptogens.
What are adaptogens.
Why do they help you feel good?
Adaptogens are plants and mushrooms that help your body respond to stress, anxiety, fatigue, and overall wellbeing. They have been used for thousands of years by humans, especially in Traditional Chinese Medicine and Ayurveda (an alternative medicine system with historical roots in the Indian subcontinent).
Simply put, they may return your body to homeostasis. Homeostasis means the state of balance within all physical systems needed for a body to function properly. They are also said to have huge impacts on anti-aging (you know I love anything anti-aging!!).
Here are some of the benefits of adaptogens in general:
-Normalize body functions
-Reduce stress, anxiety, fatigue and depression
-Boost the immune system
-Balance hormone and cortisol levels
-Improve energy levels and stamina
As soon as I started to do my research I was all in. The first one I got my hands on was Maca. Maca is a Peruvian plant and a cruciferous vegetable. Think broccoli, cabbage and kale. It is a common ingredient in Peruvian cooking.
First, I read that it balances hormones and improved mood. I was menstruating at the time so I googled “where to buy maca” and I drove straight to Whole Foods.
The best part about this story is that I didn’t even fully read all of the benefits that maca can do for you, like improve fertility and sexual function. I was dating my husband at that time and 2 months after that Whole Foods trip so I that could start taking maca, I was pregnant with my first son.
This is a true story. It also is fantastic for breastmilk production and for men, it improves their fertility and sexual function as well.
My other personal favorite that I take on a consistent basis is Reishi. It is known as the “mushroom of immortality” in Traditional Chinese Medicine.
It can alleviate stress and fatigue, boost your immune system, and help you sleep. If you also google “reishi babies,” babies whose mothers took reishi throughout pregnancy, are known to have no inflammation, cried little, and appeared calm and focused.
I take great care of my brain, as I find it is a critical piece to my overall health and longevity. It is the organ in our bodies that is in charge of so much like communicating, making decisions, problem solving and live a productive and useful life.
It is very valuable and I will nourish it to the best of my abilities forever and ever. Aside from eating whole nutritious foods, I optimize it by taking Lion’s Mane, Rhodiola, and Ashwagandha.
*Lion’s Mane: promotes the growth of new neurons in the brain.
*Rhodiola: promotes alertness and concentration
*Ashwagandha: promotes mental stamina and clarity
There are so many others out there, it just depends on what you are looking for. I rotate in and out depending on the phase of life that I am in. Here are some other favorites:
*Tulsi (Holy Leaf): traditionally used to regulate hormones, uplift spirits and protects skin from accelerated aging. I am currently using this in my rotation!
*Cordyceps: Helps sustain energy and stamina, and encourages healthy lung capacity. Also helps increase fertility in both men and women.
*Mucuna: It contains L-dopa, the immediate precursor to dopamine (feel good brain chemical). I took this during my postpartum period.
I hope you find this useful. I am on a mission to help busy moms feel good from the inside out. I am a firm believer of trying new things that are holistic, in order to take your health and wellness to the next level. Of course, always consult with your provider as I am not a doctor. I only speak from my own years of experience.
Let me know your thoughts!
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