Mitochondria are one of the most important organelles in our cells. They are the producers of ATP (adenosine triphosphate) energy, so often referred to as the powerhouses of the cells. They help to turn the food that we consume into energy.
Mitochondria are present in every cell of our body.
Besides energy production, they also play a role in cell death, called apoptosis. They decide which cells should be destroyed, if they become broken or cancerous.
Mitochondria help in absorption of calcium ions and holding them until they are needed.
Mitochondria can also assist the body to generate heat by using brown fat tissue.
Mitochondrial structure is very complex, but one thing that is very important is that in the inner membrane of the mitochondria, called the matrix, there are hundreds of enzymes crucial in the production of energy (ATP). Mitochondrial DNA is also housed in the matrix.
Cells of the body that require the most energy, have greater numbers of mitochondria.
Mitochondria provide energy for the sperm cells (tail movement) that is so important for fertility.
Mitochondria are so important for our health that it is necessary to support them.
There are many ways to support our mitochondrial health:
- Walk outside for at least 15 to 20 minutes per day
- Do deep breathing exercises in the morning and before bed
- Juice fasts and clean nutrition
- Supplements-there are variety of supplements on the market that contain Ubiquinol, Liposomal Vitamin C, Vitamin D3 and K2, Turmeric, Resveratrol and certain B vitamins.
For more information about mitochondrial health, specific supplements and dosing, consult your naturopathic practitioner.
***The aging process depends on mitochondrial health, so take care of them and stay young***
3/4 cup pitted dates
1/4 cup almond butter
1TBSP coconut oil
1 cup almonds, finely chopped
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cup sprouted gluten free rolled oats
1/4 cup dried unsweetened cranberries
1/4 cup chopped bittersweet chocolate
1. In the food processor, pulse the dates until finely chopped
-it should look like a dough consistency. You may also finely chop dates by hand.
2. Add the dates to the bowl, along with the almonds, oats, cranberries and chocolate. Set aside.
3. Meanwhile, heat almond butter over low heat, along with the vanilla extract and coconut oil.
4. When oil is melted, stir to combine, then add to the date mixture and mix well.
5. Line 8×8 inch baking dish with parchment paper and transfer the mixture into the baking dish. Pack down firmly, cover, and chill in freezer for 15 minutes.
6. Slice into 12 bars. You may wrap them individually and store at room temperature, wherever you need a snack.
It is finally Spring and it is time to clean, detoxify, rejuvenate and nourish your body.
There is no good health without regular fasting either through a simple water fast or a juice fast.
I generally prefer and recommend the juice fast, as it is very clean and simple to follow.
All you need is a juicer, preferably a masticating or slow juicer to preserve as many nutrients as possible.
Juices are easily assimilated into the blood stream giving the body an immediate source of vitamins, minerals, enzymes, micronutrients and electrolytes. The juice cleanse allows the body to easily remove toxins improving liver and kidney function. The intestinal tract is prompted to get rid of old debris from the walls of the gut that accumulated over time.
Some symptoms that can be experienced during the detox:
– Headache and some fatigue may occur in about 2-3 days of the cleanse. It is a sign of toxins being released into the blood stream. Do not worry. It will pass.
-Cravings for solid foods,it is important not to eat any solid foods during this time. If you have a strong craving, prepare an extra glass of juice and sip on it.
Important steps during your juice fast:
- Every morning drink a glass of warm water with a slice of lemon.
- Prepare fresh juices every day and drink at least 16 oz 4-6 times per day.
- Drink water between juices for hydration.
- Try not to eat any solid foods.
- Go to bed early.
- Do stretching exercises every day for 15 to 20 minutes.
- Do dry skin brushing before showers.
Rich green Juice
-4-6 kale leaves
-1 medium size cucumber
-3 stalks of celery
-1 Granny Smith apple
-1 cm ginger root
-may add some lemon juice
Carrot/Beet juice Plus
-2 large carrots
-1/2 medium beet
-1 Granny Smith apple
-1/3 Romaine lettuce
-1/4 lemon peeled
Super Intestinal Detox juice
-3-4 celery stalks
-juice of half lemon
-fresh cilantro (just enough to taste)
After 5-7 days of your cleanse, start to consume easy to digest foods: lightly steamed vegetables, avocados and berries.
Gradually (over 3-5 days, return to a clean, no sugar, no wheat and no dairy containing diet), so your body can heal and rejuvenate. The benefit of this hard work will be your great satisfaction that you have accomplish your goal to detoxify your body, weight loss and tremendous boost of energy. It is worth it!!
For more details and for many other detox protocols, healthy weight loss nutrition guidelines and proper supplementation contact me at The Green Heart Naturopathic Clinic.
1 cup almonds
1 and 1/2 cup cashews
2 Tbsp coconut nectar
2Tbsp coconut oil
1Tbsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup cacao powder
1pinch sea salt
- Process almonds and cashews in a food processor until they almost resembles flour like consistency (more or less.)
Add dates, coconut nectar, coconut oil, vanilla extract and process again until dough like.
- Add cacao powder and salt and process again.
Form cookies to a shape of your choice
Nature designed food to break itself down in our digestive tract. However, our modern diet is far from helping our body to digest food properly, as it is deficient in enzymes. Almost everyone has experienced bloating, constipation, gas, acid reflux and swelling ( fluid retention ) after consuming certain foods. These are all symptoms of low enzymatic activity.
Enzymes play a very important part in our gut health and our overall health.
Dr. Edward Howell, the author of “Enzyme Nutrition” demonstrated conclusively that using digestive enzymes could improve digestion, regulate weight and eliminate the symptoms of variety of chronic conditions. Essentially, every process in our body needs enzymes to perform chemical and biological functions.
