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- It is essential to help boost your mitochondria to improve your immune function during a pandemic and also to ward off viruses.
- Energy production from mitochondria is vital to prevent diseases such as cancer, atherosclerosis, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and many more.
- Optimize mitochondria with a keto diet by choosing organic foods
- Once you get used to a keto diet, incorporate intermittent fasting to boost your mitochondria functioning.
- Incorporate high-intensity interval training to increase the production of mitochondria
- Use supplementation to help overall mitochondrial health.
- Meditation will help calm your sympathetic nervous system, which will, in turn, reduce oxidative stress to promote less damage to your mitochondria.
- Use sauna therapy to help detox your tissues, which will also help deliver energy to your mitochondria. Purchase a from Saunaspace to supercharge your mitochondria!
- Improve your sleep to help restore your mitochondria.
In this article, I am going to explore seven ways to help boost your mitochondria during pandemic times. First, you may ask, ” why exactly do I need mitochondria to function optimally?” Overall, the main reason is that they are significant for a properly functioning immune system. Generally, deciding to optimize your mitochondria will help to prevent you from getting viruses. Mitochondria are vital for your health! Consequently, if you want to ward off and heal from disease, you must learn how to make them work efficiently.
Meet your mitochondria
In short, mitochondria are tiny organelles( think of them as micro-organs) that are in nearly all of your cells. One of their many critical roles is to produce energy by combining nutrients from the sugars and fats you eat with oxygen from the air you breathe. (1)Researchers estimate that mitochondria account for 10 percent of your body weight, with approximately 10 million billion within the cell of an average adult. (2)
Further, mitochondria are little powerhouses in your cells that generate energy! They continuously create energy molecules called adenosine triphosphate (ATP). Do you know how much energy is generated from these little organelles? According to Power, Sex, Suicide, Nick Lane’s excellent book on mitochondria, this enormous army of organelles is hard at work every second of the day, pumping out 10,000 times more energy, gram for gram, than the sun!
Why energy production from mitochondria is vital
To sum it up, the energy production from our mitochondria is vital to sustaining life! No wonder it has to pump more energy than the sun! On a day to day basis, our body has to fight off free radicals that come from our foods and environment. It has been found that free radicals are associated with human disease, including cancer, atherosclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and many others. (3) In turn, if our mitochondria are not working adequately, then we may succumb to these insults.
Overall, we need to be proactive and take measures to overcome this! Luckily, there are things that you can do to take care of these precious powerhouses. You do not have to succumb to disease! There are options, and I am glad to provide you with those! Now, I am going to present five methods to help get your mitochondria functioning at par.
Method # 1-keto diet
Yes! The keto diet is a great way to help boost your mitochondria during pandemic times. When we incorporate the keto diet in our lives, we are producing ketone bodies that help to energize our mitochondria. When you adopt a high-fat, low-carb diet and make the switch to burning fat and ketones for fuel instead of glucose your mitochondria’s exposure to damage drops by 30-40%. (4)
Choose organic when doing a keto diet
Now, that being said, when you do start a keto diet, you should also utilize as many organic foods as possible. The main reason for this is to avoid genetically modified ingredients, hormones, or chemicals that will interfere with your mitochondria’s production. You can follow a keto diet all day long, but if you are not choosing organic, then it will be deleterious to your efforts. Sure, you may still get some benefits, but why chance it. Are you worried about the cost of choosing organic foods? Think about it this way; you are choosing organic now to avoid expensive medical bills in the future. Just use common sense! Put money into your food instead of purchasing that pack of cigarettes, shopping, or other past time. Trust me; your body will thank you.
You can refer to my keto pantry for more information on specific foods for a keto diet. Remember, when you are doing the keto diet, it is essential to monitor your ketones to see if you are in therapeutic ketosis. Overall, this is pertinent because it tells you that you are following the diet correctly. More importantly, it also tells you that you are making ketones, which are very vital for your mitochondria! I explain more on how to do this in these two posts: Keto Biometrics 1 and Keto Biometrics 2. In short, the best two ways to check ketones are by monitoring them via blood or by a breath analyzer. I highly recommend purchasing one of the following products for this: Keyto Breath Sensor or a Keto-mojo device.
Keto diet during a pandemic
If you are having difficulty doing the keto diet during a pandemic times then you are not alone! I would highly recommend you read my article on Three benefits of mindful eating and intermittent fasting during pandemic times. Here I explain different modifications that can be done during times of quarantine.
Method #2-intermittent fast
Once you have started a keto diet, then add intermittent fasting to help give those mitochondria an extra boost during pandemic times. This is a great way to help your cells during a pandemic! Overall, intermittent fasting helps to do this because you are giving your body a break in digesting foods. By doing this, your body will be able to focus on the repair of your mitochondria and even produce new ones! Intermittent fasting boosts the body’s natural cleansing process, which is necessary for optimal cellular renewal and functions. It also will trigger the generation of stem cells and new mitochondria.(5) If you want to read more about intermittent fasting benefits, please read my article on The five intermittent fasting benefits.
