Ever wish there was something that could help you not binge eat or turn to food in an emotional response? Well, you’re in luck; recent studies are showing that ashwagandha root can be helpful with stress associated weight gain. We know that high cortisol levels in response to stress leads to increased deposits of visceral fat, so reducing our stress response is very important to the weight loss process. In a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial, researchers saw a significant reduction in uncontrolled eating, reduced food cravings, better eating behaviors and reduced cortisol levels when people took ashwagandha root as opposed to a placebo. (1) So how do you experience the same amazing results as these study participants? They took 300mg twice a day of a standardized root extract.
Ashwagandha -Withania somnifera is a plant native to India but it is so effective in helping the body with endocrine function that it is quickly gaining acclaim worldwide. It can help to re-regulate the thyroid, testes, and adrenal glands. (2) It has also been found to be extremely helpful for anxiety, stress induced insomnia and fatigue. Another benefit of ashwagandha is in helping to balance blood sugar levels and bring them back to normal. (3)
If you are happy with your weight and mental health and are just looking to improve your overall well-being, ashwagandha may still have something for you. A study in PubMed reports that ashwagandha supplementation is associated with significant increases in muscle mass and strength when used in conjunction with a
resistance training program.(4)
That’s a pretty impressive resume for a small, unassuming plant and definitely makes it worth taking a closer look!
- Choudhary, Dnyanraj et al. “Body Weight Management in Adults Under Chronic Stress Through Treatment With Ashwagandha Root Extract: A Double-Blind, Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Trial.” Journal of evidence-based complementary & alternative medicine vol. 22,1 (2017): 96-106. doi:10.1177/2156587216641830
- Winston, David and Steven Maimes. Adaptogens Herbs for Strength, Stamina, and Stress Relief. Healing Arts Press, 2007
- Udayakumar, Rajangam et al. “Hypoglycaemic and hypolipidaemic effects of Withania somnifera root and leaf extracts on alloxan-induced diabetic rats.” International journal of molecular sciences vol. 10,5 2367-82. 20 May. 2009, doi:10.3390/ijms10052367
- Wankhede S, Langade D, Joshi K, Sinha SR, Bhattacharyya S. Examining the effect of Withania somnifera supplementation on muscle strength and recovery: a randomized controlled trial. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2015 Nov 25;12:43. doi: 10.1186/s12970-015-0104-9. PMID: 26609282; PMCID: PMC4658772.