The Superfood You Need in Your Diet to Help Relieve Stress

Commonly referred to as Indian ginseng, ashwagandha is a yellow-flowered herb that bears tiny red fruit and is related to the tomato family. In Ayurveda (a widely practiced system of natural healing that originated in India), it is considered to have powerful adaptogenic benefits. 

“Adaptogens not only increase your body’s resistance to the negative effects of long-term stress, but also help relax and energize you while also being tonic, meaning they stimulate your immune system and increase your sense of peace,” explains Amanda Chantal Bacon, founder of Moon Juice, a holistic wellness company. 

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Ashwagandha typically comes in capsule or powder form, and consuming it has been said to help the body better handle external stresses such as toxins in the environment (pollution, sun damage, smoking, etc.) and internal stresses such as anxiety and insomnia that can lead to a lack of energy and difficulty concentrating. “Adaptogenic herbs are the most important group of herbs to take now,” says Bacon. “They’ve been treasured in Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine for centuries for their ability to boost energy and resilience.” 

So where can you find it? Look to health food stores like Whole Foods and online retailers such as gaiaherbs.com and vitaminshoppe.com, and because you can take it as a daily supplement, buying it in bulk is probably your best (and least expensive) option. For more restful sleep, try mixing the powder form into warm milk and honey before bed.

And if you want to get creative, you can also try ZenBunni Kathmandu Chai Bar ($3), which contains organic ashwagandha and tastes like a healthier, not-as-sweet version of a typical dark chocolate bar, but doesn’t give you a sugar crash afterward.

2 Comments
  • Faith
    Posted on

    Beware that I learned from my endocrinologist that if you have any kind of thyroid dysfunction such as overactive, Hashimoto's, underactive or Graves, this herb can cause negative side effects on your thyroid and actually make you sicker. I wanted to try it so badly but after reading the interaction with some Autoimmune diseases, I haven't tried it. I feel left out but I'm too afraid. FYI for anyone with the above conditions or Autoimmune disorders.

  • Judd
    Posted on

    My friend Dan Moriarty owns an adaptogenic herbal formula called Sun Horse. It's got ashwagandha in it, along with other adaptogens. I have a 1-year old baby girl who is teething. She's not sleeping, I'm not sleeping. Plus, my wife's breast-milk supply has gone way down whenever her period starts. So I'm sleep deprived, my wife is highly emotional and I am the breadwinner in the family. The one thing I attribute to staying sane and highly functional is adaptogenic herbs. They really do work. I was skeptical at first because for a week or two I didn't notice any difference. But with prolonged usage, you'll feel the effects, especially if you undergo some pretty stressful events. Check out Sun Horse Adaptogenic Formulas. They are amazing.

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