What You Need to Know About Adaptogens

An introduction to “super herbs” and their benefits.

What You Need to Know About Adaptogens

First coined in the 1960s, the term “adaptogen” originates from the Russian word for adaptation (“adaptatsiya”) and refers to any herbs or plant extracts that can help the body adapt to stress. Get the basics about these so-called “super herbs” from registered dietitians Alana Kessler and Keri Glassman and see what they can do for you.

Watch: Foods to Lower Your Stress Hormone


What Are Adaptogens?

Adaptogens are a class of natural substances, usually plant extracts, that boost the body’s ability to function normally and resist inflammation. Some describe adaptogens as herbal or plant medicine in the same vein that nutrient-dense food is considered a form of medicine. Adaptogens are also referred to as “super herbs” since they are used for purposes beyond the scope of flavoring foods. Although many plants and plant products may have adaptogenic qualities, not all of them are considered adaptogens.

Watch: Dr. Low Dog Explains the Function of Adaptogens

Is This the Best Snack to Help You Maintain Your Weight Loss?

It could also help lower your heart rate and bad cholesterol.

Is trying to lose weight — and keep it off — driving you nuts? Well, maybe it should drive you to nuts. New findings published in the journal Nutrients highlight the power nuts may have on successful weight loss.

Nuts vs. Pretzels

UCLA researchers put 95 overweight or obese folks ages 30–68 on a diet that provided 500 calories less than needed to maintain their resting metabolic rate for 12 weeks, then maintenance for another 12. The diet included 1.5 ounces of mixed nuts for half the group and pretzels for the others (both "snacks" delivered the same amount of calories).

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