‘The Choc’ Johnson – The Adaptogenic Hot Chocolate
Since its launch in June it has seen great success, offering a seemingly decadent hot chocolate that is vegan, refined sugar free, nutrient dense with prebiotic's and works to help the body fight stress - quite the combo!
Don't know much about adaptogens? - look no further.
What are adaptogens for?
While you may have never heard of the term, adaptogens are incredibly popular natural supplements that have existed for centuries. Found in herbs, roots and mushrooms, adaptogens are simply non-toxic plants that are consumed for one key reason: to help the body combat stress.
It’s no secret that stress can seriously impact your quality of life as well as your overall health and wellbeing, resulting in both physical or psychological symptoms like poor memory function and concentration as well as inflammation and fatigue. Adaptogens have the potential to increase your body’s tolerance to stress, building your immunity, so when stressful situations occur, you are more equipped adapt.
How do adaptogens work?
Adaptogens are linked to catecholamines which you may know as neurotransmitters like dopamine, adrenaline and noradrenaline which your body triggers based on a response. Adaptogens help your body to regulate these enabling you to handle stress in a more stable and balance way, they have stimulating properties that work to counteract the harmful effects of stress caused to the immune system and both the neurological and endocrine systems.
To apply this to an example; as we encounter a stressor our body responds by kicking out hormones that improve performance and increase our ability to either concentrate or react to the task at hand. Our body is literally resisting the stressor, giving us a boost to fight the stressor so we feel energized and clearer. Adaptogens aid in allowing us to resist the stressor.
What do adaptogens target?
Many people incorporate adaptogenic herbs for a number of reasons from lowering cortisol, cholesterol and blood sugar levels, to boosting muscle mass and reducinh inflammation in the body. While different types of adaptogens will target different stress-related concerns, three of the most popular types of adaptogens feature within this adaptogenic hot chocolate; Ashwagandha, Reshi and Chaga.
Ashwagandha — has been used for over 3,000 years the Ashwagandha root is a remedy for long-term stress, originating from parts of India, the Middle East and Africa. Dried and ground down into a powder, it contains a powerful mix of amino acids, herbs and vitamins which have been known to aid sleep, increase energy levels and enhance concentration.
Reishi — has been used for centuries in Eastern Asia and commonly consumed in its dried powder form. It is known for its medicinal properties, and has been found in some studies to boost immunity levels, it is also believed to aid in blood sugar control, aid heart health and fight fatigue and depression.
Chaga — packed with fibre and essential nutrients like vitamin D, iron, magnesium, potassium, manganese, and calcium — the Chaga mushroom is known for its high melanin content and therefore believed to help protect the skin and even prevent or slow the progression of cancer.
Do adaptogens actually work?
A number of clinical trials demonstrate that adaptogens are as good as they sound and exert an anti-fatigue effect against a background of stress, particularly in tolerance to mental exhaustion and enhanced attention.
Adaptogens have been studied in both animals and isolated neuronal cells and researchers have found they have several effects on the body
- neuroprotective elements
- anti-fatigue properties
- anti-depressive effects
- stimulant for central nervous system
From ancient Chinese recipes containing ginseng to the recent resurgence of spices like turmeric, the therapeutic effects of adaptogens are becoming increasingly well-known.
With modern society placed under rising levels of stress and many seeking alternatives to man-made medicine, there is likely to be more and more research into adaptogens and the magic behind their healing. So watch this space!