Health, HEALTH/FOOD

Include Adaptogens In Your Diet

“It could reduce your risk of diseases”

Stress is pretty much a part of our daily lives and is forcing us to either adapt or succumb to illnesses. In the environment there are stressors which attack our bodies. We need to be aware of the effect of radiation (both long and short waves) on our skin and bodies. The increasing demand of work, family and society is stressful and threatens our mental health. Within the body, there is the constant need for the immune system to ward off invasions of potentially deleterious foreign bodies and micro-organisms. Optimal nutrition, exercise, and avoiding toxic addictive substances do help to stress proof the body.

What are adaptogens?

Include AdaptogensAdaptogens are mostly herbs, roots, substances and therapies that when used allow the body to better adapt to stressful conditions caused by environmental, mental and physical factors. Stress causes a detrimental elevation in the hormone cortisol. If left unchecked we become anxious, more susceptible to the common cold, chronically fatigued, and overweight with resistance to weight loss measures. There is also susceptibility to certain diseases which include autoimmune diseases, thyroid issues, irritable bowel syndrome, and some cancers.

Which herbs and food have these properties?

For herbs to be classified as adaptogenic herbs, they must have proven efficacy and a good safety profile. Many Chinese herbs have been demonstrated to have adaptogenic activity. These herbs used individually or combined can enhance the optimal functioning of the immune and endocrine systems. The lowering and balancing of cortisol levels slow down the aging process and subjects in fact begin to look younger feel healthier.

Among the popular adaptogens are:

  • Mushrooms (such as Ganoderma, Reishi, Shiitake and Maitake)
  • Ginseng
  • Goji berry
  • Schizandra berry
  • Holy Basil
  • Licorice
  • Astralagus root
  • Aswaganda
  • Rhodiola
  • Gynostemma leaf

How long does it take to see the effects?

Well it all depends on how out of balance your body is with respect to the vital hormones as well as the stage of any disease process. Some lucky persons will feel revitalized with the initial use of the tonic. Others could experience in a few weeks or months a restoration of health and vitality.

Can I take too much?

It is never a good idea to just buy and take herbs and roots. Seek advice from the healthcare professional, family doctor or a naturopathic practitioner before introducing adaptogens in your diet. There are contraindications for persons who have high blood pressure, heart disease and other chronic diseases.

Preparations of adaptogens in the forms of teas, tonics, capsules and tablets by reputable companies are safer than using the herbs and roots bought in markets.

Adaptogens when used safely can increase your body’s ability to deal with stress and consequently improve mental and physical performance. Over time, energy and vitality is restored.

Hello_docja MD, Readers Bureau, Contributor

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