There are several ways to incorporate intermittent fasting into your life! Overall, you want to fast for at least 12- 13 hours to confer maximal benefits! Fasting at least 12 hours is what you want to aim for because that is the point where the body starts to rely on the stored body fat for fuel6. Those of you with a history of breast cancer, incorporate 13 hours to prevent any reoccurrence!
If you are new to intermittent fasting, start at smaller intervals and just increase the amount of time you fast slowly. For example, I would recommend starting with a twelve-hour fast and do it every day for about a week, and then the second week move your fast for thirteen hours. Do this until you reach the appropriate fasting interval, and then try to stick to your target interval every day. I explain more on how to do this here.
Method #3- Exercise
Exercise is very pivotal for your health and great to help boost your mitochondria during a pandemic. It is pertinent to incorporate exercise into your daily life, even if it is just for a small amount of time. Most people seem to think that they need a gym membership to say that they are actually “exercising.” I encourage you to get a good routine at home before you even think about purchasing a gym membership. I typically recommend people start with just walking every day or also doing gentle yoga videos at home. It is good to start slow with exercise, especially if you are just getting used to a keto or intermittent fasting regime.
Once you get used to intermittent fasting and the keto diet, then start to incorporate high-intensity interval training (HIIT) or resistance training every other day for at least 30 minutes. This acute stress of exercise triggers autophagy much in the same way as fasting by stimulating a metabolic pathway called PGC-1 alpha that also increases mitochondrial biogenesis(7). In other words, it amps up the production of new mitochondria! An example of HIIT would be doing a 10-minute treadmill blast, or even a power yoga session for 20 minutes(8). It does not have to be hours at a local gym!
Method #4- Supplement with CO-Q -10& BioPQQ, Cell Fuzion and magnesium
When it comes to supplementation, it is all about choosing the “right ones” and not overdoing it. If we do too many supplements, then that is more for our liver to process. Overall, you should confer the most benefits from your organic keto food choices and other lifestyle changes; however, I do recommend a few to add a few supplements for your mitochondria health. The ones I mention will help give your mitochondrial a boost during a pandemic, and will help deal with the daily insults.
Benefits of Co-Q 10 supplementation
It has been found that Co-Q 10 supplementation, can help the proper functioning of neurodegenerative diseases, fibromyalgia, diabetes, cancer, mitochondrial diseases, muscular diseases, and heart failure(10). The primary function of Co-Q 10 is to facilitate the conversion of energy substrates and oxygen into energy. Taking this can help to protect your mitochondria from oxidative damage. The full reduced version of Co-Q 10 is called Ubiquinol(9). The two products that I discuss below have Co-Q 10 in them plus other ingredients to enhance mitochondrial function.
Co-Q 10 & BioPQQ
There are numerous different versions of Co-Q 10 or Ubiquinol that are available. I would probably recommend a few companies. However, the one that I am taking now and have noticed the most energy is made by Global Healing Center. The name of it is CoQ10 & BioPQQ | Enhanced w/Shilajit . This is a synergistic blend of antioxidants that protect your mitochondria, which, in turn, boosts heart health and supports brain function. It also has Shilajit added for enhanced bioavailability or to increase the rate of absorption.
Another excellent product for mitochondrial health is called Cell Fuzion. Global Healing Center also makes this product, and I have taken it for several years. I have noticed that it helps to give me more energy, and it also has helped in healing! It is designed with an advanced antioxidant formula for cells and works to protect and energize mitochondrial function, sustain healthy cell cycles, and guards against DNA damage. All in all, this supplement promotes anti-aging, decreases fatigue, and helps to boost cognitive functioning.
Benefits of Magnesium supplementation
Magnesium happens to be one of the most deficient nutrients nationwide! By some estimates, up to 80 percent of Americans are not getting enough magnesium. It has been dubbed as the “invisible deficiency”. A century ago, people received an estimated 500 mg of magnesium from their diet courtesy of nutrient-rich soil in which food was grown. Today, estimates suggest that we’re only getting 150-300 mg a day from our food(11). Magnesium is crucial to your mitochondria because it optimizes their functioning. Signs of magnesium deficiency may be “Charley horses,”, headaches, loss of appetite, nausea, and vomiting, fatigue or weakness(12).
Personally, I recommend magnesium threonate. The reason for this is that it appears to be most effective at penetrating cell membranes, including mitochondrial membranes, which can boost your energy level. It also crosses your blood-brain barrier and may help improve circulation and memory. (13) I purchase my magnesium threonate from Dr. Mercola here. Ever since I have taken magnesium threonate, I have noticed that it has helped improve my sleep and decrease muscle aches. It is wonderful!
Method # 5- Meditation
Meditation is wonderful for calming down your sympathetic nervous system, which, in turn, will improve the immune system. Recent research suggests that meditation and other relaxation-based techniques can reduce oxidative stress – and that means, as time passes, less damage to the mitochondria. (14)
Meditation is easy to incorporate into your daily life, and all you need is about 5-10 minutes. I try to meditate for at least this amount of time per day, if not more. It is essential to balance your chakras to help your mitochondria function optimally. These chakras are little energy centers that can affect physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health. If we don’t take time out to balance these energy centers, then disease could manifest in the long run.
