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In need of a boost? Adaptogens are the natural way to power up – Katrine Van Wyk shows you how to incorporate them into your diet with her innovative recipes

Adaptogens are a mystery to many, but as their name suggests, this group of plants has the ability to adapt to your body’s needs, and can actually help you deal better with stress. These dual-directional plants range from mushrooms and roots to leaves, pods and berries, and are usually found growing in challenging environments, such as on dead trees, in high altitudes or in sub-zero temperatures. They have learned to adapt to survive, and can help our bodies do the same. Although these plants have been utilised by humans for centuries (many can be found in Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine, as well as among indigenous cultures) they are now gaining popularity in modern society. This might be due to the increasing stresses that encumber modern life, especially with smart phones, emails and the non-stop work day. Adaptogens can actually help decrease the amount of the stress hormone, cortisol, that gets released by the body, helping us so that we feel less stressed, taxed and tired. However, the list of benefits goes way beyond stress management. Adaptogens can help to regulate the immune system, balance the endocrine system, and boost cognitive function to improve your ability to focus, lift your mood, improve sleep and make you more resilient and calm. They are also great for upping your energy levels, without the dreaded crashes associated with coffee and sugar. Adaptogens help your body find that place where it always strives to be – a place of balance and homeostasis. To give yourself that much needed lift, try one of the exciting recipes featured across the next few pages.

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Find the complete article and many more in this issue of Be Kind - May 2019
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