Even if you're lucky enough to get time off from work, the holiday season tends to be busy. Who couldn't use a boost of energy to help get you through? Energy is all about giving your body what it needs, and these 6 superfoods are packin' the goods! Next time you feel that midday slump, skip the energy drink and reach for one of these instead.
1. Maca Root
Maca Root, my favorite superfood. It tastes nutty, creamy and when you add it to coffee, it tastes like caramel. Maca root is an adaptagen superfood that steadies out blood sugar levels and regulates the hypothalamus, helping the pituitary gland to function beautifully. As a result, you feel focused, energetic, driven and happy. The clarity, focus and energy it provides exceeds any other superfood, in my opinion. This caffeine-free superfood wakes me up, energizes me and gives me a sustainable drive and mental clarity without any crash or jitters. It's not just me - studies show that maca positively impacts energy, stamina and mood while reducing anxiety. Perfect for studying or a long work day.
Other health benefits: Hormone balancer, fertility, aphrodisiac, PMS, menopause, erectile dysfunction, preventative disease fighter, mood booster, calcium supplement.
How to use: Maca root comes in a powder form and is easy to mix into just about anything! Below, you will find a healthy hot chocolate recipe that will keep you energized throughout the holidays. I personally like to take the ingredients in that hot chocolate recipe, put them in a blender and pour them over ice. When it is not heated it, you don't damage any nutrients or enzymes creating a powerful superfood energy drink!
Check out our Maca Root Powder!
Check out our recipe for Healthy Hot Chocolate!
Matcha is the entire green tea leaf made into a powder, so instead of only steeping the leaves to obtain its active compounds, you actually CONSUME the whole leaf and therefore 100% of the good stuff. Matcha is amazing for energy. It actually has 10 times the antioxidants as brewed green tea so it works 10 times harder to neutralize toxins that slow you down. While matcha does contain some energy boosting caffeine, it's also high in L-theanine, an amino acid with calming properties that balance it out. L-theanine also slows the absorption of caffeine leading to a smoother buzz that keeps you going longer without the crash or the jitters. It even induces alpha waves in the brain which can relieve stress, promote relaxation and even lower blood pressure. It's no wonder why matcha is known for increasing concentration and mental clarity without the anxious energy of coffee and energy drinks.
Other health benefits: detoxifying, rich in fiber and chlorophyll, high in vitamins and minerals such as vitamin C, selenium, chromium and zinc, immune boosting, mood enhancing. weight loss.
How to use: The best way to enjoy matcha is to drink it! Put 1 tsp of matcha in a blender with 1 cup of almond milk, and add a little honey, if desired. Blend and pour over ice. You can also make a delicious banana or mango matcha smoothies or make matcha energy date balls. There are so many delicious recipes out there!
Check out our Matcha Green Tea!
3. Chia Seeds
Chia seeds can absorb 12 times their weight in water, forming a gel which slows your digestion and leads to a sustained release of energy. Their high fiber content is prebiotic, which makes your gut happy and conserves energy. Chia seeds are packed with antioxidants which help your organs function better too. It is believed the Mayans used chia seeds for running long distances and engaging in battle so they are the perfect energy boosting superfood for any modern day runners and warriors.
Other health benefits: Excellent source of omega 3, pregnancy, detox, digestion, good source of iron and calcium, heart health, support healthy skin, aids weight loss.
How to use: Make chia pudding and then add other energy boosting superfoods like raw cacao and maca root. Top it with raw cashews and fresh berries for a delicious snack. If you don't like the consistantcy of chia, I really enjoy throwing presoaked chia seeds in a blender with fresh fruit to create a jelly spread. For energy boosting properties, it is important that the chia seeds are soaked, although many people like to throw chia seeds on a sandwich on in a salad dry to detox. If used dry, be sure to drink lots of water.
Check out Chia Seeds on our website!
4. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is not like other oils that require help from the pancreas and gallbladder to be digested. Instead the medium chain triglycerides in coconut oil are converted to energy in the liver instantly which also boosts your metabolism. A high metabolism burns calories faster and leads to increased energy levels. Coconut oil is high in B vitamins and magnesium, both of which are necessary for energy production.
Other health benefits: Heart health (cholesterol/blood pressure), Immune support, positively impacts brain diseases such as Alzheimer's, fights cancer, anti-inflammatory, beauty, diabetes, digestion, weight loss, thyroid health.
How to use: Some people take a spoonful of coconut oil whenever they need a boost - power to them. I'd rather enjoy it in an iced coffee or smoothie. Try to consume it when it is not heated above 115 degrees for maximum benefits.
Check out our fair trade, unrefined coconut oil!
Are you sick of hearing about how magnesium is great for energy? I hope not! The magnesium in cashews boosts energy by fighting low blood sugar. Cashews also contain copper which helps your cells produce energy. They contain B vitamins and tryptophan which work together to raise serotonin levels, lifting your spirits and giving you a "can do" attitude. Add a dose of healthy fats and cashews are the perfect superfood to help keep you going with a smile on your face.
Other health benefits: Cholesterol free, lowers blood pressure, heart health, aids weight loss, maintains eye health, good for healthy blood, anti-anxiety/depression, diabetes,
How to use: Raw cashews are a great option for a quick, on-the-go snack, but I am obsessed with our Vanilla Cashew Butter which easily spreads onto anything and instantly upgrades a smoothie. I love to top our Vanilla Cashew Butter with raw cacao nibs, drizzle it with raw honey and eat it with bananas. I also LOVE putting it in a blueberry smoothie or just eating a spoonful of it on my way out the door.
Check out our Vanilla Cashew Butter!
Check out our Raw Cacao Nibs!
Check out our Raw Honey!
6. Raw Cacao
Raw cacao triggers the release of endorphins in your brain which means you can get "runners' high" without going for a jog! It also increases energy levels by improving blood flow to the brain. Raw cacao is one of the richest sources of magnesium which boosts energy by optimizing oxygen usage. It is well known that magnesium deficiency can cause fatigue, so make sure to eat plenty of raw chocolate! It is high in PEA which contributes to increased energy and promotes alertness, concentration and a healthy libido, hey now! What people often mistake as caffeine in raw cacao is actually theobromine, a more mellow stimulant with fat burning properties. Theobromine also makes us happy by boosting serotonin, ensuring you have a positive attitude to go with all that energy.
Other health benefits: Beauty, nature's multivitamins (300+ minerals), anxiety/depression, weight loss, heart health, blood pressure, cholesterol, aphrodisiac.
How to use: Although I do love me a chocolate banana smoothie, I'm a huge believer in enjoying raw cacao in my chocolate! Again it is super important to stay away from cocoa and even cacao that isn't raw. Our award winning raw chocolate is sweetened with raw honey and only made out of superfoods, so you can enjoy it without the guilt. Although I recommend all raw chocolate for energy, there are 2 flavors that are packed with other energy boosting superfoods. For dark chocolate lovers, our maca damiana cups have 4 energy boosting superfoods: cashews, raw cacao, coconut oil and maca root. For (dairy free) mylk chocolate lovers, our blueberry chia chocolates have 4 energy boosting superfoods: Raw cacao, raw cashews, coconut oil and chia seeds.
Check out Raw Cacao on our website!