The busier you are, the more likely you may be to reach for a bag of double-stuffed cookies instead of a healthier snack. And that can lead to a lack of energy. But when you choose nutritious foods for energy such as fruits, vegetables and even my “famous stress-busting” cookies made with Malaysian sustainable palm oil, your body is better able to power through your day. When I was in Phoenix, I shared a batch of my cookies as well as other energy-boosting tips with a couple morning television hosts. They learned which foods to choose for energy and stress reduction.

Energy is more than that jolt you may feel from a cup of coffee or an energy shot. There is physical energy— what you need to get moving and get a job done – and mental energy. Mental energy helps keep you focused as well maintain a positive outlook. When you are stressed and binging on unhealthy foods, your body’s inflammation level may increase. This signals the brain that you are fatigued and depressed. If you can reduce your inflammation level, you may feel more energized and in a better mood.

Malaysian sustainable palm oil is less inflammatory than other cooking oils. Red palm oil is also loaded with beta carotene and polyphenols which help reduce inflammation in the brain and throughout the whole body. This non-GMO and naturally trans fat-free ingredient can be found in Smart Balance spreads and Nutella. It’s also a versatile cooking oil. It’s a smart, anti-inflammatory choice to include in your homemade cookies or anything else you prepare.

In some parts of the world, palm oil has a bad reputation for harming the environment. But I’ve been to Malaysia and have walked through the oil palm plantations. I’ve seen firsthand how they care for the land, the people and the animals. That’s why I look for Malaysian palm oil when choosing ingredients. Thankfully, most American companies prefer it, too.

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