Why is Mitochondrial Health Important?

Your body is an amazing organ that is made up of millions of cells. Each cell has the important job of keeping you healthy. A balanced diet and exercise routine are important but your health doesn’t start there. It begins with your cells. Mitochondrial health is essential for a healthy body. You’re probably wondering what mitochondrial health is and why it’s important. Let’s explore the cells and how they impact your health.

What is a Mitochondria?

Mitochondria live within the walls of your cells. Each cell has a different number of mitochondria depending on their function. The mitochondria’s job is to produce energy throughout the body systems. As proteins, carbohydrates, and fats enter your body, they convert them into energy. The organs that need more energy like the liver and kidneys have mitochondria than other organs. 

What Is The Role Of Mitochondria?

Every part of your body has a specific job, affecting your health. The mitochondria also play an important role in your organs. Since the main role of mitochondria is metabolic function, it’s always working. They also regulate oxidative stress in your body. Oxidative stress is an imbalance that prevents your body from filtering out toxins. Free radicals, environmental toxins, and heavy metals contribute to this imbalance. The mitochondria help filter out these toxins before they harm your body. 

What Causes Damage To The Mitochondria?

Damaged mitochondria lead to many types of disease. If something invades the body and alters its job, the cells weaken. These unique cell groups have their own set of DNA. Any toxin can trigger an issue and prevent them from working.  Mitochondrial disorders can also lead to organ malfunction. Infections, digestive issues, cardiovascular disease, and nervous system dysfunction are just a few of the disorders. 

How Do You Improve Mitochondria Health?

We all know that eating superfoods and exercising regularly keep us healthy. Eating dark vegetables and fruits can improve digestion and cardiovascular health. Exercising each day gives us energy and strengthens the immune system. But how do you improve mitochondria health? Some ways include:

  • Decrease Toxin Exposure
  • Increase Muscle Mass
  • Boost your mineral and vitamin intake
  • Add Vitamin E supplements that reduce oxidative stress

There are several ways you can improve the health of mitochondria. Focus on eating superfoods and reducing exposure to toxins. 

What Are Ways To Keep Your Mitochondria Healthy?

If you’ve ever stopped to think about your energy source, you probably thought about your metabolism as well. Your metabolism has a lot to do with your energy source. In fact the little cells that regulate metabolism also fuel energy for your entire body. So, it’s essential to keep those cells healthy. Here are a few ways you can help keep your mitochondria healthy. 

Eliminate Processed Foods

Processed foods often contain refined sugars and genetically modified ingredients. These “fake” foods take a long time to break down in the body. This creates stress and can alter your hormones. The result is inflammation, obesity, and weakened cellular function. Focus on whole foods that have quality vitamins and minerals. 

Eat Three Balanced Meals

Eating three balanced meals each day ensures your metabolism is constantly working. When you’re meal planning, try and eat your meals about 4 hours apart. The time frame triggers your mitochondria to begin working. Also, remember to eat the right number of calories. This has less to do with gaining weight and more to do with reducing inflammation. Too many calories can send mitochondria into overdrive, causing inflammation and oxidative stress. 

Keep Moving

Exercise is one of the best ways to keep your mitochondria healthy. It doesn’t matter what method you choose. Strength training, walking, yoga, or aerobics are some popular choices. Incorporating at least 30 minutes of exercise into your day does wonders for your overall health. 

Antioxidant Fuel

There are so many foods with high antioxidants. Antioxidant-rich foods help filter toxins and prevent certain diseases. Even small amounts of dark chocolate improve mitochondrial function. Foods like dark chocolate, nuts, and red wine contain a phenol called resveratrol. This phenol works like an antioxidant and can help lower blood pressure. 

Choose Quality Proteins

When you eliminate refined and processed foods, replacing them with good food is important. Lean, quality proteins like poultry give your body energy. They contain essential nutrients like Omega fatty acids and L-carnitine which fuel mitochondria.

What Helps Mitochondria Do Its Job? 

We’ve learned a lot about what mitochondria is and how to get it healthy. But how do mitochondria work? We know that mitochondria fuel the body with energy. But that energy comes from somewhere. It’s something we breathe every day without really thinking about it. Oxygen helps mitochondria perform its many functions in the body. 

Mitochondria are tiny cells that live within the larger cells of the body. These large cells have oxygen that enables the mitochondria to convert it into energy. 

What Are The Two Main Functions of Mitochondria?

While mitochondria work hard to fuel the body with energy, that’s not its only function. The two main functions of mitochondria are keeping cells alive and deciding when cells die. Killing off cells may sound strange, but it’s an important job. The mitochondria determine which cells are harming the body and need to go. 

What Would Happen Without Mitochondria?

Since mitochondria play an essential role in DNA, genetic makeup would look quite different without it. Metabolic functions would struggle and energy production would most likely stop. Cells would also die without mitochondria functions. 

What Vitamins Support Mitochondria?

Adding vitamins that support mitochondria is a good way to boost cellular health. Certain vitamins and minerals that support its function and promote better health. These vitamins include:

  • Zinc
  • Selenium
  • Vitamin B group
  • Coenzyme Q10

When you’re buying supplements, look for those that are high in these vitamins and minerals. 

Supplements May Help

Taking supplements can boost mitochondrial health and promote longevity. When you’re looking for supplements, choose ones that support your body’s ability to break down free radicals. Supplements like spermidine help your body on a cellular level by promoting autophagy. Over time, your cells age and break down, and accumulate toxic matter. Autophagy helps clean your cells of damaged and aged organelles, allowing them to operate with renewed youth at peak efficiency.


Resources: 

  1. https://www.genome.gov/genetics-glossary/Mitochondria 
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3951182/ 
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4684129/  
  4. https://bscb.org/learning-resources/softcell-e-learning/mitochondrion-much-more-than-an-energy-converter/ 
  5. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/320875#function