Naturopath and Holistic Health Expert
Any living organism relies on an external source of energy – green plants utilize radiation from the sun and animals, chemical energy. This is essential input in order to grow and reproduce. The daily 1500–2000 Calories recommended for a human adult refers to these energy units, taken as a combination of oxygen and food molecules.
Most of us seek rapid sources of energy when we’re fatigued, rather than more sustainable options. Despite medicating ourselves with energy drinks, bars, supplements and coffee, we remain tired! These products add a jolt to the system, providing a short-lived illusion of energy in the form of a stimulant; one that quickly fizzles out and expires.
Image via pinterest
Natural foods that sustain true, lasting energy include:
1. Raw cacao powder
Cacao beans are the seeds of an Amazonian fruiting tree and the basis of all chocolate and cocoa products. Pulverising raw nibs separates them into creamy cacao butter and beautiful rich, raw cacao powder. As the temperature is never allowed to exceed 40°C, the powder is considered a ‘raw’ food with all heat-sensitive vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants remaining intact. This maximises digestion and absorption and means the raw powder has over 360% more antioxidants than regular cocoa.
The Mexican Mayan kings drank up to 30 pure chocolate drinks a day to maintain their vigour, and valued the bean so highly that it was used as money. Raw Cacao products are a source of beta-carotene, amino acids (protein), Omega-3 essential fatty acids, calcium, zinc, iron, copper, sulphur, potassium, and one of the best food sources of the muscle relaxing, stress relieving mineral magnesium.
For a delicious cacao super energy smoothie, see recipes below.
2. Raw Coconut oil
Coconut is highly nutritious and rich in fibre, vitamins, and minerals. It is classified as a “functional food” because it provides many health benefits beyond its nutritional content. It supports thyroid function and helps promote loss of excess weight by increasing metabolic rate. It is utilized by the body to produce energy in preference to being stored as body fat as other dietary fats might.
3. Pastured eggs
In fact, the slew of nutrients in an egg yolk is so comprehensive that a few a day would offer better insurance than a multi-vitamin! They’re a fabulous source of complete protein, choline & lecithin, antioxidants, fat-soluble vitamins (such as A, D & E) and antioxidant carotenoids. Most importantly, the yolk contains most of the nutrients – never discard in favour of the white! Eggs can be consumed both raw or cooked, providing they are from respectable, free-range and pastured sources.
As much as offal has fallen out of culinary favour in our modern diet, liver is the original energy-boosting super food! It is an excellent source of high-quality protein, nature’s most concentrated source of vitamin A, contains all the B vitamins in abundance (particularly B12), is one of our best sources of folic acid, provides a highly usable form of iron and trace elements such as copper, zinc and chromium, CoQ10 for cardio-vascular function and amino acid purines (compounds that serve as precursors to DNA and RNA).The list is endless!
An organic chicken liver pate is the easiest and yummiest way to consume liver. See my recipe below.
5. Sweet Potato
According to Ashley Tudor, author of Sweet Potato Power – “It’s time the nutritious, delicious sweet potato takes a superstar spot on the table! Incorporated smartly into your diet, sweet potatoes can take the place of unhealthy, egregious carbohydrates and help diet changes seem more like a treat then a sacrifice”. Sweet potato is a readily digestible source of starchy carbohydrates, and contains ample beta-carotene, potassium, vitamin C and array of antioxidants – perfect for a healthy pick-me-up!
Energy-boosting recipes based on these energy-boosting foods:
1. Make a smoothie from the flesh and water of a young coconut, 1 raw organic pastured fresh egg, ½ a teaspoon of OVViO Organic Vanilla bean and Green leaf Stevia powders, 1 teaspoon of raw organic cacao powder. Blend and drink immediately
2. Roast your sweet potato with lashings of organic coconut oil and sprinkled with organic cinnamon powder. Super (delicious) energy food!
3. Organic chicken Liver pate. A recipe from my I Am Food recipe book for pâté is simple; sauté a few cloves garlic and diced onion in 5tbsp cultured butter, ghee or coconut oil, add Tuscan or Provincial herbs and 500g organic chicken liver; fry until just cooked, cool and process until smooth. Seal with melted butter & enjoy with vegetable sticks, eggs or simply its own!