Your Body Needs Balance, Adaptogens Can Help!
Stress, exposure to toxins, lack of sleep, dehydration, poor nutrition…surely no one struggles with any of these, right?
The reality is, I doubt you need a list of stats detailing the actuality of these struggles, because most of us are well acquainted with these on a regular basis.
But, each late night at the office, every stress-inducing traffic jam, all environmental exposure to toxins, and those days that spread into weeks of poor nutrition, these all threaten a critical balance that our bodies need to survive.
Without this balance, we are destined for anxiety, illness, accelerated aging, depression, and disease.
So then, how can you support your body in the face of these common balance disruptors?
Adaptogens help your body appropriately respond to stress, anxiety, and fatigue while maintaining, or bringing your body back into, balance.
And, when your body is balanced, it is ready and able to handle the mental, emotional, and physical challenges life throws at it day in and day out.
Today we’d like to take a closer look at this balance our bodies require as well as how adaptogens can support our health balance and our overall well being.
Your Body’s Need For Balance
For your body to function optimally, it needs balance. Even your cells, the smallest units of life itself, require such balance to work properly.
Another name for this balance is homeostasis.
In a state of homeostasis, your body is quite busy, making adjustments and appropriately responding to each and every change that occurs inside and out.
From blood pressure and blood sugar levels, amounts of acid, electrolytes, oxygen, and protein, energy and hormone levels, even temperature, each change you encounter requires a healthy, appropriate response.
And, the ultimate aim of homeostasis essentially is this: you, rather your body systems, should be able to function as an impenetrable force.
External changes come your way, but internal stability remains.
Yellowstone fans will recall this line from John Dutton regarding progress: “I’m the wall that it bashes against, and I will not be the one that breaks.”
While we’re not talking about progress here, the sentiment remains the same. For optimal health, your body requires balance, and this balance allows your body systems to be the wall (so to speak) that doesn’t break when external changes threaten this internal stability.
Unfortunately, each of the following external factors threaten this needed balance within your body:
- Extreme temperatures (hot or cold)
- Chemicals such as alcohol, tobacco, or drugs
- Lack of sleep
- Any stressors, big or small (mental, emotional, physical)
- Poor nutrition
When balanced, your body systems work to combat these threats, basically working from negative to positive.
In other words, in a state of homeostasis your body is happily working, doing its thing, until it receives negative “feedback” like those threats listed above.
Then, it takes these negative inputs and responds in a way that maintains balance.
One example from a Biology text explains it well:
Your body has an internal thermostat that works much like the thermostat in your house, responding to temperature changes to maintain a desired internal temperature.
“When body temperature rises, receptors in the skin and the brain sense the temperature change. The temperature change triggers a command from the brain. This command can cause several responses. If you are too hot, the skin makes sweat and the blood vessels near the skin surface dilate. This response helps decrease body temperature.”
Or, take your respiratory system for instance, when encountering stressors, high concentrations of carbon dioxide enter your bloodstream making you breathe faster, so your respiratory system prompts more frequent exhalation from your lungs to quickly remove the carbon dioxide.
In situations where you may be dehydrated, your kidneys produce urine that is more concentrated, that way you don’t lose too much water.
But, without this needed balance, things start to get ugly.
In an absence of homeostasis,
- Our cells don’t get what they require to perform needed tasks.
- Toxins build up in our bodies, accelerating aging and disrupting function in vital organs like the heart and liver.
- Illness occurs.
- Ultimately, disease takes hold.
Truly, disease is nothing more than a disturbance of balance within your body. So, if we treat this like a math problem here, continued/prolonged exposure to negative external change plus a lack of health in your body systems equals a lack of homeostasis, otherwise known as disease.
The following symptoms are all indicative of a lack of balance within the body:
- Increased heart rate
- Low blood pressure
- Rapid breathing
- Decreased urine output
The most common diseases and disorders associated with a prolonged lack of homeostasis are diabetes, cancer, depression, high blood pressure, heart attack, heart failure, chronic inflammation, and parathyroid disorders.
Many of the external stressors that threaten our health balance are unavoidable.
Of course, our bodies are made to aptly deal with occasional stress, but in today’s day and time, stress isn’t just random. In fact, even something as mundane as your work commute is likely filled with small stressors.
And, when you encounter those continually, even small stresses can have big effects on your body.
Then, what if you can’t exactly say that your nutrition is on point?
Or, what if sleep eludes you, either from your frequently waking newborn, your snoring spouse, or those late nights at the office?
And, what about the concentration of toxins that exist in our food supply, yes even on some organic food items through cross contamination?
Adaptogens support your body’s natural responses to those external factors that threaten homeostasis.
So then, let’s explore these health balance superstars a bit further…
What Are Adaptogens And How Can They Improve Your Body’s Health Balance?
Adaptogens are the active ingredients in certain plants, herbs, and mushrooms that support your body’s natural responses to stress.
We looked above at your body’s response to “negative feedback.” Adaptogens help your body essentially reset after such a response, restoring balance and well being.
Throughout history, as far back as 2500-2700 BC, adaptogens have been used to treat illness, physical weakness, memory impairment, and more.
It wasn’t until the mid 1900’s that the name adaptogen was given to these plants that possessed the ability to adapt their intended function to aid the body according to its needs.
Roughly 50 years ago, these health wonders even started being used in professional sports, as their potential to increase the body’s resistance to stress became more commonly known.
Generally, adaptogens are consumed in supplement form, though they can also be added in the making of some foods and beverages.
