Exploring Superfoods: Ashwagandha

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By: Jenna Wallace 

Ashwa-wah?? Ashwagandha (pronounced “ash-wah-gahn-dah”) is a medicinal herb that has been used for centuries for its adaptogenic properties and its resilience in longevity and vitality1,2. Ashwagandha is an adaptogen; this means that, when consumed regularly, it helps our body adapt and better handle internal and external stressers. In addition to these properties, this herb is also a strong antioxidant that performs similarly to ginseng1,2. Its main antioxidant effect is increasing the amount of super oxide dismutase in the body. This enzyme is essential to reactions within the body that effectively convert oxidizing agents into less harmful compounds to avoid oxidation in the body which can sometimes lead to Parkinson’s Disease, Multiple Sclerosis, and depression.

The great news, is that this herb is available in a few different forms including powders, capsules and leaves. The powder can be utilized in smoothies, homemade lattes, and even stirred into a parfait! A serving is ½ tsp, so the taste is untraceable in your favorite breakfast food- the perfect way to take it daily. The leaves can also be used to create a tea. Some of the best brands are Gaia Herbs (capsules), Sun Potion (powder), and Mountain Rose Herbs (leaves).


References:

  1. Sun Potion. https://www.sunpotion.com/products/ashwaganda-organic-111g-jar. Accessed June 17, 2017.
  2. Mountain Rose, Inc. https://www.mountainroseherbs.com/products/ashwagandha-root/profile. Accessed June 17, 2017.
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