It takes energy to run our brain and bodily functions and to heal and repair. Our mitochondria are tiny organelles located in almost every cell of the body.
It is these powerhouses that generate all of the energy required by the brain and body to function properly and efficiently. The health of your mitochondria largely determines the degree of health you enjoy and the rate at which you age.
Basically, mitochondria use water and oxygen to convert glucose and fatty acids into adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the universal power source in your body. Natural by-products of this manufacturing process are called reactive oxygen species (ROS), a form of free radical. When your body has ample levels of the vital nutrients it needs to operate and maintain balance, it has enough antioxidants available to neutralize the ROS.
The cells in your body cannot store large amounts of ATP for future use. Mitochondria, therefore, have to produce what is needed, moment to moment. By connecting the dots, you can see that dysfunction of these power houses has consequences locally within the cell as well as systemically throughout our body.
Our mitochondria are particularly sensitive to their environment within the cell and become damaged when conditions are out of balance. You might be surprised by how your daily habits and choices are compromising your mitochondria and ultimately sabotaging your metabolism. Here is a list of common mitochondrial stressors:
Chemicals in the Environment
In this day and age, there is no way to ensure that you are breathing clean air, drinking clean water, or eating clean food. Even if you grow your own food or purchase only organic products, you are still exposed to a variety of toxins or toxic residue.
Blue light comes from our TV, phone, iPad, computer, LED, and video games. Not only does exposure to blue light have negative hormonal consequences, it also has damaging effects to our mitochondria. Blue light causes a breakdown in mitochondria, inhibiting their performance, increasing the production of ROS, and accelerating cell death.
One of the primary reasons that our mitochondria deteriorate is the over-consumption of poor quality foods (including sugar, refined grains and vegetable oils) and the under-consumption of nutrient dense, healthy ones. My free eBook teaches you how to personalize your food strategy.
It takes more energy and resources to extract usable components from processed food and artificially engineered beverages. It takes more energy to process pesticides, hormones, and other toxins commonly associated with commercially produced food. This excess energy expenditure and exposure to toxins also produces an increase in ROS and inflammation.
Over the Counter and Prescription Drugs
This may be a big industry with big profits, but it also bears big consequences. Every single pharmaceutical drug disrupts the normal communication pathways and alters the cellular environment. For every intended action of a drug, there is a collection of negative side-effects (just read the package inserts).
Cigarettes contain toxic heavy metals, including cadmium, arsenic, and lead. They cause damage through the production of free radicals.
Diet and lifestyle are by far the most effective way to bio-hack your cellular health. Load up on nutrient dense greens, cruciferous vegetables and whole grains. Drink at least half your weight in ounces of clean water every day. Get your 10,000 steps per day, plus short bouts of high intensity exercise. Rest and rejuvenate with 8 hours of good quality sleep every night.