Remember when turmeric latte’s were all the rage? I bet you didn’t see this one coming…
Adaptogens have recently become the latest health and wellness trend. Chances are you’ve already tried Moon Juice’s moon dust blends or Sunpotion’s wildharvested tonic herbs. These powerful superherbs have been used for thousands of years in ancient healing practices like Ayurveda and Chinese Medicine. Adaptogens are known for their ability to help the body adapt to physical and mental stressors. They help restore the adrenal system, thereby lowering cortisol, balancing blood sugar and supporting the body’s resistance to stress.
There are many different types of adaptogens, all with their own unique health benefits. Some of these include ashwagandha, maca, astralagus, eleuthero (siberian ginseng), rhodiola, holy basil, reishi mushrooms and cordyceps. We’ve been adding superfoods to our smoothies for years and these superherbs are another great addition to your morning ritual. This caffeine-free Adaptogenic Pink Latte is the perfect elixir to start the day. It’s loaded with powerful healing herbs, medicinal mushrooms and liver supporting beetroot.
This delicious tonic is made with three of my go-to adaptogens – ashwagandha, maca and reishi. Let’s break down each of these healing herbs and their individual health benefits:
Ashwagandha has become one of the most popular adaptogens, thanks to it’s powerful restorative benefits. It has been widely studied for it’s ability to increase vitality, lower cortisol, stabilize blood sugar, balance thyroid hormones and strengthen the immune system. It has also be shown to improve sleep quality and reduce the symptoms of depression and anxiety. Taking ashwagandha is a great way to bring your body back into balance after an illness or period of chronic stress.
Maca is a Peruvian root vegetable renowned for it’s ability to balance hormones, stabilize mood, increase energy, stamina and libido. It has been shown to boost fertility in both men and women, regulate the menstrual cycle and reduce menopausal symptoms. Maca is extremely nutrient-dense as it contains a variety of vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients. It is especially rich in calcium, magnesium, iron, zinc, vitamin B and vitamin C.
Reishi, otherwise known as the king of the mushrooms, is a powerful antioxidant that helps fight free radicals and oxidative stress. Reishi mushrooms have been shown to strengthen the body’s defences against chronic disease such as cancer, autoimmune disease, heart disease, diabetes, allergies and infections. It’s also effective at improving liver function, promoting detoxification and strengthening the digestive system.
- ¾ cup coconut milk
- 1 tsp beetroot powder
- ¼ tsp ashwaghanda (omit for AIP)
- ¼ tsp reishi powder
- ¼ tsp gelatinized maca
- 1 tsp raw wildflower honey (optional)
- Optional toppings: extra beetroot powder, dried rose petals, dried cornflowers
- Fill a kettle with filtered water and bring to a boil.
- Heat coconut milk in a saucepan until hot, but not boiling. Using a handheld milk frother, whisk the milk until creamy and slightly foamy. Alternatively, you can skip this step and use an electric milk frother (such as this one).
- Add ¼ cup boiling water, beetroot powder and adaptogens to a mug and whisk until well combined.
- Pour hot coconut milk on top and stir in raw wildflower honey, if desired.
- Dust with extra beetroot powder and top with dried flower petals. Enjoy!
Once you have all the ingredients, this herbal tonic is super easy to make. You can easily sub in any other adaptogens that you have on hand, however be sure to stick to three or less at one time. Adaptogens have very few side effects and work best when taken over the longterm. While they are generally safe to consume, it’s always a good idea to consult your doctor first. Certain herbs can be stimulating to the immune system, which can be counter-productive for those with autoimmune issues. In addition, ashwaghanda should be avoided by anyone following the AIP, as it belongs to the nightshade family.
What do you think of this new health craze? Have you ever tried adaptogenic herbs? Do you have a favourite? Let me know in the comments below or tag your photos with @wholeheart.nutrition!