Is stress affecting your daily life? Do you feel like your body is off balance and needs to return to homeostasis? Incorporating adaptogens into your daily routine is a simple and effective way of adding an element of relaxation to your life and has a plethora of other health perks. The daily supplement, combined with healthy and stress-reducing lifestyle habits, can go a long way in improving your quality of life and lead to more relaxing days. This guide to incorporating adaptogens into your daily routine will cover a wide range of topics, including:
Adaptogens are a plant compound derived from certain herbs and mushrooms and are believed to have a variety of health benefits with consistent daily intake. The ingredient is thought to help combat stressors by allowing the body to adjust to stressors that are physical, chemical, or biological. Over time, this can help the body to adapt and remain more consistently at a balanced stress level.
Adaptogens have been used in various cultures’ traditional medicine practices, including in areas of the Middle East and East Asia. One theory surrounding how adaptogens work centers on how the chemical in the compounds target the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis in order to adapt the body to stress responses. The HPA axis is the interaction between the hypothalamus, pituitary gland, and adrenal glands, which are all central to stress responses.
These body parts regulate the secretion of epinephrine and norepinephrine, which are hormones that send signals to the body when you experience a stressful situation. When the chemicals found in adaptogens target the HPA axis, the secretion of these stress hormones can regain balance.
Adaptogens can be ingested in a variety of ways, including supplement pills, teas, and powders like the Healthy Skoop Plant-Based Adaptogen Sweetgreens. Mixing the Healthy Skoop powder with water, plant milk, dairy milk, juice, or in a smoothie is the perfect way to implement adaptogens into your daily life and maintain homeostasis. The 100% plant-based supplement consists of organic veggies, greens, and grasses that not only contain adaptogens, but also probiotics and fiber to promote gut health.
To learn more about how to incorporate adaptogens into your diet, check out this beginner’s guide to adaptogens from Healthy Skoop.
As mentioned, with consistent use, adding adaptogens to your diet can help to reduce stress and lead to a more balanced state of being. With stress levels sky-rocketing amongst American adults in recent years, it’s more important than ever to manage stress and keep your stress hormones in check.
Chronic stress and anxiety has proven to be a contributing factor to lifelong diseases and damage to certain organs. In the brain, the release of cortisol, the stress hormone, can cause damage to the hippocampus if a person is kept in a consistent state of stress. Damage to the hippocampus can harm a person’s long-term memory function.
The use of adaptogens, which targets the HPA axis, and therefore the Hippocampus, can reduce the impact of this stress and help to lessen the impact of cortisol in the long-term.
Aside from stress’s impact on the brain, the hormones released from long-term distress can contribute to high blood pressure, fat accumulation, insulin resistance, and inflammation. These conditions can reduce a person’s lifespan by years and cause conditions like type II diabetes and other cardiovascular conditions. Reducing your stress can help you save years of your life, so don’t wait until it’s too late to relax!
That being said, incorporating adaptogens into your diet is not a catch-all solution to reducing your stress levels and improving your overall wellness. It’s essential to consult with a doctor when considering adding the supplement into your diet, and whether the decision may be right for you and your lifestyle. Seeking a doctor’s guidance when thinking about using adaptogen is also important in understanding the correct amount to consume for your individual needs. Taking too much adaptogen can lead to side effects such as abdominal pain, constipation, nausea, diarrhea, and allergic reactions, so make sure to check with your doctor to see if the supplement is right for you.
One study published by the Swedish Herbal Institute Research & Development in 2010 found that adaptogens, when taken with the correct dosage, can “induce increased attention and endurance in situations of decreased performance caused by fatigue” while also “reducing stress-induced impairments and disorders related to the function of stress systems,” pointing to the effectiveness of the ingredient.
In their study, the researchers found that while adaptogens have therapeutic qualities, they can also serve to improve quality of life when used to treat chronic health conditions. The study discovered that patients who had chronic diseases and pathological conditions like congestive heart failure, asthenia, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease experienced relief with the implementation of adaptogens in their diet.
