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Whether you have a case of the sniffles, are suffering through a tough day, or simply want to recover from a killer workout, consider adding adaptogens to your diet. This class of plants, named for helping the human body adapt to various environmental factors, has been used in folk medicine for centuries to ward off illness and improve minor aches and pains. But lately, scientists have turned to the active plant compounds to help counter more modern ailments.
Research has shown that adaptogens, which contain special phytonutrients that you won’t find in most other whole foods, can help the body stay strong by balancing key hormones such as cortisol, fighting bacteria and viruses, and supporting the overall health of organs. While some adaptogens are already familiar (think: turmeric, ginger, ginseng), others may be entirely new to you.
We’ve highlighted five foods—which may also come as teas and powders—in easy recipes to try at home.
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