What are adaptogens? 

About a year ago it seems that everyone was talking about adaptogens and I had no idea what they were. I was seeing people on Instagram posting pictures and recipes of drink concoctions with all kinds of crazy ingredients. Then I heard about mushroom coffee... I love mushrooms but do want to drink them? Do I need to drink mushrooms? What are the benefits and what are adaptogens? Are mushroom adaptogens? 

It seems most people were using adaptogen powder from a brand called Sun Potions. I looked up the website to investigate and I had a bit of sticker shock; I was sceptical. Around the same time, I was having problems with my hormones.

I had stopped taking birth control and didn't get my period for 7 months. In almost two years I had about 6 or 8 periods. I told my friend Lorine is who is a nutritionist. She recommended I start taking Maca and chasteberries (vitex) to help balance my hormones.

I can happily say that after a just short time (a week) of incorporating maca into my diet I got my period! Not to mention I have been regular for the past year! I was taking an adaptogen, it was working and I didn’t even know it! Once I realized maca and chasteberry was an adaptogen I was SOLD! 

I was taking an adaptogen, it was working and I didn’t even know it!

I began investigating what other adaptogens could do for me and what adaptogens really were. 

What are Adaptogens?

In short, adaptogens are herbs and some mushrooms; Reishi and Chaga. that help the body ADAPT to stressors and help regulate your adrenal system. Adaptogens also help regulate hormones, boost your immune system, bring you energy without the crash and help your mental clarity.

I am now FULLY on the adaptogen train! I use them almost every day. I treat adaptogens as medicine and take when needed. I take a moment to listen to how my body is feeling to find out what I am needing. Do I need an energy boost? Mental clarity? Some help detoxing? Each adaptogen is for different things. Here are some of my favorites:

Rhodiola - Super Brain Oxygenator! Mood booster, immune strengthener, supports creativity, endurance and focus. 

Chaga- Healing King Mushroom! Rich in vitamin B, Melanin and zinc, may support protection of DNA.

Reishi- Mushroom of Immortality! Stress relief, immune boosting and mental clarity support.

Chlorella- Freshwater algae. Supports the body’s cleansing of heavy metals 

Ashwagandha- Ayurvedic Adaptogen! anti-oxidant rich, balances hormones, stress relief, immune boosting.

Tocos- The beauty herb! Great for glowing hair, skin and nails. HIGH in vitamin E

Maca- The hormone herb!  Helps balance hormones, rich in a number of nutrients, including vitamin C, copper and iron. It also helps relieve the symptoms of menopause.

Chasteberry (vitex)- The Woman Herb! Relieves menstruation pain and PMS and endometriosis symptoms.

I am a FIRM believer in the power of adaptogens. I even stopped taking them for about a week to see how my body felt. I noticed 3 things:

  1. I was more anxious and stressed

  2. I was getting some blemishes because my hormones were going a little crazy

  3. I took me longer to calm myself down or wind down in the evening. (too much stress I guess)

There are plenty of places to get adaptogens, I usually pick up maca at my local Whole Foods. Health foods stores have some. I get most of mine from Sun Potions. As I mentioned adaptogens can be pricey but they last forever (1/2 tsp is the typical serving size). The way I see it is if it keeps me healthy, happy and balanced it is WORTH it! With that being said, be careful for cheap adaptogens; it may not be as clean and pure it should be. 

Now that you know WHAT adaptogens are HOW do use them? There are plenty ways to get adaptogens into your diet. I usually make a morning matcha or tea and blend in whatever I need but you can also put them in:

  • Smoothies

  • Matcha or tea lattes (coffee for my coffee drinkers)

  • In plain hot or cold water (if doing this I recommend blending it in for a smoother consistency.

  • Oatmeal

  • Yogurt

  • Bake them into treats

  • Mix them into oat balls

These are a few of my favorite ways but there are plenty more ways to get adaptogens into your diet.

Go see what adaptogens can do for you! I would love to hear from you. If you are unsure of what to get or you have incorporated some into your diet and you notice a difference let me know!