Naturally, our body produces variety of about 3000 enzymes. The only external source of enzymes come from the foods we eat. Most of the foods we consume now, though are devoid of enzymes, because of the way they are grown, processed and transported. We also consume mostly cooked foods, because it is easier and faster to eat them, they are tastier for some as well. We swallow food instead of chewing it. Chewing on raw fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds releases natural enzymes and helps the body to utilize them in the chemical and biological processes inside our cells. Research demonstrates that any food heated to above 118 degrees Fahrenheit loses all of its enzymes. In other words all cooked foods are deficient in enzymes. The chemically-laden processed foods, grown with pesticides and chemical fertilizers further strain our digestive system and drain our essential enzyme reserves even more. Dr. Howell suggest that the body has a limited “Enzyme Bank Account” that gets drawn down as we age – which contributes to the degeneration associated with aging. In his book “The Enzyme Factor”, world-renowned colon expert Dr. Hiromi Shinya, suggests that undigested protein, particularly from milk products, fast foods and red meat – can become “food” for “bad” bacteria. The bad bacteria create all kinds of toxins that leak into the blood stream causing inflammatory conditions that lead to chronic diseases long term.
Try to always add fresh green vegetables, green smoothies, vegetable juices, fruits and whole unprocessed foods to your diet.
The reasons to add extra enzymes to your diet are many:
- Enzymes improve your digestion and complete breakdown of foods.
- Improve assimilation of nutrients from the food you eat.
- Enzymes prevent auto-intoxication from the toxins in our food and environment.
- Extra Enzyme intake replaces the enzymes lost during food processing, irradiation and cooking.
- Increase Energy.
- Assist the Immune System and are considered “extra workers” for the Immune System.
- Reduce environmental and food sensitivities.
- Prevent muscle loss associated with aging and degenerative conditions.
Finally, maximizing on enzyme intake may improve quality of life and potentially extend your life. There is many enzymes available on the market. Ask your Health care provider at The Green Heart Naturopathic Clinic for assistance to choose the right ones for you.
For Sunday healthy dessert
2 cups raw pecans or walnuts
¼ cup raisins
Pinch of sea salt
6 apples, cored and peeled, chopped into chunks (honey crisp)
7-8 medjool dates pitted
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 TBSP Juice of lemon, freshly squeezed
Pinch of nutmeg
2 TBSP chia seeds
¼ cup pecans or walnuts
¼ cup raw coconut sugar
1 tsp coconut oil warmed to a liquid
½ tsp ground cinnamon
- Put all of the crust ingredients into a food processor fitted with S blade and pulse the mixture a few times and then process until it reaches crumbly and sticky consistency. Do not over process.
- Put mixture into a pie plate and press firmly and evenly with your hands to fill the bottom and the sides of the pie plate like you would with a regular pie crust.
- Transfer the plate into a freezer to set for 30minutes.
- Roughly chop 3 apples, add them to the food processor together with dates, cinnamon, nutmeg and lemon juice
- Pulse the mixture a few times then process for 3-4 minutes to get smooth consistency. You would have to stop the food processor a few times to scrape the sides.
- Pour mixture into a bowl and mix in the chia seeds.
- Chop the remaining 3 peeled and cored apples and chop them into very small pieces.
- Add apples to the liquid apple mixture in a bowl.
- Take out the apple crust from the freezer and fill the crust with the apple mixture.
Apple pie topping:
- Put all of the apple topping ingredients into a food processor. Pulse a few times (20-30) until you get coarse crumble.
- Sprinkle the topping over the pie.
- Transfer to a freezer to set for 1 hour. After that remove the pie and cut into slices.
- Store in the refrigerator.
Healthy Snack Ideas for children
Mid-morning and mid-afternoon are likely snack times- times your child will need refuelling in order to continue being attentive in school or active on the playing field. In keeping with your wholesome meal offerings, prepare snacks that are nutritious and based on grains, fruits, vegetables, and small amounts of protein. Avoid highly refined, sugar-laden foods that don’t provide necessary nutrients.
The following are some ideas for healthful snacks to offer your child.
⎫ Almond butter and celery
⎫ Vegetables and onion dip
⎫ Almond butter
⎫ Vegan “TOONA” wrapped in a whole wheat or corn tortilla ( ask me for a recipe)
⎫ Rice pudding, chia pudding, healthy vegan yogurt ( see my recipes )
⎫ Ezekhiel or spelt bread with sesame seed butter or other nut butters
⎫ Rice cakes with or almond butter and home made apple sauce
⎫ Millet or rice toast with nut butters
⎫ Almond cheese or Walnut hummus with celery, carrots, cucumbers
⎫ Healthy vegan yogurt (coconut is available) with fresh fruit and nuts
⎫ Baked apples with cinnamon
⎫ Carrot sticks with hummas
⎫ Fruit sticks or fruit kabobs
⎫ Organic !!!Corn on the cob only
⎫ Mini pizzas (spelt pita dough topped with tomato sauce, vegetables, and Daiya vegan cheese)
⎫ Cookies made with honey, maple syrup, or coconut nectar, vegan truffles
⎫ Smoothies (vegetable or fruit smoothie),
⎫ Organic home made carrot and apple juice or green juice
⎫ Fruit freezes (fruit, ice, and a dab of honey, mixed in a blender)
⎫ Homemade applesauce and nuts
⎫ Almond butter on small slices of fruit
⎫ Hummus and raw crackers ( you may get them Health Food Stores )
⎫ Dry fruits, raisins, cranberries, black currents,
⎫ Nuts : almonds, pecans, brazil, walnuts pistachio- all raw and previously soaked.