8 Ayurvedic Supplements To Power Your Ride
here's a reason that Ayurveda, the ancient medical tradition of promoting mind-body awareness, has been around for centuries. When added to your diet, Ayurvedic herbs can provide a range of benefits – from digestive support and higher immunity to decreased stress and inflammation.
Here, Jaclyn Jacobsen, on-staff nutritionist at The Vitamin Shoppe shares her top eight herbal supplements. A little goes a long way in boosting your performance, both on and off the bike.
It might sound weird, but don't be fooled: This Ayurvedic adaptogen can help you relieve stress and anxiety, by lowering cortisol levels and keeping inflammation at bay. What's more, it can also improve insulin sensitivity, thyroid function, and brain health. A great time to take it? Before bed, as it'll promote a restorative slumber, or first thing in the morning on an empty stomach.
A member of the cruciferous family, to which to your favorite veggies, like broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and cauliflower belong, maca can help balance your hormones, provide energy, and improve sexual health and libido. So, if you're looking for some fire off the bike and in the bedroom, try this powerful aphrodisiac. Jacobsen recommends adding 1 tablespoon of maca powder daily to your favorite smoothie, oatmeal, or Greek yogurt.
Originating in Southeast Asia and from the curcuma longa plant, turmeric has long been touted (and has become increasingly popular) as a potent anti-inflammatory. It can also stabilize blood sugar, regulate mood and metabolism, and give your skin a fresh, drewy glow. Add to your soup or stir-fry recipes for a kick of flavor.
An Ayurvedic herbal blend of three fruits – amla, haritaki, bibhitaki – originating in India, triphala is high in antioxidants and can be used to reduce inflammation, increase good bacterial growth, and keep you regular. Take this supplement on an empty stomach for best results.
One of the three fruits in triphala, amla is worth its own mention. Also known as the Indian gooseberry, it can improve digestive, immune, and cardiovascular health, as well as offer a great dose of vitamin C. You can eat amla (it resembles a green grape, when fresh) – but be wary, it's sour. It also comes in powder and capsule forms.
6. Holy Basil
Also known as Tulsi, this powerhouse plant can support liver function, helping you detox. A great complement to that sweaty ride, right? Holy basil can also keep stress at bay and fight inflammation. Jacobsen suggests brewing it with your favorite tea for a relaxing, warming cup before bedtime.
Fun fact: Ginger is the most widely used dietary condiment – and for good reason. A close relative of turmeric, it boasts anti-inflammatory benefits by way of the gingeral compounds (read: antioxidants) found within. Ginger reduces inflammation, supports heart health, increases nutrient absorption, and keeps the immue system in tip-top shape.
Garlic not only adds flavor to recipes, but also has rich antioxidant benefits to ward off health problems, such as heart disease, stroke, cancer, and Alzheimer's. The enzymes are activated once chopped, and cooking garlic can enhance its availability for maximum absorption, so try adding it to cooked veggies, sauces, and meats.
Feeling inspired to ride? Grab a series HERE. The information presented is intended to be of general informational use and is not intended to constitute medical advice, probable diagnosis or recommended treatments. Please take an individual approach and consult your physician on which supplements are best for you.