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Beyond Coffee: Morning Rituals to Tame Immune System Anxiety

By Dr. Nicole Cain ND, MA

Ditch the jitters! Discover energizing alternatives like matcha and adaptogenic mushrooms to support your immune system and reduce anxiety.

Many rely on coffee for a morning energy boost. But for some, coffee can exacerbate anxiety. In this part of the interview series with Megan Bliss, Dr. Nicole Cain sheds light on the link between our morning beverages and anxiety. She introduces powerful alternatives that you’re going to love. Discover how matcha and adaptogenic mushroom blends can support your immune system, energize you without the jitters, and promote nervous system calm – all crucial steps in managing Immune System Anxiety.

Mushroom blends may offer even better benefit for Immune System Anxiety

Dr. Nicole: And I love what you said Megan, using it as a blend.

It [cordyceps] tends to work really well in mushroom blends. I like Rhyze. I have no affiliation with Rhyze. But Andrew Huberman talks about not drinking coffee first thing in the morning, and I’m like, “This is good advice!”

Take mushrooms first thing in the morning before you have your coffee

He talks about not starting your morning with coffee because that’s when you wake up, you’re getting an adrenal surge of cortisol.

And then if you stimulate yourself with coffee you’re getting this huge cortisol spike. And then people find themselves crashing.

And in the mornings when you wake up and have your coffee, and your cells are waiting. They’re like, “Oh my gosh, I haven’t had anything to eat or drink in eight hours!” (Or whatever it’s been).

And then the first thing that you give it is just going to soak it up like a sponge. And so then they’re soaking up caffeine, like straight up caffeine. So the crash can be mighty.

And so I like to use mushrooms like a mushroom kind of latte in the morning.

Megan: I was gonna say, do you have any recommendations there. Because I’m not really a coffee drinker. So sometimes for those people who I’m trying to recommend, like maybe a good because I’m never one that’s like… “Ahh…you’ve got to completely go off coffee.”

But sometimes I’m like, “Hey, let’s, let’s work on doing a shift of something!” So yes, mushroom ones can be so good, but I’m like, I haven’t ever tried them. I’m not really a coffee person, so.

Morning Matcha for Immune System Anxiety

Dr. Nicole: Yeah. I was just gonna say I feel like your audience would really vibe with matcha.

It’s such a great plant. Yeah, it’s such a great female herb. It boosts your DHEA sulfate. Good for your immune system. It’s energizing. It’s building. It’s hormone balancing. I think it’s tasty, but I do tend to like the way things taste when they’re more earthy.

Like the bottom of a lawnmower. That’s how I want my green juice to taste.

And they’re always putting, like, apple juice in it. And I’m like, no, I need more of that. Like lawn mower grit. Like take out the sweet.

Megan: That’s I had somebody I had a coworker of mine try yerba mate once. And she’s like, “This tastes like alfalfa!” Because, like, we’re horse people. And I’m like, “Uh, yeah, I could see how you’d say that!” So the lawn mower. Yep, yep. That’s right.

I often refer to herbs using more colloquial language, but matcha’s latin name is Camellia sinensis.

Matcha, otherwise known as Camellia sinensis has many beneficial ingredients

The part used is the plant’s leaves. And they have all sorts of really great ingredients. There are methylxanthines which have a little bit of caffeine, like 3 to 5%.

It’s like a very small amount, but there are so many other ingredients in it where you’re getting a little bit of that energizing and that stimulation, but you’re not cracking out like coffee.

And so matcha is kind of a nice balance for that.

And we also love that it has EGCG (epigallocatechin-3-gallate). And I like to use that abbreviation because the whole word is very difficult to pronounce. And the day is young. So I’m not going to embarrass myself and try.

Megan: I’m glad you’re the same. Sometimes I’m like, I’m not even going to try to say that word. Sorry, guys.

Dr. Nicole: I’m like, I have no shame in my inability to pronounce some of these things.

EGCG for calming anxiety and healing the brain and nervous system.

EGCG is good, but that’s really good! Let’s talk about like anxiety and healing the brain:

When you heal from anxiety, you’re asking the brain to essentially repattern itself. We’ve gone through life and whether or not we had agency or power or control over that.

Our brain and our nervous system has been programmed by our experiences, by our ancestry.

We talk about the research into RNA and how the RNA is coding the way that you exist in your life today. So you didn’t even choose that. You inherited that from your ancestors.

And so from the moment that you were conceived, your brain nervous system, your gut microbiome, it’s all been programmed.

And so when it comes to healing anxiety, you have an opportunity to reprogram it. And this literally means laying down new neural pathways. It means recalibrating the vagus nerve like that gut-brain-axis and how it’s communicating in your lived experience.

The EGCG in matcha increases brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), which is what enables your brain to keep on repatterning.

We call this neuroplasticity. So it helps with neuroplasticity. It helps your brain grow. It’s anti-aging. It’s immunomodulating. So so many reasons for using EGCG. You see, I get really passionate about it.

You can heal the brain and body using natural herbal remedies

I had my rise today. So this could be you too. (lol) You can heal the brain. You can heal the body, and then your anxiety no longer needs to tell you that you’re out of balance because you’re back in balance.

Megan: I love that, love it, love it, love it. Okay, so let’s briefly explore the other causes of anxiety.

End of part 3.

Concluding remarks

In the next part of this series, Dr. Nicole Cain will discuss Anger Anxiety, Gut Anxiety, and Nervous System Anxiety. She will introduce you to Polyvagal Theory and how it relates to why some people feel angry when they’re fearful. You will learn specific strategies to put your mind, body and nervous system back into a cool, collected and controlled state.

You can access the entire recorded version of this powerful conversation, and much more inside the exclusive Holistic Wellness Collective Membership. Get access today by clicking HERE.

This article is for educational purposes only and is not intended as medical advice. Whenever considering changing your protocol whether it includes a change of medications, supplements, diet or lifestyle, always speak with your primary care physician first.

Dr. Nicole Cain is an advocate for empowering people around the world to help themselves via her educational free resources, online courses, and membership group. You can receive the tools you need to find the root cause of your symptoms and feel healthy again.