ENERGY – How do you get yours?
COFFEE RED BULL COCA COLA CHOCOLATE PASTRIES CEREALS SUGAR
What do all these things do to us? They raise our blood sugar rapidly, causing a spike that triggers the release of insulin to break it down into glucose and to transport it to the cells. Any glucose that can’t be used by the cells is transported to the liver, converted into a form that can be stored – glycogen. When needed this glycogen can be converted back into glucose by Cortisol and transported back into the bloodstream. There is a limit to the amount of glycogen that can be stored in the body and so whatever amount is consumed after that level is reached is converted into Triglycerides for storage in fat cells. High levels of Triglycerides are a major risk factor for heart disease and total body inflammation.
Unfortunately these foods don’t give us energy for very long, they don’t stop us from feeling hungry for long and they don’t give our bodies the nutrition they really need to function well.
High sugar, high carbohydrate diets result in insulin resistance and can lead to Type 2 Diabetes.
We lead stressful, busy lives that put more demand on our bodies for continuous quick-fixes of energy and our Pancreas struggles to keep up with the supply of insulin triggering more Cortisol from our Adrenal glands and a permanently elevated blood sugar, and permanently elevated Cortisol. This gives us that high and wired feeling but if continued this can begin to feel ‘normal‘.
Cortisol has other functions in the body, one of which is to control inflammation so with Stress, inflammation and blood sugar control Cortisol levels continues to rise, damaging our digestion, digestive tract and immune system and leaving us at risk of infections, food allergies, Autoimmune disease and cancer.
SO HOW SHOULD WE BE FEEDING OUR ENERGY SYSTEM and how can we get our bodies to function well at a fast pace, consistently and without all the collateral damage?
Let’s look at the energy cells, the mitochondria and check out what they need to work efficiently. They are in cells throughout our bodies and are more prolific where we need the most energy – the brain, the heart, the liver, the muscles. When we demand more energy the mitochondria multiply by dividing and the more we demand the more they replicate. I remember being taught that “Mitochondria work by taking in glucose and oxygen to produce energy in the form of a molecule called ATP ( Adenosine triphosphate) and release carbon dioxide and water in the process”. If it was that simple we could live off the coffee and cakes -no problem.
The action of producing ATP creates free radicals. Healthy mitochondria can deal with a certain amount of free radicals by using antioxidants like glutathione and Vitamin C but if there are too many or the mitochondria are not working properly then the free radicals will steal electrons from whatever they come across, creating a cascade of damage. If they damage the DNA of the mitochondria itself then when that cell divides it will produce two damaged versions that will not function properly, or not at all. The more damaged mitochondria we have, the more oxidative stress and the more the ageing process is speeded up.
We can get our bodies to create more high functioning mitochondria and less oxidative stress, while also increasing energy and efficient organ function by eating less sugar and processed carbohydrates. The mitochondria produce fewer free radicals when they burn fatty acids than when they burn carbohydrates. So if we cut back on carbohydrates, fast or cut calories intermittently like the 5:2 diet or change to the Paleo Approach diet plus have plenty of fruits and vegetables this creates less free radical damage and is anti-inflammatory. It also gives us a much more consistent flow of energy, less cravings, a slimmer less toxic body and a sharper brain as fat has twice the energy content of sugar.
5 Step ACTION PLAN
- Eat less sugar and carbohydrates
- Avoid alcohol if you have blood sugar problems, Adrenal Fatigue, thyroid disorders, or gut problems until your body can handle it. If you do have a drink have it with or after a meal to stop a high blood sugar spike.
- Exercise more, challenge and strengthen your body and it will respond by making more mitochondria. More oxygen in the body makes more ATP. Without oxygen a cell can make 2 ATP molecules and with oxygen 36 ATP molecules for each sugar molecule.
- Provide your mitochondria with the nutrients it needs
- Take Minerals essential for mitochondrial function and enzyme actions – the best being 75 all important, plant based Sizzling Minerals because your body will take what it needs and being water soluble, any not needed, will be excreted. The mitochondria also require minerals for their electrical energy within the cell and to help transport that energy and oxygen throughout the body. Included in Sizzling minerals are:-
Magnesium – essential co-factor for mitochondrial function
Manganese – produces a strong anti-oxidant SOD (Super-oxide Dismutase) and also activates enzymes associated with fatty acid metabolism (found in raspberries and dark chocolate).
Zinc – essential co-factor
Copper – multiple functions and protection against oxidative stress
Iodine – protects ATP and keeps ATP production high
Phosphate, Sulphur, Iron, Selenium, chloride, carbon, chromium, sodium and many more minerals, (often called the ‘spark plugs’ of our bodies for a reason) that are necessary for cellular respiration and energy production.
Great Mitochondrial supporting nutrients include:-Vitamin A – processes Ammonia, a toxic by-product of protein metabolism; Vitamin B complex – essential for cellular walls and protective covering as in Myelin around nerve cells; Vitamin C – antioxidant; Vitamin D – blood levels should be between 60 – 100 ng/ml; Vitamin E -antioxidant; Vitamin K ; CoenzymeQ10, antioxidant and transport functions; Carnosine, and Carnitine, amino acids from meat act as free radical scavengers and help transport fatty acids into the mitochondria for conversion to ATP; flavenoids and polyphenols colourful fruit and vegetables as antioxidants; fish oils for Omega 3; healthy fats like olive oil, avocados, coconut oil, nuts and quality unprocessed meats; Sulphur rich vegetables, onions, garlic, cabbage, mushrooms and asparagus.
Make the choice. Do you want to be a Ferrari or a rust old jalopy?