As a yoga teacher, integrative therapist and student of Ayurveda, I see the impact that stress and unhealthy living has on the people around me everyday.
As the mother of three, I’m also always juggling how to get the best possible return for my family and myself when it comes to nutrition. I’ve found that one important way to get a solid return on our nutritional investment is by including functional herbs in our diets.
The Power of Functional Herbs
I’ve always been amazed at the naturally functional power of herbs, like the ones used in ancient and traditional practices. They can have an immediate impact on how we feel in our own bodies. Here’s a few ways these herbs can help the body to function at its best.
Deal With Stress
Herbs and fruits that draw from Ayurveda, Chinese, Tibetan and Native American traditional practices such as Ashwagandha, Indian Gooseberry, and Maitake may have odd names that are difficult to pronounce, but their adaptogenic benefits have been touted for centuries.
Functional Herbs Taste Great
Natural ingredients like hibiscus, lavender, lemon balm, and elderflower not only have functional properties, but are also fragrant and flavorful as well.
Green tea and rooibos tea offer naturally functional benefits that have been recognized throughout history.
Chamomile tea can promote digestion and relaxation, without adding any calories or harmful additives.
How to Incorporate Functional Herbs Into Your Diet
Replace Caffeinated Beverages
While giving up or reducing caffeine intake can be tough, the great news is that there are some adaptogenic herbs that support reducing fatigue while increasing stamina.
Of them, one of my favorites is Ashwaghanda because of its quality to ‘adapt’ to our state of being. It can help by promoting energy without caffeine when we need it, or help return us to a calm, focused state of mind at times of stress.
Substitute for Refined Sweeteners
Adding functional herbs combined with reducing sugar intake is another key to better health. The typical diet may unfortunately include highly refined sweeteners that are stripped of their natural vitamins and minerals. Sweeteners with less processing can provide better options since more vitamins and nutrients are retained.
Look for ingredients such as stevia, organic cane sugar, maple, coconut, rice and barley syrups.
If reaching goals and finding our peak is all about syncing our mental and physical energies, then we owe it to ourselves to take advantage of what functional herbs have to offer.
Let’s take the opportunity to reach for better quality foods and beverages that offer more natural benefits. Start exploring functional and adaptogenic herbs and look at new ways to find a better state of being for ourselves and our families through a more holistic approach to our diet and lifestyle.
It’s out there! It’s just a matter of taking the time to make better choices, every day.
Kris Whelan is the CEO and Founder of Blue Buddha Beverages, a new line of naturally functional ready-to-drink herbal teas. The brand presents 5,000 years of wisdom in a bottle, blended by modern science, offering key benefits for Vitality, Serenity, Radiance and Wellness. As CEO and Founder of Blue Buddha Beverages, Kris’ goal is to provide consumers with healthier options in support of a more holistic lifestyle.
Featured photo by A Girl With Tea