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Exotic Energizing Foods

Try adding chia and maca to your diet for an interesting energy boost.

 Exotic Energizing Foods

It may be hard to find foods that will fulfill your hunger and give you an energy boost. We’ve found some food from unique origins that might not be on your shopping list yet.

MORE: Meditate for Energy

Not sure how to incorporate them into your daily diet? Here are some suggestions for how to sneak them in.

Find Your Chia in a Morning Muffin
We’re not talking chai tea, but a whole grain the Aztecs used as their energy source. It can help restore energy and decrease inflammation because of its omega-3 fatty acid content.

Like cornstarch, chia can be used as a thickening agent and substitute for whole grains in your diet. Whole grains are important because they help stabilize blood sugar levels, unlike refined sugar and simple carbs. Here’s one way to use chia:

Chia Muffin Recipe
1 Tbs chia seeds, ground
1 ½ cups whole-wheat or whole-grain flour
2 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp nutmeg
2 tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt (or salt and pepper to taste)
16-oz. can organic pumpkin (make sure there’s only pumpkin listed in the ingredients)
2 egg whites
¼ cup high-quality canola oil
½ cup agave nectar
1 tsp vanilla
½ cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix dry ingredients together in a bowl. In another bowl, mix all wet ingredients. Fold wet ingredients and nuts into dry ingredients, stirring only until dry ingredients are moistened (don’t over-mix!). Spoon into paper-lined or greased (with canola oil) muffin tins. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes (or until a toothpick comes out clean from the middle of the muffin). Store completely cooled muffins in a resealable plastic bag in the freezer. Makes about a dozen, at 150 calories each. There’s nine grams of fat (but the good kind), and only one gram of saturated fat.

Go Peruvian in the Morning: Try Maca Powder for Energy
Peruvian tribesmen get energy by sucking on maca (Lepidium meyenii) plants. This radish-shaped vegetable from the mustard family has long been used in food and medicine to promote endurance, energy, vitality, sexual virility and even fertility. The downside? A possible insomnia side effect.

You can find maca powder at natural grocery stores. Add one teaspoon to smoothies, pancakes and other recipes. Or take ½ gram of the extract, twice a day, instead.

QUIZ: Are You Eating for Beauty?

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