January often brings a unique set of challenges as we recover from the high emotions and demands of the holiday season.
During the holidays, the excitement and anticipation often release a surge of dopamine in our brains, stimulating chemical reward pathways. This is further amplified by the consumption of sugary foods, which also increases dopamine levels, enhancing the brain's pleasure center. However, as the festive period concludes, these elevated dopamine levels often plummet, leading to a post-holiday slump.
The aftermath of festive indulgence can have significant effects on our mood as well. The intake of highly inflammatory foods, such as processed carbohydrates, not only contributes to weight gain and inflammation-related conditions but also disrupts sleep patterns and metabolic functions. Emotionally, the repercussions of overeating often manifest as guilt, remorse, regret, and self-criticism.
If you're finding the post-holiday period challenging, here’s a helpful tip: consider incorporating ashwagandha supplements into your routine as we step into the New Year. Fermented ashwagandha, in particular, may be beneficial in reducing anxiety and stress levels post-holidays, setting you up for a positive and healthy start to 2024.
What is Fermented Ashwagandha?
Ashwagandha, a small shrub native to India and the Middle East, has been traditionally used in Ayurvedic medicine for centuries. Its root contains active components called withanolides, which have natural anti-inflammatory properties. Studies have shown that ashwagandha can improve stress scores and cortisol levels, a biological marker of stress. Additionally, it may aid in better sleep, especially for those with anxiety.
There are over 300 published research papers on ashwagandha to date, and much of the evidence supports the fact that this herb is an all-round superfood.
Ancient cultures discovered and perfected the fermentation process to preserve their food. It is a way of breaking down hard to digest foods into smaller and more digestible parts. At the same time, fermentation can also increase the amount of good bacteria and nutrients in the food. You can learn more about the benefits of fermentation with our Fermentation 101 Guide.
Fermented ashwagandha is a type of ashwagandha that has been processed by fermentation. It is considered superior over regular ashwagandha for the following reasons:
- It’s more absorbable and easy to digest, which means it can have a stronger effect on your body and health.
- It contains more withanolides, which are the chemicals that make ashwagandha an adaptogen. Adaptogens are substances that help your body cope with stress and balance your hormones.
- It has more flavonoids, which are antioxidants that protect your cells from damage and inflammation.
Why You Should Take Living Alchemy’s Fermented Ashwagandha Regularly
Here are 5 reasons why Living Alchemy’s Fermented Ashwagandha should become a staple in your daily wellness routine:
Ashwagandha is perhaps best known for its stress-relieving properties. Several studies highlight this advantage, observing ashwagandha’s ability to decrease participants’ stress and anxiety levels significantly In a study of chronically-stressed adults, those who supplemented with ashwagandha reported significantly greater reductions in cortisol compared with the control group. Those taking the highest dose experienced a 30% average reduction.
Ashwagandha may help improve cognition, memory and the ability to perform motor responses after instruction. Several studies have found that, compared to a placebo, ashwagandha significantly improved participants’ reaction times during cognition and psychomotor tests (which measure the ability to respond to instructions and perform an indicated action). One study even found that ashwagandha significantly improved participants’ attention spans, as well as their immediate and general memory across a variety of tests.
If you’re struggling to get the sleep you need, ashwagandha may help make your nights more relaxing. Ashwagandha’s anti-insomnia effects may stem from its content of triethylene glycol, a compound shown to induce sleep. A 2012 study suggests ashwagandha lowers cortisol levels (the chemical released into your body when you’re stressed) and reduces insomnia. Researchers note that the herb may affect certain neurotransmitters involved in encouraging sleep.
Diabetes continues to affect more Canadians than ever before. Ashwagandha contains phenolic compounds, including flavonoids, that help stabilize blood sugar levels. Studies show that the herb can help regulate the production of insulin. In fructose-fed rats, the extract inhibited an increase in glucose, inflammation, and insulin resistance.
Another trial showed ashwagandha could raise levels of glucose-6-phosphatase, a liver enzyme that plays a crucial role in controlling blood sugar levels. The herb was also as useful as a standard hypoglycemic drug, reducing blood glucose levels by 12%.
Bacopa is a plant that has been used for centuries in Ayurvedic medicine, and is mainly used for improving brain function, such as memory, attention, and learning. It may also help with stress, anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues. While turmeric contains curcumin, a compound that has been shown to provide nutrients that help reduce inflammation and pain in your body. Inflammation is linked to many diseases, such as arthritis, heart disease, and cancer.
Choose Fermented Ashwagandha From Living Alchemy
Taking care of yourself to recover from the holiday season is essential, and fermented Ashwagandha from Living Alchemy is a helpful addition to your self-care routine for the New Year.
At Living Alchemy, we ferment all our herbal ingredients, including Ashwagandha, through a unique Kefir-Kombucha fermentation process we call Symbio® – because we know that fermentation allows our ingredients to become more potent, and their nutrients are transformed to a higher level of complexity. Symbio® Fermented Ashwagandha shows greater absorbability with higher flavonoids and steroidal lactones, called withanolides, compounding its health benefits.