In simple terms adaptogens have broad uses for health and are proven to reduce both physical and mental stress.
Adaptogens work by improving your body’s ability to adapt to stress which could be temperature related i.e. hot or cold, high altitudes, a hectic schedule and various other stressors (Jennifer added them to her diet when she gave up smoking last year).
They are also known to help the body re-balance, improve strength, stamina, energy, endurance, concentration and mental clarity. They are beneficial for balancing hormones and can help with menopause, impotence and fertility.
These magical herbs have been around for thousands of years and part of natural healing and medicine for just as long. Scientific data is now is backing up and confirming what the non-Western world has been promoting for years – which is that these natural plants have a profound effect on our health and wellness.
With stress being a rising concern for us all we could all benefit from introducing some of these herbs into our life.
Most adaptogens come in powders; when shopping for yours, look for raw where possible, this ensures maximum nutrition as very low heat temperatures are used in the process which retains all the amazing goodness. Adaptogens are quite potent so always take care when introducing something new into your diet, start with a low dose, notice how you feel then gradually increase.
Ashwagandha is one of the most powerful herbs in Ayurvedic healing and is well-known for its restorative benefits and strengthening properties. It is used to relive insomnia and apathy, reduce cortisol concentrations and the effects of stress. It reduces anxiety and depression, it improves concentration, mental and physical energy and protects the immune system. Ashwangandha helps lower cholesterol, offers anti-inflammatory benefits and stabilises the blood sugar. It also enhances sexual potency and performance for both men and women.
Maca is a Peruvian root which has been known for thousands of years to be an energy and stamina enhancing adaptogen. It is proven to boost athletic performance and increase endurance improving both physical and mental fatigue. Maca is widely used to promote sexual function in both men and women by boosting your libido and increasing endurance. It balances hormones, increasing fertility, can relieve menstrual cramps and menopause symptoms (body pain, hot flushes, anxiety and mood swings). Maca can help skin sensitivity and can also help your skin withstand extreme weather conditions.
Note: Pregnant and breast-feeding women should avoid maca.
Maca is rich in unique alkaloids that support and balance the endocrine system. It is rich in B vitamins, C and E, calcium, zinc, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, amino acids, fibre.
Shilajit is a potent rejuvenator and anti-ageing organic tar-like substance that naturally occurs in the Himalayan mountains. It is an antioxidant containing 85+ minerals, vitamins and phytonutrients. Shilajit is rich in pure and natural fulvic acid which is vital for the absorption of nutrients on a deep and cellular level and prolonged cell life. Shilajit is energy and mood enhancing, balances blood sugar levels and protects the heart.
Try out my energising maca ball recipe below for a great way to enjoy the benefits of this super-powered adaptogen. Or check out my new scientifically-formulated blends of powered superfoods and adaptogens that you add to water or a smoothie for a quick and effective way to benefit from the super goodness.
Recipe for maca energy balls:
1 cup almonds (130 g)
1 cup pitted medjool dates (120 g / 8 dates)
1 tsp vanilla powder
2 tbs coconut oil (melted*)
Pinch of salt
2 tbs raw organic Maca
1/4 cup raw organic cacao (25 g)
Add almonds, salt, cacao, 2 tbs I AM energised to a high speed blender and pulse on a low speed until a texture crumb forms.
Add coconut oil & medjool dates and blend again at a low speed until all the medjool dates break down and a gooey dough starts to form.
Note: You might need to stop a few times and scrape down the side of the blend and loosen the mixture from the blade otherwise the blender may burn out.
With a teaspoon spoon out the mixture and roll into small balls between the palms of you hands. The balls want to be about 1 inch in circumference
Put in the fridge for at least an hour to set and harden.
Naomi’s TIP: The mixture may look a bit dry but once you start to roll the balls they should stick together, if they don’t add a little more coconut oil.
To melt coconut oil submerge the glass jar into a bowl of boiling hot water. Coconut oil is a stable oil that can go from solid to liquid quickly and safely many times.
Keep in the freezer so you have them to hand when you’re pushed for time.
Makes 16 balls.