8 Ways to support your mitochondria

8 Ways to support your mitochondria

Mitochondria are the powerhouses of your cells, generating energy to fuel your cells’ biochemical reactions. Lets us explain 8 ways you can support your mitochondria.

Mitochondria are the powerhouses of your cells, generating energy to fuel your cells’ biochemical reactions. Lets us explain 8 ways you can support your mitochondria.

Your mitochondria play a large role in optimising energy.  It is a reductive idea that energy ‘in’ automatically means energy ‘out’, and that simply eating macronutrients (e.g. carbohydrates) is all that fuels us. Instead, we should also consider optimising the vital micronutrients in our diets (e.g. vitamins, minerals, amino acids etc) and supporting the body processes central to energy production. Think of how a car requires not just petrol or diesel, but oil, water, antifreeze, sensible driving and regular MOT servicing. Our own human energy system is no different!

Supporting your mitochondrial health is a good place to begin improving your energy. The mitochondria are our cell’s energy factory (or ‘powerhouse’). It’s the job of the mitochondria to produce cellular energy in the form of ATP (adenosine triphosphate). Certain nutrients and enzymes play a huge role in mitochondrial health. Recently it has become accepted that genetic variability also affects the mitochondria. Here we look at 8 ways you can support your mitochondria.


1. How mitochondrial health is affected by external influences

Your mitochondrial health may be compromised by oxidative stress (cellular damage). This can be caused by external influences (pollution, stress, chemicals in the environment, alcohol etc). Cellular damage can also occur as part of the natural process of energy production. Therefore, the mitochondria require a diet rich in antioxidants. You can support your mitochondria by eating:

  • Colourful vegetables
  • Some fruit
  • Herbs
  • Spices
  • Other whole foods that supply essential nutrients.

2. How protein can support your mitochondrial health

You can support your mitochondria by eating plenty of protein. This includes foods such as

  • Organic Meat
  • Fish
  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Beans / Lentils
  • Eggs

These foods support amino acids like glutathione which protect the mitochondria. You can discuss how to improve protein levels with our Nutrition Team 


3. How antioxidants can support your mitochondrial health

There are two special antioxidants which support mitochodrial health. These are alpha lipoic acid and Coenzyme Q10. Both of these antioxidants help with energy, protect the mitochondria and support mitochondrial ‘biogenesis’. Biogenesis is the process of renewal and increase of the mitochondrial cells. The more mitochondria we have, the less they are ‘overworked’ and the more we gain from them. This all supports optimal energy.


4. How Magnesium can support your mitochondrial health

Many of us are low in magnesium. This special mineral is essential for maintaining mitochondrial health and optimising energy. When we are busy and hit by life’s challenges we are also more likely to dip into our magnesium stores so keeping them topped up is important. It is worth taking magnesium supplements as well as eating foods like dark green vegetables, meat and nuts.


5. Other core nutrients which can support mitochondrial health  

To support your mitochondria, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, B vitamins, zinc, iron, selenium and antioxidants are all helpful nutrients. Include these in your diet by eating:

  • Vegetables
  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Beans / Lentils
  • Dairy Products
  • Fish
  • Meat


6.  How healthy fats can support your mitochondrial health

Fats are ‘fuel’ for the mitochondria. To support your mitochondrial health, make sure to include some of the following foods in your diet:

  • Oily Fish
  • Avocados
  • Coconut oil
  • Olive oil
  • Flaxseed Oil

Healthy fats also protect the mitochondria by providing anti-inflammatory support.

7. Why detoxification is important to mitochondrial health


The mitochondria are sensitive to toxins in the body. Studies have shown how research looks at how some medications and chemicals compromise mitochondrial function. Supporting the mitochondria with what it needs is just as important as removing factors which block its function. This is where cleaning up a diet and removing unnecessary toxins is essential. Supporting the health of the gut is also part of this as this, in turn, supports the immune system and healthy management of inflammation. When inflammation gets out of control it can affect the mitochondria. This is termed as mitochondrial dysfunction. Long before we even understood the science of energy and the mitochondria, natural practitioners across the world have been recommending healthy detoxification as a means of supporting energy production.


8. How being fructose aware can support your mitochondrial health

Fructose (fruit sugar) impairs the production of cellular energy. We are not saying to stop eating fruit. However, try to be mindful of sticking to two portions of fruit per day. Choose ‘whole’ fruit rather than juices and avoid products with added fructose syrups.

Supporting your mitochondrial health is just one of the benefits of understanding sugar in your diet.

For more advice on how you can support your mitochondria to optimise your energy, why not book a video consultation with one of our expert nutritionists or see '9 Natural ways of optimising your energy' and '6 Nutrition tips to help support your blood sugar balance'



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