Let food be thy medicine. For those of you that subscribe to the philosophy of "you are what you eat", you would probably have heard of healing plants a.k.a. adaptogens.
Adaptogens are superfoods that help your body adapt to stress and find balance, avoiding burnout. The hormone-balancing quality helps restore and protect the body by increasing its resistance to stress and normalising the individual's physiological functions.
From helping you with fatigue, daily stressors, low immunity to impotence and infertility. Adaptogens make you more resilient in multiple facets of life, giving you energy, focus, strength and a better overall mood.
These non-toxic herbs, roots and mushrooms are not new. They have been used for centuries in Japan, in Traditional Chinese Medicines (TCM) and Ayurvedic healing practices in India; but are now becoming popular "mainstream" superfoods.
Read on to find out more about this elite-class of superfood that can help your body cope with stress - bringing your body back into a healthy, optimized state for better everyday performance.
For your convenience, we have also included the easy sources to obtain your adaptogens fix, and ways to consume them. Perfect for the time poor, busy individual.
Looking for like-minded individuals who are optimising their daily performance and well-being using nutrition? Meet people who care about their health, fitness & growth on BrocnBells.com
Chaga a.k.a. "the king of mushrooms" is a black-gold mushroom that grows for 10–20 years on birch, maple or ash trees. Most chaga mushroom powder you can buy is grown in Scandinavia, Russia, Siberia, Canada, or the United States.
It smells like a campfire and tastes just like an earthy, slightly bitter medium roast coffee, but still smooth.
Benefits: Best known for its immune-balancing and antioxidant properties, Helps your skin, hair, nails, as well as supports your immune system.
How to consume: Bulletproof your morning routine with Mushroom Coffee with Chaga & Cordyceps from Four Sigmatic. Blend in MCT Oil for that brain boosting, keto friendly fix.
Known as arctic root or golden root, Rhodiola grows in the cold, mountainous regions of Asia and Europe. Its root contains more than 140 active ingredients and have been traditionally used by the Scandinavians and Russians to treat fatigue and anxiety.
Benefits: Shown to alleviate symptoms of stress, fatigue and depression, improving insomnia, mental health, emotional stability and shown to improve mental performance in stressful periods.
How to consume: Enhance your sleep with this melatonin supplement.
Thinking of candy? You aren't wrong! Native to both Europe and Asia, its usage has been documented as far back as Ancient Greece. Rich in antioxidants and polyphenols, this root is both anti-inflammatory and antibiotic, as well as anti-viral.
It also has an estrogen-like effect on women, thus helping with menstrual and fertility issues, as well as reducing the duration of hot flashes experienced during menopause.
Benefits: Effective against heartburn, a natural remedy for nausea, indigestion, stomach pain, ulcers, helps regulate cortisol, beneficial for both a leaky gut and a sore throat, and an immune booster.
How to consume: Tea blends for your tea time.
One of the most important herbs in Ayurveda, Ashwagandha is also known as Indian ginseng. Its high concentration of withanolides has been shown to fight inflammation and tumor growth.
It has also been shown to increase testosterone levels and improve sperm quality and fertility in men.
Benefits: Lower blood sugar levels, reduce cortisol, boost brain function, help fight symptoms of anxiety and depression and lower LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
How to consume: Ashwagandha is a form of nootropics that reportedly improves your brain health and cognition. Support your healthy brain function with this.
Native to Korea, China and Russia, Panax Ginseng or Red Ginseng is potent because it contains numerous ginsenosides - natural plant compounds which act like steroids. It has been said to help people feel better when undergoing cancer treatment.
Benefits: Improves mental function, increases libido, alleviates depression, help prevent colds, reduces severity of heart disease symptoms.
How to consume: For caffeine addicts, this adaptogen increases the effects of caffeine ;) Here's your drop of Ginseng for energy and vitality.
Tulsi (Holy Basil)
No, you don't get this from your regular pesto. Native to Southeast Asia, Tulsi or Holy Basil is also known as the Queen of Herbs. This multi-tasking herb is antibacterial, anti-viral, anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory and a natural pain killer.
Tulsi is one of the best calm-promoting adaptogens out there, trusted and revered for centuries in the world of Ayurveda - one of the oldest-known systems of medicine on the world. It is also high in vitamin A and C, zinc, iron and chlorophyll.
Benefits: Boosts wound healing, lower blood sugar levels, lower LDL (or "bad") cholesterol levels, ease inflammation and joint pain, provide protection from stomach ulcers, support digestion, antidepressant, uplift mood and anti-anxiety properties such as reducing anxiety and increase endurance.
How to consume: Chill and relax with Reishi Elixir, which contains tulsi.
Reishi, in the kingdom of fungi is called the "mushroom of immortality". The reishi mushroom is a fan-shape fungal growth with a toasted orange, and brown color. When in the wild, it grows in humid areas on dead or dying hardwood trees. These days though, reishi mushrooms are cultivated, giving us easier access to its medicinal qualities. Gwyneth Paltrow - American actress, singer, and founder of goop - claimed reishi mushrooms were her new brain medicine.
High in beta-glucans, antioxidants, and anti-aging compounds. Traditional Chinese Medicine has also prescribed Reishi for those with insomnia.
Benefits: Qualms anxiety, liver detoxification, protection of brain from seizures, cognitive stimulation, lower blood pressure, reduces inflammation and neutralises free radicals.
How to consume: Supplement your bedtime ritual with Mushroom Hot Cacao with Reishi that is organic, paleo and vegan for a restful sleep.
For a caffeine free, paleo and vegan option, opt for the adaptogen blend. You can blend them into your daily smoothie or tonic, add to nut milk, or mix these into your morning coffee for a caffeine fix.
Interested in finding out more about superfoods, adaptogens and anything that can superfy your life - to achieve peak performance be productive and successful? Let David Wolfe's Superfoods be your guide!
Some questions we've received:
- Is Four Sigmatic in Singapore? Yes! You can enjoy all the mushroom goodness shipped to you.
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What are some steps you take to manage stress - whether through healthy activities or with your diet? Drop us a note at [email protected].