What Are Adaptogens and Why Should You Be Stirring Them Into Your Smoothies?

Posted by Nicolle Mackinnon on

We're halfway through 2017 and you've probably seen the wellness trends emerge: charcoal in your face mask, collagen in your coffee and adaptogens in your smoothies. But what exactly are "adaptogens" and why are they beneficial?

We're not one to jump on all the trendy bandwagons, but when something we can easily add to our morning routines claims to give us better skin, less stress, more focus and a stronger immune system, we're ready to listen. And some experts say adaptogens can do just that.

What ARE Adaptogens and How Do They Work?

Adaptogens are ground, natural supplements that are typically derived from plants, herbs, and mushrooms. They can rid your body of stress, aid your immune system, promote healthy blood flow and support your digestive system. Yep, those are big claims, right?

The way they work is much like a supplement: Because they're created from a natural source (like a plant), your body recognizes them more easily and can absorb their nutrients and use them to affect your body's systems.

Some experts even say that adaptogens can impact our genes, playing into the study of epigenetics. But those changes, whether they be at a DNA level or just in stress reduction, don't take place overnight. Instead, it's a slow, daily process that, much like eating healthfully, can change the body over time.

How Do You Use Adaptogens?

Most adaptogens, from mushrooms to tocos, can be bought in powdered form. That makes it easy to add them to your morning coffee or smoothie, or sprinkled on your acai bowl or oatmeal. The key is to incorporate them every day. Instead of waiting for a big work project to stress you out and gulping gallons of mushroom tea to combat the impact, you should be taking them regularly, so your body's ability to beat stress can be built up.

What Adaptogens Should I Take?

  • Are you a constant stress ball? Unwind with some reishi.
  • Suffer from fatigue? Perk up with cordyceps.
  • Feel a little mentally sluggish at work? Take some chaga.
  • Want softer, brighter, firmer skin? Try tocos.

You can try individual powders like the above, or you can try blends from respected sources like Four SigmaticSun Potion and Moon Juice. Recipes for brewing up adaptogen teas (like chai) abound, so it's easy to experiment to find a blend that works for you (we've been loving this Moon Milk recipe as of late). Cheers to a healthier you!

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