Mitochondria – The Small but Mighty Powerhouses

By Mandy Ide, MPH

Mitochondria – The Mighty Powerhouses

What are mitochondria?

In every cell in your body, there are small “batteries” called mitochondria. Mitochondria are the powerhouses of our cells and are responsible for turning food that we eat into energy. If they aren’t functioning optimally, it can affect our level of performance and ultimately, our health. With most of the cellular energy being derived from the mitochondria, it is essential to support and revitalize our cellular energy so that we can take on the day.

How to support mitochondrial health

Mitochondria are affected by, and respond to, our environment and the nutrition we ingest. So, it would only make sense that one of the best ways to support mitochondrial health is by getting the right nutrients, vitamins and minerals! Antioxidants, protein, and core nutrients, like magnesium, vitamin C, vitamin E, and vitamin B are all vital for maximizing energy production in our cells.

Antioxidants

Antioxidants are found naturally in many foods, including cranberries, strawberries, peppers, and carrots, to name a few. Antioxidants help to neutralize free radicals. Eating a diet rich in antioxidants and choosing the correct supplements, like CoQ10, are important in promoting healthy mitochondria and energy production.

Protein

Eating plenty of protein from healthy food sources is essential to mitochondrial health. Foods such as fish, lean meat, seeds/nuts, beans and lentils, and eggs are great sources of protein that support healthy mitochondria.

Magnesium

Also known as the super-mineral, magnesium is essential for bone health, muscle development, and cardiovascular health. Eating a healthy diet of foods like dark green vegetables, nuts, and lean meats, as well as supplementation, can help ensure your body gets the adequate amount of magnesium it needs.

Vitamins

Vitamin C – an important vitamin to the body that provides antioxidant protection, promotes muscle and skin health, cognitive and immune health, and helps to maintain healthy cholesterol levels. Foods rich in Vitamin C include oranges, grapefruit, broccoli, red peppers, spinach, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, and winter squash.

Vitamin E – a group of powerful antioxidants and immune-boosters that support a healthy cardiovascular system. Vitamin E can be found in a variety of seeds and nuts (e.g., sunflower seeds, almonds, and peanuts), cooking oils (e.g., wheat germ and hazelnut oils), and fish (e.g., salmon, trout).

Vitamin B-complex supplements are excellent energy boosters to help get you through the day and can be found in foods like whole grains (e.g., brown rice, barley), red meat, fish, poultry, eggs and dairy products, and dark, leafy vegetables (e.g., broccoli, spinach).

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*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease