With today’s fast-paced way of life, it is common to face stressful or demanding situations on a regular basis. However, this doesn’t mean that we are already immune to the negative effects of stress. In fact, most of us often experience various symptoms of extreme stress, which are irritability, tension headaches, and digestive problems. Because of these undesirable consequences, experts recommend doing relaxing activities like meditation to ease your tensions and worries. Another ancient method you can try is to add adaptogens to your diet. These plant-based products will not only calm your body and mind but offer other perks as well. So, what are the other benefits of adaptogens aside from stress relief?
WHAT ARE ADAPTOGENS?
Adaptogens are substances found in some plants that can help your body adapt to your daily tensions and pressure, preventing the numerous negative effects of physical and psychological stress.
To explain further, during a stressful situation, our bodies undergo the fight or flight response, which releases numerous chemicals such as adrenaline and cortisol (stress hormone). This reaction is beneficial if it occurs for a short period. However, when you’re exposed to ongoing stress, the constant rise of cortisol levels will eventually affect the production of your other hormones, leading to numerous health problems. Fortunately, adaptogens can help prevent your hormones from becoming too low or too high, bringing back equilibrium in your body. The best part is that most of these natural products are non-addictive and safe for long-term use.
THE HEALTH BENEFITS OF ADAPTOGENS
1. IMPROVE MOOD AND OTHER BRAIN FUNCTIONS
As you know, there are several reasons you’re always tired. One, in particular, is inadequate sleep due to your daily tensions and worries. Eventually, sleep deprivation and high cortisol levels may lead to moodiness, lack of interest, and other symptoms of depression. The good news is that various adaptogens can help solve these problems. The maca root, for example, is capable of reducing your anxieties and boosting your energy levels. Furthermore, this popular Peruvian product can also help improve your mood, memory, and other brain functions.
2. PREVENT CERTAIN AILMENTS
Some of the benefits of adaptogens are due to their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Keep in mind that oxidative stress and chronic inflammation may lead to serious health problems like diabetes, cancer, and heart diseases. Fortunately, antioxidants are not only capable of stopping the free radicals that cause oxidative stress. These beneficial compounds can also reduce inflammation, reverse premature aging, and promote a healthy heart.
Aside from that, adaptogens may also prevent common infections like the flu or common colds. One reason is that high cortisol levels can weaken your immune system. Thus, consuming these stress-busting products can boost your defense against harmful microorganisms. Moreover, some adaptogens like the reishi mushroom, found in Four Sigmatic’s Chai Latte Mushroom Mix, have compounds with strong antimicrobial properties, which can kill disease-causing microbes.
3. MAY AID IN WEIGHT LOSS
One of the most common things that sabotage your weight loss is too much stress. If you’ve noticed, binge-eating is a usual habit when you’re under a lot of pressure or troubling thoughts. A probable explanation for this unhealthy practice is due to the fight or flight response, which tells your body that you need more calories even if you don’t. Another culprit is having high cortisol levels that lead to an increase in insulin. As a result, you tend to crave for sugary and fatty foods.
Nonetheless, taking adaptogens can help solve stress-related weight gain. Ashwagandha is a popular product that can provide this specific benefit. Basically, this energy-boosting root can lower your cortisol levels, increase your metabolism, and help burn your excess fats.
A FEW REMINDERS BEFORE TAKING ADAPTOGENS
Always remember that there is a possibility that you may experience adverse reactions when taking natural products. An example for this is ashwagandha. This Indian ginseng may increase your body’s thyroid hormone production, endangering patients with hyperthyroidism. To safely reap the numerous health benefits of adaptogens, you have to consult your doctor before adding these plant-based products to your diet. This is especially true for individuals who are pregnant, breastfeeding, or have an existing medical condition. Lastly, keep in mind that these products can not cure all your ailments. But, they can help prevent stress-related illnesses.