Let’s talk about mitochondria. The mitochondria are the part of your body cells responsible for turning your food and oxygen into energy, thereby powering your way through the day! They are super important to your energy levels and overall mental and physical wellbeing.
What Are Mitochondria?
Mitochondria are the tiny sub-units in the cell that convert energy stored in the food you eat into ATP (adenosine triphosphate), a type of energy that is used to power all biochemical reactions in the body so you can move, grow, think and do everything else required to live.
Mitochondria are paramount to the way you feel each and every day. If they are not working optimally, you won’t be able to squeeze as much out of your body and your brain and you may end up lethargic and tired. Mitochondria also play an integral role in minimising the effects of ageing and reducing your risk of age-related diseases, such as heart and neurodegenerative diseases.
Why Are You Feeling Lethargic?
There are many reasons you may be feeling more lethargic or fatigued than usual. A key reason for ongoing fatigue is sub-optimal mitochondria functioning. When your mitochondria are out of shape, they don’t produce as much ATP energy as your cells need to make your whole body healthy.
Your health, and in particular your energy levels, are fully dependent on having strong and healthy mitochondria. If your mitochondria are functioning well by efficiently producing ATP energy then your cells can function well also. On the flip side, if your mitochondria are not producing sufficient ATP energy then your cells function less and less effectively. This can often translate into slow declining energy, at which point you may be in need of a mitochondrial tune-up!
How To Tune-Up Your Mitochondria:
1. Minimise medication: Medication has the potential to damage your mitochondria. Check in with your practitioner about the medication you are on and whether the amount you are taking may be impacting on your mitochondria, and therefore your energy.
2. Reduce sugar-laden foods: Empty calories found in these foods can contribute to mitochondrial starvation, leading to sub-optimal functioning and a lack of energy throughout your body and your brain.
3. Eat more berries, vegetables and high quality plant-based protein: These foods will give your mitochondria the antioxidants, vitamins and minerals it needs to thrive.
4. Avoid pesticide intake: Aka choose organic! The chemicals in pesticides can interfere with mitochondrial functioning and are best avoided where possible.
Ultimately, the key to health is feeding your body (your cells and your mitochondria) with the building blocks they need to thrive and removing the poisons that can slow them down. This begins with the food you eat everyday; focussing on eating greens, sulphur-rich vegetables, green leafy vegetables and berries. Food is the most powerful way to keep your mitochondria healthy and to restore your energy and vitality.
Next time you feeling like you’re going through an extended slump in energy, try adopting these simple ways to tune-up your mitochondria. You may just feel your energy levels soar while getting your mitochondria back into tip-top shape xo