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Adaptogens: Everything You Need To Know

In today’s fast-paced world, stress and fatigue are common concerns for many. Adaptogens, a unique group of natural substances, have gained popularity for their ability to help the body adapt to stress and restore balance. In this article, we’ll explore what adaptogens are, how they work, their potential benefits for skin health, and introduce you to the top 10 adaptogen foods.

What are Adaptogens?

Adaptogens are natural substances, often herbs or mushrooms, that help the body manage stress and maintain homeostasis.

 They work by supporting the adrenal system, which controls the body's hormonal response to stress. Unlike stimulants, adaptogens provide a balanced, sustained energy without the crash, making them an appealing option for those looking to enhance their well-being naturally.

Adaptogens & Stress: How Do They Work?

Adaptogens interact with the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, a central stress response system in the body. By modulating the release of stress hormones like cortisol, adaptogens help the body respond more effectively to stress. Some can also support the immune system and improve cognitive function, helping you stay sharp and focused under pressure. This balancing effect makes adaptogens useful for combating both physical and mental stress.

Can Adaptogens Improve Skin?

Yes, adaptogens can improve skin health. 

Stress is a known factor in various skin issues, including acne, eczema, and premature ageing. Adaptogens help to reduce stress, which can, in turn, improve these skin conditions. Some adaptogens also have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, which help protect the skin from damage and promote a healthy, youthful appearance.

Top 10 Adaptogen Foods

Let's dive into the top 10 adaptogen foods, each with its unique benefits and adaptogenic properties.

1. Ashwagandha

Ashwagandha is renowned for its ability to modulate serum cortisol levels, a primary stress hormone, thereby reducing anxiety and enhancing sleep quality. Additionally, participants of several studies reported significant stress reduction improvements compared to placebo groups. 

 The presence of withanolides in Ashwagandha helps combat fatigue by promoting cellular energy production. This adaptogen supports overall resilience to stress through its neuroprotective and anti-inflammatory actions, making it a popular choice for enhancing physical and mental stamina.

Additionally, Ashwagandha has shown positive effects on muscle building and testosterone levels, making it beneficial if you’re looking to improve strength and physical performance. 

2. Rhodiola Rosea

Rhodiola Rosea is a stellar adaptogen for enhancing mental performance and alleviating fatigue. It's packed with rosavins and salidrosides, which balance neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine. This stabilisation of mood-regulating chemicals helps improve focus and mood. Rhodiola also strengthens the body's stress response mechanisms, making it easier to cope with both physical and emotional stress.

3. Ginseng

Ginseng, particularly Panax Ginseng, is a powerful adaptogen known for its ginsenosides. These active compounds help boost energy and cognitive function by enhancing oxygen uptake and glucose metabolism in the brain. Ginseng also strengthens the immune system and acts as an antioxidant, combating the oxidative stress associated with chronic stress conditions, thus supporting overall well-being.

4. Holy Basil (Tulsi)

Holy Basil, also known as Tulsi, contains eugenol and other compounds that support the immune system and reduce inflammation.

It modulates cortisol levels, helping the body adapt to stress more efficiently. Additionally, Tulsi promotes mental clarity and emotional balance by influencing neurotransmitter activity, making it an excellent adaptogen for holistic stress management.

5. Maca Root

Maca Root is celebrated for its ability to boost energy through its rich profile of vitamins, minerals, and amino acids. It supports hormone balance by nourishing the endocrine system, which can be thrown off by stress. Maca Root also enhances physical endurance and reduces the symptoms of stress and fatigue by stabilising blood sugar levels and improving adrenal function.

6. Schisandra Berry

Schisandra Berry is a unique adaptogen that enhances concentration, coordination, and endurance.

 Its lignans and antioxidants support liver function, aiding in detoxification and stress resistance. Schisandra also benefits the nervous system, helping reduce stress and improve overall vitality by optimising cellular energy processes and protecting against oxidative damage.

7. Licorice Root

Licorice Root is known for its ability to support adrenal health and balance cortisol levels. Its active component, glycyrrhizin, helps prolong the action of cortisol, preventing adrenal fatigue. 

Licorice Root also has anti-inflammatory properties, making it useful for managing stress-related inflammation and supporting the body's natural stress response.

8. Reishi and Shiitake Mushrooms

Reishi and Shiitake mushrooms are renowned for their incredible health benefits and adaptogenic properties.

  • Reishi Mushroom: Known as the "Mushroom of Immortality," Reishi is celebrated for its calming effects and immune-boosting properties. The triterpenes in Reishi help modulate the nervous system, promoting relaxation and reducing stress. Additionally, its polysaccharides enhance immune function, helping the body stay resilient and balanced. This mushroom is fantastic for reducing fatigue and fostering a state of serenity and well-being.
  • Shiitake Mushroom: Shiitake mushrooms are packed with nutrients and have been used for centuries in traditional medicine. Rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, Shiitake supports immune health, cardiovascular function, and overall vitality. Its adaptogenic properties help the body cope with stress, making it a versatile addition to any wellness routine. Plus, they add a delicious umami flavour to your meals!

9. Astragalus Root

Astragalus Root is rich in saponins, flavonoids, and polysaccharides, which strengthen the immune system and enhance the body's resilience to stress.

This adaptogen improves energy levels by supporting cellular metabolism and protecting against oxidative stress. 

Astragalus also aids in the repair and regeneration of tissues, further helping the body recover from stress.

