What the func(tional beverage)?!
What does it all mean?
Adaptogens... collagen-enhancing... gut-health... what do these terms mean, and why do I feel like an absolute goddess when I drink beverages that write those words on the can?! For a little help (okay, a lot of help), we called in some experts, namely, Michelle Tirmandi, holistic nutritonist and co-founder of Kite, makers of organic beverages made with - you guessed it - adaptogens.
Shannon: Adaptogens is very much a hot word these days when it comes to bevys. But what are they really?
Michelle: Adaptogens are a specific class of plants (herbs, leaves, roots, etc.), as well as mushrooms, with properties that help the body to restore balance and adapt to stress. They've been used for thousands of years in different medical systems around the world, including traditional Chinese medicine and Ayurveda. Some of the most popular adaptogens include ashwagandha, ginseng, astragalus, schisandra, licorice, maca, tulsi (holy basil), moringa, rhodiola, and more. Each adaptogen has different qualities to restore and regenerate, like:
- Promoting relaxation
- Diminishing fatigue
- Uplift and regulate mood
- Anti-oxidant and immune protection
- Support with clarity, learning and memory
Shannon: That all sounds pretty great. Why do our bodies need boosts in these areas?
Michelle: Our current lifestyles are overwhelmingly stressful, with chronic stress adding damaging consequences to our health and well-being. One simple and natural way to help us cope and become more resilient to stress is to harness the natural wisdom of plants to support our bodies. Adaptogens are great because they can be consumed in so many ways; supplements, in food, or in herbal tea infusions (like Kite!).
Shannon: I'm sold! If I'm new to drinking adaptogenic beverages, which one should I start with? What can I expect the flavour profile to be like?
Michelle: When we describe Kite to someone who's never tried it, we usually say that it's akin to a strongly brewed herbal tea. We steep the teas for several hours to extract all the goodness of the plants, then we carbonate them for a tasty, sparkly brew. Besides our brewing method, which sets Kite apart from other adaptogen beverages, we hear a lot of feedback about the potent flavours of each: Rise (lemon), Align (hibiscus), and Unwind (orange), which is due to botanical flavour extracts and avoiding "natural flavours." Despite having zero sugar or sweeteners, Kite also has a sweetness to it, which is attributed to the natural components in the plants.