Supporting your Mighty Mitochondria
Let’s face it, if your mitochondria are not healthy, you cannot thrive. They are the energy producers in our cells- and we have thousands within most of our cells, with highest concentrations in our heart, brain and muscles. As we age, mitochondrial function declines.
Mitochondria are essentially little cellular spark plugs that supply energy for things like:
- Sex hormone production
- Digestion, absorption of nutrients
- Immune protection
- Detoxification (liver & gut)
- Healthy muscles
- Proper healing
- Aging gracefully
- And MORE!
So as you can see, if your mitochondria are not healthy, it will impact all areas of your health.
The 2 pillars of supporting your mitochondria are:
- Lowering stress
- Increasing energy givers
Causes of Poor mitochondria:
- Diet (under-eating, processed food, alcohol, low carb & protein, high sugar)
- High toxic exposure
- Blocked elimination pathways (constipation, low lymph circulation, etc…)
- Poor GI status (digestion and absorption)
- Poor sleep
- Vitamin & mineral deficiencies
- Stress (too much coffee, too long fasts, skipping breakfast, etc…)
- Circadian rhythm disruption
- Lack of movement
Mitochondria = metabolism + energy = thriving!
Ways to support your Mitochondria- your cheat sheet:
- Circadian Time restricted eating: 7am-7pm . This can be helpful to stimulate AMPK, enhancing mitochondria. Fasting induces mitophagy, which is the process of removing damaged mitochondria to keep the cell healthy. This can actually slow down the aging process!
- Building muscle is critical. You don’t need to bulk up or lift heavy- as long as you lift weights and keep your muscles active. Exercise makes use of oxygen, which has a direct impact on mitochondria activity. In response to exercise, the overall density of mitochondria in muscle tissue increases! Yay to that
- Nutrition! Eat Whole-food approach to support mitochondria.
Fats: 1-2 tbsp or 100-200 calories per meal
Carbs at least ½ cup or more depending on level of activity
Protein: 25-35g protein per meal
Minerals: minerals are very important for making energy in mitochondria. Try adding coconut water, aloe vera, or some celtic salt in your morning drink. Aim to consume fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds too.
Lower processed foods, PUFAs (seed oils), alcohol, and excessive caffeine.
- Key supplementation: Mitochondria need micronutrients like B vitamins, sulfur and magnesium to function effectively. In fact, magnesium is literally required to make new mitochondria.
- Manage stress! Managing stress is key as excess stress is associated with increased oxidative stress and inflammation. Try deep breathing, meditation or journaling.
- Cold showers- research has shown cold exposures increases mitochondrial biogenesis a.k.a new, healthy mitochondria
- Red light therapy- this activates mitochondria and can increase energy production.
- Proper hydration, sweating and dry brushing= these support detox pathways which is key for healthy mitochondria.
Protect your mitochondria for an energetic old age!