Fatigue is such a broad umbrella, getting to the bottom of it sometimes involves your doctor giving you the third degree.
But that’s because generalized fatigue can be caused by any number of colluding or omitting factors. Not enough of this, too much of that, too much this without enough of that to balance it out…
Do we all have to be doctors ourselves in order to manage our own health?
Well, no. But we should have a basic understanding of how our bodies work and which areas to service in order to cause a ripple effect of whole body health.
Some of the choices before us are pretty intrinsic – or at least should be obvious given the state of American health and the public exposure of processed food chemicals – like choosing to eat organic, whole foods over junk food.
Some of our choices are influenced by the information we seek out ourselves. We learn that we need to nourish and support our liver, for example, because we need it to be working at top capacity in order to filter toxins out of our system.
If we don’t do those things, we know that our energy will suffer. Eating a burger meal from a fast food joint makes us tired, but eating a well-rounded meal packed with nutrition does not. Feeling hungover when we drink too much and our livers are overloaded with the job of flushing those toxins out means we never regain full energy that day.
But sometimes, we have to get even more granular. Cellular, even. Or smaller.
Like right down to the mitochondria, the organelle in our cells that’s responsible for empowering each individual cell with energy so that it can travel throughout our body, lending energy to our human functions.
Mitochondria are little energy manufacturers that convert everything from the food you eat to the air you breathe into energy.
When we find ourselves in the midst of an exhaustion epidemic, and we’re eating well and paying attention to our organ health, we might have to think smaller.
Let’s examine some of the ways we can support our mitochondrial health…
Eat Good Fat
If you’ve ever tried to do the keto or paleo diets, you know exactly how good fat can be for you! Trans fats are the real problem – but fat from nuts? Chicken fat? Avocado fat? Olive oil fat?
Your body likes it! Your mitochondria mainly eats fatty acids and carbohydrates, but converting fat into energy creates fewer free radical byproducts (reactive molecules containing one or more unpaired electrons that increase oxidative stress in the body).
Try to focus more on including fat from whole foods and carbs from vegetables (like crucifers) to keep your mitochondria well fed.
Try Intermittent Fasting
Not only does intermittent fasting help suppress the production of more free radicals, but it encourages autophagy, the process by which your cells assess the state they’re in, borrow components from each other, flush damaged cells, and reconstruct themselves.
During the autophagy process, mitophagy also occurs. This is the process by which the body determines which mitochondria are damaged beyond repair, and disposes of them, allowing fresh new mitochondria to continue working.
Do High Interval Intensity Training
Your mitochondria get bigger and stronger when you exercise, but especially when you do HIIT.
As you build more muscle, your body will create more and bigger mitochondria to power those muscles. This type of exercise specifically helps cells produce more protein for mitochondria, and benefits their health and longevity as it benefits your health and longevity.
Add Antioxidants to the Mix
We talked about how sometimes, mitochondrial byproducts can be free radicals, and that free radicals can lead to oxidative stress.
Life so often comes full circle, because oxidative stress can then damage mitochondria.
Keep your diet full of antioxidants to help prevent oxidative stress! Eat plenty of colorful foods – pumpkin, eggplant, berries, red wine, leeks, mangoes, apricots, spinach, seafood, and more.
Don’t Let the Toxins Get Them
Mitochondria are especially sensitive to toxins… so when you’re thinking about another reason not to smoke cigarettes, or overindulge in alcohol, or pop NSAIDs when you’ve got a mild headache, here’s a big one.
You want your liver to be able to shove toxins towards the exit, so it needs to be functioning uncompromised. Plus, you want to limit the exposure your mitochondria have to toxins in the first place.
Mitochondrial health is deeply complex, as are the rest of your energy-making, storing, and using systems.
Dr. Shojai and Nick Polizzi, who just released their “Exhausted!” docu-series exploring how we even let exhaustion become the epidemic it is today, recognized that there’s simply too much to learn without a streamlined and dedicated way to learn it…
So they created The 7-Week Energy Reset Masterclass.
In 7 weeks and a total of 7 hours, the brightest experts in the functional health industry with the most up-to-date science explain not only how your body produces and stores energy, but what can go wrong and how to prevent it.
7 weeks might feel like a commitment you’re not ready for, but the truth is, it’ll pass regardless of whether or not you spend it learning how to get your energy back.
If you want to take control of your fatigue and get out in front of your exhaustion, click here and see what the class is all about.