10. Eleuthero (Siberian Ginseng)

Eleuthero, or Siberian Ginseng, is an adaptogen known for its eleutherosides. 

These compounds enhance physical performance by increasing the body's resistance to physical stress. 

Eleuthero also reduces fatigue and supports the immune system, making it easier for the body to adapt to stress by balancing energy levels and improving endurance.

Frequently Asked Questions

Below, we’ve answered some frequently asked questions about adaptogens. But if you have any more, make sure to check out our community discussion section. 

Can I use Adaptogens during pregnancy?

It’s essential to consult with a healthcare provider before using adaptogens during pregnancy. While some adaptogens may be safe, others might not be recommended. Professional guidance ensures the safety of both the mother and the baby.

What are Adaptogen Mushrooms?

Adaptogen mushrooms, such as Reishi, Shiitake, Cordyceps, and Chaga, are types of fungi known for their stress-reducing and immune-boosting properties. These mushrooms help the body adapt to stress, improve energy levels, and support overall health. 

They can be consumed in various forms, including teas, powders, and supplements.

What do adaptogens do for the body?

Adaptogens are natural substances found in certain herbs and mushrooms that help the body adapt to stress and maintain balance. They support the adrenal glands, reduce fatigue, and enhance resilience to physical, chemical, and biological stressors. By regulating hormone levels and improving overall vitality, adaptogens help enhance energy, focus, and mental clarity.

What is the most powerful adaptogen?

While it's difficult to single out the most powerful adaptogen, Ashwagandha is often considered one of the most potent. Known for its stress-relief properties, Ashwagandha helps reduce cortisol levels, improve thyroid function, and boost overall energy and stamina. It also supports mental health by enhancing mood and cognitive function, making it a versatile and effective adaptogen.

What’s the difference between Panax Ginseng and Siberian Ginseng?

Panax Ginseng, often referred to as Korean or Asian Ginseng, contains ginsenosides, which are compounds known for boosting energy, enhancing cognitive function, and strengthening the immune system. It’s highly regarded for its adaptogenic properties and its ability to combat the effects of chronic stress.

Siberian Ginseng, also known as Eleuthero, contains eleutherosides rather than ginsenosides. These compounds enhance physical performance, reduce fatigue, and support the immune system. Siberian Ginseng is particularly beneficial for improving endurance and balancing energy levels, helping the body adapt to both physical and mental stress.

While both types are adaptogens and offer stress-relieving benefits, Panax Ginseng is often favoured for its cognitive and energy-boosting effects, whereas Siberian Ginseng is more commonly used for its endurance-enhancing and physical performance benefits.

Manage Stress With Verve V80 

Are you ready to enhance your resilience to stress and boost your overall well-being? 

Verve V80 is here to provide an all-in-one solution to your health needs.

This nutrient-dense greens drink contains 80 incredible ingredients, including a variety of adaptogens like Ashwagandha, Panax Ginseng, Shiitake, and  Reishi Mushrooms at optimal dosages. Additionally, Verve V80 provides 100% NRV of essential vitamins such A, Bs, C, D, E, and K. 

 With over 200 science-backed health benefits, Verve V80 supports not only stress management but also immune function, energy levels, skin health, digestion, immunity and so much more. . Unlike many other products on the market, Verve V80 is fully transparent with its ingredients and dosages, ensuring you know exactly what you're putting into your body. Plus, it’s more cost-effective, being 20% lower priced than its closest competitor, and deliciously infused with real fruit flavours to make your health journey enjoyable.

Choose Verve V80 and experience the benefits of a truly comprehensive health drink:

  • Transparent Ingredients: Know exactly what you're consuming.
  • 80 Nutrient-Dense Ingredients: Maximising your health benefits.
  • Cost-Effective: 20% lower priced than competitors.
  • Great Taste: Infused with real fruit flavours.
  • Stress Management: Includes powerful adaptogens.
  • Immune Support: Boosts your body’s natural defences.
  • Energy Levels: Keeps you energised throughout the day.
  • Skin Health: Promotes a youthful, healthy appearance.

Take the next step towards a healthier, balanced lifestyle with Verve V80 today. 

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Adaptogens: Conclusion

Adaptogens offer a natural and effective way to help the body manage stress, improve skin health, and boost overall well-being. By incorporating adaptogen-rich foods and supplements into your daily routine, you can enhance your resilience to stress and support a healthy, balanced lifestyle. 

To recap what we’ve covered in this article, here are the top 10 adaptogen foods: 

  1. Ashwagandha
  2. Rhodiola Rosea
  3. Ginseng
  4. Holy Basil
  5. Maca Root
  6. Schisandra Berry
  7. Licorice Root
  8. Reishi Mushroom
  9. Astragalus Root
  10. Eleuthero

Each bring unique benefits to the table. Whether it’s Ashwagandha’s ability to modulate cortisol levels and boost testosterone, Rhodiola’s power to balance serotonin and dopamine, or Ginseng’s capacity to enhance cognitive function and energy, these adaptogens work synergistically to support your body’s stress response and overall health.

If you’re seeking a convenient way to ensure you’re getting a diverse range of these powerful adaptogens along with essential vitamins and minerals, try Verve V80.

Verve V80  contains 80 nutrient-dense ingredients, including various adaptogens like Ashwagandha, offering over 200 science-backed health benefits. Transparent about its ingredients and dosages, Verve V80 is also cost-effective, 20% lower priced than its closest competitor, and tastes great with real fruit infusions. 

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