Adaptogens have long been used in eastern medicine, and we are finally seeing the popularization in western cultures as well. The belief is that adaptogens can help strengthen our ability to handle both physical and mental stressors. Adaptogenic plants are one way to help fight chronic stress and prevent the correlating symptoms, and we’ve chosen a reishi adaptogen for this delicious, chocolatey drink.
Our bodies use the adrenal system (and specifically the release of the stress hormone cortisol) to handle stress. While cortisol is a necessary hormone, chronic stress can lead to an overproduction and eventually lead to adrenal fatigue. Chronically stressing our adrenals can lead to premature aging, high blood pressure, insomnia, fatigue, and digestive issues. Holy basil, ashwagandha, licorice, and cordyceps mushrooms are just a few popular adaptogens used around the world currently.
Adaptogenic mushrooms, like reishi, have been shown to impact our adrenal glands. They impact cortisol levels, specifically. During times of stress, the mushrooms have been shown to effectively raise cortisol (cortisol needs to be raised during times of stress, it’s chronically high cortisol that creates an issue). Perhaps more important is that these mushrooms have been shown to also decrease cortisol levels and keep them low during times of non-acute stress. This is important because while we do need cortisol to survive, modern-day stressors are frequent and our body’s ability to decrease cortisol efficiently is crucial to preventing adrenal damage. (To further combat cortisol spikes, consider EPA-DHA supplements that are essential to balanced hormones and a positive mood.) In addition to reishi’s impact on our stress response, the mushroom also helps with liver detoxification, boosts immunity, fights tumor growth, and decreases inflammation.
WHAT ARE TOCOTRIENOLS?
Tocos are an optional addition to this drink, but we think they adds an incredibly creamy texture and a slew of benefits. Tocos (officially known as tocotrienols), are a superfood made from the bran of brown rice (the same ingredient in our Daily Shakes and Cleanse Shakes). Tocos provide a bio-available form of vitamin D and vitamin E (meaning our body can actually digest and access the nutrients). This helps to improve the tone and texture of the skin, promotes healthy joints and connective tissue, and also helps detoxify the body by removing toxins and waste.
One lesser known benefit of tocos are the natural CoQ10 content. CoQ10 is an antioxidant that promotes cellular energy, allowing our body to effectively use nutrients and reject toxic material. Many people take CoQ10 as a supplement for its anti-aging and energizing benefits.
2 teaspoons reishi
2 tablespoons cacao powder
2 tablespoons coconut palm sugar
2.5 cups unsweetened almond milk
1/2 cups boiling water
1 tablespoon tocos
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
Pinch of sea salt
Step 1: Gather all your ingredients. Add all dry ingredients and vanilla to blender. Pour over 1/2 cup boiling water. Blend on low to dissolve powder ingredients.
Step 2: Add almond milk to blender and blend until fully dissolved and blended thoroughly.
Step 3: Serve over ice.
Recipe and photography by Kaitlyn Noble
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