The most notable benefits of adaptogens include:
- Lowered stress levels
- Balanced hormones
- Improved immune system function
- Improved attention
- Increased endurance
- Improved gastrointestinal function
- Decreased effects of elevated cortisol levels (this includes fatigue, depression, anxiety, hypertension, and obesity)
- Improved liver function
- Adrenal support (regulation of stress, metabolism, blood pressure, immune responses, etc)
- Improved cognitive function (as it relates to stress)
- Improved energy levels
But, not all plants, herbs, and mushrooms possess the active ingredients to qualify them as an adaptogen.
In order to be considered an adaptogen, a plant (or mushroom) must be nontoxic in normal doses, and it must interact with the HPA-axis, your body’s stress response initiating system, in a way that supports its function and promotes balance.
The HPA axis refers to the interaction of the hypothalamus, pituitary gland, and adrenal glands, which in cooperation help the body to remain in a state of balance and appropriately respond to stress.
Essentially this axis works through communication, with each part signaling or communicating to the other in the face of stress, prompting a chain of actions (most dealing with hormone production and secretion).
Adaptogens support this axis as well as other functions, helping your body to healthily manage stress, as well as aid in its ability to return to a state of stability after responding to it.
Supplementing with adaptogens doesn’t mean you won’t encounter stress, obviously, but consuming these plants and herbs helps to improve how your body (internally) handles stress.
We like to think that stress only refers to spousal arguments, work deadlines, and traffic jams, but remember, as we discussed in the section above, anything from poor nutrition, exposure to toxins, extreme temperatures, illness, injury, and more all require a “stress response” from your body, and prolonged initiations of these responses can disrupt that needed harmony or balance.
Some common adaptogens include:
- Astragalus root
- Holy Basil
- Wild yam
- Licorice root
But now, let’s take a more indepth look at some of the true superstars of the adaptogen world to see how each one can improve your health balance:
Rhodiola Root - Studies show rhodiola helps to improve performance in stressful situations and alleviates feelings of fatigue, anxiety, and depression, known symptoms of unbalanced body systems.
Overall this adaptogen helps your body build a resistance to stress.
Ashwagandha - A common name associated with stress support, this adaptogen helps to reduce cortisol levels in the body.
After prolonged encounters with stressors, an increase in cortisol production and secretion can occur. This can lead to fatigue, abdominal weight gain, brain fog, mood swings, and more.
Ashwagandha is also neuroprotective and neuroregenerative, protecting and regenerating the cells, tissues, and function of your nervous system which houses the fight or flight response to stress.
This adaptogen even has antioxidant properties aiding in inflammation reduction, as well as offering support to your cardiovascular system.
Asian Ginseng Root - Also known as Panax ginseng, this particular type of ginseng improves energy in the face of stress, and it helps to relieve both mental and physical fatigue.
There have been significant studies proving Asian ginseng helps to maintain homeostasis specifically in the immune system, enhancing the body’s resistance to illness as a result of prolonged stress.
Alpinia Galanga Root - This herb is crucial to the function of the HPA axis in response to stress.
It aids in effective communication within the axis, boosting neurotransmitters within the brain, supporting healthy nervous system activity, and allowing the body to return to a place of stability after responding to stress.
Matcha - Your adrenal glands can become taxed through prolonged exposure to stress, and matcha works to reduce the strain on these glands. This adaptogen also effectively keeps cortisol levels in check, while promoting feelings of calmness and serenity.
Schisandra Berry - Like ashwagandha, this adaptogenic berry also works to reduce elevated cortisol levels for a healthy response to stress.
And, did you know that some common vitamins and minerals can also have adaptogenic effects on the body?
Many B vitamins, including B1 (thiamin), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), B5 (pantothenic acid), B6, B12, and vitamin H (also considered part of the B vitamin family) all offer support to your body’s hormone secretion and production processes, aiding in how your HPA axis works together to handle stress appropriately.
HPAdapt For Homeostasis
HPAdapt is a supplement designed with your body’s balance in mind.
This easy-to-use supplement mixes effortlessly into 8 ounces of cold water to bring you an energy boost and needed support for your body’s natural stress response, helping to maintain and restore balance, or as we learned today, homeostasis.
HPAdapt contains all of the adaptogenic superstars and vitamins we listed above to help you achieve, maintain, and improve your body’s health balance:
- Thiamin (B1)
- Riboflavin (B2)
- Niacin (B3)
- Vitamins B6
- Biotin (H)
- Pantothenic Acid (B5)
- Rhodiola Root Extract
- Alpinia Galanga root extract
- Asian ginseng root
- Matcha green tea leaf
- Schisandra berry
Today’s most enhanced formulation, each of the ingredients in HPAdapt work together to:
- Boost mental alertness
- Help you adapt to physical and mental stressors
- Enhance energy
- Promote feelings of calmness in the face of stress
In other words, HPAdapt can help your body achieve and maintain needed balance, or homeostasis, allowing your body systems to function well as “the wall that doesn’t break when external changes threaten internal stability.”
Check out Lifeboost Coffee HPAdapt Adrenal Drink .
This content is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide medical advice or to take the place of such advice or treatment from a personal physician. All readers/viewers of this content are advised to consult their doctors or qualified health professionals regarding specific health questions. Neither Dr. Charles Livingston nor the publisher of this content takes responsibility for possible health consequences of any person or persons reading or following the information in this educational content. All viewers of this content, especially those taking prescription or over-the-counter medications, should consult their physicians before beginning any nutrition, supplement or lifestyle program.
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