Do you Know Your Mitochondria?

Remember the days of middle school biology/science?  I found the word mitochondria fun to say and loved the fact that it was a powerhouse for producing energy.  Little did I know that as I grew older that taking care of these little cellular organelles would make a big impact in my overall health- beyond “just’ producing ATP (energy).  Studies have shown that the benefits of mitochondrial health include healthy cognition(brain health) and nervous-system function. Along with cardiovascular wellness and normal detoxification. Wow!  The amount of mitochondria that exist in our cells vary.  Red blood cells have zero, where as there are thousands in liver and muscle cells. The more energy needed by a cell the more mitochondria exist, but lifestyle factors also play a part in optimal mitochondrial health.

Exercise is one of the best ways to support mitochondrial health. Exercise can shift mitochondrial metabolism to burn fats rather than glucose for fuel. High intensity workouts appear to support mitochondiral health the most, but all exercise seems to benefit and support it.

What other lifestyle practices support mitochondrial health?  Decrease exposure to damaging compounds in our water, air and foods.  Eliminate pesticides, use cleaning products that are as chemically free as possible or make your own.*  Filter your water to remove heavy metals and unwanted chemicals. Use air purifiers or add plants to your environment to improve air quality. Use natural lotions, shampoos and other personal care products that will minimize chemical exposure to your skin.  There are many simple ways of shifting to a more natural and healthy approach.

One indicator of mitochondrial health is your ability to transition easily between fuel sources, especially between glucose and fat, this is known as metabolic flexibility.   We compromise our metabolic flexibility by eating too much sugar, refined carbohydrates and processed foods. How would you know?  You would know by your increased oxidative stress which results in fatigue, weight gain and lack of clarity. What should you eat?  This should not come as a surprise;  healthy fats, phytonutrient rich fruits and vegetables and organic foods which reduce exposure to pesticides. There are some studies that also suggest caloric restriction and intermittent fasting to assist in eliminating  damaged mitochondria and regenerate new mitochondria.

These little organelles are seriously important. This snippet of information is exactly that – a snippet.  There is so much more to keeping these mitochondria happy and healthy and they are extremely important for cancer survivors and in prevention of disease.  Supplements have their place with mitochondrial health and if you have any questions, contact me.

In the meantime, take an inventory of your energy, your lotions, your food,water,air and make improvements where you can.  Start small and keep at it.  Your mitochondria – and energy production will thank you for it!

*All-Purpose Cleaner

Add to spray bottle and fill remaining amount with hot water.

 

Be Well,

   Mary

 

Accepting clients determined to make a difference in their health and wellness.  Contact me for a complimentary phone session.

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