What Are Adaptogens? The Benefits of Natural Supplements That Boost Your Immune System
Adaptogens are natural compounds that can enhance the body’s response to stress by altering the way in which the body produces hormones, and by modifying gene expression.
The word 'adaptogen' is derived from the Latin word adapt meaning "to give what is needed". Adaptogens are herbal pharmaceuticals that help reverse the stress caused to the body by stress. To understand the benefit of adaptogens, we must first understand what stress really does to our bodies. The most common thing that you would associate with the word 'stress' is when something bad happens at work and you have a feeling of being down or depressed about it.
- Harms the neurological system.
- Harms the endocrine system.
- Harms the immune system.
Adaptogens stimulate the body's normal processes to counteract these changes and combat stress. For example, they can help maintain hormone balance, calm nervousness and anxiety, and boost mood.
Adaptogens and immunity
In this modern world, our immune systems could use a little boost! Adaptogens are an integral part of restoring balance and wellness to the immune system, thus paving the way for a stronger immune system.
When it comes to boosting your immune system, adaptogens work at a molecular level by supporting your stress response system. When you’re under physical or mental stress, your immune system is weakened. Adaptogens work by regulating the glands in your body that respond to stress, like the hypothalamus, pituitary, and adrenal glands.
Our bodies have three stages of stress response — alarm, resistance, and exhaustion — which evolved to protect us from threats in the environment. Alarm phase is meant to energize us with adrenaline. Resistance phase provides clarity of mind which comes with a “boost to fight the stressor.” Exhaustion is our body’s way of getting rid of the energy that would otherwise harm us.
Best Tips for Consuming Adaptogens
I wish it was as easy as popping a pill and instantly boosting your body’s stress-reducing effects, but that’s not how powerful adaptogens work. Adaptogens don’t work overnight, so you have to take measures to make sure you are maximizing the benefits of an adaptogen regimen.
1. Choose Your Adaptogen(s)
It’s crucial to decide the exact adaptogen(s) you’d like to incorporate into your diet. When determining an adaptogen (or set of adaptogens), you must decide what qualities are most important to you. Will the adaptogens primarily support battling anxiety, or will they provide help with immune function? The key is to first determine your goal and then find out which nutrients you need for that goal.
2. Choose Your Method(s)
People use a variety of ways to intake adaptogens. They're often found ground into powders and mixed into morning coffee or smoothies, or sprinkled into yogurt or ou very favourite: Mindfoods Chia Pudding!
They're also easily found as supplements that many people enjoy in tablet form. It is essential to buy organic, non-GMO brands to avoid chemicals, which can cause adverse side effects.
3. Rotating and Timing
To get the most out of your adaptogen(s), try rotating the type about every six weeks. In doing so, you can maximize the subtle differences in the individual herbs. Similarly, be sure to time the use of adaptogens correctly .
Top 5 Immune Boosting Adaptogens
Here are some of the best ones out there!
Reishi mushroom can enhance immune function through the way it interacts with white blood cells, which help fight infection and cancer. It has been shown to be most effective when used by those who are already ill, although its effects on healthy people remain inconclusive. Reishi mushroom enhances immune function t hrough the way it interacts with white blood cells, which help fight infection and cancer, specifically in those who are ill.
2. Astragalus Root
Astragalus root is truly a fantastic adaptogen! It’s native to Asia and is known by the name “yellow leader” in Chinese. One of the most interesting qualities of this plant is its ability to heighten the immune system. Astragalus root has been found to increase the production of immune cells and may have mild antiviral activity.
3. Holy Basil
Holy Basil — the popular Indian herb that's marketed as tulsi or Ocimum tenuiflorum — is one of Western society's most beloved adaptogens. It's known for its antimicrobial properties, which come from its Southeast Asian roots. Adaptogens, such as holy basil, are known for boosting immune systems and helping the body deal with stress. That's why it's incredibly versatile and found in a range of organic products.
Schisandra berries are harvested and the seeds of these plants are used for medicinal purposes because they contain lignans, naturally occurring substances that may have beneficial effects on human health. Among many therapeutic properties, including managing stress and boosting immunity, Schisandra is also known to be a helpful treatment for Alzheimer’s and liver disease. While it does help to control menopause symptoms, it has also been found to be a natural remedy for cancer.
While Schisandra may be one of the lesser-known adaptogens, maca has become very popular in the Western world.
Native to Peru, maca has been used as a staple in both Peruvian and Chinese medicines for centuries. In ancient times, maca was used for things such as enhancing “sexual function and fertility, in both men and women,” as well as treating “menopausal symptoms,” depression, and balancing blood pressure. Maca is known to help boost immunity by fighting free radicals and lowering the risk of heart disease.
Get the all the benefits of adaptogens minus the bitter taste
Mindfoods combined adaptogens with superfoods into a delicious pudding that holistically nourish body and mind. Mindfoods origin is rooted in adaptogens, and came as an all-in-one way to kickstart the day by enjoying a tasty, complete meal that keeps you full until lunch.
Switch your breakfast for Mindfoods chia pudding for 4 weeks and see the results. Food is medicine but it doesn't have to taste like it.