Stress and sleep go hand-in-hand: When you experience deep, quality sleep, your brain chemicals can better regulate your stress hormones. Conversely, when you’re stressed, it can be difficult to fall asleep: Your brain races, your body is anxious, and insomnia becomes an unwanted companion. 

This can lead to an unproductive cycle, producing chronic stress and other complications. 

So, how can we better combat this lack of sleep and cycle of stress? For many, superfoods like adaptogens are one of the answers. Adaptogens have been used for many years, and today, they are used to help fight stress, fatigue, and anxiety. 

Below are five adaptogens that may help fight your fatigue:

1. Maca 

When you’re stressed, your body uses a lot of energy. Since the energy that comes from what you eat may not be enough, your body will rely on its energy reserves, which may result in a draining bodily state. Maca is an excellent aid in these situations as it can help your body develop a tolerance for stress.

Maca also can aid in balancing hormones, which can help ward off stress and its effects. And, as a stimulant, it can increase your energy, boost your mood, and maintain a pleasant state of mind.

2. Moringa 

Moringa is loaded with nutrients like amino acids, antioxidants, and vitamins, which are useful for stress and related sleep troubles. It’s possible to find the nutrients in other foods that this adaptogen provides, but you’ll need to eat a combination of supplements and foods to get the same concentration that moringa offers. 

The leaves of this adaptogen carry a type of amino acid called a tryptophan, which can be converted into serotonin when paired with riboflavin, iron, and vitamin B6. Serotonin is useful not only for healthy sleep, but also in stabilizing your mood and treating anxiety-related insomnia. 

3. Turmeric

Turmeric is an herb known to combat stress and depression in Chinese medicines. Turmeric has an active component called curcumin, which improves hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis dysfunction related to stress. The HPA axis controls stress reactions and regulates various bodily processes. When your HPA is functioning properly, your body better maintains its ability to adapt to stress. 

4. Ashwagandha

Ashwagandha is a popular adaptogen, which contains anti-inflammatory properties and is known to keep stress at bay by reducing the secretion of cortisol from adrenal glands. Ashwagandha also creates a calming effect and can boost your energy levels.

5. Chinese Hawthorn 

Used for centuries as an herbal remedy, Chinese Hawthorn is a crucial part of traditional Chinese medicines. It contains a powerful antioxidant, and studies have shown that it may lower blood fat levels and blood pressure, boost immunity, and aid in digestion and reduced anxiety. 

Creating healthy habits and routines to improve sleep patterns is always beneficial, and adding adaptogenic superfoods to your diet is an excellent way to balance health. If you’re looking to incorporate adaptogens into your routine, check out our supplement line here.

Although these powerful antioxidants can help alleviate the negative repercussions associated with stress, we must address and manage stress at its core -- which translates to our thoughts, relationships, and daily nutrition. 

Interested in increasing balance in your health? Schedule a free virtual consultation with a Ketality health coach, and we’ll get on the right track. 

March 11, 2021 — Dr. Jason Olafsson