If you research the hottest nutritional trends, then you probably hear a lot about adaptogens. What are adaptogens and why are they being recommended for just about every type of diet? We are about to take a closer look at what adaptations are and then we will address how you can boost your intake.
What Is an Adaptogen Anyway?
Adaptogens are a group of compounds that exist in nature. They exist in various herbal remedies and extracts that come from everything from roots to bark. So why is this diverse group of nutrients becoming so popular now?
Adaptogens target your stress response. Since we are living in a world that bombards individuals with stress and there seems to be no letup in the near future, people have taken to the natural world around us to find ways to reduces the adverse effects of stress. What can stress do to the body and mind?
The Negative Effects of Prolonged Stress
First things first – stress isn’t always a bad thing. Your stress response is what allows you to avoid a car that swerves into your lane unexpectedly or that helps you muscle through a long day of work when you have to hit that deadline to keep your job. Issues start to arise when stress hormone levels stay elevated rather than briefly elevating to react to a specific need. What can be the results?
#1. Chronic Pain
Stress causes the muscles to tense up. The tension is supposed to release when the stress passes, but what if it doesn’t? The long-term effects can be musculoskeletal pain and even chronic headaches or migraines.
#2. Respiratory Distress
Strong emotions such as stress and anxiety can present with respiratory symptoms. Acute stress may trigger hyperventilation, a panic attack, or even an asthma attack. Shortness of breath is common during acute stress.
#3. Heart Problems
To respond to stress, the heart works harder to get more blood and oxygen to critical points in the body. This also results in increased blood pressure. When your heart rate and blood pressure stay elevated, this can affect everything from cholesterol levels and hypertension to experiencing a stroke or heart attack.
#4. Hormone Fluctuations
When you face an imminent threat, the brain tells the endocrine system to release the right response hormones, including cortisol. Having these hormone levels elevated for too long can result in the onset of various physical and mental health disorders ranging from diabetes and chronic fatigue to autoimmune responses and depression.
#5. GI Health
Your gastrointestinal system is also adversely affected by prolonged stress. There’s a reason that you get “butterflies in your stomach” when you are nervous. Various conditions that may result include heartburn or acid reflux, bloating and nausea, diarrhea or constipation, and gas.
#6. Nervous System Responses
The same way that chronic stress increases the day to day wear and tear on the body, it also causes mental exhaustion. While stress doesn’t do anything terrible to the nervous system, prolonged stress can keep the CNS in a state that increases the wear on the body and mind.
#7. Reproductive Effects
Stress can cause sexual effects for both men and women. Chronic stress may reduce sex drive and inhibit performance. It can also make it difficult for a couple to get pregnant. For women, it may affect your menstrual cycle and increase the pain of your period.
Clearly, there are many adverse effects to stress. So a natural supplement that can combat stress makes sense as a trend in modern society. Let’s learn more about adaptogens.
How Adaptogens Affect General Adaptation Syndrome
General Adaptation Syndrome is the name for the body’s response to a stressful situation that arises. At first, the body enters a fight-or-flight state. This is when stress hormones get released. Next is the resistance stage. Your body stays on alert but begins to restore normal function. Finally, the exhaustion state arrives when you feel tired out at the end of a stressful situation.
What role do adaptogens play? They seem to keep us in the middle stage longer, the one where the body is recovering while still on alert. While you still get the release of hormones, they don’t keep releasing for an extended time. The body recovers naturally so that you don’t go into the exhaustion stage, which only occurs when the body stays on alert too long.
How Can You Add Adaptogens to Your Diet?
Here are some of the best sources of adaptogens:
- Eleuthero root
- Goji berry
- Holy basil (Tulsi)
- Licorice root
- Rhodiola Rosea
These adaptogen sources are often available as supplements, teas, as a part of various herbal remedies. If you are dealing with chronic stress and find that you are burning out (or getting close to that point), adaptations may be able to help you cope. Be sure to source your supplements well so that you get the most potency and benefits.
Warrior Strong Wellness is proud to offer one of the best adaptogen supplements to help our clients fight the effects of chronic stress. It is our Pure Organic Ashwagandha Max. Combined with Bioperine for additional bioavailability, this supplement is perfect for stress relief, combating anxiety and grief, and also for avoiding adrenal fatigue.
Adaptogens are a fantastic part of nature that seem designed to combat stress. If you feel that you are always under a physical and mental burden due to stress, they may be precisely what you’ve been searching for.