Everybody’s tired these days. It seems our memories and our nights are getting shorter and shorter. Meanwhile, our stress and our irritability are growing. As a nation, we purchase energy drinks and take adrenal supplements. We can’t get out of bed in the morning, and we hit a wall before the work day is finished.
Do we sprint so much that we out distance our reserves, or is there an energy crisis at the cellular level?
Energy is Produced in the Mitochondria
You’ll recall from your high school physics class that the mitochondria are the powerhouses of the cells. One particularly unique feature about them is their double membrane.
This twin layer makes them doubly vulnerable to damage. See, all cell membranes are made of phospholipids, a special class of fats that allow a two-way exchange of materials in and out of the cell. That way nutrients can enter and wastes can exit. But because they are lipids, they are subject to oxidation – a type of damage that occurs in fats. And because these membranes also contain proteins, they are subject to glycation – literally, sugar-coating that makes them sticky and cross-linked so that they cannot send or receive signals properly.
The bottom line is that diets high in processed fats and sugars dam the inner and outer mitochondrial membranes and stop the creation and dissemination of energy.
Interrupt The “Kryptonite”
The first step to overcoming fatigue is to halt the acceleration of glycation and oxidation. That means:
- Eat only natural, unrefined fats, not processed and refined fats. Stay away from the Big Five: cottonseed, corn, canola, soy, and sunflower. Instead, use olive, avocado, coconut, and grass-fed butter.
- Stop eating refined flours and sugars. Eat nutrient-dense whole foods, mostly from plants (vegetables, fruits, beans, nuts, seeds, and grains in limited amounts) with high-quality animal products for protein requirements.
Power Up Your Powerhouses
- Eat anti-oxidant foods. That means lots of colors! Make half your plate vegetables. Eat your fruit, don’t drink it. Swap white carbs like rice, potatoes and pasta for colored ones like wild rice, yams, and squashes.
- Work with a health practitioner to supplement your diet with the necessary vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients that may be missing in your diet.
Diet is the biggest factor you have control over to regain your energy. If your thinking is foggy, your memory is impaired, or you suffer from mood disorders, focus on cellular nutrition to feel happy, healthy, focused, and sharp once again.