If You Only Add One Adaptogen to Your Diet, Make It This One
Welcome to Form+Function, our series with INFINITI that focuses on health and wellness ideas that have one thing in common: they are simple, streamlined, and elegant—but powerful. Here's to the the small changes that can pay huge dividends in your diet, your fitness, your health, and your career.
Ever get an email from your boss with an urgent request and find yourself with a massive headache later? Or get sick right before a big presentation? It's not a coincidence. Stress can wreak havoc on your body.
And while breathing exercises, meditation, and exercise can help, the wellness community can't stop talking about the latest foodie crush that promises to deal with stress, anxiety, sleep problems, digestive issues, headaches, and more, all at once: adaptogens.
"By definition, adaptogens are plants and herbs that help to increase your resistance to stress, anxiety and fatigue," says Kimberly Snyder, RD, a holistic nutritionist and whole foods champion who works with everyone from Kerry Washington to Channing Tatum to Drew Barrymore.
We asked Kimberly Snyder to pick one small but powerful adaptogen everyone should add to their diet. Her answer: maca.
Adaptogens work by supporting the adrenals, which manage your hormonal response to stress and anxiety. That's the "magic pill" effect of adaptogens: By managing your response to stress and counteracting the surge of stress hormones like cortisol, the symptoms associated with your stress response (whether that's a headache or an upset stomach, or worse) will go bye-bye.
Snyder says true adaptogens have three characteristics: they're non-toxic (so you can take them every day), produce a nonspecific biological response that improves the body's ability to resist multiple forms of stress, and they bring the body back to balance.
Fortunately, there's quite a few of them: ashwagandha, holy basil, reishi, and ginseng are all adaptogens—to name a few. So how do you know which one to add into your smoothie or morning elixir shot? We asked Snyder to pick one small but powerful adaptogen everyone should add to their diet. Her answer: maca.
"First of all, it's easy to find and work into your diet," she says, saying it's found in most health markets and sold in powder form. Plus, it's rich in vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids, and protein. "This makes it a great energy-enhancer and some athletes even use it as a supplement for this reason."
Her favorite way to sneak it into her diet? Adding it into her morning smoothie. The taste is strong and earthy—a cross between cacao and carob. Not into it? Snyder says you can add a little cinnamon to sweeten it up.
Maca is also believed to help promote good moods, enhance fertility, and even improve bone health, Snyder says, adding: "And if all those reasons weren’t enough for you, it’s also a sexy plant. This adaptogen has been recognized as a natural aphrodisiac." How's that for a list of benefits?
What else is elegantly simple yet powerful? The exhilarating INFINITI Q60, for one. With handling so responsive it feels like it's an extension of you, getting behind the wheel of a Q60 is a seriously powerful experience. Learn more about it at infinitiUSA.com
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