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The Middle Eastern spice cardamom has been said to increase circulation and boost energy, so it makes sense that it's part of the blend that gives your favorite Chai tea its rich, fall-like flavor. Try adding cardamom to your morning pick-me-up by dropping whole pods into brewed coffee (don't forget to fish them out before you sip!), or brewing the cardamom and coffee beans together.
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If you like your java with a little kick, try a dash of cayenne pepper powder—that's sure to wake you up! Cayenne is derived from a compound called capsaicin, which can help send your metabolism into overdrive and may also suppress your appetite. While the capsaicin works in the background to help you manage your weight, the heat from the cayenne will leave you feeling anything but sluggish.
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Not to be confused with cocoa powder, this raw powder made from the cacao bean assists in stimulating a flow of endorphins, generating a "runner's high." This superfood is rich in magnesium and theobromine, the latter of which is a mild natural stimulant that may ever help burn more fat. Plus, we've previously reported that cacao also has caffeine, a stimulant, and epicatechin, a chemical that improves blood flow to your brain and muscles, both of which could give you a little physical and emotional boost.
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You don't have to eat a Paleo diet to enjoy the benefits of adding butter, specifically, grass-fed butter, to your morning cup of joe. This Bulletproof coffee, as Paleo dieters call it, is said to drive "high mental focus and sustained energy partially from the short- and medium-chain saturated fats from grass-fed butter." While the research is still pending, we do know about the energizing effects of MCFAs, which you'll find in butter. And, at the very least, grass-fed cows will produce milk (and therefore, butter) that contains greater amounts of vitamins and minerals like calcium and vitamins B12 and D when compared with that of corn- or grain-fed cows. (When it comes time to choose the right meat, opt for grass-fed there too, as grass-fed beef is one of our top "brain food" choices.)
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