This Swedish study suggested, in addition to the health benefits above, that adaptogens might be particularly useful for elderly people because it can help them to “maintain their health status on a normal level, improve their quality of life and may increase longevity.” This find shows that adaptogens can be for adults of all ages, not just younger adults.
While this study is a promising sign that adaptogens are useful in combating stress, adapting the body to more effectively deal with stress, and potentially combat chronic health conditions, the study notes that more research must be conducted on the subject in order to verify the health benefits of adaptogens.
While adaptogens might be an effective addition to your diet to reduce stress and improve your health, it will not completely eliminate all stress that you experience in life. Stress is normal in many situations – interviewing for your dream job, going on a first date, taking an exam that you’ve been studying hard for – this type of acute stress can help to actually prepare your body for what it’s going into. High amounts of stress over long periods of time can be harmful to your mental health and body, but chronic stress can also be managed through active practice and mindfulness.
You know your body best – and you also know what helps you relax the most. However, if you’re looking for some simple activities that can be easily incorporated into your daily life to reduce your stress levels, we’ve got you covered. Here are just a few examples of activities you can do to lower your stress and improve your days:
If you’ve been dealing with stress for an extended period of time, you’re probably sick of hearing about how exercise can reduce your stress levels and improve your overall health. That being said, it’s a tried and true way to increase the release of endorphins into your system, which is a “feel-good neurotransmitter” that can take your mind off your issues and help you achieve a runner’s high.
Exercise doesn’t have to just consist of running on a treadmill or lifting weights, either. Working out can involve anything that gets your body moving – including fun activities like swimming, biking, playing tennis with friends, or hiking with a canine companion. The sky’s the limit when it comes to exercise, so find a type of workout you personally enjoy and release those endorphins!
Improving your diet goes hand-in-hand with getting more exercise – it’s a well-known tip to improve mental health and keep you feeling your best. It’s important to realize the difference between adjusting your diet and going on a diet. Going on a trendy or traditional diet can be harmful in the long run and ineffective in the short run. If you go from poor eating habits to immediately vegetable-packed and low-calorie meals, then you might fall into the trap of abandoning the diet altogether shortly after you start it.
Instead of completely overhauling your eating habits, gradually integrate healthier options in place of some not-so-healthy ones. By bringing balance into your meals, and adding vegetables and nutrients into your daily routine, you’ll be setting yourself up for success in the future. Having a well-rounded diet can help to reduce stress by giving you the energy you need to tackle each day and can lead to fewer mood swings.
Following a regular sleep routine and obtaining the correct amount of sleep each night is vital to managing stress. Giving your body between six and ten hours of sleep each night to restore your body can help to “improve concentration, regulate mood, and sharpen judgment and decision-making.” These can compound to a higher quality of life and restored health, especially when practiced in addition to the other points on this list.
Meditating is an easy and convenient way to rapidly reduce stress at its onset. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, taking a few minutes to take some deep breaths, stretch out your body, and clear your mind of the things that are troubling you is a great way of healthily coping with anxiety. Meditation can look many different ways – while some prefer to sit in a calm and quiet place and remove every thought from their mind, others prefer walking around, taking in their environment, and decompressing by putting their problems into perspective. There’s no wrong way to meditate as long as you find peace in your relaxation, so consider trying it if you feel the stressors coming on.
If you’re struggling to manage your stress on your own with some of the tips mentioned above, consider consulting a counselor or a therapist to address what’s making you feel anxious. Tackling your stress with a professional, whether you are experiencing a mental health crisis or not, is always a healthy means of coping with the things that are bothering you. Additionally, talking through any issues you’re experiencing with a professional can help to improve other areas of your life, like relationships and self-confidence.
These are just a couple of ways that stress can be reduced through changes in lifestyle habits, but there are a plethora of more out there. For more tips and tricks on how to manage stress and take control of your wellbeing, check out this guide from Healthy Skoop.
Adaptogens are a great stress-reducing health supplement to incorporate into your daily life, but always be sure to consult a doctor about whether the plant compound is right for you. Additionally, while adaptogens are helpful on their own, they are most effective when paired with healthy lifestyle changes that will help you to be at peak wellness.