Need a natural pick me up? Healthista’s Nutrition Director, Rick Hay, explains why taking ashwagandha is a natural way to help you reduce stress
Over the past decade we have developed a vast understanding of what the body needs to function optimally. Nutrients, minerals and vitamins have a key role to play in the way we feel mentally and there are a number of supplements and superfoods that can act as natural highs to boost mood, energy, improve sleep and give us a sense of well being. One of those is ashwagandha.
Rick Hay, Healthista’s Nutrition Director says: ‘If you are feeling a bit jittery or stressed out this could be because your nervous system is a bit out of control and it’s causing you problems to relax.
‘I’m going to suggest a botanical herb, it’s called ashwagandha, also known as withania somnifera. It’s part of the botanical family called the adaptogens, and these provide a strong nervous system support. In the case of ashwagandha it’s believed to be due to a chemical compound called withanolide and that helps to regulate blood sugar levels which helps you to lower the stress hormone cortisol and calm you.
‘This botanic also contains the interleukin protein and the interferon gamma protein, these are key proteins our bodies require to help fight against bacterial infections and boost our immune system.
‘I recommend an ashwagandha powder, you can add it to smoothies or into juice and you can take it once or twice a day.’
Rick recommends: Organic traditions, ASHWAGANDHA ROOT POWDER, £11.49 for 200g
More in Healthista’s Natural Highs series:
Rick Hay is an Anti-Ageing and Fitness Nutritionist with many years clinical experience in nutrition, naturopathy, botanical medicine and iridology. He specializes in obesity treatment and weight management. He writes a regular Natural Health and Fitness Blog for Healthista. Find out more at rickhay.co.uk. Follow Rick on Twitter @rickhayuk