What you NEEEEEEED to know about ADAPTOGENS.


WHAT ARE THEY!? Why is everyone talking about them? Why don't I know about them?! AND HOW DO I USE THEM!?

Haley BREAKS it down for you. Giving you the importanT science, the references to back it up and simple ways to use them. So on point. Get to know her at the bottom of the blog. You will be seeing a lot more of her soon!

A growing trend, but what exactly are they and why is EVERYONE totally crazed over them right now? Adaptogens are non-toxic, harmless medicinal plant products, mushrooms or spices that are known to assist the body in ADAPTing TO stressors and in returning to a state of homeostasis. What counts as a stressor? Illness, exercise, physical stress such as malnutrition, major life events, work, pure stress, etc. Although research is not yet expansive in this area, these substances have been around for years and have proven to work against fatigue and depression, while stimulating cognitive functions.

Ok but how do adaptogens help us combat these negative conditions? They support the adrenal glands, which control hormones related to stress, anxiety and fatigue. The potential consequences of these hormones not being regulated properly are a suppressed immune system, exhaustion, depression, blood sugar imbalances, potential weight gain or difficulty losing weight, gastrointestinal issues and/or cardiovascular disease.

Enough with the science, am I right? Let’s talk specific adaptogens now, as you may already be familiar with some!

  • Turmeric: reduces inflammation, fights infections, treats digestive issues
  • Ashwagandha: sustained physical endurance, improved cognitive function, quick recovery, enhanced relaxation, strengthens the immune system, increases energy
  • Maca: increased energy levels, stamina and endurance, healthy hormone balance and adrenal gland function
  • Chaga/ Reishi/ Cordyceps and other medicinal mushrooms: enhances immune function, liver protection and detoxification, cardiovascular health, aids in healthy aging
  • Rhodiola: increases energy, stamina and strength, improves attention and memory, enhances the ability to cope with stress
  • Asian Ginseng: stimulates immune function, increased physical stamina and concentration, slows the aging process, relieves respiratory disorders, cardiovascular disorders, depression and anxiety
  •  Schisandra: enhances physical performance, reduces elevated cortisol levels, reduces anxiety

Many adaptogens come in powder form, as well as capsule form. Because these products are not FDA approved and there is limited recent published research, it is best to pay attention to how your body responds after taking adaptogens. I personally use many of the above adaptogens on a daily basis and have never experienced any adverse reactions. While it definitely feels as if all the things I am SO passionate about are coming together (#dowhatyoulove), I do feel my happiness has increased, anxiety has decreased, and energy levels have SKYROCKETED since adding more adaptogens into my daily diet (shout out to Rebbl for their adaptogen-containing products that also take my morning coffee to the next level).

We now have all this information, what’s the next step? Start slowly by adding one adaptogen into the diet at a time. I love adding maca, ashwaganda and a mushroom/cacao blend into my daily protein smoothie (refuel with added health benefits? YES please!). Oven-roasted vegetables with turmeric and ginger are a favorite go-to. The powder forms of adaptogens can be used in muffin or bread recipes, soups/stews, curries, etc. There are also a plethora of products in store that are now utilizing these adaptogens; check out Rebbl drinks and Thunderbird Hazelnut+Coffee+Maca nut and seed bar. During your next food-shopping trip, explore new products that may just contain these beneficial ingredients.

So… what are your thoughts? Do you already use adaptogens? If so, which ones? Have you noticed any specific differences since incorporating these products into your diet? Let us know in the comments!

Resources/ For further information, check out:

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3991026/

  2. http://www.todaysdietitian.com/newarchives/111609p38.shtml
  3. https://www.umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/herb/turmeric
  4. https://nccih.nih.gov/health/turmeric/ataglance.htm
  5. https://nccih.nih.gov/health/asianginseng/ataglance.htm
  6. https://nccih.nih.gov/health/rhodiola
  7. https://nutritionstripped.com/adaptogens/

Meet Haley

Follow her food journey too! @eatfuelnourish

Hi everyone! My name is Haley Fembleaux and I am currently completing my dietetic internship through Wellness Workdays (more than half-way!). After experiencing some health challenges (which were undoubtedly a blessing in disguise), I realized that I was becoming more and more passionate about nutrition; I was shocked at how changing my eating habits were making such a huge impact on the way I felt. But the situation was not so simple. I was actually very resistant to changing at first, as I was only in high school at the time and less-nutritious foods tasted really good still and I was playing varsity lacrosse, so it did not concern my naïve mind. Time went on and off to college I went, following a gluten-free diet. I had a very difficult time finding the right foods at school and my diet plummeted (I was somehow living off of fruit and almond butter because I became extremely restrictive). I decided to major in Nutritional Sciences my second semester of freshman year because I was still very interested in this area. However, after a really tough two years away, in many aspects, I decided to transfer home and finish out my nutrition program at another accredited school. During this time, I found immense anxiety-relief through fitness and I instantly became hooked. And all of this has lead me to where I am today, SO EXCITED about nutrition and fitness. Through both of these fields, I found Jenna (and totally followed her amazing Instagram before I ever had the courage to like an IG photo or even message her). Well, here we are today and I obviously messaged her trying not to sound totally obsessed with EVERYTHING she is doing. It’s safe to say that I am definitely enjoying my internship experiences, but I have my heart set on a private practice with a strong emphasis on the relationship between nutrition and fitness, both of which have been proven to benefit our health. My motto is “eat to fuel and nourish”! Through my own personal experiences and struggles, I am eager to begin sharing ways to overcome these battles and help others expand their diets with nutritious and delicious foods.  




for real guys follow her. @eatfuelnourish