When starting meditation, it is best to focus on balancing your root and sacral chakras, since they predominate your sense of security and seat of personal power, respectively. I would recommend purchasing Guided Meditation and Hypnosis audios here, to help balance these chakras. Once you have these two chakras in balance, then it is easy to align the other ones.
Method # 6- Sauna therapy
If you are unable to spend a lot of time outdoors, I would recommend that you purchase a sauna. They are excellent for optimizing your mitochondria function during a pandemic! The best ones to purchase are low EMF, with full-spectrum infrared therapy. The red and infrared light will penetrate deeply into your tissues, delivering energy to your mitochondria, which use it to increase ATP production (will increase cellular energy). Another good thing about sauna therapy is it helps to remove stored toxins within your fat cells(15).
There are several companies that I recommend for sauna therapy! Overall, the one I would recommend to you the most would be SaunaSpace . The main reason that I recommend them is they use Near -Infrared light. This is better than Far -Infrared light and it is more effective at penetrating your tissues to help your mitochondria. A vast majority of saunas are far IR, while these may have benefits, they are only able to penetrate a few millimeters or a tiny fraction of an inch. Overall, far-IR saunas are essentially surface-heating you and heating you in a conductive fashion. With near-IR wavelengths, you get radiant, penetrating heat, which is much more effective for biological tissues. (16)
Overall, I think it is good to use a sauna at least 3-5 times per week to help get rid of toxins in your body. Remember always to clear with a health care provider before using one.
Method #7- Sleep as power for your mitochondria
Sleep is essential for your mitochondrial health. The human brain requires a lot of energy, and because of its high metabolic rate, the brain accumulates a lot of metabolic waste. During sleep, the brain gets rid of products that can be toxic to mitochondria(17). Does sleep seem to be a problem for you? If so, you’re not alone. Ever since the birth of my youngest son five years ago, I too have had difficulty in this area. It was especially hard when I was a nurse practitioner in sleep medicine because I would listen to patients talk about their sleep issues, and it would remind me that I too needed to address this problem in my life.
Turn to Valerian Root as your go-to supplement for sleep
All in all, I have tried several different things, but one of the supplements that I have found to help me the most is Valerian root. The key to this supplement is being consistent and trying to remember to take it every night. I find that Valerian root relaxes me and calms down my nervous system to prepare me for rest. I have purchased my Valerian root from several different companies, and have been content. However, that being said, the Valerian root I will recommend the most to you is by Global Healing Center. The reason why this one is it is a raw, herbal extract and made explicitly with organic ingredients. Also, It is in the form of a tincture, which requires no pills to swallow. You can purchase it here.
Use eye masks
Another thing that has helped me is to use an eye mask while asleep. An eye mask will block any light stimulation from the outside, so your melatonin levels stay constant throughout the night. The one I have is from Dr. Mercola and is infused with lavender ( for extra calming effects). You can find that here. Some other things to consider when trying to improve your sleep is to evaluate your sleep hygiene. You can read more about that here from the Sleepfoundation.org. This website also has a lot of other great resources to consider when trying to improve your sleep.
I have sleep as one of my six-steps to achieving wellness. It is essential for improving your health, and it should not be overlooked. When someone tells you that they need very little sleep per night, they are wrong. Below is how much sleep different age groups need per night. If you would like to read more information on sleep hygiene, I would recommend you go to thatorganicmom.com. She has posted a lot of great information regarding sleep and it is my go-to resource.
How much sleep is needed per age groups
- Newborns (0-3 months): Sleep range narrowed to 14-17 hours each day (previously it was 12-18)
- Infants (4-11 months): Sleep range widened two hours to 12-15 hours (previously it was 14-15)
- Toddlers (1-2 years): Sleep range widened by one hour to 11-14 hours (previously it was 12-14)
- Preschoolers (3-5): Sleep range widened by one hour to 10-13 hours (previously it was 11-13)
- School-age children (6-13): Sleep range widened by one hour to 9-11 hours (previously it was 10-11)
- Teenagers (14-17): Sleep range widened by one hour to 8-10 hours (previously it was 8.5-9.5)
- Younger adults (18-25): Sleep range is 7-9 hours (new age category)
- Adults (26-64): Sleep range did not change and remains 7-9 hours
- Older adults (65+): Sleep range is 7-8 hours (new age category)
Overall, we need to focus on our mitochondria to get to optimal wellness. What we do daily has a direct effect on their functioning! The choices that you make now will affect you later. I encourage you to sign up for my email list and follow me on your journey to wellness! Your pains are my pains! Please go to my Start Here page to find out how to begin your marvelous journey. You can also read my About me section to see what inspired me to go in this direction.
I am here just as a mentor, and it is up to you to take the initiative to make the change. Choosing to follow this path is not just about dietary changes, but an overall lifestyle intervention. You got this!
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