3 Ways To Improve Your Mitochondrial Function

3 Ways To Improve Your Mitochondrial Function

Photo Credit: Stewart Cohen/Thinkstock

In almost every single cell in our body (sans our red blood cells) is a mitochondria, a unique organelle that contains their own special DNA. Mitochondria are known as the “energy powerhouse of the cell” and are involved in nearly every metabolic process in the body. There are certain lifestyles changes we can take to enhance the function of our mitochondria and therefore improve our overall wellness factor.

The mighty mitochondria are key in:

  • Cellular respiration, through ATP production, using chemical energy found in glucose and other nutrients.
  • Generating clusters of iron and sulfur, which are important cofactors of many enzymes.
  • Intracellular communication
  • Regulating ion concentrations
  • Synthesizing products for the transportation of glucose and insulin
  • Maintaining roles in fluctuating lipid levels
  • Regulating the removal of cellular damage
  • Providing sufficient energy for blood flow to and within the heart

Here are three things to get your mitochondria working at optimal capacity:

Daily exercise.

A sedentary lifestyle is terrible for mitochondria. All forms of movement and exercise paired with proper breathing can improve the performance of mitochondria throughout the body. Exercise reduces oxidative stress and boosts mitochondrial activity— improving oxygen flow and our blood’s pH.

Regular fasting—and eating less in general.

When we stop eating solid food, it gives our body time to use our energy for other important processes in the body (other than digesting). During a fast, malfunctioning mitochondria are destroyed, eliminating unwanted debris and certain proteins that no longer serve a purpose. When our body is not destroying unwanted mitochondria properly, it can cause scary health problems like cancer, dementia, Parkinson's, Alzheimer’s, Huntington's disease, and a depleted immune system.

Try a Ketogenic diet.

Health fats are in! A ketogenic diet, rich in fat and low in carbohydrates, is known to enhance mitochondrial function. This way of eating changes the metabolic state using foods for better energy.

Ketones are another energy source that fuel cells when carbohydrates are not available. Ketogenic diets are known to drastically improve mitochondrial function and are even used clinically to treat epilepsy. Epilepsy is actually a product of abnormal mitochondrial function in the hippocampus region of the brain.

Mitochondria play an important role in the way you age. Following these methods to improve cellular and mitochondrial function will provide you with more energy, slow or reverse signs of aging, and enhance your health and quality of life.

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