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Digital Subscriptions > Be Kind > May 2019 > Super powders

Super powders

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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About Be Kind

Hello, Most of us are lucky enough to have someone who taught us how to be kind. For me, it was my dad. He showed me how to warm up a cold bumble bee in my hands and how to grow runner beans in the garden. Dad was forever picking up litter wherever we went, rescuing the baby ducklings who had slipped down the drain outside our house, and he taught me to have the utmost respect for all creatures, great and small. As the threats of climate change and plastic pollution weigh heavily on our minds, we spend so much time focusing on looking forward, concerned about the damage we have wreaked on our planet and what the future holds. However, it seems a lot of the answers to our current problems can be found by looking backwards. In this issue we talk about lessons we have learned from past generations, how to adopt a thriftier, more careful attitude to waste and the importance of sharing information. We discuss the valuable lessons we have learned from our families and friends and hope to inspire more people to go back to basics – it might just be the only way to save the world. We also had the pleasure of speaking to Deliciously Ella about making vegetables cool, Mark Griffiths shares the most wonderful images of inspiring open-water swimmers, and the Culinary Caveman gives us his top tips for successful foraging. Enjoy the issue, Phillipa Editor