WKU Wellness: Eat your adaptogens

Vidhi Parekh, Commentary Writer

When preparing to run through the end of the semester, we need to make sure to manage our stress because while the race to the finish line is going to be arduous, it is not impossible. 

For some runners, coffee is going to be fueling their tanks, and it is great for stimulating your brain on those early mornings. However, can you magically make that coffee even more beneficial? The answer is yes. Just add some adaptogens.

Adaptogens are those herbs like turmeric and ashwagandha that aid the body with stress management, fatigue, and improve overall well-being. Oftentimes, they can blend into foods like a secret ingredient you could not have guessed was there, and they can even be taken as a capsule. They are available for purchase as over-the-counter as capsules.

However, some adaptogens like turmeric and ginger add a unique pop with a distinct color and spicy taste, respectively. Hence, it is important to do a little bit of research on the flavor and effect of the ingredient before tossing it into your dish. Nevertheless, if used the right way, they are capable of turning a dish around for the better. 

If you are not familiar with adaptogens and their potential uses, here are some ideas on how to make them a part of your life. 

The first idea is for all coffee lovers. Add ginger and cardamom to your coffee. Cardamom contributes to the aroma of the drink while ginger does its job of waking you up with its ability to have a spicy annexation on your tongue. Hopefully, you don’t add too much ginger on your first try.

Another idea is to add turmeric to your smoothies or even dishes containing rice. For the best absorption of turmeric, combine it with fatty foods like eggs and olive oil. Golden milk is also a great go-to option. It is simply warm milk with turmeric added to it. Overall, turmeric is pretty versatile in its uses; however, be prepared for the dish to swerve towards the color yellow. 

Of all the adaptogens, two of the most widely used ones are ginseng and ashwagandha. Ginseng has the potential to help maintain cardiovascular health along with counteracting stressors. The other one is ashwagandha. Ashwagandha is also known as Withania Somnifera, and it has been proven to improve symptoms of a wide range of diseases ranging from insomnia to arthritis. Along with that, it is known to relieve stress.

Those are just some adaptogens that you can incorporate into your meals, and I hope that through this information, you can make the run through finals a little easier and stress-free.

Commentary writer Vidhi Parekh can be reached at [email protected].

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