By Linda Egenes and MAPI staff writers
Americans spend millions every year on expensive power bars and
shakes to power up sagging energy levels or to replenish themselves
after a workout.
If you’re spending your money on power bars, you might want to consider a different approach. Power foods are not
a modern invention—Ayurveda has long recognized certain foods as
natural but serious energy-boosters. The list includes fresh organic
fruits, vegetables, spices, and whole grains. These foods are rich in chetna,
a Sanskrit word for the healing and nurturing intelligence of nature.
They are foods so lively with nature’s intelligence and purity that
fatigue-causing toxins are less likely to accumulate in your body when
The Secret Power of Ancient Grains
Athletes have long relied on the carbohydrates and proteins in grains
for long-term endurance and energy. Yet not all carbohydrates are
created alike. A croissant, for instance, is high in fat and low in
nutrition. The most nutritious carbohydrates are whole organic grains,
which have been found to support healthy cholesterol and blood glucose
levels and promote a healthy immune response.
Maharishi Ayurveda considers organic rye, quinoa, amaranth and millet
the most nutritious, because they are especially high in protein and
minerals. They are also high in fiber, and because of that have a
detoxifying value. These are the same auspicious grains that are
described in the ancient Ayurvedic texts.
One-half cup of amaranth (measured dry), for instance, contains 14
grams of protein, 8 mg of iron, and also magnesium and zinc. The same
amount of quinoa contains 13 grams of protein, 9 mg of iron and 3 mg of
zinc. Rye is also high in protein, with one-half cup yielding 15 grams
of protein and 4 mg of zinc. Millet is a good source of B vitamins. As
mentioned earlier, all of them also contain carbohydrates that fuel your
body for activity.
All of these grains contain copper, which is an essential trace
mineral that improves energy and immunity, and their zinc content also
boosts ojas, the finest product of digestion that creates lightness, inner energy, immunity and bliss.
How to Cook Power Grains
To prepare quinoa, rye, amaranth or millet, place two cups of water
in a saucepan and bring it to a boil. Add a teaspoon of organic ghee and
one cup of the grain. Boil for ten minutes and then
lower to a simmer. The grain-to-water ratio is two cups of water to one
cup of grain. Cook until the grain is tender (usually 20-30 minutes is
High-Energy Fruits and Vegetables
Other high-energy foods include fresh organic vegetables, which
should constitute forty percent of the meal. Green, leafy vegetables are
especially high in minerals and fiber, so they should be eaten often.
Fruits are another great source of instant energy. You can start the
day with a stewed apple, and if you feel hungry in between meals, try
snacking on a ripe juicy pear. If you are feeling heavy and bloated
after lunch, eat a fresh papaya as they contain enzymes that aid
digestion. If you have strong digestion and more Pitta in your
constitution, mangoes are a rich ojas-producing food. Half a mango
contains 2 mg of beta-carotene and is a rich source of Vitamin C.
According to Maharishi Ayurveda, grapes (or their dried counterpart, raisins) are among the best of fruits because they enhance sattva
(purity), pacify the mind and heart, and increase the coordination
between them. They are also a rich source of iron and Vitamin B6, and
provide magnesium, calcium, zinc, and potassium. Raisins aid digestion
and elimination when they are soaked in water overnight. One handful per
person is a good amount. Nature’s massive source of Vitamin C and
rejuvenation is Organic Premium Amla Berry.
Every athlete should consider taking this incredible Ayurvedic herb. It
contains five of the six tastes: sweet, sour, bitter, astringent and
pungent. The only taste missing is salty. These five tastes give it a
holistic, balancing effect on the doshas. Very few fruits have this
quality. Amalaki is also a great Rasayana, revered in the Ayurvedic
tradition. Rasayanas are the cream of Ayurvedic herbal substances, and
have remarkable longevity-enhancing and rejuvenative qualities.
Rasayanas also create ojas—the master biochemical of beauty, immunity
and connectivity—in the body.
Date-Milk Energy Shake
A Date-Milk Energy Shake is a nourishing way to end the day, because
it promotes sleep and calms both Pitta and Vata sleep imbalances.
4-5 whole dates (Medjool dates are ideal. If you use large Medjool dates, one or two is more than enough.)
1 cup whole organic milk (unhomogenized if possible)
1 pinch cinnamon powder
Soak the dates for several hours. Boil the milk until it creates a
foam. Turn off the heat and cool until the temperature is comfortable
for drinking. Combine the milk with the other ingredients and blend
until the dates are ground up. Drink it warm in winter and at room
temperature in summer.
Foods that Drain Your Energy
Just as there are foods to boost energy, other foods drain it. Any
fast foods as well as canned, frozen, packaged, leftover, or old
foods—or foods laced with preservatives, chemicals, and additives—are
difficult to digest and contain little nutritional content.
If you do eat some of these foods, and you feel heavy after
eating, drink half a glass of water with 1/4 of a fresh lime squeezed
into it. Or eat a tablet of Herbal Di-Gest to aid digestion. If you feel occasional indigestion or heartburn, try Aci-Balance, as it works quite quickly.
But if you’re feeling dull, sluggish, and drained of energy every
day, it could mean that your diet contains too many energy-draining
foods, which have clogged your microcirculatory channels with toxins,
called ama in Ayurveda. This is an opportunity to upgrade your diet to include delicious foods that create more ojas and energy.
Adding Ayurvedic spices to your food is an easy way to increase the value of chetna,
or nature’s intelligence. Try sautéing cumin, coriander, fennel, and
turmeric in ghee, then combine with sautéed or steamed vegetables or
cooked grains. Or add spices to your drinking water to boost your
energy. The important thing is to eat foods every day that boost your
energy, rather than relying on artificial boosters when you feel your
energy sag. Try Organic Churnas specifically formulated to pacify Vata, Pitta or Kapha doshas.
Your body is a magnificent expression of engineering and has the
potential to generate all the energy you want. Toxins are a big
impediment in this regard. That’s because circulation goes
beyond veins and arteries to minute channels that supply nutrients and
energy for all the billions of cells in your body. When these channels
are clogged with digestive impurities, then fatigue can set in.Top of
FormBottom of Form Organic Digest Tone (Triphala Plus)
is a revered traditional Ayurvedic digestion-toning formula usually
taken daily before bed. Organic Digest Tone balances the digestive fire,
called agni in Sanskrit. Agni represents the transformative
intelligence of digestion. It is a process of great importance in the
Ayurvedic health model because it is linked to immunity, beauty, energy
and detoxification. Balanced digestion reduces ama, or toxins, increases
ojas, the finest byproduct of digestion and aids your ability to
assimilate nutrients from any other supplement or food. Fatigue Free
is another product that helps you recover your energy. It is a
combination of Ayurvedic herbs and minerals that help move ama out,
reestablish the flow of energy and quickly support the building of new
Prepare this Cumin-Mineral Water drink at home to promote your energy and digestive power.
1 quart water
1/4 tsp. whole cumin
1/3 tsp. whole fennel
2 pinches of licorice
1 tablet Calcium Support
Boil the water first. Place it in a thermos and add the spices. Sip
the water throughout the day to promote digestion and support your
energy. If you are a Pitta constitutional type, you may want to let the
water cool to room temperature before drinking.