Mitochondria are known as the powerhouses of the cell. They act like a digestive system which takes in nutrients, beaks them down, and creates energy rich molecules for the cell.
Any irregularity in the way mitochondria function can directly affect human health and in severe cases, organ failure.
Changes in mitochondrial dysfunction can lead to metabolic changes, including insulin resistance and obesity. Nutrient deficiencies, environmental toxins and oxidative damage all contribute to dysfunction.
Healthy mitochondria can:
- Improve energy production
- Increase longevity
- Regulate metabolic activity
- Reduce oxidative stress
There is growing evidence suggesting a low carb eating plan can increase mitochondrial biogenesis and activity within skeletal muscle, resulting in greater muscle function as we age.
These 10 tips will help your mitochondria health.
1. Consume foods or supplements containing:
Acetyl L-carnitine, Magnesium, Lipoic acid, Omega-3, B vitamins, Vitamin E, Selenium and Coenzyme Q10
- Found in grass-fed meat, eggs, poultry, beans, nuts and seeds, apple cider vinegar.
2. Consume foods and drinks high in antioxidants found in the following:
Citrus, Green tea, Blueberries, Bell peppers and Dark chocolate
3. Increase good fats sources from lard, olive, ghee, butter, coconut and ghee.
4. Avoid seed oils such as canola, safflower, and sunflower. Reduce or eliminate foods containing gluten and foods sweetened with sugar.
5. Increasing the time between your last meal of an evening and the first meal the next day can be one tool for improving mitochondrial function.
Aim for 12+ hours fasting to allow cells to adapt and become more efficient at producing energy. During fasting the body produces new mitochondria and repairs damaged ones.
6. Incease blood circulation and oxygen delivery to cells with regular activity.
Exercise increases the number of mitochondria per cell in the muscles and enhance how the mitochondria metabolize foods into energy.
7. Increase deep sleep for cellular repair, ATP production and hormone regulation.
Aim for 7 – 9 hours of good quality sleep each night. Best tips include:
- Have consistency with going to bed and waking up times
- Avoid bright lights at night by turning lighting down or using lamps
- A cooler room
- Minimise artificial blue light from tablets and screens
- Block-out blinds or curtains keep the room darker
8. Sunlight triggers the body to produce vitamin D and optimises circadian rhythm which will help with sleep as well.
A daily walk, preferably in the morning is a great start to the day.
9. Increase red light exposure from either sunrise or sunset light.
10. Get grounded with nature by walking on the grass without shoes, gardening, playing outdoors without shoes or walking along the beach.
To increase mitochondria and keep them healthy, it’s essential to manage our nutrition in foods and drinks, have good sleep habits, get daily activity, reduce stress, and ensure detoxification pathways are open and flowing (such as limiting alcohol).
The more mitochondria we have the better!
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